Riot Fest 2014 Preview

Riot Fest returns to Chicago's Humboldt Park this weekend, Friday-to-Sunday, September 12th-to-14th...
Riot Fest

Riot Fest 2014 Preview

Just as it lies in the center of the country, Chicago also lies in the center of North America’s music festival world, with events like the critics choice Pitchfork Music Festival (QRO recap), the mega-fest that started it all Lollapalooza (QRO recap), and Riot Fest, which has risen & grown from its punk rock roots into one of the continent’s top fests, ranging in style and also age (from hot up-and-comers to tried-and-true veterans, plus always a host of reunions).  What’s more, for ’10 Years. 10 Essential Albums’, ten artists at Riot Fest’s tenth anniversary will be playing classic albums of theirs in full!

Riot Fest returns to Humboldt Park this weekend, Friday-to-Sunday, September 12th-to-14th:



Riot Stage

Jane’s Addiction, 8:45 PM – 10:00 PM

One of the first bands to emerge from the early nineties alternative music scene, you knew Jane’s Addiction’s break-up right at their height of popularity in 1991 would never knew last. They’ve since reunited not once, not twice, but thrice! Starting in 2008, all four original members got back together for the first time since the first break-up, joining Nine Inch Nails on the ‘NIN/JA’ tour (QRO photos outdoors), playing the classics. Admittedly 2011’s new The Great Escape Artist was not that great (which is why bassist Eric Avery left before it was made), but the classics still are, and they come out in force at their live shows (QRO live review), with the band’s gaudy, extreme, alt-sexual antics (QRO photos). Oh, and singer/frontman Perry Farrell basically invented the alternative music festival with his original Lollapalooza (QRO 2014 recap), so you know they know how to do a festival right (QRO photos from a festival)…

At Riot Fest, Jane’s Addiction will be playing all of Nothing’s Shocking!
Jane's Addiction
Gogol Bordello, 7:00 PM – 7:45 PM

From Eastern Europe & elsewhere, through the Lower East Side comes ‘gypsy punks’ Gogol Bordello (QRO live review). The many, many-person outfit is fronted by singer/guitarist Eugene Hutz (also of the film version of Everything Is Illuminated), but there’s so much going on on-stage, you won’t know where to look (QRO photos outdoors). The band followed up debut Underdog World Strike with the not-quite-as-impressive Super Taranta! (QRO review) in 2007, and even less so with 2010’s Trans-Continental Hustle (QRO review), but were revived last year on Pure Vida Conspiracy (QRO review) – and the band still brings it live (QRO live review), as they play Riot Fest for the second time in three years.
Gogol Bordello
Failure, 5:15 PM – 6:00 PM

Lots of nineties acts were classified as ‘alternative’ – Failure may have been under that label, but their sound was far more textured (and expensive). The Los Angeles group only reunited earlier this year, but are already working on a new album for 2015, which will be their first in eighteen years.
Circa Survive, 4:00 PM – 4:45 PM

Anthony Green abandoned his successful Saosin when he became disillusioned, but has found a new home in Circa Survive (QRO photos at a festival).

Oh, and Green will reunite with Saosin tomorrow (see below)!
Circa Survive
Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

On Tell ‘Em What Your Name Is (QRO review) and the more Scandalous and Electric Slave, Austin’s Black Joe Lewis (QRO photos at an Austin festival) pretty much just copied James Brown, but even a copy of the hardest working man in show business brings a party (QRO photos outdoors at home).

Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

Roots Stage

The Offspring, 7:45 PM – 8:45 PM

Riot Fest has punks from all decades, and in the nineties slot is California’s The Offspring (QRO photos), who hit it big back then with Smash and songs like “Come Out and Play” (the one with the “You gotta keep ‘em separated” chorus). While never basking in critical acclaim, they have continued to be a top-selling punk act to this day (QRO photos at a festival), and play Riot Fest for the second time in three years (QRO photos at a festival).

At Riot Fest, The Offspring will be playing all of Smash!
The Offspring
NOFX, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

If you don’t want to be all high-minded and serious at the Pussy Riot panel (see below), go the exact opposite direction with NOFX (QRO photos). The ska-punkers have turned cheeky fart jokes into a musical career for decades now (including Riot Fest ’12), most recently on 2012’s Self Entitled and 2009’s Coaster (QRO review) – but will they be “Creeping Out Sara” of also-at-Riot Fest Tegan & Sara (see below)?

At Riot Fest, NOFX will be playing all of Punk In Drublic!
Stiff Little Fingers, 4:45 PM – 5:15 PM

Most of the original, ‘Spirit of ‘77’ punks were fighting economic malaise – Stiff Little Fingers came not out of London, but Belfast, at the height of Northern Ireland’s ‘Troubles’. Few acts at Riot Fest or anywhere else have their kind of punk cred.
Stiff Little Fingers

Title Fight, 3:30 PM – 4:00 PMQRO photos

Title Fight

Rock Stage

Rise Against, 9:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Chicago punks Rise Against (QRO photos at a festival) may have moved to major label status over eight years ago, but they’ve kept up their output, such as this year’s The Black Market, and political agitation, from the straight edge lifestyle to endorsing vegan-friendly Vans shoes. They play Riot Fest for the second time in three years (QRO photos at a festival).
Rise Against
Murder City Devils, 7:30 PM – 8:15 PM

Seattle garage-punks Murder City Devils broke up before garage-rock took off, but got back together for a spate of shows in the back half of the last decade, before hinting at new material – that finally came out last month, The White Ghost Has Blood On Its Hands Again.
Murder City Devils
Senses Fail, 5:00 PM – 5:45 PM

New Jersey post-hardcore band Senses Fail have been active on the road (QRO photos at a festival) and in the studio, with last year’s Renancer.
Senses Fail
ALL, 4:00 PM – 4:40 PM

Descended from the equally influential Descendents (see below), these eighties punks reunited at Riot Fest ’08 (and Chicago’s Democratic National Convention that year…), though only with sporadic appearances and no new material since 2000’s Problematic.


Riot Fest Speaks Stage

Pussy Riot panel, 5:45 PM – 7:00 PM

A very special event for Riot Fest’s tenth anniversary is the Pussy Riot Panel. Nadya Tolokonnikova and Masha Alekhina (QRO photos) come to Riot Fest off of their unasked for ‘pardon’ for ‘hooliganism’ conviction in Vladimir Putin’s Russia and U.S. appearance at Amnesty International’s ‘Bring Human Rights Home’ event (QRO recap). Mother Russia, meanwhile, has just gone from bad to worse since the Sochi Olympics, currently out-and-out involved in a proxy war in neighboring Ukraine (after protesters chased out the pro-Russian president for spurning the European Union).

Tolokonnikova and Alekhina just announced the creation of their own independent news agency, MediaZona, to focus on the corrupt and brutal courts, police stations, and prisons in Russia (this is the country that gave us the word ‘gulag’). The panel will be moderated by none other than Henry Rollins, maybe the best-known agit-punk out there, and also include Greg Graffin of Riot Fest ’13 performers Bad Religion (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’13) and Tim McIlrath of this year’s Rise Against (see above).

Pussy Riot

Rebel Stage

Slayer, 8:45 PM – 9:45 PM

Riot Fest takes metal to the next level with the iconic Slayer (QRO photos at a festival). Now in their fourth decade, Slayer has been the definition of thrash since the concept began, from brutal axe work to brutal cover art – and pounding the walls of Yankee Stadium as one of the ‘The Big Four’ (QRO review) of metal, with Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax.

Last year, the band hit some hard times, first firing long-time drummer Dave Lombardo, then seeing charter guitarist Jeff Hanneman die. But nothing can slay The Slayer (QRO photos at a festival), who come to FFF with a new album in the works for next year (that is rumored to include material written by Hanneman before his death).

At Riot Fest, Slayer will be playing all of Reign In Blood!
Mastodon, 7:00 PM – 7:45 PM

The New Wave of American Heavy Metal gave birth to Atlanta’s Mastodon, who achieved a commercial breakthrough in 2011’s The Hunter (QRO review), and come to Riot Fest behind their follow-up, Once More Around the Sun.

Clutch, 5:30 PM – 6:15 PM

This hard rock act always performs well in the Clutch (QRO photos at a festival).
GWAR, 4:15 PM – 5:00 PM

There is no band as unique as GWAR (QRO spotlight on). Somewhere between Motörhead (QRO album review), Tenacious D (QRO live review), George Romero, KISS (QRO photos), and Gallagher, GWAR combines thrash metal with sci-fi/horror spectacle, including massive costumes & massive amounts of stage gore (QRO photos), plus taking on about every taboo there is for one of the most amazing spectacles out there (QRO live review), including at Riot Fest the last two years (QRO photos at Riot Fest ‘13).

The group (QRO live review) survived longtime member Flattus Maximus (Cory Smoot) departing to the intergalactic heavens in 2011, recruiting a new scumdog of the universe from the Maximus clan, putting out Battle Maximus last year – only to lose singer/frontman extraordinaire Oderus Urungus (a.k.a. Dave Brockie – QRO interview) this year. The band could have folded their tent, but instead put on their awesomest GWAR-B-Q ever last month, and have since announced that they were not only keeping their Riot Fest date, but announced a whole tour. Riot Fest will be only the band’s second performance since Brockie’s death – nothing will stop the awesome power that is GWAR (QRO photos)!

Rise Stage

Of Mice & Men, 7:45 PM – 8:45 PM QRO photos at a festival

We Came as Romans, 6:15 PM – 7:00 PM QRO photos at a festival

Emarosa, 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Of Mice & Men
We Came as Romans

Rev Stage

Pity Sex, 8:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Pianos Become the Teeth, 7:00 PM – 7:30 PM

From Indian Lakes, 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Hotelier, 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Plague Vendor, 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Somos, 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Pianos Become the Teeth

The Radicals

Red City Radio, 7:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Oklahoma City’s Red City Radio come to Chicago’s Riot Fest.
Red City Radio
Radkey, 6:30 PM – 7:00 PM

St. Joseph, Missouri’s trio of brothers – Dee, Isaiah, and Solomon (QRO photos at a festival) – reboots punk rock as they come to Riot Fest for a second year in a row.

Wounds, 5:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Baby Baby, 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Vamos!, 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM




Riot Stage

The National, 8:45 PM – 10:00 PM

Cincinnati-by-way-of-Brooklyn’s The National (QRO photos outdoors) hit it big in 2007 with Boxer (QRO review) and tracks like “Fake Empire”, “Mistaken For Strangers”, and “Apartment Story” (QRO video) – and again in 2008 with the Virginia EP (QRO review), but that just presaged 2011’s High Violet (QRO review), which debuted at #3 on the Billboard charts (QRO expanded edition review). An impressive and much-in-demand act (QRO live review), they’re fitting in nicely as even festival headliner (QRO photos headlining a festival) or curator (QRO photos curating a festival), like at London’s All Tomorrow’s Parties in 2012 (QRO photos) or Boston Calling the last two years (QRO photos at Boston Calling). Blown up to the point that New York Times Magazine ran a feature on them (QRO spotlight on) & Obama used (a family-friendly) bit of “Mr. November” (QRO video at a festival) as a campaign song, The National (QRO photos at a festival) returned from an hiatus last year to take North America by storm (QRO photos headlining a festival) behind Trouble Will Find Me (QRO review), after having done so in Europe (QRO photos in Europe), the festival circuit (QRO photos at a festival), the European festival circuit (QRO photos at a European festival), Canada (QRO photos at a festival in Canada), Spain (QRO photos at a Spanish festival), Croatia (QRO photos at a Croatian festival), Singapore (QRO photos in Singapore) & their own Brooklyn (QRO photos in Brooklyn). They look to keep it going (QRO photos in 2014), coming to Chicago to headline Riot Fest (QRO photos at headlining a festival).
The National
Metric, 7:00 PM – 7:45 PM

Is it wrong to resent a band for finally getting breakthrough success? That question is always at the heart of any discussion regarding Toronto based band Metric (QRO live review) – love them or hate them (QRO photos at a festival), the quartet has done pretty well for themselves (QRO live review). 2009’s Fantasies (QRO review) earned them a couple of Juno awards, as well as shot listing for the prestigious Polaris Prize, two Canadian awards the band certainly no stranger to (QRO photos at a Canadian festival). While they may be one of the more mainstream acts in indie today (QRO live review), they are undeniably a charismatic take on the pop/punk genre (QRO photos at a festival), and their growing fan base (QRO live review) reflects this over and over again (QRO photos) – including playing Radio City Music Hall (QRO live review at Radio City).

Always a safe bet to tear up any stage (QRO live review), Metric (QRO photos) comes to Riot Fest (QRO photos at a festival) in one of their first shows since touring 2012’s Synthetica (QRO review). The band (QRO live review outdoors), fronted by singer/songstress extraordinaire – and your indie-rock crush – Emily Haines (QRO solo album review) is entirely capable of winning over the indie purist in all of us (QRO photos outdoors at a festival) with songs from Synthetica single “Youth Without Youth” (QRO review) & team-up with Lou Reed “The Wanderlust” (QRO video with Reed) to Fantasies” “Sick Muse” (QRO video) & “Stadium Love” (QRO video) to older numbers like “Dead Disco” (QRO video), “Handshakes” (QRO video), “Help I’m Alive” (QRO video) & “Monster Hospital” (QRO video).
Paul Weller, 5:15 PM – 6:00 PM

The original ‘mod’ (or ‘Modfather’), Paul Weller’s (QRO photos) work in The Jam in the seventies, The Style Council in the eighties, and solo since has made him (QRO live review) a British musical legend (QRO photos in Ireland).
Paul Weller
Die Antwoord, 3:45 PM – 4:30 PM

In this day & age, it can be hard to for an act to truly surprise, but Die Antwoord (QRO photos) have done it. Not only South African but Afrikaans (the descendants of the Dutch settlers who instituted & later repealed apartheid), vocalist Ninja & Yo-Landi Vi$$er took the internet by storm with a baffling mix of rave & hip-hop, English & Afrikaans in “Enter the Ninja” and 5 EP (QRO review). They followed up in 2012 with Ten$ion (QRO review) and this year’s Donker Mag, and have been baffling minds & blowing them away (QRO photos at a festival) while stealing the show (& shedding clothes) wherever they go (QRO photos outdoors at a festival).
Die Antwoord
The Dandy Warhols, 2:15 PM – 3:00 PM

The Dandy Warhols (QRO photos in Austin) broke out in 1997 behind major label debut …The Dandy Warhols Come Down and hit single “Bohemian Like You”. However, like much of nineties alternative music scene, things declined after that, with post-major records like …Earth to the Dandy Warhols (QRO review) and 2012’s This Machine (QRO review) being a little… passé.
The Dandy Warhols
The Orwells, 12:50 PM – 1:30 PM

Illinois’ The Orwells (QRO photos at a festival) graduated from high school early to pursue their rock ‘n’ roll dreams, and started living up to them with last year’s debut Remember When.
The Orwells
The Pizza Underground, 11:40 AM – 12:20 PM

The unusual Pizza Underground have had an unexpectedly long life. They parody Velvet Underground songs by remaking them about pizza – and are fronted by Macaulay Culkin?!? Yet they’ve lasted far longer than that slice in your refrigerator.

The Pizza Underground

Roots Stage

The Flaming Lips, 7:45 PM – 8:45 PM

There’s a good reason The Flaming Lips (QRO photos at a festival) have been so popular for so long on the festival circuit (QRO photos at a festival), as there is no live show out there like a Flaming Lips live show (QRO live review). Confetti cannons, costumes, video screens, balloons from the sky, puppets, singer/guitarist Wayne Coyne (QRO interview) surfing the crowd in a giant plastic bubble – The Lips have it all (QRO photos), and expect them to take it even higher (QRO photos at a festival) as they play their umpteenth festival (QRO photos at a 2014 festival).

Oh, and they’ve got some great music, too, from early nineties hit “She Don’t Use Jelly” to seminal The Soft Bulletin (QRO photos from top-to-bottom performance, at a festival), as well as 2006’s Grammy Award-winning At War With the Mystics (even put out a movie, Christmas On MarsQRO review), and 2009’s Embryonic (QRO review) to 2012’s The Terror (QRO review). Plus they (QRO spotlight on) headlined both The Colbert Report’s ‘Pepsi Presents StePhest ColbChella ‘012 Rocktaugustfest’ (QRO photos) and Amnesty International’s ‘Bring Human Rights Home’ event earlier this year (QRO recap) with Pussy Riot (see above).
The Flaming Lips
Wu Tang Clan, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

“Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nothing to fuck with!” The Staten Island outfit (QRO photos at a festival) was the hip-hop collective of the nineties, spawning the careers of the likes of RZA (QRO photos at a festival), GZA (QRO live review), Method Man, Raekwon (QRO photos at a festival), Ghostface Killah, and more. As fearless as they are skilled, Wu-Tang is arguably the greatest rap group ever. Their members have done much else (not just singing – RZA released his directorial debut, Russell Crowe kung-fu flick The Man with the Iron Fists), but have been getting the band back together (save for the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard), and this year all together put out A Better Tomorrow.
Wu-Tang Clan
The Afghan Whigs, 4:30 PM – 5:15 PM

Greg Dulli’s soul-influenced rock group The Afghan Whigs (QRO photos at a festival) rocketed out of Cincinnati in the nineties, but broke up the same year Americans learned Afghans weren’t just blankets (with Dulli going on with his Twilight Singers – QRO photos at a festival). But in 2011 not only did the group announce their reunion (QRO photos at a festival), but also a new record, this year’s Do the Beast, and subsequent tour (QRO live review).
The Afghan Whigs
City and Colour, 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM

Dallas Green (QRO photos), singer/guitarist of emo-punk band Alexisonfire, embraces his sad, acoustic side as City and Colour (he’s Canadian, thus the extra ‘u’ – 2005 debut Sometimes only came out in America in 2009 – QRO review), coming to Riot Fest (QRO photos at a festival) behind last year’s The Hurry and the Harm.
City and Colour
Tokyo Police Club, 1:30 PM – 2:15 PM

When Tokyo Police Club (QRO live review) exploded onto the scene with such songs as “Cheer It On” (QRO video) and “Your English Is Good” (QRO video), the young (Toronto) band delivered – but could they age well (QRO photos)? Well, Dave Monks (QRO photos), Greg Alsop (QRO interview), Graham Wright (QRO interview), and Josh Hook (QRO photos) have, with 2008’s Elephant Shell (QRO review) & 2010’s Champ (QRO review) finding that sweet spot between growing up and staying young with new greats like “Tessellate” (QRO video), “Frankenstein” (QRO video), and “Favourite Food” (QRO video) – and staying a definite QRO favourite (QRO spotlight on). They come to Riot Fest (QRO photos at a festival) behind their new Forcefield (QRO review).
Tokyo Police Club
Wavves, 12:20 PM – 12:50 PM

Redemption? After WAVVES singer/guitarist Nathan Williams (QRO photos at a festival) had a very public breakdown, on stage at Primavera Sound Festival in 2009, the San Diego act cancelled their whole European tour. However, since then Williams got back on the road (QRO photos at a festival), recruited the backing band of the late Jay Reatard (QRO photos), put on the much-praised King of the Beach (QRO review) and 2012’s Afraid of Heights. And he’s even returned to Primavera (QRO photos at a festival) – plus he seems to have cut out imitating Pauly Shore.


Rock Stage

Taking Back Sunday, 8:45 PM – 9:45 PM

It’s all come full circle. Though the line-up for Amityville’s emo-rockers Taking Back Sunday (QRO photos) has changed since 2002 debut Tell All Your Friends, it returned to the original line-up for 2011’s self-titled album – as well as 2012’s tenth anniversary tour Tell All Your Friends (QRO live review). They play Riot Fest for a second year in a row.
Taking Back Sunday
The Used, 7:15 PM – 8:15 PM

If you’ve ever seen SLC Punk, then you know that even Utah knows how to rock – like with native songs The Used (QRO photos at a festival).
The Used
Dashboard Confessional, 6:00 PM – 6:45 PM

One of the founders of today’s emo movement, Chris Carrabba’s Dashboard Confessional evolved out of his solo acoustic work to a full band ensemble. It’s been a while since their last new record, 2009’s Alter the Ending, as Carrabba has worked on his newer act, Twin Forks (QRO photos at a festival), but the original Confessional comes to Riot Fest.
Dashboard Confessional
Say Anything, 4:45 PM – 5:30 PM

Los Angeles pop-punk outfit Say Anything (QRO photos) defended their genre in 2007’s In Defense of the Genre, but came on more original with the following Say Anything. In 2012 they released Anarchy, My Dear, after going on hiatus to work on side-projects, and now play Riot Fest for the second year in a row.
Say Anything
Saosin with Anthony Green, 3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

Anthony Green may have left Saosin as they were getting successful to found Circa Survive, but at Riot Fest he will not only bring Circa Survive (see above) but also reunite with Saosin!

Streetlight Manifesto, 2:15 PM – 3:00 PM

RX Bandits, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM

Frank Iero, 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM

RX Bandits

Rebel Stage

Samhain, 8:55 PM – 9:55 PM – playing all of Initium

Cock Sparrer, 6:55 PM – 7:55 PM

Me First & the Gimme Gimmes, 5:10 PM – 5:55 PMQRO photos

Face to Face, 3:35 PM – 4:25 PM

Buzzcocks, 2:20 PM – 2:50 PMQRO photos

Samiam, 1:10 PM, 1:40 PMQRO photos at Riot Fest East ‘11

Me First & the Gimme Gimmes

Rise Stage

Descendents, 7:55 PM – 8:55 PM

Amid the plethora of indie reunions in the twenty-first century, one of the most welcome was that of Los Angeles’ own Descendents (QRO photos at a festival). One of the seminal punk bands of the eighties, singer/research biochemist Milo Aukerman left the group in 1987, with which the rest of the Descendents recruited a new singer and became ALL (see above), but Aukerman returned in 1995. The group went on hiatus again in 2004, but 2010 saw them return, again – so go see where today’s punk is Descended from (QRO photos), as they play Riot Fest for the third time in four years (QRO photos at Riot Fest East ‘11).

At Riot Fest, Descendents will be playing all of Milo Goes To College – with original bassist Tony Lombardo!
The Get Up Kids, 5:55 PM – 6:55 PM

Kansas City was ground zero for the second wave of emo in The Get Up Kids (QRO live review), who of course broke up, and of course have gotten back together with 2011′s There Are Rules (QRO review), as good as ever.

At Riot Fest, The Get Up Kids will be playing all of Something To Write Home About!
The Get Up Kids
Mighty Mighty Bosstones, 4:25 PM – 5:10 PM

It’s the one-and-only Mighty Mighty Bosstones! Maybe no act more exemplified the nineties third wave ska craze than Boston ensemble, who introduced kids across the country to horns with songs like “Don’t Know How To Party” “Someday I Suppose”, and “The Impression That I Get”. The decade ended and they went on a hiatus, only to reunite in 2007 (after singer Dicky Barrett became the announcer on Jimmy Kimmel Live), because this is a revival well worth happening.
Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Television, 2:50 PM – 3:55 PM

From nineteen seventies rock scene that produced everyone from The Ramones to The Talking Heads, Television defined its auteur edge in guitarists Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd and debut Marquee Moon (QRO photos at a festival playing Marque Moon). They broke up in 1978, with sporadic reunions since then, until Lloyd’s health issues forced him to retire after a 2007 show at Central Park SummerStage (QRO venue review). However, Verlaine, drummer Billy Ficca, bassist Fred Smith, and new guitarist Jimmy Rip have kept on going, with a new album rumored.
7 Seconds, 1:40 PM – 2:20 PM

Reno, Nevada’s 7 Seconds (QRO photos) helped start the straight edge scene in the eighties. Their shift to more complex music wasn’t well received, and they’ve since moved back to their bread & butter punk rock (QRO photos at Riot Fest East ‘11).
7 Seconds
Anti-Flag, 12:25 PM – 1:10 PM

Steel City punks Anti-Flag (QRO photos at a festival) left the major labels behind on 2009’s The People Or the Gun and 2012’s The General Strike, but have kept up their activism – the band attempted to put on an anti-G20 show when the world leaders forum came to their native Pittsburgh, only for it to be closed down due to massive police presence in the city (and lack of parking). More recently, they’ve been heavily involved in the worldwide Occupy movement.


Rev Stage

Citizen, 8:00 PM – 8:30 PM QRO photos

SKATERS, 7:00 PM – 7:30 PMQRO spotlight on

Nostalghia, 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Lemuria, 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Jessica Hernandez & the Deltas, 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM

The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

The Bots, 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Rose’s Pawn Shop, 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM

The Picturebooks, 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM


The Radicals

The Unlikely Candidates, 6:45 PM – 7:15 PM

The Crombies, 5:45 PM – 6:15 PM

Restorations, 4:45 PM – 5:15 PM

The American Scene, 3:45 PM – 4:15 PM

Broncho, 2:45 PM – 3:15 PM

Ex Friends, 1:45 PM – 2:15 PM

Daniel Wade, 12:45 PM – 1:15 PM

Buffalo Rodeo, 11:45 AM – 12:15 PM
Unlikely Candidates




Riot Stage

The Cure, 7:45 PM – 10:00 PM

If you’re going to Riot Fest, do you seriously need to be told who The Cure (QRO photos headlining a festival) are?!? Fronted by the iconic Robert Smith, The Cure were on the leading edge of New Wave in the eighties, basically inventing goth as a form of music – and releasing some of the decade’s most catchy singles as well.

You know ‘em, you love ‘em, you came to Riot Fest for The Cure (QRO photos headlining a festival).
The Cure
Patti Smith, 6:00 PM – 6:45 PM

Riot Fest lined up a true punk icon for their festival – Patti Smith (QRO photos outdoors). The ‘Godmother of Punk’ was one of the first to truly fuse rock and poetry, and served as something of a bridge between the beatniks & hippies of the fifties & sixties and the punks of the seventies and eighties. Her music even gave the name to perhaps New York’s most important venue, Bowery Ballroom (QRO venue review), and she helped open its sister in Brooklyn, Music Hall of Williamsburg (QRO venue review). She may have been made a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture, but she hasn’t slowed down (QRO photos), and won’t be any less impressive at Riot Fest (QRO photos at a festival).
Patti Smith
Tegan & Sara, 4:30 PM – 5:15 PM

Identical twin sisters Tegan and Sara (QRO interview) Quinn emerged out of Calgary at a young age over a decade ago (QRO spotlight on), and are coming to Riot Fest (QRO photos at a festival) behind their seventh record, Heartthrob (QRO review) after a hiatus following the end of their touring behind 2009’s Sainthood (QRO review). The duo manages to combine both the mature songstress(es) style and today’s indie-rock (QRO live review) – along with some great between song banter (QRO live review). They arrive in Chicago after touring the world last year & this (QRO photos at a festival on the other side of the world) – from French-speaking Montreal (QRO photos) to Major League Baseball’s ‘Fan Cave’ (QRO photos), from Amnesty International’s ‘Bring Human Rights Home’ event (QRO photos) with Pussy Riot (see above) to Middle America (QRO photos).
Tegan & Sara
Superchunk, 2:55 PM – 3:35 PM

At this point, Superchunk (QRO live review) are better known for what they did when not playing – founding the little indie label-made-big Merge Records, home to artists such as The Arcade Fire (QRO live review). But the North Carolina natives started Merge for their work as influential nineties alt-punk act Superchunk (QRO photos at Merge showcase), and have come back as good as ever, both on the road (QRO live review), including festivals (QRO photos at a festival), and with 2010’s Majesty Shredding (QRO review) & “Learned To Surf” (QRO video), not to mention oldies-and-goodies like “Slack Motherfucker” (QRO video), evoking the time when indie-rock could be fun & skilled, not either/or (QRO photos at a festival). The band (QRO live review) comes to Riot Fest behind last year’s I Hate Music (QRO review) – how’s everything at the “Front of the House” (QRO video)?
Kurt Vile & the Violators, 1:45 PM – 2:15 PM

Even amongst all the lo-fi guitar-punks out there, Kurt Vile (QRO photos at a festival) has made a name for himself. The former member of The War On Drugs (QRO live review), Kurt Vile has since formed his own ensemble with his Violators, and contributed to/opened for alt-punk guitar god J Mascis (of Dinosaur Jr. – QRO live review) on his solo record, Several Shades of Why (QRO review), and subsequent tour (plus Dinosaur Jr.’s You’re Living All Over Me show in NYC). However, he’s since evolved into a frontman of his own (QRO live review) with last year’s Wakin On a Pretty Daze, including at festivals (QRO photos at a festival).

Kurt Vile & The Violators

Roots Stage

Social Distortion, 6:45 PM – 7:45 PM

Sometimes, plugging away pays off, even for a punk band. Fullerton’s Social Distortion (QRO photos) started all the way back in 1978, and, other than a year-long break in the eighties due to drug & legal problems, have kept on going (albeit with singer/guitarist Mike Ness as the sole remaining original/twentieth century member – QRO photos). They helped establish both the ‘cowpunk’ sound, and today’s workingman’s punk (QRO photos) – and reached #4 on the Billboard charts in 2011 with eighth record, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, and come to Riot Fest while working on their ninth (QRO photos the weekend before).
Social Distortion
Dropkick Murphys, 5:15 PM – 6:00 PM

Just as no town in America is as Irish as Boston, there’s no band more associated with today’s ‘Celtic Punk’ movement than Dropkick Murphys (QRO photos). They play regular St. Patrick’s Day shows in Beantown – last year’s (QRO review) featured a guest appearance by Seal Team Six! Of course the Irish-American experience stretches across the country (QRO live review), so expect it to work at Riot Fest as the band (QRO photos) returns to play behind last year’s Signed and Sealed In Blood (QRO review) – just don’t wear a Yankees cap (or do a Nazi salute – the bassist clocked a guy doing that at their NYC stop last year…).
Dropkick Murphys
Naked Raygun, 3:35 PM – 4:30 PM

Hailing from right in Chicago, the melodic hardcore of Naked Raygun mixed in working class influences through the eighties and up to their break-up in 1992. Reunions since then were sporadic, but have been more solid in recent years, including a series of seven-inches on Riot Fest Records.

At Riot Fest, Naked Raygun will be playing all of Throb Throb!
Naked Raygun
Billy Bragg, 2:15 PM – 2:55 PM

England’s Billy Bragg has been mixing folk & punk about as long as the latter has existed, crafted into protest material. He’s worked with everyone from Wilco (QRO live review) – putting folk legend Woody Guthrie’s unrecorded lyrics to music in Mermaid Avenue & Mermaid Avenue Vol. II – to ska-punks (and Riot Fest ’12 performers) Less Than Jake (QRO interview) for “The Brightest Bulb Has Burner Out” on 2004’s Rock Against Bush. Lately, he’s been making trouble in his native Great Britain, including advocating Scottish independence (whose vote comes only days after Riot Fest) and English socialist patriotism, tactical voting, and withholding payment of income tax over bank bailouts.

In short, the perfect artist to play Riot Fest (QRO photos at a festival).
Billy Bragg
The Bouncing Souls, 1:00 PM – 1:45 PM

New Brunswick, NJ’s own icons were at the forefront of the punk revival in the early nineties, and have stuck around long enough to enjoy ‘elder statesman’ status among today’s young punks like The Gaslight Anthem (QRO live review). Not that ‘elder’ is a word one would associate with the hyper, kinetic act’s live show, especially outdoors amidst punk festival fans (QRO photos outdoors at a festival).
The Bouncing Souls
The Menzingers, 11:45 AM – 12:30 PM

Coming from the home of The Office & Joe Biden, Scranton’s ska-punks The Menzingers (QRO photos at a festival) are one of the younger punks acts at Riot Fest.

The Menzingers

Rock Stage

Bring Me the Horizon, 8:45 PM – 9:45 PM

Sheffield lies at the heart of northern England’s manufacturing belt (or what’s left of it) – and brings the world the metal core of Bring Me the Horizon (QRO photos at an English festival).
Bring Me the Horizon
New Found Glory, 7:15 PM – 8:15 PM

New Found Glory emerged on the leading edge of the second wave of nineties pop-punk and have kept on going, though saw guitarist & lyricist Steve Klein depart last year thanks to legal troubles.
New Found Glory

Blue Meanies, 6:00 PM – 6:45 PM

Mineral, 4:45 PM – 5:30 PM

La Dispute, 3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

Silverstein, 2:15 PM – 3:00 PM

Only Crime, 1:15 PM – 1:45 PM

Blue Meanies

Rebel Stage

Weezer, 8:40 PM – 9:55 PM

While the new output from Weezer (QRO photos at a festival) like 2010’s Hurley (QRO review) and Death To False Metal (QRO review) or the previous year’s Raditude (QRO review) isn’t up to their nineties classics (and 2008’s red album-covered self-titled – QRO review – can’t hold a candle to the blue- and green-covered earlier Weezers – QRO blue Weezer live review – or PinkertonQRO deluxe edition review), they still play those nineties classics like “My Name Is Jonas” (QRO video), “Say It Ain’t So” (QRO video), “Buddy Holly” (QRO video), “No One Else” (QRO video), “Surf Wax America” (QRO video), “Falling For You” (QRO video), and “Dope Nose” (QRO video), which can even lift later pieces like “Islands In the Sun” (QRO video) and “Beverly Hills” (QRO video). And their live show (QRO live review) – especially outdoors (QRO live review outdoors) headlining a festival (QRO photos headlining a festival).

And word is very positive for next month’s Everything Will Be Alright In the End – plus dude, Hurley (QRO photo).

At Riot Fest, Weezer (QRO photos two days prior) will be playing all of The Blue Album!
Cheap Trick, 6:40 PM – 7:40 PM

Riot Fest has long had classic punk bands – how about a classic rock band? Cheap Trick (QRO photos) are certainly classics, with songs like “I Want You To Want Me” and “Surrender”. While never as big in America as they are in Japan (epitomized in their Live at Budokan album – QRO live review of 35th anniversary performance), they’re still one of our classics.

At Riot Fest, Cheap Trick will be playing all of Heaven Tonight!
Cheap Trick
Hot Snakes, 5:05 PM – 5:55 PM

San Diego’s Hot Snakes mixed DIY and hardcore up until their 2005 break-up, which saw members join/form groups such as The Night Marchers (QRO photos) and Obits (QRO album review), but 2011 brought a reunion that has kept on going.
Hot Snakes
Motion City Soundtrack, 3:45 PM – 4:25 PM

Catch the synth-led emo-punk of Motion City Soundtrack (QRO live review).
Motion City Soundtrack
The Hold Steady, 2:10 PM – 3:00 PM

Brooklyn’s The Hold Steady (QRO photos at a festival) have reached serious heights with their classic rock and singer/guitarist Craig Finn’s talk-sing storytelling – even got an appearance on The Colbert Report! They’re also incredibly overrated, but certainly have fun outdoors (QRO live review outdoors). They come to Riot Fest (QRO photos at a festival two weekends before) behind their sixth full-length, March’s Teeth Dreams (QRO review).
The Hold Steady

The Front Bottoms, 1:10 PM – 1:40 PMQRO album review

The Front Bottoms

Rise Stage

Primus, 7:40 PM – 8:40 PM

Mixing alternative and funk in a Frizzle Fry sauce is Les Claypool’s (QRO interview) Primus (QRO spotlight on). Fronted by one of the most acclaimed bassists out there today, Primus first came to widespread notice in the early nineties thanks to Sailing the Seas of Cheese (QRO live review) and Pork Soda, with songs like “Jerry Was a Race Car Driver”, “Tommy the Cat”, “My Name Is Mud”, and “Mr. Krinkle”, delivering a weird funk-driven rock sound akin to an accessible Residents (QRO live review). Primus went on hiatus at the start of this century/millennium (after composing the theme to South Park), with Claypool working solo (QRO photos at a festival – and composed the theme to Robot Chicken), before reforming, first as nostalgia, but then with 2011’s new Green Naugahyde (QRO review), and have kept on going strong (QRO photos), especially on the festival circuit (QRO photos at a festival).
Mudhoney, 5:55 PM – 6:40 PM

Both a forerunner to and a member of the Pacific Northwest grunge breakout of the early nineties, Seattle’s Mudhoney (QRO photos at a festival) perhaps embodied the dirty, high-distortion sound even more than Nirvana. More importantly, Mudhoney never stopped, becoming a veteran many times over, and only last year released their ninth studio album, Vanishing Point.
Lucero, 4:20 PM – 5:05 PM

These cowpunkers (QRO photos) arrive at today’s workingman’s punk from the southern, country/punk end of things. Singer/guitarist Ben Nichols did his own thing with a solo record and ‘Revival Tour’ (QRO photos at a festival) with Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music – QRO photos) and Tim Barry (Avail), but the band has since gone big-time, including 2009’s 1372 Overtone Park (QRO review) and 2012’s Women & Work (QRO review). But live & outdoors (QRO photos outdoors), they stay true to their roots (QRO photos at a festival).
Andrew W.K., 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM

No artist in this millennium has done as many different things, worked with as many different people, while staying true to who he is, than Andrew W.K. (QRO photos). He started as a party-rock impresario with 2001’s I Get Wet and “Party Hard”, but has since built a wide list of accomplishments, from founding his own NYC venue, Santos Party House (QRO venue review), to doing self-help & motivational speaking, his own MTV series (and guest-appearing on Adult Swim’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force), playing with a classical string quartet (QRO photos), hosting the World Snowboarding Championship in Oslo in 2012 (QRO kick-off review), and even bringing I Get Wet back for its tenth anniversary (QRO live review of I Get Wet show). The hard-partying, hard-working man comes back to Riot Fest for a third year in a row (QRO photos at a Riot Fest ‘13) after last year’s ‘The Party Messiah Tour’ (QRO live review of tour start).
Andrew W.K.
The Whigs, 1:40 PM – 2:10 PM

Outta Athens, Georgia, The Whigs (QRO photos at a festival in Georgia) are into their second decade of southern garage rock together (QRO photos at a festival), touring behind this year’s Modern Creation.
The Whigs

Laura Stevenson, 12:40 PM – 1:10 PMQRO photos at a festival

Laura Stevenson

Rev Stage

I Am the Avalanche, 7:00 PM – 7:30 PM

Modern Baseball, 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Dads, 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM

Cerebral Ballzy, 4:00 PM – 4:30 PMQRO photos

Tiny Moving Parts, 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Pup, 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Survay Says!, 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Chumped, 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM

Cerebral Ballzy

The Radicals

Archie Powell & the Exports, 7:30 PM – 8:00 PM

In the Valley Below, 6:30 PM – 7:00 PMQRO photos at a festival

My Gold Mask, 5:30 PM – 6:00 PM

Show You Suck, 4:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Lucki Eck$, 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM

Netherfriends, 2:30 PM – 3:00 PMQRO photos at a festival

Team Spirit, 1:30 PM – 2:00 PMQRO photos at a festival

Mutts, 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM

Grizzled Mighty, 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM
In The Valley Below



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