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LIVE: CHICAGO OPEN AIR 2017 – July 14-16, 2017

| 5 August 2017 | Reply

Venue: Toyota Stadium

City: Bridgeview, IL

Date: July 14-16, 2017

Review and Photographs by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur (

What happens when you bring different types of metal and hard rock to an open air stadium in the suburbs of Chicago?  Let’s take that question a step or two further.  What happens if that open air stadium hosts sets from two of the highest regarded rock legends on Earth – KISS and Ozzy Osbourne?  Still not understanding the importance and levity of the situation?  For fun, let’s toss in a ton of louder than hell rockers, some cool retro metal bands, and a throng of thrash metallers that can whip a crowd into a moshing frenzy in moments.  What happens is you welcome over 70,000 loud, energetic, and excited rockers to Bridgeview, IL to take over Toyota Stadium for three days of non-stop headbanging, moshing, and rocking all hosted by Jose Mangin.

Friday – with a lineup set to kick the festival off with style, the 2017 edition of Chicago Open Air was poised to be an amazing experience for the seasoned concertgoer or novice rocker looking to get his or her fill in one exciting three-day weekend.  With headliners KISS closing the days festivities, you know the all-day party will shift to rock and rolling all nite – and the RNR Hall Of Famers brought their A-game and all of their pyrotechnics to close out the first day.  Rob Zombie took the stage before them and set the stage perfectly for the evening.  Throughout the day, we caught most of the bands on the festivals two stages: Monster Energy Main Stage and Blackcraft Stage.  In addition to the always amazing sets from KISS and Zombie, a couple surprises of the day were a killer set from Crobot (running with two new members on stage), my first live show from Hell Or Highwater and Vimic, and a packed set from both Anthrax and Megadeth.

Lineup (with links to photos): KISSRob ZombieMeshuggahMegadethThe Dillinger Escape PlanAnthraxVimicFalling In Reverse – Suicide Silence – Crobot – Whitechapel – Hell Or Highwater – Code Orange – Failure Anthem

Saturday – the middle day presented a varying set of bands that ran the gambit from retro 80’s rockers to thrashers, to bands that rose to prominence during the nu-metal revolution of the 90’s and early 2000’s.  Toss in some cool rock bands that cross the rock lines and various genres, and you get a well-rounded day of rock ‘n roll and metal.  Headliners Korn brought energy and fun to the show with their classic tracks as well as some twisted takes on some children’s classics.  Boston rockers Godsmack didn’t accuse anyone of being a bitch as they set the stage for the headliners.  Much like Friday, we were able to see every band we had on our radar for the day as we bounced between the Monster Energy Main Stage inside the stadium and the Blackcraft Stage in the adjacent lot.  The bonus for us on Saturday were watching Korn do what they do best, checking out Seether with a guest guitarist, Ice-T and his rock band Body Count, and the always fun and crude Steel Panther.

Lineup (with links to photos): KornGodsmackClutchSeetherBody CountSteel PantherMushroomheadAvatarDragonforce – Metal Church – Pig Destroyer – Cane Hill – Black Map – For We Are Many

Sunday – this is the day many of the festival goers waited for… whether they braved all three days of the festival or made the trek in from across the country.  Tonight we would all witness the legend that is Ozzy Osbourne along with his axe-slinging henchman Zakk Wylde.  The set was full of Osbourne classics and enough Black Sabbath to satisfy the most classic rock fans in the crowd.  Just before Ozzy and band took over and closed out a killer 2017 festival, Slayer did exactly that on the Blackcraft Stage, as they brought lights and pyro to aid in the thrashing and slaying of the huge crowd that gathered in front of them for their allotted festival appearance.  Again we made the short walk between the two stages to see many of the days bands perform and even caught some bands for the first time… and hopefully not the last.  Highlights from the final day, in addition to the sets from Ozzy and Slayer, were a rousing set from Stone Sour who dug back through their catalog and played a lot of great songs, the always energetic Lamb Of God and HELLYEAH, and the first time sets for me from Behemoth and Amon Amarth. 

Lineup (with links to photos): Ozzy Osbourne – SlayerStone SourLamb Of GodBehemothAmon AmarthKyngHellyeahDevilDriverDemon Hunter – Whores. – DED – Aversed





Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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