Seatgeek Stadium / Bridgeview ILL
Saturday May 18th 2019.

Day one of Chicago Open Air, and only four acts can play because of severe weather.
Unfortunately we missed out on Code Orange, Knocked Loose and Vein.
The opener for Day One once the weather cleared: Beartooth, from Columbus Ohio.
Comprised of Caleb Shomo on vocals, Kamron Bradbury on guitar, Zach Huston also on guitar, Oshie Bichar on bass and Connor Denis on drums- have to say these guys are tight- knit, with a sound that’s brutal metalcore, even for such a brief set.
A decent way to start Day One of Chicago Open Air.
Crazy ass complex metal, as crazy ass complex metal gets.
These guys- Jens Kidman on vocals, Per Nilsson on guitar, Marten Hagstrom on guitar, Tomas Haake on drums, and Dick Lovgren on bass- take nothing for granted. Never dialed in and play just to play.
A vicious onslaught of musical might from beginning to end. No matter how brief the set or circumstances.
These guys deserve to be headliners.
These guys are perfectionists.
No need to incite the crowd- ever. The music speaks for itself, fueled by a scared unity of originality and sheer brute force.
For photographers- first three songs no flash. Whatever. I left the pit screaming like a banshee, not mamby pamby.
That was a blistering start to their set opening with “Pravus”, into “Born in Dissonance” into “Rational Gaze”.
No offense to other extreme metal and progressive metal bands- no one comes close to Meshuggah’s innovative musical style, pushing metal into uncharted territories.
Again- these guys have no need to rile up a crowd.
Take the stage presence of Jens Kidman for instance. Dressed in simple black t shirt and black jeans. No need to run stage left to stage right. Fierce in look and diving deep in the music, the occasional up and down head thrash is all that’s needed, and yet it speaks volumes on what the band presents as a whole from one song to another.
As badass as badass gets.
Clearly one of my favorite bands, and they still deliver in spades.
The last band I photograph before bolting off to see Killing Joke, missing System of a Down’s set: Ghost.
Tobias Forge and his latest incarnation of induction and ceremony: Cardinal Copia.
The persona of Cardinal Copia works, making Tobias look that much more sinister in presentation, elevating all things hard rock, doom metal and whatever classification you want to add here.
Theatric production still intact, with a sinister and otherworldly stained glass window backdrop lit up to glorious heights, and a white stairwell similar to walking into any catholic cathedral you can think of.
All makes for great photography, the nameless ghouls providing sufficient black and dark metal to hit you in the sternum.
For day one at Chicago Open Air, even with the intense rainstorm to start the day, a gratifying time was had by this photographer.
Cheers- Bobby Talamine – Music Photographer

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