House of Vans // Chicago, IL // May 31, 2019
Summer is officially here.
The House of Vans is arguably the best venue in Chicago for one huge reason: every show is free. The indoor skate park/concert hall opened in February 2017 and has been putting on free shows ever since. The music isn’t the only thing that’s free: Goose Island, a Chicago brewery, provides free seasonal beer, and Vans often gives away some free merch to those who arrived early. When concert-goers want to take a break, they’re able to head outside to a fenced area where they could grab some grub from a local food truck and get some fresh air.
This summer, HOV outdid themselves with their lineup. With upcoming artists like Anderson .Paak, Taking Back Sunday, and Converge, the diverse and insanely talented lineup has people clamoring to RSVP. For the first show of the season, hip-hop hero Vince Staples gave an intense, sweaty performance that rivaled his set at The Riv (which is a much larger venue). “It’s hot out here y’all, I’m not gonna lie”, Staples said after his opening track, “Yeah Right”. The heat didn’t stop him from taking huge leaps and moving all around the stage to interact with his fans. As we were being escorted out of the pit, Staples started rapping “Ascension”, a track he wrote with Gorillaz for their album Humanz. Even though Staples is the guest on the track, it feels like one of his own tunes, especially when he raps it solo.
The night was a perfect reminder of what makes Chicago summers so amazing. Where else can you see such an amazing artist for free while drinking cold beers and scoping out some free Vans t-shirts? For more info on HOV shows in Chicago and across the globe, click HERE.