Riot Fest, in its twelfth year, continued its role as one of the most beloved rock festivals in the country.
The festival takes place at Douglas Park in Chicago in mid-September. This year was the first year the festival did not happen in Denver. Each day of the festival had about thirty bands perform, which made for an incredibly busy weekend.
Friday was met with incredible weather and everyone anticipating seeing Nine Inch Nails. Dirty Heads performed their newest single “Celebrate” which was released the same day. Ministry played to a huge enthusiastic crowd. One of the highlights of the performance was an anthem called “Antifa”. They closed out their set with “Jesus Built My Hotrod”. Mayday Parade played their album “A Lesson in Romantics” in its entirety also.
New Order was mesmerizing. Some of the songs they performed were “Blue Monday”, “Bizarre Love Triangle”, and an awesome cover of “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. A Day to Remember, was as lively as ever, including their usual confetti cannon at the beginning of the performance.
Nine Inch Nails closed the show out with an incredible performance. Some of the highlights were a lovely tribute to David Bowie. Other songs they played were “Head Like a Hole” and “Closer”. They closed day one out with “Hurt”.
Day two was another day of incredible weather. Black Pistol Fire was a great start to the day. This was the first stop on their tour for the upcoming album “Deadbeat Graffiti”.
Fishbone played their album “Truth and Soul” in its entirety. Peaches were next, and she put on one hell of a show. She came out wearing an outfit made entirely of hair and a wig that looked like a vagina. Her shows are always fun and full of theatrics. This time around she had dancers in headpieces that looked like vaginas, and all sorts of hair everywhere. She attempted to walk on the crowd like she usually does.
Shabazz Palaces performed an awesome set of politically charged and motivating songs. Next up was Potty mouth, a throwback to Veruca Salt.
Danzig performed the album “Danzig III” and threw in a few other hits. He closed the show out with “Mother”. Mike D from the Beastie Boys did a DJ set and performed a few Beastie Boys songs as well.
Gogol Bordello had the crowd dancing to their gypsy punk. The energy of the crowd was intense, especially during “Wanderlust King” and “Alcohol”. They closed out their set with “Start Wearing Purple”.
New Found Glory played their enthusiastic pop-punk to a crowd of hardcore fans. During the same time “At The Drive-In” back together after 15 years, performed with their usual insane energy. Wu-Tang was also performing to a massive crowd, closing out their set with “C.R.E.A.M.”
Queens of the Stone Age were the headliners for day two. The entire field was covered with fans as they listened to Queens play “Feet Don’t Fail Me”, “No One Knows” “The Way You Used To Do” (from their new album “Villians), and “Go With The Flow”. Fans waited around a bit for an encore but were a bit disappointed when they didn’t get one.
Day three was a bit more mellow.
Everyone was anticipating Jawbreaker, who hadn’t played shows together for 21 years. Tv on the Radio played an awesome set, including “Wolf Like Me” and “Will Do”. Prophets of Rage performed their politically charged anthems including “Killing In The Name”, “Living on the 110” and an emotional tribute to Chris Cornell. It was great seeing them play but solidified the fact that we need Zach De La Rocha back in rock these days.
Jawbreaker closed out the festival to a great crowd, considering a lot of the people watching weren’t even born when the band was first together. This year marks the first time in 21 years they’ve played together. They opened the show with “Boxcar” and played “Want”, “Accident Prone” and “Save Your Generation”. It was incredible seeing them play again and seeing their fans react to hearing them live again.
Riot will return next year September 14-16.
Review By Shanell Curry