Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Chicago Open Air: preview playlist!

If you're going to be at Chicago Open Air, in less than two weeks, you're probably making your list of must-see bands, planning arrival time and food-and-liquid time, sleep time (we can sleep when we're dead), meetups with friends, exploring all the other cool stuff that will be happening at the festival too... so as usual before a big festival, I'm giving you a list of seven bands from a little earlier in the day than the headliners, performers who you really shouldn't miss.  (And if you don't have tickets yet--get a move on or you'll be too late!!! It's a stunning lineup, the headliners are killers, and the entire weekend is going to be amazing!

Pop Evil:  4.25 pm, Main Stage, Saturday: Pop Evil manage to wed hard, heavy rock, melody and metal with some incredibly gut-wrenching and soulful, emotional undertones; check out their recent album UP, a review of their visit to Sacramento not long ago, and this, Dead in the Water; somehow they make me want to dance, while ripping out my heart at the same time:

Gemini Syndrome, 11.20 am, Second Stage, Sunday: Whatever you do, make sure you're there for this! Get up early, order triple-espresso from room service, stay awake all night, whatever... YOU HAVE TO HEAR GEMINI SYNDROME. OK???  With the imminent launch of their second album, Memento Mori as an eagerly-awaited second installment of a trilogy which began with the stunning Lux, I personally can't wait to see them again. Here's Anonymous. Do I need say it again? Be there, 11.20 am Sunday!

In This Moment, 3.55 pm, Main Stage, Friday: The first time that I saw In This Moment a few years back, I wasn't very impressed. The sound wasn't good... no, it wasn't... and I spent the first three songs of the show taking photos from the pit while carefully trying not to step on the tongues or eyeballs-on-stalks of all the male photographers who had obviously never come across anyone like Maria Brink and her dirty nurses before. However, the last time I saw them, in Reno on tour with Five Finger Death Punch and Papa Roach, something clicked; the drama and show, the really good music, and the pain behind them, all came together into a show that I'm really glad to have experienced. In This Moment are very visual, and you'll want to make sure you can see the stage for this one! This is The Fighter from the last album, Black Widow, as a taster:

Beartooth, 1.20 pm, Second Stage, Saturday: ready for some pure, wake-me-up-from-a-coma, energy? Check out Beartooth, be ready for a big pit, put your mosh head on and be there! They are really loud, and they like to break stuff :-)  This is Aggressive from their latest album of the same name, released last month:

Nothing More, 1.55pm, Main Stage, Saturday: they do rock, they do alternative, they do ballad, they mix in some prog, and you have Nothing More... this is Here's to the Heartache from their self-titled album, a gentle introduction:

Alter Bridge, 5.45, Main Stage, Saturday: I've been waiting a long time for this!!! "A bit like Creed but without the god stuff and much better..." I admit it. I said that once about Alter Bridge, and yes, there's a good reason for it, and if you do your research you'll understand. Seriously, seriously good music, Alter Bridge  will be one of the highlights of the weekend. There will be so many highlights you won't need to switch on the lights for six weeks when you get home. Here's Addicted To Pain, from the album, Fortress,: if you enjoy metal with a touch of prog and some brilliant guitar, don't miss Alter Bridge.

Through Fire, 11.50 am, Second Stage, Friday: getting the festival off to a steaming-hot start will be Through Fire; you may not have heard them yet, but you'll want to hear more: their album Breathe is out now. Get to the show early, there's a full day of fantastic music, and this is just the beginning; don't miss Through Fire!!!

Oh and of course I can't resist... there has to be a Five Finger Death Punch song in the playlist. Yes I'm cheating. They are not the last band of the day, so I can include them here, because you know what? Five Finger Death Punch, Pop Evil and Gemini Syndrome all the same weekend???? That's a dream... whether my dream is your dream, I do know this; Chigaco Open Air is going to be a blast!!!  See you there!

Five Finger Death Punch, 7.20 pm, Main Stage, Sunday... and this is My Nemesis, from Got Your Six. Got yours???

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