Previously, when I’ve drafted up my Tunesday Playlist, it was in hopes to inspire you to get through the week, and power through the work day, finish that last mile strong, and just be a bad-ass woman in general. And certainly, the mantra of “wake up, kick ass, repeat” still applies to August’s playlist, but this one has a little more behind it.
This past month, I’ve had the opportunity to attend quite a few musical performances- and not just shows, but the kind of concerts that you’re dancing and singing and you’re not even aware you are, and the kind of performers that make you feel something. So, I’m changing up the beat a little bit (pun intended), and made a playlist that I was inspired by, in hopes that in turn, it inspires you.
First up this month: Windy City Smokeout. I may have walked onto The University of Missouri’s campus spewing hate for the Country Genre, but I’ll admit that I left after 4 years with a majority of my pre-set radio dials as country stations- go figure. So, as a self-decreed Country fanatic (albiet a recent one), I was beyond excited for this Chicago Country staple, and with all things that you have high expectations for, sometimes you get disappointed after. But Windy City Smokeout actually obliterated my expectations in every aspect, from Chris Young, to an vast selection and wide array of beer, and especially (no, you guys- ESPECIALLY) the food. It was barbeque heaven. I tried the pulled pork nachos, and still have dreams about them. Like, that kind of good. If you like music, and beer, and barbeque, Windy City Smokeout is on my must-attend list for 2016. You’ll even notice a few country songs made their way on to the playlist this month, with special attention to Chris Young songs that are impossible not to sing along to.
Next on my musical endeavors in July, was the Mercedes Benz Evolution Tour featuring Bastille and DJ Ruckus. Think food trucks, selfie stations, t-shirt-making kiosks, and an open bar- and if that doesn’t make you wish you were there, Bastille was one of the best shows I’ve ever been to in my entire life. Set on the edge of Navy Pier, the concert started with fireworks on Lake Michigan, and then ushered the guests into one of Navy Pier’s private ballrooms to see Bastille. While the intimate setting was both majestic- and seriously perfect- even it was no match for Bastille’s performance. They’re one of those bands that sounds even better live, and BOY GOT PIPES. It was an incredible night, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned from that random Wednesday night, say “heck yes!” to last minute tickets.
And last, but certainly not least: Lollapalooza. It might be crowded, it might be cliche, and there might be a heck of a lot of people in crop tops that maybe shouldn’t be, but this festival was far and away one of the best things I’ve done all summer. All the performers I saw were unbelievable, and it speaks to the incredible line up that I could walk up to random stages, and fall in love with a new band I’ve never heard before. Aside from the up and coming performers that blew away the crowds, there was also a Macaroni and Cheese hot dog that made my entire day. And just in case that Mac n’ cheese hot dog didn’t do it for me, Ryn Weaver and Sam Smith topped off my food and drinks- but the real MVP of the weekend goes to Kid Cudi, who was able to tell a story through his words and songs and stole the entire show effortlessly. And aside from the performers, eclectic food and drinks, it’s really just a stunning festival that embodies the soul of Chicago in three days and fills Grant Park with 100,000 people who love this city just as much as I do- and that’s a whole dang lot.