Rammstein Headline Chicago’s First Annual Open Air Festival

Chicago Open Air Festival
July 15, 16, 17

The city of the big shoulders held the first annual Open Air Festival. Chicago, the windy city can be very picky when it comes to concert events.  With so much to do around town, Open Air had to make a big splash.

The three day event brought together some of the best bands in rock and metal & unlike other festivals, they spread the bands out over two stages with set times never overlapping. 2nd stage bands were able to play between 30 minutes and up to an hour depending on the order, allowing fans to work up pent up energy before heading (if they desired) to the main stage bands.

Friday traffic in Chicago kept some fans away until the evening, but did not deter them from seeing the only USA show for Rammstein. This was a major draw for Open Air and separated them from other festivals going on at the same time in neighboring Wisconsin. Rammstein lived up to their billing, known for their over the top stage production fire, explosions, and wardrobe. Even with all this, it’s their music that makes them so much more enjoyable to witness live.

While Rammstein stole the night and some would say the three days, it was the bands before Rammstein that made this festival Chicago’s very own.

Local boys Chevelle out of Grayslake, IL seemed to bask in the glow of the crowd as they played hit after hit as the crowd sang along to every word.

Meshuggah closed out the 2nd stage Friday night playing a blistering and heavy set, featuring the Djent style of progressive metal.

Chicago Open Air Rammstein (23)Day 2 featured a mix of newer bands Beartooth, Miss May I, Nothing More along with older acts Carcass & Helmet.

Beartooth just released their album Aggressive and came out true to their title. Singer Caleb Shomo had the crowd get to their knees before launching up as they tore into The Lines.

Nothing More, who have not toured in 7 months, showed no signs of rust as they played a blistering set.

Alter Bridge who has also been on a break are releasing their new album The Last Hero is to be released Oct. 7th 2016. Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti duel guitar attack got the main stage crowd going until their last song.

As the sun fell over Toyota Park, the stadium filled up as fans listening to Gojira tear down 2nd stage streamed into field to listen to Korn.

Jonathan Davis told the Chicago crowd how Chicago was a 2nd home for them and to show them how much they appreciate Chicago they played a new song Rotting in Vain. While any other time Korn would headline, tonight was saved for Chicago’s own Disturbed.

Disturbed promised on social media a night to be remembered and they did not disappoint.  Bringing almost as much flames as Rammstein they opened their set with Ten Thousand Fists. Chicago responded back with 3 times as many fist in the air. The crowd sang along to The Sound of Silence a crossover hit that has become Disturbed’s highest charting single.

The three day fest proved to be just what the city needed and outlet for rock/metal heads and already has been announced they would return next year.

Review by: Peter Lizano


Breaking Benjamin
City of the Weak
Miss May I
Nothing More
Pop Evil
Saint Asonia