Two kickass doses of rock on the same stage, PLUS deep dish pizza.
The Taste of Chicago opened this year with some of the hottest temperatures of the summer. The crowd ambling in on Wednesday afternoon looked a bit tired and sweaty, but nevertheless, the lines quickly built within minutes. As hungry Chicagoans and suburbanites ate city staples like deep dish pizza and handmade tamales, fans of Sunflower Bean and Courtney Barnett excitedly waited at the Petrillo Music Shell for an amazing (and free!) concert.
Sunflower Bean opened for Courtney Barnett and had the crowd engaged in no time. Lead singer and bassist Julia Cummings looked like the epitome of a glam rock goddess, donning a strapless sequin dress and glittery green eyeshadow. Cummings and guitarist Nick Kivlen had great onstage chemistry, riffing and facing each other while their drummer, Jacob Faber, rocked out center stage. It was great to see a ton of Sunflower Bean fans in the front row, singing along to every song.
By the time Courtney Barnett came out, the heat had started to fade, and the crowd was even more energetic. Barnett came out onstage with a huge smile on her face and greeted her fans warmly. I’ve been to half a dozen Courtney Barnett shows, and this is the happiest I’ve ever seen the Aussie. She never stopped smiling or playing with the crowd, making eye contact and goofing off during guitar riffs. While jamming out during “City Looks Pretty”, Barnett jumped up onto the drums platform and staggered back, kicking her leg in the air and laughing at her rockstar move.
I will drop everything to see Courtney Barnett, and it was extra special to see her open one of my favorite Chicago staples. The Taste of Chicago has some of the best artists, and the shows are always free (unless you want to pay like, $20 to sit front and center. Still a great deal!) I can’t wait to see who will be on the roster next year.
Sunflower Bean are headed to the UK before coming back to the States in early August. Tickets for their tour can be found HERE.
Courtney Barnett will be all over the place, literally. She’s about to play in China and Japan before heading to western Europe and back through to Tennessee. Tickets and more info are HERE.