Chicago Open Air Presents returned back to Seatgeek Arena in May after a one year hiatus and even through some tough weather delivered two days of heavy metal goodness.
Day 1 started with some insane heavy storms bringing downpour of rain, thunder, lightning and wind which sadly caused Vein, Knocked Loose, and Code Orange to have to cancel their sets due to time limits caused by the storm. So therefore the festival started a few hours late and kicked off with metalcore heavyweights Beartooth who did their best to warm the crowd. Next Swedish icons Meshuggah ripped the stage a new one with their blend of technical death metal. With a large stage show and a change of musical pace Ghost took the stage and proved to anyone that was even slightly doubting them why Ghost is carrying the metal flag proudly and will be doing arenas here soon. Closing the night with one of their only US shows so far this year was System Of A Down.
Day 2 started the same way Day 1 did, with storms a plenty. Thankfully this only caused a slight delay to the festivities. Alien Weaponry opened the day with a shortened set and brought their brand of metal to the eager crowd. Next up were death metal loveables The Black Dahlia Murder bringing their style of DM that they’ve perfected down to a science. Fever 333 came out and laid waste to the arena and crowd with nonstop movement, members playing in the crowd and on roofs and bringing the energy in a way most haven’t seen. Next up was In This Moment bringing the theatrics in for the day lead by Maria Brink. Going from theatrics through was Gojira who instead brought the fire and lots of it packing riffs for days and slamming the crowd down hard. The Cult and TOOL closed the festivities with their sets Sunday evening.
Now I try to always remain positive about things and I do hope Open Air returns in 2020 with a larger than life festival but there were some slight downfalls I noticed throughout my 2 days there. The VIP area was lacking compared to what was advertised beforehand and even on screen during the festival with no additional merch stands or anything. From previous years as well we lost the gourmet food and drinks instead only having a couple food stands, one merch stand for the entire festival, no FYE tent doing signings or selling any merch items, and no tent with pinball and other things going on like before. I’d love to see this fest return as a 3 day all out one as it had before.
This year though provided some great bands and times for festival goers who came out to this and we can only hope and wait to see what 2020 brings us from the festival.
Alien Weaponary :
The Black Dahlia Murder :
Fever 333 :
In This Moment :