Going Live: Riot Fest Chicago (Day One)

Maybe it was the Big Fork bacon sausages or maybe it was the flux of girls and their Rancid tees, but RIOT FEST CHICAGO felt like an entirely different punk festival. It wasn’t quite Vans Warped Tour or a DIY venture because Humboldt Park’s grand display of carnival games, luchadores, and sprawling oddball additions (like the Ferris wheel) accentuated its alternative focus that so easily spills from this year’s lineup poster. And to be clear, Riot Fest got eclectic on Friday. While DESSA, ATMOSPHERE and SAUL WILLIAMS rode various currents of hip hop, the rest of the day’s schedule was unmistakably rock n’ roll with THE FLATLINERS, BAD RELIGION, HATEBREED, and JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS being veterans that can still mangle with new cuts and familiar throwbacks.

It also didn’t stop there, as drenched tees and an excess of blood noted SCREECHING WEASEL and GWAR gave it their all, and it was pretty hard to avoid FALL OUT BOY’s closing hometown set. Post-hiatus talk, the four-piece crammed in a setlist that flipped over Take This To Your Grave and Infinity On High, covered Naked Raygun, and even brought out the Hawks’ Stanley Cup. And to think – this was just the start of a long and promising “punk” weekend.


THE FLATLINERS at ROCK STAGE



DESSA at ROOTS STAGE



HATEBREED at ROCK STAGE



ANDREW W.K. at RISE STAGE



BAD RELIGION at ROOTS STAGE



ATMOSPHERE at RIOT STAGE



JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS at ROCK STAGE



FALL OUT BOY at RIOT STAGE


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