Originally hailing from the East Coast, Dante began honing his DJ skills in high school, before moving to the birthplace of house music. Since those early days, Dante has scored residencies at The Underground and Parliament, and played gigs alongside the likes of Calvin Harris, DJ AM, and Jamie Foxx. He has also performed at Lollapalooza, opened for Miley Cyrus and performed at (Patriots player) Rob Gronkowski’s private events. These days, he keeps busy as a partner and music director at FWD Nightclub in Cleveland, as well as the in-game DJ at Wrigley Field.
Photo courtesy of DJ Dante
Underground is one of the top clubs in the entire country. I play all over and playing at Underground every week still gets me excited. The crowd is always unparalleled to anywhere in Chicago or the Midwest for that matter, and because of that it's a tricky room to DJ. So being challenged to get the room moving and create energy every time I'm there makes it that much better. Plus, I get free reign to play whatever I want there so I always mix it up with everything under the sun, music-wise. The staff is also top notch, from the management to the bathroom attendants and everyone in between.
Playing at The Mid is a special treat for me. It's a true "live performance" venue. So every time I'm there, it's an event. Its booth is high up on a stage overlooking the entire venue and the lighting is on par with Vegas venues and their sound rips. I don't know how they do it but every night they're open, they have national or international talent performing so it's always a special occasion at the Mid. I would put their calendar up against any venue in the world, no joke.
If I have friends in town or want to impress somebody I take them to The Aviary. Again, I'm lucky that I get to travel literally everywhere and get to try out new hot spots all the time. Aviary is the coolest and best place you can go to drink and leave feeling blown away there is. Their beverage director is a mad scientist. You can be drinking the best-tasting thing you've ever had in your life that was poured out of a pig's snout through a chemistry beaker then lit on fire (not really), and when they tell you what's in it, you refuse to believe them. And that happens over and over, every time they bring a new drink to your table. I definitely can't recommend Aviary enough.
Wicker Park. For me, it's the neighborhood with the most personality and culture in the entire city. It's got tons of mom-and-pop sit-down restaurants and dining options from literally every cuisine you can think of. The new bike and walking trail is amazing. Wicker Park itself, during the day is great to take your dogs to. Alderman Moreno has done an incredible job improving conditions for businesses and residents while preserving the neighborhood's character at the same time.
Portillo's. Place is unreal. There isn't a single bad thing on the entire menu. Their chicken sandwich and hot dogs are as good as you will find anywhere in the country.
Tough question. I'm lucky to have shared stages or DJ booths with some insanely talented big names. Miley Cyrus at United Center was epic. I'd have to say my current #1 would be Taylor Swift though. That's my girl.
Chicago is very, very underrated. When people think of nightlife in the United States, it's always Las Vegas, Miami, New York City. Chicago is always overlooked but sneakily, we have some of the best DJs in the world residing here. We have tourists that come from around the globe on a weekly basis and we're the heart of the Midwest so there's always fresh faces. Chicago also lays claim to pioneering the entire genre of house music so it's not some fabricated "johnny come lately" scene like Los Angeles.