Chicago Open Air Music [food, and beer] Festival 2017

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It was another good weekend for outdoor music in Chicago.  We caught Jimmy Buffett with Huey Lewis and The News at Wrigley, Almost got into Pitchfork, and capped it off with our first Chicago Open Air music festival (1 day of it, anyway).

Chicago Open Air 2017 Line-up poster

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We were able to make it to the Sunday leg of the fest and were able to get there early enough for  Whores. That’s “Whores. Period.” as Jane and were having fun repeating over the weekend. Pretty sure we where still wandering around the fest during DED.

The fest has an interesting layout in that there is a stage inside Toyota Park soccer stadium with the other stage just outside of the building in the parking lot. We caught some or all of all the bands with the exception of “Stone Sour”. We’ve committed to not every listening to them based on their name alone. There’s kind of an unwritten rule when naming a metal band if a bad-ass and/or cool name doesn’t come to you:  don’t name it “Stone Sour”. We don’t even wanna know. Besides, that bought us a little time to focus on beer, food, merch, and beer. Some great food choices and even better beer choices if you’re an IPA person.

Here were some of the “Gourmet Man Food” offerings:

Kuma’s Corner – Right off the bat, you know the bar has been raised on Fest meat.

Aporkalypse Now – “Killer BBQ slow cooked on a traditional southern pit. Try it all with the Texas Sampler; a pile of slow smoked hand pulled pork, one Dinosaur bone beef rib, and choice side of gourmet mac and cheese or homemade coleslaw and pickled jalapeño.

Ben’s Burrito Bowl – “Build a bowl! Your choices of Drunken Lime Chicken, Spicy Beef, Chorizo, or Vegan Nopalitos and Roasted Pepper. You can have it served over quinoa and brown rice, black beans and rice or superfood salad. Everything can be made Vegan and Gluten free!

The Big Cheesy – “Gourmet Grilled Cheese with a New Orleans flair! From a classic bacon and cheddar, or caprese, to a Bourbon Street brie with triple cream brie, pralines, basil and balsamic glaze.

Something to try if you wanted to avoid the long line for Cheesy’s.

Cheesies – The Girl and I have some fond memories at Cheesie’s flagship brick and mortar by the Belmont L stop. We were going there when they were half the size and all their craft beer was $4 so it holds a place near and dear to our heart.

Bruges Brothers – “Original Recipes with exciting flavors. Simple and delicious hand cut potatoes cooked in a blend of beef and duck fat until crisp, all cooked to order with an array of savory sauces. Our favorite is the Tiger Sauce: a spicy and bright horseradish, lemon, and black pepper aioli. Other options include the Entree Cone like the Braised Oxtail Poutine with red wine, thyme braised oxtail, cheddar curds, gravy, and crisp leeks.

I had the alligator sausage which did not taste like chicken or hotdog.

Chicago Dog House – “This Local favorite is returning to Chicago Open Air with their gourmet Game Sausages. With over the top ingredients and band inspired creations you will find yourself having a mouth-watering melt down. Our favorite? The Smoked Alligator Sausage marinated in an Asian chili sauce and topped with caramelized onions.”

Creme Of The Crop – “At this Farm to table style food truck, you will only find the freshest, locally sourced ingredients. Serving up healthy yet satisfying treats like a fresh Strawberry Chicken Wrap with mixed greens, pesto aioli, pickled radish, fresh strawberry, grilled chicken, and candied walnuts. Gluten free and Vegetarian options available!”

Dia De Los Tamales – “Traditionally made, Chef driven, and prepared in an eco-conscious kitchen, Die De Los Tamales has something to offer everyone. Noted in the Chicago Tribune last year as “the best thing I ate” was their goat-cheese tamale with red-pepper crema. Vegetarian and Gluten Free options are available and delicious!

The Girl loves Mexican food and loves those Dias De Los Muertos skulls and skeletons so we’ve been this place and were impressed. I don’t remember what I had (they had good margaritas) but I vaguely remember I had some really good mole sauce.

Dinky Donuts – “Prepared fresh and hot on site, Dinky’s made-to-order donuts come in several sweet and savory toppings. From Salted Caramel to Ancho Mamma’s Chile you will be sure to leave with a smile on your face.

I had ordered peanut butter and Nutella donuts off-menu when their truck was parked at the Sheffield street fest. I recommend you do that also. This time around, we got the cinnamon donuts and they proved to be insano even without any fancy saucings and what not.

Master of Patties – “These Gastro pub style patties are piled high with all the favorites. Try a Moink Burger with ground beef, Cheddar Cheese and Pulled Pork drenched in homemade BBQ sauce.

Pie Baby – “Gourmet Thin Crust pizza, prepared in front of you and cooked in our 900-degree wood fired oven. Try an array of toppings, combinations, and fresh salads.”

Pizano’s  – “This Family owned local business since 1943 Is coming back to Chicago Open Air by the slice! Owner and Chef Rudy Malnati learned about pizza from his father and Chicago Open Air is taking full advantage. Pizanos is COA’s official local authority on Deep Dish.”

Pizza was the first thing we had there since we were too lazy to wait in line for some Kuma’s Korner or Cheesie’s. We were starving and it’s hard to mess up pizza so we enjoyed the hell out of it.

Yum Dum – “Nominated as one of Chicago’s best food trucks, Yum Dum will bring back their classic favorites to the crowd serving up the most epically delicious Kim Cheesy Fries and Braised Pork Belly Baos.

Porkchop –“Porkchop is a restaurant and bar that dishes out an urban interpretation of a Southern backwoods experience. It is an unapologetically unpretentious neighborhood party spot serving gourmet Southern comfort food and BBQ, and featuring an innovative ‘lowbrow’ bar program with some of the world’s top whiskeys.”

Oh yeah.. the music..

Lamb of God

It was our first time seeing them in the daylight. The lack of darkness didn’t stop them from bringing the energy as usual.

Randy Blythe always gets some serious air-time at LOG shows

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Horns up!

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Slayer is still hard as f*** and perfect. I had simultaneous feeling of joy, anxiousness (before I was able to unleash the mosh), and guilt. Guilt for not worshiping at the alter of Slayer more often. Holy s*** they never cease to impress, through the firing of co-founder and drummer Dave Lombardo and the passing of founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman. I caught Slayer’s performance of “Raining Blood” on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and fear that Studio 6-B at 30-Rock would burn to the ground!

Ozzy Osbourne and Co. were surprisingly amazing. I heard the best version of Sabbath’s War Pigs I may have ever heard.

Chicago Open Air 2017 poster - Chicago Open Air Music [food, and beer] Festival 2017


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Oman Amerth put on quite the show with Game-of-bones-y sword fights to accompany all the Viking metal.

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Bohemoth sounds like they look

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Beetlejuice was quite the hit with some of the ladies

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Here’s the line-up for the entire weekend. You can click on a few of the band names to see their Chicago Open Air set-list.

Friday July 14, 2017

9:50pm KISS
8:20pm Rob Zombie
6:15pm Megadeth
4:40pm Anthrax
3:20pm Falling in Reverse
2:20pm Crobot
1:20pm Hell or Highwater
7:10Ppm Meshuggah
5:30pm The Dillinger Escape Plan
4:00pm Vimic
2:50pm Suicide Silence
1:50pm Whitechapel
12:50pm Code Orange
11:50am Failure Anthem

Saturday July 15, 2017

9:35pm Korn
8:05pm Godsmack
7:20pm Clutch
6:25pm Seether
5:40pm Body Count
4:50pm Steel Panther
4:15pm Mushroomhead
3:35pm Avatar
3:00pm DragonForce
2:30pm Metal Church
2:00pm Pig Destroyer
1:30pm Cane Hill
1:00pm Black Map
12:00pm ReverbNation Battle Winner

Sunday July 16th, 2017

8:25pm Ozzy Osbourne
7:20pm Slayer
6:25pm Stone Sour
5:05pm Lamb of God
4:35pm Behemoth
3:40pm Amon Amarth
3:10pm Kyng
2:30pm Hellyeah
2:00pm DevilDriver
1:30pm Demon Hunter
1:00pm Norma Jean
12:30pm DED
12:05pm Whores.
11:15am Aversed