The Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park was the place to be on Saturday, June 30, as 101 WKQX brought the next edition of its annual PIQNIQ festival to Chicago-area fans. The day-long event, which boasted a whopping ten bands for $20, offered listeners an eclectic mix of music with worthy performances from alternative rockers Bush, Dashboard Confessional and more.
Bush was in top form for their evening set at PIQNIQ 2018, kicking things off with a banging rendition of their Sixteen Stone hit single “Everything Zen,” which featured some welcome shredding from lead guitarist Chris Traynor. The set featured a healthy dose of tracks from the band’s debut LP — including, among others, a revved up version of “Machinehead” — complimented by select songs spanning the group’s discography.
The gripping Charlottesville-inspired “This is War,” from the remastered deluxe edition of 2017’s Black and White Rainbows, was a definite highlight, as was the group’s dark and haunting performance of “The Chemicals Between Us.” “Swallowed” grabbed hold of the masses, while “Little Things” instantly brought thousands to their feet when frontman Gavin Rossdale raced to the far ends of the amphitheatre’s lawn, dishing guttural vocals amidst a sea of adoring fans. “It was good to see everyone,” said the singer upon returning to the stage. “What a great looking crowd!”
Dashboard Confessional promptly took to the Main Stage at 8:30 p.m. sharp, warming fans up for the night’s headliner AWOLNATION with Dusk and Summer hit “Don’t Wait” — a fitting choice for their sundown set at a previously sweltering hot PIQNIQ festival. The group’s infectious melodies and pop-infused hooks proved to be a hit with concert-goers, many of whom sang along, word for word, with emo legend Chris Carrabba.
Carrabba took pleasure in engaging with fans, something he did on a handful of occasions over the course of the night, while seemingly drawing up the band’s setlist right on the spot. The mellow love song “Stolen” saw the frontman leading an audience-wide clap-along, while “Heart Beat Here,” featuring an acoustic guitar-strumming Carrabba, made for a fitting lyrical trade-off between singer and spectator.
Tight versions of “Vindicated” and “Screaming Infidelities,” the latter seeing the group bathed in a lush pink aura, helped round out the set, which was later closed out with an inspired performance of “Hands Down,” which Carrabba confessed to the crowd was written “about the best day I’ve ever had in my whole life.”
Earlier in the day, waiting fans posted up in the blazing sun far in advance for indie rockers The Front Bottoms. Cleveland blues rockers the Welshly Arms rocked audiences with songs like “Indestructible” and “Down To The River” while L.I.F.T. managed to inspire a few moshpits, despite the extreme heat.
Bishop Briggs made the most of her Main Stage upgrade (after Greta Van Fleet cancelled last-minute due to an injury), with an athletic endeavor-like performance packed with vocally-rich material including fan favorites “Wild Horses” and “River” off her 2018 debut LP Church of Scars. California-born alt-rock group The Neighborhood, later, soothed fans with tracks like “Prey” and “Afraid,” while lead vocalist Jesse Rutherford routinely interacted with enthusiastic concert-goers… acquiring from one particularly generous fan, a new t-shirt.
Check out our complete photo spread from PIQNIQ 2018 below.
(Photos by Laurie Fanelli)