Make no mistake, RIOT FEST CHICAGO has a pretty massive list of positives but it’s biggest drawback is actually checking out every band you want to see. And if you’re media, that can be a nightmare. Saturday’s lineup was chock full of bands that could create ethereal moments – i.e. GLASSJAW, BLONDIE, KITTEN and THE SIDEKICKS – and with the high energy from doors to closing, photographers were on the go in hordes. Standing in the media pit for FLAG made you wonder why Keith Morris didn’t take more shots at the “creative minds” in front and overhearing sets from RADKEY and PENNYWISE made you wish you didn’t have to awkwardly bump into others to relocate.
Nonetheless, a fan’s POV noted the second day of Riot Fest belonged to the vocalists as Tim Armstrong, J. Mascis, Adam Lazzara, Daryl Palumbo, Debbie Harry, Chloe Chaidez, Casey Crescenzo, and Mike Hranica left their onlookers feeling euphoric. It’s almost intimidating to jump from so many variations of alternative – from Dad-rock to new wave pop to present-day metalcore – but BLINK-182 capped it off with ease. Their set started with “Feeling This”, took a few turns through Neighbourhoods and Enema Of The State, and introduced “Joise” as that proverbial cherry on top. It took the wind out of everyone, but to be real: festivals are a rollercoaster you wish you could ride forever.
MEMPHIS MAY FIRE at ROCK STAGE
THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA at ROCK STAGE
DINOSAUR JR. at ROOTS STAGE
GLASSJAW at ROCK STAGE
FLAG at RIOT STAGE
THE LAWRENCE ARMS at RISE STAGE
RANCID at RIOT STAGE
TAKING BACK SUNDAY at RISE STAGE
BLINK-182 at RIOT STAGE