July 15, 2017 – by Rebecca Pointe
For the second year, metal fans the world over converged on Toyota Park for the Chicago Open Air Festival in Bridgeview, IL. A crowd as large as 70,000 were head banging to metal megastars like Ozzy Osbourne, KISS, Seether, Anthrax, Rob Zombie, Korn and Godsmack. While the metal heavyweights drew in the crowds, it was the many other bands hailing from places like Atlanta, Boston, South Africa and Sweden that really stole the show this weekend.
Chicago Music Guide was lucky enough to witness some amazing performances from the entire lineup this year. There wasn’t a dull moment in the park.
While Friday’s MVP was the never failing Megadeath and its front man Dave Mustaine with a stellar performance by the entire band, it was Saturday and Sunday that had me on the edge of my toes willing to wade through the thick clouds of vape smoke and push every metal head down to reach over that front barrier. Swedish sensation Avatar ruled Saturday with a circus show that reminded me of how much I used to love Marilyn Manson concerts. From ring leader garb to hair swinging and head banging rhythms, Avatar knows how to put on a damn show. And the music is a solid ten. Chicago Music Guide sat down with Johannes Eckerström of Avatar after their performance to talk career moves, new projects, and what it takes to go from empty pubs to COA in less than a lifetime. That interview is coming very soon!
Sunday’s MVP on the Blackcraft Stage was Whores. These Georgia boys came out hard and didn’t let up until the last note. You’d think that would be normal for a band named Whores, and you’re right. Bands like Atlanta based Whores and Boston’s Aversed showed a serious passion for what they do and let us know they intend to stick around for a while. After Whores’ set, I had the chance to talk about what they’re up to and what they do when you have a diva in the band. That interview is coming very soon too!
Overall, the weekend was a solid ten. Lots of headbanging, great food, and a good group of people to party with at both stages. Big names ruled the roost and reminded us of why we hang on to those leather pants and wallet chains. However, it’s the bands you haven’t heard on mainstream stations that had a breakout weekend. It won’t be long for bands like Falling in Reverse and Crobot will be ruling the main stage as headliners.
If only there was a proper detergent with your ticket to wash the smells of Chicago Open Air out of your Lamb of God t-shirt….