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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While 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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.