The 5 Bands You Must See At Riot Fest Chicago 2014 – Sunday

2 down 1 to go. Here are the four bands I think you need to see and the one band you absolutely must see.

1. Blue Meanies – 6:00pm Rock Stage

blue meanies

I remember a time in Chicago when Blue Meanies would headline over Alkaline Trio. Yes, that’s how old I am. Its been nearly 10 years since Blue Meanies has played a show. And looking over the rest of the lineup I’m not sure you’ll see another ska-punk-hardcore mashup this weekend. And even if there was they aren’t going to be as good as these guys.

2. Dads – 5:00pm Rock Stage

Photo by Andy Johnson
Photo by Andy Johnson

I’m going to be honest with you guys I’m not even a huge fan of these guys. But a couple of months ago I saw them open for Touche Amore and Tigers Jaw and these dudes can command a stage. They seem primed for a festival audience and could easily walk away being one of the most talked about performances of Riot Fest 2014.

3. The Front Bottoms – 1:10pm Rebel Stage

Photo by Maclyn Bean
Photo by Maclyn Bean

I’ve never seen The Front Bottoms live but I’ve heard its nothing short of a gigantic party. A shame that they play first on one of the side stages I would love to see them whip a main stage crowd into a frenzy. Regardless, if the weekend hasn’t ground you down by Sunday morning you should do everything in your power to get through the gates in time to see these guys perform their party-folk-punk.

4. La Dispute – 3:30pm Rock Stage

Photo by Dave Summers
Photo by Dave Summers

La Dispute is THE BAND YOU NEED TO SEE AT RIOT FEST. These guys have been playing festivals all Summer and knocking crowds on their asses. This is the one band I am most anticipating seeing this year. La Dispute is making genuine important rock music and you all need to bear witness.

5. Mineral – 4:45pm Rock Stage

Photo by Bryan Parker
Photo by Bryan Parker

I probably won’t be catching Mineral at Riot Fest as I’ll have seen them the night before at Double Door but if you aren’t catching their after show you better be there to see them at Riot Fest. Mineral helped define a genre of music and by all accounts their reunion shows have been just as incredible if not more so then when they were around the first time. If you want a history lesson in what Emo music is or…was catch Mineral.

The 5 Bands You Must See At Riot Fest Chicago 2014 – Saturday

Here are the bands I think you should see at Riot Fest Chicago on Saturday.

1. Saosin – 3:30pm Rock Stage

Saosin

I told you Anthony Green would show up on this list again. For those who don’t know, when Saosin first emerged around 2003 they were fronted by Green. They found success on a self-released EP called Translating the Name. They were being courted by major labels and Anthony got cold feet and split. After years of do they like each other, do they hate each other we finally have a reunion. This could be a once in a lifetime event I wouldn’t skip it.

2. Say Anything – 4:45pm Rock Stage

Photo by Chris Martin
Photo by Chris Martin

Say Anything was supposed to play Riot Fest last year but had to back out. I imagine that if you’re a fan and you went last year this is a must see set for you since it’s a make up. For everyone else these guys know how to command a stage and have a huge back catalog of catchy songs. They also have a new album out that features……no guitars. I for one want to see how they pull them off live.

3. Taking Back Sunday – 8:45pm Rock Stage

Photo by Brenna Rushing
Photo by Brenna Rushing

Last year Taking Back Sunday played one of the smaller side stages and amassed a crowd just as large as anything on the main stages. This year they play on what appears to be another one of the “smaller” stages but with Riot Fest’s new layout there may not be much of a difference seeing as how dozens of acres have been added. Either way they put on a hell of a performance for one of the largest audiences at Riot Fest 2013. No reason to believe this year will be any different.

4. The World is a Beautiful Place and I’m No Longer Afraid to Die – 3:00pm Revolt Stage

world is a beautiful

The World is a Beautiful Place… put out one of the best albums of 2013 Whenever, if Ever. They also do whatever they want however they want live. They are a constantly rotating group of musicians. Sometimes there’s a spoken word dude with them, sometimes there isn’t. This is going to be one of the most spontaneous and heartfelt sets of the weekend and I wouldn’t miss it for anything.

5. Wu-Tang Clan – 6:15pm Roots Stage

wu tangWhile they will most likely be the most ironically watched set of the weekend how do you not catch at least a little bit of Wu-Tang? After listening to nothing but rock music all afternoon you’re going to need a palate cleanser and I can’t think of anything better than the legendary Wu-Tang Clan. Maybe they’ll even let us look at that 1 of 1 edition album they made.

 

The 5 Bands You Must See At Riot Fest Chicago 2014 – Friday

The 10th annual Riot Fest Chicago is about a week away. This will be the third year it is held in beautiful Humboldt Park. The lineup is as strong as the previous two years and I wanted to highlight a few of the bands I think you should check out.

1. Circa Survive – 4:00pm Riot Stage

Photo by Jeff Farasi
Photo by Jeff Farasi

This won’t be the last time I mention Anthony Green in these Riot Fest posts and with good reason. He’s one of the best frontmen in the scene. His stage presence and vocals combined with the band’s incredibly tight playing will make this one of the highlights of the weekend. The fact that this won’t be the only time we see him on stage at Riot Fest is beyond a treat.

2. The Hotelier – 5:00pm Revolt Stage

Photo by Allison Newbold
Photo by Allison Newbold

The Hotelier, pronounced The Hotel Year have released possibly the first touchstone album in the age of the “Emo Revival”. This year’s “Home, Like No Place is There” runs a range of emotions so wide you’d think you need a bridge to find your way back. Luckily the album ends in cyclical sort of way. I know this might be confusing but you should really just listen to it. I expect their performance at Riot Fest to leave me feeling the same way.

3. Failure – 5:15pm Riot Stage

Photo by Brian Esquivel
Photo by Brian Esquivel

I first heard Failure while working at a College radio station. Their songs got stuck in my head but I wasn’t in love. But every once in a while I would think of those songs and before I knew it the band had disappeared. I never thought I would get to see them live but at Riot Fest dreams come true. If you’ve never heard “Stuck on You” there must be something wrong with you. Go listen to it, now!

4. Pianos Become the Teeth – 7:00pm Revolt Stage

Photo from Bear Trap PR.
Photo from Bear Trap PR

One of the most intense bands on the planet. To miss this set would be to miss almost the entire point of going to a music festival. Seriously.

5. Title Fight – 3:30pm Roots Stage

Image from Bear Trap PR
Image from Bear Trap PR

Title Fight isn’t quite a hardcore band. Not quite an alternative rock band. I’m not quite sure what they are. I don’t think they do either. Either way they’re a passionate band that is sure to bring a great performance to Riot Fest Chicago.