With less than a week to go before Chicago Open Air takes over Toyota Park, anticipation is building for a weekend that’s likely the heaviest the Windy City is going to experience all year (and that’s really saying something considering Iron Maiden and Metallica already blasted through town just a few days apart). Here’s ten specific reasons why this second year of the now annual event should seriously rock, from A-list headliners to a sturdy undercard and additional attractions worth digging under the surface to discover.
There’s no better band on earth to kick off three days of rocking and rolling all night and partying every day than KISS. Expect that signature song, many other key hard rockers and a mind-blowing production that’s sure to be super-sized for this expanded experience.
2. Ozzy Osbourne
Black Sabbath may have bid adieu last year, but Ozzy Osbourne is back on Sunday in what’s suggested to be a career-spanning set. The “Prince Of Darkness” is getting up there in age and may not be touring all that much longer, but if the aforementioned swansong was any indication, this cultural mainstay can still slay a stadium.
Nu metal’s main men Korn have managed to thrive across at least a couple generations and their Saturday headlining slot is sure to be a scorcher. Last year the band released “The Serenity Of Suffering,” an especially aggressive offering that’s slated to be matched with a generous selection of hits.
Though metal veterans Megadeth could easily be headliners, they can actually be caught about an act before the sun sets on Friday. Don’t miss Dave Mustaine and company plowing through “Symphony Of Destruction,” “Angry Again” and several other staples from the ‘80s through today.
With roots dating back slightly longer, Slayer is also a surefire bet on Sunday just before Ozzy. Anyone who’s caught a show before can verify that this is truly one of the most explosive bands on the planet with a catalogue that’s consistently celebrated by countless younger acts.
6. Rob Zombie
From his days fronting White Zombie to solo superstardom, Rob Zombie could very well be considered a legend at this point. But rather than rest on his laurels, the shock rocker keeps on cranking out industrialized sounds with one of the most charismatic stage personas of the entire line-up.
7. Demon Hunter
The frequently repeated question “why should the devil have all the good music?” gets an answer when Demon Hunter gives a dose of spiritually-charged metalcore for those who can’t make church on Sunday. But make no mistake, the Seattle-based band kicks some serious, well, no swearing allowed, but just fill in the blank when thousands of fists fly into the air.
8. Norma Jean
Similarly inspirational but also overflowing with adrenaline, recent Grammy nominees Norma Jean rev up early on Sunday. The Warped Tour favorites continue to climb the ladder, but to those already in the know, this is a must see set with stacked with volume and substance.
9. FYE Fan Experience
Catch a mini-record store stocked with CDs, vinyl and other artist-related goodies, plus the chance to meet and greet some of the performers. Schedules will be posted daily, and while they’re of course subject to shuffling, expect autographs, possibly photographs and a rare opportunity to legitimately be “with the band.”
10. Gourmet Man Food
Rather than standard festival food or simply a bunch of junk, Chicago Open Air’s menu is going to be stocked with Gourmet Man Food. That means hearty portions of true culinary delights from local restaurants (and not to fear ladies, there’s nothing gender-specific about these treats and feasts).
For more information on Chicago Open Air, visit ChicagoOpenAir.com.