What a great weekend to end Chicago’s summer festival season, the anticipated rain storms never rolled by allowing for clear sky’s all weekend. The location and complete transformation of Union Park to create this year’s festival was simply dreamy; you completely forget you’re in the middle of the city as you’re surrounded by dozens of trees and free spirits.
As for the music, we were able to catch every artist we were hoping to see and then some. On Friday we made it just in time to catch Washed Out playing every hit song of theirs back to back, to a fairly packed crowd, some of which never heard of the band but stopped on by the stage after grabbing their beers at the next-door beer tent to listen to the group’s chill tunes.
Before checking out the headliners we saw Action Bronson and boy was his performance interesting. In the middle of his set at the 773 stage he ran into the crowd to the adjacent 312 stage and started performing while his music was still playing at 773. After a short 3 minutes he jumped off the stage and began running back to 773 followed by a mob of male fans trying to touch and grab him. I’m used to seeing boy-crazed girls, but guys? This was definitely a new sight.
That night we hopped from Bassnectar, to ProbCause (who also brought out Taylor Bennett), to finally Alesso which had an incredibly high energy crowd mirroring the intensity of his visuals, laser show, bursts of fire on stage, and smoke explosions more so then his neighbor Bassnectar, ending the night with a bang.
Some highlights of day II were checking out Future Islands, Little Dragon, Adventure Club, and Kid Cudi. Gerrit Welmers of Future Islands put on the liveliest of shows I’ve seen, he performed with such deep passion and theatrical dance moves it was nothing short of captivating, many times during his set he was singing while laying on the stage. Yukimi Nagano of Little Dragon also was a fresh act to check out wearing a bright blue 90’s patterned jumpsuit, Janis Joplin style sunnies, while singing, jumping around, and beating on her tambourine. Now I can say I have first hand seen and experienced what all the hype is about with Little Dragon. As for Adventure Club fans packed the front of the stage about 30 minutes before their set was to begin and once their set started everyone was crammed in tight. Strangely, someone even flew in a helicopter which hovered over the crowd catching their set throughout its entirety (who this VIP was is TBD). Kid Cudi of course was another great act with an insanely packed crowd and colorful space themed backdrop. Unfortunately, his set was cut a little short as he fainted and did not return back. He tweeted:
I’m ok!!” and “Ill do better and make sure to eat properly on show days 🙂 scouts honor!
Nevertheless he gave a killer performance and showed a lot of love for his Chicago fans by reposting dozens of tweets, photos, and vines on his twitter afterward.
Over the weekend we also had the opportunity to check out both the VIP and press lounges featuring free tastings from Southern Comfort, Rex Goliath, and Jimador tequila, along with a variety of Heineken and Red Bull drinks to choose from. Another perk was the full body massages offered up by Hands that Rock.
While exploring the festival grounds we checked out the array of food and merchandise tents. The food selection was definitely plentiful and diverse and most places gave out rather large portions. One of our favorites was Peace Love Tacos. We ran into our good friends at Lakeshore Treads where they were selling their trademark Chicago Beast T’s along with some new, featured apparel. I found a new shop I’m obsessed with called The Local Branch featuring “Made Throughout America” handcrafted capes, dresses, satchels, wallets and much more. To say the least this festival was a great way to close out the 100 days of summer here in Chicago. Until next season…