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Stage Buzz: Heavy Chicago Festival at Avondale Hall • Chicago

| July 6, 2023

Corrosion of Conformity

Chicago’s Avondale Music Hall will be hosting a brand-new metal festival, Heavy Chicago, over two weekends this fall.

Beginning on Saturday, October 28, Chicago’s beloved Trouble will be kicking things off with its first local show in five years.

“It has been far too long since our last Chicago show, but as we all know, the world dealt with health challenges on an unprecedented level, which affected all of us and directly impacted the performing arts industry,” Trouble guitarist Rick Wartell explains through email. “Music venues were shuttered, and travel became extremely complicated, making shows and tours tenuous at best. We are extremely excited to kick off the first inaugural Heavy Chicago Fest. Chicago is our hometown, so it’s always great to play here and we know the fans will come out to support the scene. We’re really encouraging everyone to participate in all three days to make the festival as successful as possible.”

Trouble (via Fly Photography)

Performances by San Francisco doom/stoner metal band Acid King, Madison, Wisconsin’s stoner rock band Bongzilla, and Chicago doomsters November’s Doom are also slated for opening night. As the appropriately titled Heavy Chicago implies, Chicago area bands are well-represented in the festival’s lineup.

“The bill is incredible, and the promoters have put a lot of work into curating an amazing experience for the fans and bands alike,” Wartell says. “Knowing some of the bands personally, we know it’s going to be a lot of fun, and we’re looking forward to seeing some bands we haven’t had the chance to perform yet. We’re also looking forward to seeing our fans and friends and putting on a really great performance.”

The following weekend, Saturday, November 4, North Carolina sludge metal veterans Corrosion Of Conformity will be headlining, preceded by California space rockers Nebula and Milwaukee’s The Crosses—featuring die Kreuzen singer Dan Kubinski for an “all die Kreuzen” set.

The following day, Sunday, November 5, concludes the festival as the legendary DRI will grace the stage with a headlining set celebrating 40 years of Crossover, while grindcore legends Repulsion (their only show of 2023), Chicago’s “murder metal” maestros Macabre, and The Suffering open the day’s festivities. More acts will be announced soon.

In addition to the music, the acclaimed metal-friendly eatery Kuma’s Corner will be onsite selling hand-crafted, metal-themed burgers. Pabst Blue Ribbon will be on-hand offering drink specials, and a one-of-a-kind atmosphere will be present at the inaugural Heavy Chicago festival.

For more information, including ticket prices, please visit

-Kelley Simms

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Category: Stage Buzz

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