Riot Fest 2019 Preview

America’s best antidote to the massive corporate festivals in Chicago’s ass-kicking Riot Fest, who bring back old faves & new to Douglas Park, Friday-Sunday, September 13th-15th:...

Riot Fest 2019 Preview

America’s best antidote to the massive corporate festivals in Chicago’s ass-kicking Riot Fest, who bring back old faves & new to Douglas Park, Friday-Sunday, September 13th-15th:



Riot Stage

Blink-182, 8:45 PM – 10:00 PM

Emerging from the southern California punk scene, Blink-182 (QRO photos) kept things light with their youthful energy and humor, and became MTV mainstays with “What’s My Again?”, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, and more. They grew up a bit at the start of this century/millennium’s first decade, before singer/guitarist Tom DeLonge left and the group entered into “indefinite hiatus” (which saw drummer Travis Barker at one time get his own MTV reality series). But Barker, DeLonge, and singer/bassist Mark Hoppus reunited in 2011 for the well received return Neighborhoods (QRO review), before DeLonge left again in 2015 (to pursue his interest in the UFO cover-up conspiracy…). So Barker & Hoppus recruited Alkaline Trio (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’18) singer Matt Skiba to keep it going (QRO photos headlining a festival), including last year’s California. After having to bow out last year, they return to Riot Fest (QRO photos Riot Fest ‘13), to play Enema of the State in full.
Dashboard Confessional, 6:35 PM – 7:35 PM

One of the founders of today’s emo movement, Chris Carrabba’s Dashboard Confessional (QRO photos) evolved out of his solo acoustic work to a full band ensemble. He comes back to Riot Fest (QRO photos at a recent festival) behind last year’s Crooked Shadows, doing breakthrough The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most in full.
Dashboard Confessional
Neck Deep, 4:25 PM – 5:25 PM

Welsh pop-punk outfit Neck Deep come back to Riot Fest on the back of 2017’s third full-length, The Peace and the Panic.
Neck Deep

I Don’t Know How But They Found Me, 2:30 PM – 3:15 PM

Yours Truly, 1:05 PM – 1:35 PM

I Don’t Know How But They Found Me

Roots Stage

The Flaming Lips, 7:40 PM – 8:40 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 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), 2013’s The Terror (QRO review), 2017’s Oczy Mlody (QRO review), and this year’s King’s Mouth (QRO review). Plus they (QRO spotlight on) appeared in an issue of X-Men, headlined both The Colbert Report’s ‘Pepsi Presents StePhest ColbChella ‘012 Rocktaugustfest’ (QRO photos) and Amnesty International’s ‘Bring Human Rights Home’ event (QRO recap). They’re perfect to return to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ‘16QRO photos at Riot Fest ’14) where one can expect it to get a little weird (QRO live review) when they play Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots in full.
The Flaming Lips
Violent Femmes, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

The New Wave that acts like The Talking Heads ushered in back in the eighties saw a number of ‘geek rock’ outfits grab the listening public, from They Might Be Giants to Violent Femmes (QRO photos outdoors), who hit it big in 1983 with the self-titled debut and singles such as “Blister In the Sun” and “Kiss Off”. Follow-up records didn’t find the same success, and the band went on numerous hiatuses/break-ups. Drummer Victor DeLorenzo left in 1993 only to return in 2002, but the biggest split was between singer/guitarist Gordon Gano and bassist Brian Ritchie over Gano selling the rights to “Blister” to be used in a Wendy’s commercial in 2007. A lawsuit ensued, and this break-up seemed to be for good, but in 2016 they somehow reunited again for another run at the festival circuit (QRO photos at a festival), though DeLorenzo’s left again. That year they even released a new album, We Can Do Anything (QRO review), following it up with Hotel Last Resort (QRO review) this year (QRO recent photos). Let them go on, as they return to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ‘13).
Violent Femmes
Hot Snakes, 3:20 PM – 4:20 PM

San Diego’s Hot Snakes (QRO photos) mixed DIY and hardcore up until their 2005 break-up, which saw members join/form groups such as The Night Marchers and Obits, but 2011 brought a reunion that has kept on going, including at Riot Fest last year & this.
Hot Snakes

Caroline Rose, 1:40 PM – 2:25 PM

The Garden, 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM

The Garden

Rise Stage

Jawbreaker, 8:45 PM – 9:45 PM

Riot Fest welcomes back one of the biggest and most influential acts of the emo era, New York’s Jawbreaker. In the nineties they went from opening for Nirvana to singer/guitarist Blake Schwarzenbach becoming a cult idol thanks to his personal lyrics. Their too-polished Dear You and internal tensions led to their break up over twenty years ago, but their legacy has endured, and they have recently reunited at big stages, like Riot Fest ‘17 (QRO photos at Riot Fest ‘17).
Descendents, 7:15 PM – 8:15 PM

Amid the plethora of indie reunions in the twenty-first century, one of the most welcome has been that of Los Angeles’ 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 (QRO photos at a festival) recruited a new singer and became ALL, 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 return to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ‘16).
Lucero, 5:45 PM – 6:45 PM

These cowpunkers (QRO photos) Lucero 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) and Tim Barry (Avail), but the band has since gone big-time, including 2009’s 1372 Overtone Park (QRO review), 2012’s Women & Work (QRO review), 2013’s Texas & Tennessee, 2015’s All a Man Should Do, and last year’s Among the Ghosts. But live & outdoors (QRO photos outdoors), they stay true to their roots (QRO photos at a festival) as they return to Riot Fest.
The Get Up Kids, 4:15 PM – 5:00 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, returning to Riot Fest behind this year’s Problems.
The Get Up Kids
Hot Water Music, 2:20 PM – 3:05 PM

Northern Florida is home to many punk acts of the nineties & later; one of the more successful has been Hot Water Music (QRO photos at Riot Fest East ’11). They went on hiatus, and then permanent break-up, when singer/guitarist Chuck Ragan left to care for his family & pursue a low-key solo career, but got back together only two years later. They return for their second Riot Fest in three years (QRO photo at Riot Fest ’17) behind 2017’s Light It Up.


No Parents, 12:40 PM – 1:25 PM

Hot Water Music

Radicals Stage

Rancid, 7:40 PM – 8:40 PM

Out of the highly influential Bay Area ska-punk band Operation Ivy in 1991 came Rancid (QRO photos at a festival), who helped punk rock break through into the mainstream alongside such local friends as Green Day and NOFX. Let’s Go and …And Out Come the Wolves launched them into the big-time, and though they’ve never quite matched that level of success again, they want your “Salvation” in their return to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’13).
Pennywise, 6:10 PM – 7:10 PM

Hermosa Beach punks Pennywise (QRO photos) came up in the nineties interest in skate-punk, and have kept on going, despite suicide of bassist Jason Thirsk in 1996, singer Jim Lindberg’s departure in 2010, and new singer Zoli Téglás being sidelined by back injury after the release of 2012’s All Or Nothing – Lindberg rejoined, and they play Riot Fest for the second time in three years (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’17).
Cock Sparrer, 4:40 PM – 5:40 PM

You may not know their name, but Cock Sparrer are one of the most influential punk bands ever. Going all the way back to the early seventies, they paved the way for the oi! scene and more – now they return to Riot Fest.
Cock Sparrer
Senses Fail, 3:10 PM – 4:10 PM

New Jersey post-hardcore band Senses Fail has been active on the road (QRO photos at a festival) and in the studio. They return to Riot Fest for two days (see beloow), on Friday to play Let It Enfold You in full.
Senses Fail
Anti-Flag, 1:30 PM – 2:15 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, so of course this ain’t their first Riot Fest.


Pkew Pkew Pkew, 11:55 AM – 12:35 PM


Rebel Stage

Glassjaw, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

One of the founders of the post-hardcore scene was Long Island’s Glassjaw, who return to Riot Fest, playing Worship & Tribute in full.

H2O, 6:20 PM – 7:00 PMQRO photos

Hot Mulligan, 5:10 PM – 5:50 PM

Angel Du$t, 4:00 PM – 4:40 PM

Mat Kerekes, 3:30 PM – 3:30 PM

Thin Lips, 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Can’t Swim, 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM




Riot Stage

Slayer, 8:30 PM – 10:00 PM

Riot Fest takes metal to the next level with the iconic Slayer (QRO photos at a festival). Well into 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 fellow Riot Fest ’19 performer Anthrax (see just below).

In 2013, the band hit some hard times, first firing long-time drummer Dave Lombardo, then seeing charter guitarist Jeff Hanneman pass away. Last year Slayer (QRO photos at a festival) announced that they were undergoing their final world tour, and their last Chicago/Milwaukee show is fittingly returning to headline Riot Fest.
Anthrax, 6:20 PM – 7:20 PM

One of the ‘Big Four’ in heavy metal (QRO live review of all four together), including Riot Fest ’19 headliner Slayer (see just above), Anthrax has been breaking eardrums for decades now, including previously at Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’15). They’ve also had a number of line-up changes, with their most recent release, 2011’s Worship Music (QRO review) and 2016’s For All Kings, their first with singer Joey Belladonna since 1990. For Riot Fest ’19, they play a fan request set list.
Testament, 4:25 PM – 5:10 PM

Banging heads and thrashing metal since 1982, Testament are true survivors, with several popularity resurgences, such as around their latest record, 2016’s Brotherhood of the Snake.
GWAR, 2:45 PM – 3:30 PM

There is no band as unique as GWAR (QRO spotlight on). Somewhere between Motörhead, Tenacious D, George Romero, KISS, 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 seven years (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’17QRO photos at Riot Fest ’16QRO photos at Riot ’15QRO photos at Riot Fest ’14QRO 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 in 2013 – only to lose singer/frontman extraordinaire Oderus Urungus (a.k.a. Dave Brockie – QRO interview) the following year. The band could have folded their tent, but instead have kept defiling the universe – and Riot Fest (QRO interview at Riot Fest) – with their first post-Brockie record, The Blood of the Gods, out in 2017.


The Hu, 1:05 PM – 1:50 PM


Roots Stage

Rise Against, 7:25 PM – 8:25 PM

Chicago punks Rise Against (QRO photos at a festival) may have moved to major label status over a decade ago, but they’ve kept up their output, such as 2017’s Wolves, and political agitation, from the straight edge lifestyle to endorsing vegan-friendly Vans shoes. They play Riot Fest for a third time (QRO photos at a festival).
Rise Against
The Story So Far, 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM

Pop punk artists The Story So Far play their third Riot Fest behind last year’s Proper Dose.
The Story So Far
Avail, 3:35 PM – 4:20 PM

Virginia melodic punks Avail have had line-up turnover over the years, and went into hiatus in 2007, but now return – so of course they’re playing Riot Fest, even doing Over the James in full.
Turnstile, 1:55 PM – 2:40 PM

Baltimore hardcore punks Turnstile head to the Windy City behind last year’s sophomore album, Time & Space.

Masked Intruder, 12:15 PM – 1:00 PM

Masked Intruder

Rise Stage

Bloc Party, 8:45 PM – 9:45 PM

Known for their ubiquitous single, “Banquet”, Bloc Party (QRO photos at a festival) is one of the few gems to come out of the post-punk revival in the early 2000’s. The four-piece band (QRO photos) has become a household name within the U.K. region, and gaining fans in America (QRO photos) and elsewhere (QRO photos at a festival). They (QRO photos at a festival) come to Riot Fest (QRO photos at a festival) playing their entire breakthrough record, Silent Alarm.
Bloc Party
Manchester Orchestra, 7:15 PM – 8:00 PM

From Atlanta, not England New or Old, Manchester Orchestra (QRO live review) were more rock than alt- on debut I’m Like a Virgin Losing a Child (QRO review), and moved firmly into the rock camp with 2009’s Mean Everything To Nothing (QRO review), 2011’s Simple Math (QRO review), 2014’s Cope (QRO review), and 2017’s A Black Mile To the Surface (QRO review). However, the outfit does it well (QRO live review) and big (QRO photos) as they come back to Riot Fest (QRO photos at a festival) to rock (QRO live review).
Manchester Orchestra
The Struts, 6:00 PM – 6:45 PM

Everything old is new again, so embrace the unabashed glam classic-rock revival of The Struts (QRO photos at a recent festival).
The Struts
Turnover, 4:45 PM – 5:30 PM

Dream pop meets emo punk as Virginia Beach’s Turnover return to Riot Fest behind 2017’s Good Nature.
Cursive, 3:45 PM – 4:15 PM

The expansive sound of Omaha’s Cursive (QRO live review) comes back to Riot Fest (QRO photos at a festival) with their last release being last year’s Vitriola (QRO review), their bounce-back from 2012’s sub-par concept record I Am Gemini (QRO review). However their live show (QRO live review) features earlier material (QRO live review) like the strong prior Mama, I’m Swollen (QRO review), even at festivals (QRO photos at a festival).
Surfer Blood, 2:45 PM – 3:15 PM

Shooting up very quickly in indie-circles was West Palm Beach’s Surfer Blood (QRO live review), who were gaining tons of fans (QRO photos of a packed house) long before acclaimed debut Astro Coast (QRO review) finally hit the shelves (or whatever you say in today’s digital age…). Surfer Blood (QRO photos at a festival) then signed to Warner Brothers, so at least one major label is hoping that they the first wave of a new ‘South Florida Invasion’ (QRO photos at home). However, QRO called them way back when (QRO photos at a festival), before they played a million-and-one festivals (QRO photos outdoors at a festival). They come back to Riot Fest (QRO photos at a festival) after moving to L.A., and are touring 2013’s less-special Pythons (QRO review) and 2017’s Snowdonia (QRO review).
Surfer Blood
Cherry Glazerr, 1:45 PM – 2:15 PM

Riot Grrrl punk has been experiencing an upswing in recent years (thankfully without Courtney Love), thanks to original acts like Los Angeles’ Cherry Glazer (QRO photos), who come to Riot Fest behind this year’s Stuffed & Ready (QRO review).

Cherry Glazerr

Radicals Stage

Wu-Tang Clan, 7:30 PM – 8:30 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 (QRO photos), Raekwon (QRO photos at a festival), Ghostface Killah (QRO live review), 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 in 2014 all together put out A Better Tomorrow.

The following year saw the Wu release the most expensive musical work ever, the secretly recorded Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, of which only one copy was made (stored in a vault in Morocco). The winning bidder was unfortunately ‘pharma bro’ and convicted criminal/guy you most want to punch in the face, Martin Shkreli, who just had to hand it over to the Justice Department as part of his financial penalty. But even if Attorney General/Confederate elf Jeff Sessions took it, no one can control the Wu in their return to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ‘14).
Wu-Tang Clan
PVRIS, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

Massachusetts’ synth-pop PVRIS (QRO photos at a festival) come to Riot Fest behind 2017’s strong All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell.
Grandson, 4:45 PM – 5:30 PM

Canadian singer/songwriter Jordan Edward Benjamin comes to Riot Fest as Grandson.
The Selecter, 3:25 PM – 4:15 PM

Along with friends The Specials, The Selecter (QRO photos at a British festival) helped found Britain’s two-tone ska sound in the eighties (though they broke up in 1981). The latest reunion has been confused by differing claims to ‘The Selecter’ name (QRO photos at a festival), which original rude girl Pauline Black won the rights to in 2011. In their return to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ‘13), they play seminal 1980 debut Too Much Pressure in full.


Prof, 2:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Lando Chill, 1:30 PM – 2:00 PM

The Selecter

Rebel Stage

Andrew W.K., 7:30 PM – 8:30 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), founding the ‘Party Party’, 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 to Riot Fest for his eighth year in a row (QRO photos at Riot ’16QRO photos at Riot ‘15QRO photos at Riot ’14QRO photos at Riot Fest ’13) on his latest tour (QRO live review), behind his first new album in almost a decade, last year’s You’re Not Alone.
Andrew W.K.
Senses Fail, 6:15 PM – 7:00 PM

New Jersey post-hardcore band Senses Fail has been active on the road (QRO photos at a festival) and in the studio. They return to Riot Fest to play two day (see above), on Saturday From the Depths of Dreams in full.
Senses Fail

Microwave, 5:05 PM – 5:45 PM

The Damned Things, 3:55 PM – 4:35 PM

Elder Brother, 3:00 PM – 3:35 PM

Drakulas, 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Cleopatrick, 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Monarchy Over Monday, 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
The Damned Things




Riot Stage

Bikini Kill, 8:30 PM – 9:45 PM

The nineties had many, many great alternative acts, but a standout among standouts was Bikini Kill. Inventing the Riot Grrrl movement with abrasive punk rock and radical feminist lyrics that were clearly ahead of their time. Members went on to other things after their 1997 break-up, such as singer Kathleen Hanna’s The Julie Ruin (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’16), but this year reunited – and are a perfect fit to headline the final night of Riot Fest.
Bikini Kill
Patti Smith & Her Band, 6:20 PM – 7:20 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 when she returns to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’14).
Patti Smith
Against Me!, 3:55 PM – 5:10 PM

Northern Florida’s given the world a lot of punk, some of it good, some of it not so much, but on the positive side is Against Me! (QRO photos). Fronted by Tom Gabel (QRO interview), Against Me! (QRO photos) successfully made the jump to major label without losing their edge on 2010’s White Crosses (QRO review). They did make major news in 2012 when Gabel announced that he was transgender, and undergoing the process of transition to becoming a woman, Laura Jane Grace. Yet the group (QRO spotlight on – which also left the majors and started their own label for that year’s Transgender Dysphoria Blues QRO review) has continued to rock (QRO photos), most recently with 2016’s Shape Shift With Me (QRO review), and come back to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’15QRO photos at Riot Fest ‘13) to play both Transgender Dysphoria Blues and Reinventing Axl Rose in full.
Against Me!

The BeachesQRO photos outdoors

Skating Polly – ­ QRO photos at Riot Fest ‘15

Skating Polly

Roots Stage

The Raconteurs, 7:25 PM – 8:25 PM

Rock star Jack White (QRO live review) came up in The White Stripes (QRO live review), and has had his team-up with Alison Mosshart as The Dead Weather (QRO album review), but perhaps most special has been The Raconteurs (QRO live review). Indeed, while last year’s solo record Boarding House Reach (QRO review) was everything that the haters thought it was, this year’s Raconteurs record, Help Us Stranger (QRO review), has been the comeback all the fans could dream of.
The Raconteurs
Bob Mould, 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM

Few even at Riot Fest (QRO photos at a festival) have been doing it as long as Bob Mould (QRO live review). From the seminal Hüsker Dü (QRO spotlight on) in the eighties through the nineties’ successful Sugar (QRO deluxe edition review) to his solo work and today’s Bob Mould Band (QRO live review), Mould has been crafting great record after great record, most recently with 2008’s District Line (QRO review), the following year’s Life and Times (QRO review), 2012’s Silver Age (QRO review), 2014’s Beauty & Ruin (QRO review), 2016’s Patch the Sky (QRO review), and this year’s Sunshine Rock (QRO review). In 2012 he toured playing Sugar’s amazing Copper Blue (QRO live review) for its twentieth anniversary, but comes back to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ‘16QRO photos at Riot Fest ’13) with his whole impressive discography in tow (QRO live review).
Bob Mould
Ride, 3:10 PM – 3:50 PM

When Liam Gallagher’s post-Oasis Beady Eye broke up in 2014, people weren’t wondering if he’d get back together with brother Noel, but instead if guitarist Andy Bell would reunite with his first band, Ride (QRO live review). Their early nineties output was as essential to shoegaze as anything My Bloody Valentine did, and MBV reunited…

And so has Ride (QRO photos), including touring (QRO photos at a festival), with 2017’s Weather Diaries (QRO review) and this year’s This Is Not a Safe Place (QRO review).
White Reaper, 1:40 PM – 2:20 PM

Giving Riot Fest a kick in the ass is White Reaper (QRO photos at a festival), coming off of 2017’s oh-so-humble The World’s Best American Band (QRO review).


Dead Swords, 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM

White Reaper

Rise Stage

Taking Back Sunday, 8:15 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 their sixth time in seven years (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’18), doing Tell All Your Friends in full, as well as Louder Now.
Taking Back Sunday
The Starting Line, 6:45 PM – 7:45 PM

Philly pop-punks The Starting Line come to Chicago’s Riot Fest.
The Starting Line
American Football, 5:30 PM – 6:15 PM

One of the founding bands of emo, American Football (QRO photos at a festival) reunited in 2014 and has kept that going with this year’s third American Football record (QRO review).
American Football
Streetlight Manifesto, 4:15 PM – 5:00 PM

New Brunswick’s Streetlight Manifesto bring their third wave ska-punk back to Riot Fest for a third time.
Streetlight Manifesto
Less Than Jake, 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM

Gainesville natives, Less Than Jake (QRO spotlight on) emerged out of the ska and punk revivals of the early-to-mid-nineties, combining both and managing to stick around through seven-and-counting albums. Fronted by singer/guitarist Chris Demakes & singer/bassist Roger Manganelli (QRO interview) – though their words are written by drummer Vinnie Fiorello – the band has gone through many line-up changes, but still keeps to ska roots with a trombonist, Buddy Schaub, and saxophonist, Peter ‘JR’ Wasilewski. They return to Riot Fest for a third time.
Less Than Jake

Frank Iero & The Future Violents, 1:45 PM – 2:30 PM

Save Ferris, 12:45 PM – 1:30 PM

Ultra Q, 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM

Save Ferris

Radicals Stage

Ween, 6:45 PM – 8:45 PM

Aaron Freeman and Mickey Melchiondo form Ween (QRO live review), which had been one of the more enduring and out there acts out there, with a wide-ranging fan base more typical of jam bands (QRO photos at a jam band festival). They had a jam band-like longevity – twenty-eight years until Freeman had to call it quits in 2012. But you can’t push th’ little Ween without making them come up (QRO photos at a festival), as they’ve reunited last year for a handful of shows (QRO photos at a festival), following it up in 2017 with a full-fledged tour (QRO live review) and release of GodWeenSatan Live (QRO review). For their return to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ‘16), they play The Mollusk in full.
The B-52s, 5:15 PM – 6:15 PM

Amidst a lot of blasts from the past, here’s one you wanted back (whether you admit it or not), The B-52s (QRO photos outdoors). The most fun of the eighties post-punk acts, actually perhaps the most fun act of the eighties, period, nothing was more infectious than songs like “Private Idaho”, “Love Shack” and “Roam”. The 1990 departure of Cindy Wilson was the peak of the band’s fame, but she returned in 2000 as the band started touring the hits. But not one to stay that way, in 2008 The B-52s (QRO photos at a festival) put out an honest-to-god new record, Funplex (QRO review). With Kate Pierson, Keith Strickland, and of course the signature vocals of Fred Schneider (QRO interview), “Tin roof – rusted!”
The B-52s
Guided By Voices, 3:50 PM – 4:45 PM

Among the influential alternative music acts of the nineties was Dayton, Ohio’s Guided By Voices (QRO photos at a festival). Centered on the ultra-prolific Robert Pollard (QRO album review), GBV drew on nearly every rock sound, as well as being one of the pioneers of today’s lo-fi and neo-garage sounds. In 2010 Pollard revived the retired GBV moniker and reunited with the original, 1993-1996 ‘classic’ line-up for label Matador Records’ 21st anniversary bash in Las Vegas – and kept it going, not just on the road (QRO photos at a festival), but of course with many, many releases – 2012 saw Let’s Go Eat the Factory (QRO review), Class Clown Spots a UFO (QRO review), and The Bears for Lunch (QRO review); the next year ‘only’ English Little League (QRO review), and Motivational Jumpsuit and Cool Planet in 2014, with which he once again broke up the band – only to revive it once again, with a largely new line-up, and yet more records, as they return to Riot Fest.
Guided By Voices
Village People, 2:35 PM – 3:20 PM

The macho men of the Village People are coming to Riot Fest! One of the most successful & well-loved bands of the disco era, the Village People brought out gay culture to America in the years after Stonewall. Your parents and even your grandparents danced to “Y.M.C.A.” and went “In the Navy”, even when they wouldn’t accept your sexual identity. And the Village People created the greatest on-stage costumes ever. If you’re going to Riot Fest, you had to see the Village People.
Village People
Nick Lowe with Los Straitjackets, 12:25 PM – 2:05 PM

One of the great songwriters of seventies power-pop & new wave, Nick Lowe (QRO photos) has been penning beautiful music for decades, such as “Cruel To Be Kind” and Elvis Costello-performed “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding”. Recently, he has recruited seminal instrumental rock band (and Mexican wrestler mask wearing) Los Straitjackets.


Ganser, 12:25 PM – 12:55 PM

Nick Lowe

Rebel Stage

The Ergs!, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Teenage Bottlerocket, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM QRO photos

Dave Hause & The Mermaid, 4:50 PM – 5:30 PM

Sincere Engineer, 3:40 PM – 4:20 PM

This Wild Life, 2:30 PM – 3:10 PM

Kali Masi, 1:30 PM – 2:00 PM

Ramona, 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM
Teenage Bottlerocket