Great Chicago Fire Festival 2014

The inaugural Great Chicago Fire Festival presented by the amazingly creative and talented people at the Redmoon Theater had a lot of promise conceptually. An event meant to “unite Chicago’s neighborhoods and celebrate Chicago’s grit, greatness and renewal following the fire of 1871…Redmoon partnered with over 30 community-based organizations across 15 neighborhoods, bringing out its unique machinery and theatrical skill in an unprecedented city-wide conversation on overcoming and celebrating.” Aside from never really getting a fire going, which despite knowing nothing of pyrotechnics seems like it would be the easy part, there were some kinks to work out for next time in regards to a lot of things – crowd management, variety of displays/performers/vendors, flow of the ceremony itself…

The in-your-face fireworks echoing through the Chicago River corridor were pretty spectacular though, so props for that.

House

One of three pre-1871 style houses floating along the river, prior to the fire ceremony.

Children climb on an art piece in Pioneer Court.

Children climb on an art piece in Pioneer Court.

Spectators climbed on railings, lamp posts, trash cans, and other dangerous and hard-to-reach areas just to try and get a view.

Spectators on railings (also lamp posts, trash cans, and other dangerous and hard-to-reach areas) just trying to get a view.

There's a flame in there somewhere...

There’s a flame in there somewhere…

 

Putting out the fire.

Putting out the fire.

 

Fireworks - highlight of the evening.

Fireworks – highlight of the evening.

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C2E2 2013

This year’s Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo was even bigger than the last – tons of big-name guests and even more elaborate costumes. Just a handful of favorites..

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Carl from Walking Dead! (aka Chandler Riggs)

Chad Coleman of The Walking Dead

Chad Coleman of The Walking Dead

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Walking Dead

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Zombie makeover booth

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Inflatable zombie at the zombie makeover booth.

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Creepy Silent Hill people and zombie Captain America.

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Lady Captain America

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R2D2

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Chewie!

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Luke and Leia

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More Star Wars guys

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Adventure Time

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Jack Skellington

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Robins

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The original Robin and Catwoman – Burt Ward and Julie Newmar.

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Batgirl

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Joker and Harley Quinn

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Legos!

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Speedracer’s Mach 5

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Spirited Away

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Spirited Away

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Another “Spirit”

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Johnny Depp duo – Edward Scissorhands and the Mad Hatter

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Black Widow

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Tintin

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Louis from Ghostbusters

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Wonder Woman and mini Hulk

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The Rocketeer, taking a Pop Chip break.

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Rorschach

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Renaissance Fair

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Steampunk Dr. Who

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Concerts – Best of 2012

Better late than never I guess?

Here are some favorites from last year that didn’t fit anywhere else.

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Chromatics – Lincoln Hall, January 2012

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Glass Candy – Lincoln Hall, January 2012

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Glass Candy

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Glass Candy

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Allstate Arena, May 2012

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Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Todd Rundgren

Todd Rundgren – SPACE – May 2012

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Todd Rundgren

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Besnard Lakes – Do-Division Fest, June 2012

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Le Bucharettes – Do-Division Fest, June 2012

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Company of Thieves – Sausage Fest, June 2012

Jonathan Richman

Jonathan Richman – Pritzker Pavilion, June 2012

Jonathan Richman

Jonathan Richman

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Berlin – Pizza Fest, June 2012

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Berlin

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Berlin

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Berlin

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Dick Dale – SPACE, July 2012

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Dick Dale

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Dick Dale and Jimmy Dale

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Garbage – Metro, August 2012

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David Byrne and St. Vincent – Chicago Theater, September 2012

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David Byrne and St. Vincent

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David Byrne and St. Vincent

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David Byrne and St. Vincent

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Prince – United Center, September 2012

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Prince

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Prince

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Maximo Park – Schubas, September 2012

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Maximo Park

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Bow Wow Wow – Mayne Stage, November 2012

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Bow Wow Wow

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Bow Wow Wow

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Henry Rollins (spoken word) – Old Town School of Folk Music, November 2012

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Henry Rollins

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Halloween 2012 – Northalsted Parade & Rebirth Brass Band

The annual Halloween parade on Halsted seemed a bit lighter than usual this year, probably since it was cold and a Wednesday, but extra props to those of us who braved 40-degree weather to dress up and have an awesome time. Unfortunately there wasn’t enough of a turnout to fill the void of costumes I expected to be popular this year – not one Katniss Everdeen, Gangnam Style guy, Tan Mom, botched Jesus painting, or Binder Full of Women(!) Seems like a missed opportunity, but the best ones were more creative anyway.

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Chicago Ideas Week

The second annual Chicago Ideas Week drew some of the most innovative people in the world to come and share their ideas, creations, and general words of wisdom with people like me looking to get inspired to go out and do awesome things. Topics covered a broad spectrum – science and technology, politics, education, healthcare, the arts, religion – all basically communicating the fact that there is room (and often dire need) for new ideas in virtually every sector.

As a volunteer I managed to participate from inside and out, though I may not have taken as many photos as I would have purely as a spectator. But here’s a small snippet of some of the week’s events.

Levar Burton, hosting Education: New School talk at the MCA.

 

Notes by Ink Factory.

 

Brandon Boyd of Incubus, after a discussion on The Creative Process at the MCA.

 

Giant idea notebook at the MCA.

 

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Riot Fest 2012

The annual multiple-day punk fest turned into an outdoor carnival in Humboldt Park this year, with probably the best lineup yet. Besides the usual carnival rides and games were various performers wandering around the festival grounds – a marching band, jugglers, dancers, hula hoopers.. fun for the whole family!

Seriously though, seeing little kids rocking out on their parents’ shoulders during the Descendents, Jesus & Mary Chain, et. al. was pretty priceless.

Day 1

The Adicts

Gwar

Hoopers

Environmental Encroachment

Andrew WK and a pizza guitar

Gaslight Anthem

Gwar aftermath

Environmental Encroachment marching through the cro

The Descendents

Day 2

NOFX (with Angelo of Fishbone)

The Jesus & Mary Chain

Elvis Costello & the Imposters

Gogol Bordello

The Stooges, and dancing fans

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Lollapalooza 2012 (and After Parties)

Grimes, The Big Pink, Thenewno2 Lolla afterparty show – Friday August 3, 2012
at Logan Square Auditorium

Dhani Harrison, Thenewno2

The Big Pink

Grimes

 Jane’s Addiction, Franz Ferdinand, Ume at the Aragon, Saturday August 4

Ume

Franz Ferdinand

Jane’s Addiction

     

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Lollapalooza – Sunday

Live mural painting at Perry’s stage

Little Dragon @ Perry’s

Yuna @ BMI

At The Drive-In @ Red Bull Stage

Miike Snow @ Sony

Crowd surfing sea critters at Miike Snow

Chairlift (in a last minute schedule change) @ Playstation

Justice @ Bud Light

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Pride Parade

This year I marched with the Old Town School of Folk Music, so got more of a behind-the-scenes view. Good times 🙂

Dog at Pride Fest.

Hula hoopers with the OTSFM truck.

Temp tat

Spirit Guide, Chicago’s resident super hero.

Obama impersonator on the Cook County Sheriff’s float.

Old Town School truck stepping off at Montrose.

What Santa does in summertime.

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Puerto Rican Parade

It’s kind of impossible to avoid the annual Puerto Rican parade no matter where you are in Chicago, with cars waving giant Puerto Rican flags taking over the city throughout the day. But I accidentally ran into the actual parade this year while passing through Humboldt Park and decided to stop by. Basically a lot of flags and flag garb, engines revving, and some sweet cars.

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