Home Music festivals a rock love (apart from Machine Gun Kelly v. Slipknot)

a rock love (apart from Machine Gun Kelly v. Slipknot)



The fact that Riot Fest took place this year after several groups gave up at the last minute is an affirmation of the true community spirit of the punk and indie rock music scene, as several other groups fill in the gaps by agreeing to play for a few days. only before the the four-day Chicago festival started. “Each year is a challenge, but this one required a little more love and affection,” said spokesperson Heather West, in what may be the understatement of the year.

After losing Sunday’s headliner Nine Inch Nails and beloved bands Pixies and Dinosaur Jr. – who canceled tours due to the spike in COVID-19 cases – most other festivals could have considered unplug. Mr Bungle and Faith No More – the two groups led by Mike Patton – have also canceled so Patton can sort out some mental health issues.

Fortunately – and perhaps because of the strong relationships the festival has built over the years with other artists – the empty slots were quickly filled.

Morrissey, after a five-show stint in Las Vegas, agreed to perform (with the request that no meat be sold on Thursday); Noose fill in for Nine Inch Nails; and the gods of speed metal Anthrax once again to honor the festival, demonstrating a professionalism that has thrilled the group for 40 years. Kristeen Young was also added at the last minute, who was in New York and planning to work on making videos for an upcoming album “The Beauty Shop”.

punk godmother Patti smith – whose show in Evanston last month was canceled after seven songs due to a storm – is playing a full set on a bright sunny Saturday; Stand up against step up for Faith No More; and Riot Fest favorites Alkaline trio, As Joyce Manor, are also last minute refills.

Because of these bands, Riot Fest, which hasn’t been held for over 700 days, once again shows why it is among the best pound-for-pound music festivals in a land oversaturated with music festivals – not just in course, but rocking.

Thursday is billed as a ‘first part’ with only six acts, but it is an ideal setting as one group performs after another, eliminating conflict over the act to be seen when two favorites are playing at the same time – as happens. inevitably for the rest of the weekend. Music-hungry fans, many of whom haven’t seen live music in a long time (fans had to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or test negative within 72 hours to enter) don’t seem disappointed.

Kristeen Young, who says he has not performed in front of an audience for more than two years, offers an art-rock set that is both enthusiastic and inspiring. Young, who is set to release their 11th studio album, has always been an acquired taste, and is generally best in a dark indoor club, but succeeds here in a nice ensemble under the blazing afternoon sun. She also implores the crowd to “check out Ganser,” a Chicago-based post-punk noise group that performs at the festival on Saturday.

Patti Smith begins her show by wishing the adoring crowd a “Happy Mexican Independence Day”, saying it’s “another strike against colonialism” before launching her set with “People Have The Power” – the hymn she often holds until the end of her shows. She also dedicates her song ‘Redondo Beach’ to Morrissey, that night’s headliner, and says she considers it his song because it covers it so well.

Smith’s ensemble also includes a powerful cover of Bob Dylan’s “One Too Many Mornings”, while she dedicates her collaboration with Bruce Springsteen (and most famous song) “Because the Night” to her late husband Fred ” Sonic “Smith, ending with a raucous version of Them’s song ‘Gloria’, which she made her own decades ago on her album ‘Horses’.

Alkaline Trio, an odd choice to sandwich between Smith and Morrissey, also performs on Thursday and displays effective pop-punk energy that gets the crowd going the most. As for Moz: he plays an inspired set and stays away from controversy – a rarity for the former Smiths singer.

The rest of the weekend, with perfect weather, more than met expectations with only a few hiccups. Friday, the first full day of the festival, Living color challenge critics who ranked them as a one-hit wonder with a great guitarist – delivering a short set worthy of their 40th birthday, saving their aforementioned hits, “Cult of Personality” from 1988, to the end.

Run The Jewels at Riot Fest 2021. Credit: Getty

Sublime with Rome rock a nice set and pay homage to their late frontman Bradley Nowell with a video edit while they play ‘What I Got’. Fish bone, playing just before Living Color, played his 1991 album ‘The Reality of My Surroundings’ in its entirety – and did very well.

The big Friday draw is of course Crush pumpkins, who shattered a two-hour headliner by tapping into their first two albums ‘Gish’ and ‘Siamese Dream’. A failure on Friday is the American singer-songwriter Meg Myers, who has to start a few songs over and finally interrupts her set.

Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins at Riot Fest 2021. Credit: Getty

Saturday longtime Chicago punk rock outfit The Bollweevils playing on the smaller Rebel Stage, but – based on the enthusiasm of the crowd – should have been in front of a larger audience. The group – led by ER doctor Daryl Wilson, who thanks the crowd for doing their part to stop the pandemic – play a set that sees a lot singing, with a hardcore sect that lifts dirt while moshing in front; the true measure of satisfaction.

Other Saturday notables include Stand up against, whose lead singer Tim McIlrath dedicates the group’s set to Mike Patton; Riot Fest favorites Gogol Bordello, which delivers an energetic mix of Eastern European punk rock, folk and traditional; and headliners Running the jewels, who has only played three shows in the past three years but crushes a politicized set that is not only topical, but also rock.

On the last day, Slipknot headlines, replacing Nine Inch Nails, and performs in front of a crowd apparently made up of half of their loyal fans, many of whom wear replica masks for the group, while the other half knows the Iowans for the first time – a number confirmed when frontman Corey Taylor asks those who see the band for the first time to raise their hands. Their ensemble is tight and they’ve probably won the allegiance of some of the newbies.

Pop-punk rap devil also performs on Sunday Kelly machine gun, who breaks the vibe in the community when he appears to criticize Slipknot’s Corey Taylor for “being 50 wearing a freaky fucking mask.” A tired sound Flaming lips almost lull the crowd to sleep; Devo, a flagship outfit, seems to attract more curious than fans; 90s rap metallurgists Number of bodies tear up the shit and show that they were always ahead of their time; and Seminal Anthrax prove that when you need a last-minute replacement, your best bet is to call in the help of seasoned professionals.

Kudos to the Riot Fest organizers who pulled off a solid festival in a strange time. Next year should be interesting and hopefully more set in stone; they’ve already booked the originals Misfits and My Chemical Romance. It remains to be seen if this line-up will stay in place.



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