Riot Fest Toronto 2013 Preview

Head to Fort York on Saturday & Sunday, August 24th & 25th, to catch the killer mix of acts young and old at Riot Fest Toronto....
Riot Fest Toronto 2013 Preview

Riot Fest Toronto 2013 Preview

Chicago’s plethora of venues and underground music birthed the Riot Fest there in 2005, with punk acts from DIY to major label playing all across the city.  In 2011 it spread to Philadelphia as the one-day Riot Fest East (QRO photos), but it was last year that saw Riot Fest graduate to the big-time with one big, central location in Humboldt Park, along with one-day satellite events in Brooklyn, Dallas, and Toronto.  And in 2013 the festival is going even bigger, with not just a massive three-day fest in Chicago in September, but two-day events in Denver afterward & Toronto beforehand – not to mention all three being headlined by the reunion of The Replacements!

So head to Toronto’s Fort York on Saturday & Sunday, August 24th & 25th, to catch the killer mix of acts young and old:



A Day To Remember, 9:35 PM – 10:50 PM

While the second day of Riot Fest Toronto is focused on veterans, Saturday features some of the most current names in emo-punk, such as Florida’s A Day To Remember (QRO photos), who manage to mix metalcore and pop-punk.  They come to Riot Fest Toronto still at odds with their last label, Victory, in an unresolved lawsuit – so who knows when their next record, the already-recorded Common Courtesy, will come out, but expect songs from it to be played live (QRO photos).
A Day To Remember
Pierce the Veil, 8:05 PM – 9:05 PM

From the San Diego punk rock scene came Before Today; from Before Today came the post-hardcore outfit Pierce the Veil (QRO photos), centered around brothers Vic and Mike Fuentes (QRO photos), who play Riot Fest Toronto behind last year’s major label debut, Collide With the Sky.
Pierce the Veil
Every Time I Die, 6:50 PM – 7:35 PM

Just across the Niagara Falls lies Buffalo, home to Every Time I Die, who mix metal with southern rock, hardcore punk, and even math-rock.
Every Time I Die
Mayday Parade, 5:50 PM – 6:35 PM

Tallahassee’s Mayday Parade (QRO photos) go more for the straight rock ‘n’ roll, but still with some of the emo-skate northern Florida is known for.  They’ll be releasing their fourth record, Monsters In the Closet, in October, so look for an early sneak peek at Riot Fest Toronto.
Mayday Parade

Grade, 4:55 PM – 5:35 PM

The Ghost Inside, 4:00 PM – 4:40 PM

Structures, 3:15 PM – 3:45 PM

Real Friends, 2:30 PM – 3:00 PM
The Ghost Inside




The Replacements, 8:45 PM – 10:00 PM

When the Pixies (QRO live review) reunited at Coachella in 2004, we couldn’t have known how far and how great the trend of alt-rock reunions would become in this century/millennium.  There’s been Dinosaur Jr. (see below), Pavement (QRO live review), and now The Replacements!  The band basically originated/defined ‘college rock’ in the eighties with classic albums on local indie imprint Twin/Tone (QRO deluxe edition reviews), before graduating to major label status for the second half of their impressive discography (QRO deluxe edition reviews).

They called it quits in 1991, well after members like guitarist Bob Stinson and drummer Chris Mars had left, with only singer/guitarist Paul Westerberg and bassist Tommy Stinson remaining from the original line-up.  Westerberg went on to a successful solo career, while Tommy Stinson (QRO solo photos) has managed to be the ultimate rock ‘n’ roll utility player, working in such outfits as Soul Asylum and even Guns n’ Roses (QRO photos at a festival), plus doing his own solo material (QRO solo album review).  Bob Stinson unfortunately passed away in 1995, and more recently his ‘replacement’ Slim Dunlap was hospitalized from a severe stroke – which led to tons of musicians who were influenced by The Replacements to do a series of special, limited edition seven-inches in Dunlap’s benefit.

And most recently, Tommy teamed up with Westerberg and Mars for the Songs For Slim EP (QRO review) – and now a full-fledged reunion (though Mars seems to prefer the life off the road – or just still can’t work with Westerberg…)!  It was over twenty years ago that The Replacements were one-by-one replaced by their roadies at the band’s final concert in Chicago’s Grant Park (famed as the ‘It’s Not Over ‘Til the Last Roadie Plays’ concert), and now they return to the stage – not just to headline Riot Fest Chicago in September in that same very park, but also Riot Fest Denver and Toronto.  And Riot Fest Toronto is the first of the festivals, making it the start of the reunion we’ve all been waiting for.  Even if you’re too young to have caught ‘The Mats’ in their heyday, catch ‘em now, ‘cause you don’t want to be like Art Brut (QRO interview), “How have I only just discovered The Replacements?!?”

(now if we can only get a reunion from ‘other’ great band from Minneapolis, Hüsker Dü – QRO spotlight on…)
The Replacements
Iggy & The Stooges, 7:15 PM – 8:15 PM

If there is such a thing as ‘post-punk’, then there’s also ‘proto-punk’, and no act more paved the way for the raw rock explosion than Iggy & The Stooges (QRO photos at a festival).  Fronted by the iconic Iggy Pop, they’d burned the candle at both ends before there was any “Anarchy In the U.K.”, but reunited in 2003 (QRO photos at a festival) – and the only non-original Stooge in the twenty-first century line-up is the iconic-in-his-own-right Mike Watt (QRO photos – Minutemen, fIREHOSE).  They even survived 2009’s death of legendary guitarist Ron Asheton, by bringing back other original guitarist, James Williamson, and have kept on going (QRO photos), including releasing the brand-new Ready To Die earlier this year, and hitting the festival circuit (QRO photos at a festival) around the world (QRO photos at a festival on the other side of the globe).
Iggy & The Stooges
The Weakerthans, 6:10 PM – 6:55 PM

From the plains to Canada’s west comes Winnipeg’s The Weakerthans (QRO photos), who mix folk-rock, post-punk, indie, and more (QRO live review).
The Weakerthans
Rocket From the Crypt, 5:10 PM – 5:50 PM

The Replacements (see above) may be getting the lion’s share of the reunion attention at Riot Fest Toronto, but how about another Reunion-with-a-capital-R, Rocket From the Crypt?  The punk outfit broke out of San Diego just as punk was breaking worldwide in the early nineties – MTV VJ Kennedy had a tattoo of their logo on her ankle, and what’s more early nineties than ‘MTV VJ Kennedy’?…  The group underwent some line-up and label changes before breaking up in 2005, but was reunited six years later on Yo Gabba Gabba! (singer/guitarist John Reis, more recently of his own Night Marchers – QRO photos – plays ‘The Music Swami’ on the show, who introduces each episode’s musical act).  It took another couple of years for the group to get a full reunion tour, but 2013 has seen it with first a European & Asian tour, and now they come to Riot Fest Toronto for their first North American show in eight years.
Rocket From the Crypt
Dinosaur Jr., 4:25 PM – 4:55 PM

Back & better than ever is Dinosaur Jr. (QRO photos at a festival)!  In the late eighties and early nineties, one of the biggest & best bands in the punk-grunge revolution was Dinosaur Jr. (QRO live review), combining a hippie-punk ethos (and artwork) with feedback-driven guitar from the legendary J Mascis (QRO solo album review). The trio (QRO live review) was also characterized by Mascis’ controlling tendencies, leading to the departure first of bassist Lou Barlow (QRO solo album review) for his Sebadoh (QRO live review) and eventually even beloved drummer Murph (QRO photos at a festival without Murph), with Mascis retiring the ‘Dinosaur Jr.’ moniker in 1997.

But then the band reunited (QRO live review outdoors) – with original line-up! – to tour their re-release of old, Barlow-era records (QRO photos at a festival in St. LOUis). And they kept going (QRO photos at a festival), putting out three new records that are some of their best yet, Beyond (QRO review) and Farm (QRO review), with I Bet On Sky coming out last fall (QRO review). So revel in the glory (QRO photos at a festival) that is Dinosaur Jr. (QRO photos) – but bring your earplugs, because J’s ‘circle of amps’ is a force to be reckoned with (QRO photos at a festival).
Dinosaur Jr.
Best Coast, 3:40 PM – 4:10 PM

Los Angeles’ Best Coast (QRO live review) is a practical veteran at the still-new garage-scene (QRO photos at a festival), but a goodie (QRO photos at a festival), combining surf, garage, indie, and pop for a sound (QRO photos) that’s sure to be sweet coming from frontwoman Bethany Cosentino (QRO live review) outdoors (QRO photos outdoors).  They come to Riot Fest Toronto behind last year’s simplistic The Only Place (QRO review).
Best Coast
The Flatliners, 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

The Flatliners hail from Richmond Hill right in Ontario.  Leaning to the humorous ska-punk of labelmates Less Than Jake (QRO interview) and NOFX (QRO album review), they come to Riot Fest with this year’s Dead Language.


Single Mothers, 2:20 PM – 2:50 PM
The Flatliners


For festival website, go here:


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