My right pinky toe crept out of a strappy jelly sandal, occasionally brushing the blistering pavement. There was an Excessive Heat Warning and heat indices 100 to 114 degrees. How bad could it be? I pondered the potential consequences while crossing a pedestrian bridge over Lincoln Park, Chicago’s North Lake Shore Drive to Volleywood featuring Corona Electric Beach.
I step foot on the beach’s sandy lake trail, lost in a sea of scantily clad Chads/Beckys kickin’ it under oversized umbrellas. After ten minutes perambulating, the CLIF® Whole Lotta bar stand emerged—free, fruits, cherry, chocolate, nuts, nutmeg—whatta dream; three bars deep, with Vanic‘s Jesse Hughes on the decks, Rock Your Body Art Owner Allison Halver spray-painted my half-shaven head. Think black, green and blue leopard print. Add Corona Electric Beach’s emblem. Mix in one hot pink and yellow lighting bolt. Call it a day. Now, I was ready to go eyeball to eyeball with rail nomads.
Tropical house typically rules Volleywood. Summertime Chi is the perfect breeding ground for that subgenre—picture dipping your pedicured feet into Lake Michigan’s shallow end or the putrid odor only public pool restrooms emit. Hughes had some other ideas in mind; As a genre shapeshifter, Vanic performed his trap/future bass remix of Big Sean’s 2017 anthem “Bounce Back” in addition to heavier selections that seemingly only Night Bass fans appreciated (Both events transpired on the same day, a mile apart from each other).
While many of its attendees are wholeheartedly here for the $5,000 cabanas, insta-clout and Corona photo-ops instead of its quality lineup, Corona Electric Beach is always enjoyable. Hats off to Volleywood for its attempt at diversifying the talent this year. Your efforts haven’t fallen on deaf ears, and on that (music) note, I salute you.