Year two and day one of Chicago Open Air kicked off with a bang. As always, with Danny Wimmer Presents (DWP) hosting the festival, there was no shortage of legendary bands taking the stage from one set to the next. Not only did I get to see and shoot bands that are newer/on the rise but also got to experience and shoot the nostalgiac and epic performance of KISS. They were the first band I got to see in concert as a young music fan. To this day, they remain icons on and off the stage.
Day one's lineup also included: Rob Zombie, Megadeth, Anthrax, Meshuggah, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Falling In Reverse, Vimic, Suicide Silence, Whitechapel, Crobot, Code Orange, Hell or Highwater, and Failure Anthem.
Here is a quick recap to give you just a few of the many reasons that Chicago Open Air should be on your list of must-do MUSIC EXPERIENCES:
Chicago Open Air is a festival with a little something for everyone including shopping for gear at the Music Experience, local food including Chicago style pizza, Ellefson Coffee (by Dave Ellefson - Megadeth), and great microbrews.
Headlining day one was KISS. You can imagine the stadium's reaction when it came time for them to perform. In true KISS fashion, the show started with a huge black curtain on display with "KISS" in silver flashy letters shining like a light from heaven for every rock and roll fan. Once anticipation was at the breaking threshold, the curtains fell and revealed the larger than life legends of KISS. The set included full makeup, pyrotechnics, and well... KISS in all their greatness.
If we are talking about sets that grabbed fans by the balls and hit their musical G-spot with the strength of a heard of buffalos, then I must mention Megadeth, Rob Zombie, Anthrax, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and Suicide Silence. To sum up these bands live today at Chicago Open Air in a word: unrivaled.
Props also must be given to newer bands in the scene. At Chicago Open Air that list included Failure Anthem, Crobot, and Code Orange. These are all bands that have released noteworthy albums that prove rock and metal are alive and well. This crop of bands is worth not only listening to but getting out to venues to see them live.
One of my favorite experiences of Day One of Chicago Open Air included seeing lead vocalist Dave Naruszewicz of Vyces (one of my favorite up and coming bands) out at the festival as a fan. To see bands out to experience music from the pit and not the stage, in my opinion, is the best. It not only keeps the scene alive but it reinforces that music is a powerful, healing force that never dies. A festival like this is a time to celebrate the rock and metal community, which is like one big family.
Along with the opportunity to chat with Dave, I got to hang with the guys from Philips audio from The Music Experience. Not only do they have the best gear for all music geeks on site, The Music Experience also offers fans the chance to see members of bands up close to hang out, interact, and rock out with them.
I could go on and on about day one, but day two is already underway and there will be plenty more to report. I will keep you posted on all the festival happenings, so stay tuned to keep up on all things Chicago Open Air. Horns up and see you in the pit soon. \m/