Looking Back at the Summer: Chicago Open Air

An outdoor soccer stadium in the middle of summer with 40 supercharged bands has got to be an event to remember. I mean, a hundred thousand people enjoying their favorite rock bands in the great outdoors can’t be wrong.

Left to right: Reid Wolfe, VP Guy, Brandon Yeagley, Crobot lead vocals, Eric Fingeret, Crobot Guitarist Chris Bishop

You may be wondering along with all those concert goers, what a giant summer rock concert has to do with voice technology. The answer was an awesome surprise. Philips was unveiling a new digital audio recorder focused on recording music and instead of doing it in a stuffed shirt conference venue, they went directly to whom it mattered the most, musicians.

All fun and games without losing an eye

Philips Sales Manager front man for digital audio recorders Eric Fingeret and Reid Wolfe, Vice President of Sales for North America were on the scene with “The Music Experience” spreading the word about the new Philips VoiceTracer Music Recorder.

Eric, a musician himself worked with a smile while enjoying some of his favorite bands which include Ozzy Osbourne, Stone Sour and Rob Zombie.

With some fun and wild contests like “30 Seconds to Shred” and “30 Seconds to Bang” where concert goers can compete in an all-or-nothing 30 second guitar or drum performance.

Eric and Reid looked snazzy in their black rocker T-shirts made especially for the promotion.

The Student Experience

One thing that was really unique about this particular concert was “The Student Experience” where students could really understand how the music business works including how recording works and a backstage tour.

Students typically have nothing but a cell phone to record on. They need a device with lots of memory capacity to make high quality recordings. Enter the Philips Music recorder. The bottom line is, if you want to submit your music to a distribution platform such as Yangaroo, you need a high quality recorder.

The Bands and the Musicians

We got in front of 10 great metal bands and they all wanted one! They don’t like using their cell phones for work. The Philips product is durable, simple and easy to use. All the professional musicians were excited to have a dedicated device and keep ideas separate from their personal life.

We met Frankie Bello from Anthrax and he got a Philips Music Recorder and said “This is so perfect.” Kiko Loureiro, the guitar virtuoso from Megadeth had to get one because Frankie Bello was showing it off. Kiko had a truly impressive knowledge of Philips Dictation products and professional dictation equipment for the legal and healthcare markets. He loved the music recorder right away.

John 5, lead guitarist with Rob Zombie who also played with Marilyn Manson and David Lee Roth were excited to give it a go. John who is a really down to earth guy, plans to use the Philips Music Recorder with his favorite Fender Telecaster Guitar.

On the right is Gary Holt from Slayer with Eric. Is it me or does it strangely look like Eric wants to punch Gary in the face? Is Eric modeling his watch? More likely Eric just can’t contain his excitement and is secretly yearning to jump up and down. Slayer, one of the big four heavy metal bands is getting ready to write again and now they’ve got a Philips Music Recorder to help.

Both the lead singer and guitarist for Crobot were very impressed by it and planned to use it going from the touring cycle to the working cycle. It’s important to capture ideas anywhere you are, especially on the road or in the tour bus. Being compact and portable with a crazy amount of recording space is the perfect tool.


DragonForce, a mix progressive heavy metal blended with Japanese Anime with axe man Herman Li (pictured right) was grateful to get one as well as Dave Mustaine front man of Megadeth. Eric told me over and over again how all the big stars are so down to earth and such nice people.


Willie Adler from Lamb of God, stopped by. Eric on the right clearly gloating about all the super famous people he met. Indecently, Lamb of God is one of the bands he recommended I check out before he went to the show so this picture must be fate since he knew I’d be writing this article.

Amon Amarth took the stage with a giant Viking ship from Sweden. We didn’t get a picture but it must have been something because it took Eric hours to describe it. (or maybe my jealousy just made it seem like hours)

Riki Rachtman, formally of MTV and NASCAR fame, stopped by. Riki is currently riding his motorcycle across the USA, covering 49 of 50 states. Check out what Riki’s holding up!

And for the grand finale, legendary Rapper IceT was front and center with the Heavy Metal Band he created Body Count. Pictured below with special guest Xzibit, they can be seen hanging out with Riki Rachtman. I don’t know what Riki is saying but it could be “Philips is No. 1”.

It was a great show, a great time and everyone was great. Truly an amazing summer memory!

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