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Concert Photography, Concert Reviews, Music, Riot Fest Toronto 2013

Concert Review + Photos: Riot Fest Toronto (Day 2) – The Replacements, Iggy and The Stooges + More

By: Laura Molinaro (@Laura_Molinaro5) –

Held in the packed dirt of the once lush field space at Fork York in Toronto, day 2 of Riot Fest Toronto ensured that the summer music festival season went out with a bang. As fans moshed to the likes of up-and-coming Toronto-based punk quartet Single Mothers, grunge legends Dinosaur Jr. and punk founders Iggy and the Stooges, clouds of debris enveloped them. Most notable however, was that this day marked the first time in 22 years that the celebrated punk band The Replacements played together live. The day fell nothing short of memorable and will likely go down as one of Toronto’s greatest punk festival moments of all time.

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The Replacements
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  1. Takin’ a Ride
  2. I’m in Trouble
  3. Favorite Thing
  4. Hangin’ Downtown
  5. Color Me Impressed
  6. Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out / Third Stone From the Sun (The Jimi Hendrix Experience cover)
  7. Kiss Me on the Bus
  8. Androgynous
  9. Achin’ to Be
  10. I Will Dare
  11. Love You Till Friday
  12. Maybellene (Chuck Berry cover)
  13. Merry Go Round
  14. Wake Up
  15. Borstal Breakout (Sham 69 cover)
  16. Little Mascara
  17. Left of the Dial
  18. Alex Chilton
  19. Swingin Party
  20. Can’t Hardly Wait
  21. Bastards of Young
    Encore:
  22. Everything’s Coming Up Roses
  23. I.O.U.

Not only is a lot riding on you when you have to follow Iggy and the Stooges, but even more so when it is your first live performance in more than 20 years. Luckily for the Minnesota natives, their reputation exceeded them in a good way. Before they took the stage, many voices around the crowd revealed the many hours they drove to see the reunion show. Other voices one-upping the sum followed, so you can only imagine the elation when they kicked off their set with “Taking a Ride”. After a few more in a similar vein, frontman Paul Westerberg joked “If you like that we got 100 songs exactly like it!”

After busting out crowd pleaser “Colour me Impressed”, The Replacements fed hungry fans further by taking a song request of a medley of “Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out” and a cover of The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s “Third Stone From the Sun”. Everyone in the crowd was seemingly familiar with all of their back-catalogue because everyone shouted out a different track name. However, Westerberg landed on “Androgynous” and ran with it as the crowd echoed every line. The set officially ended with the staple track “Bastards of Young” which went over so well that fans called them back for a brief encore consisting of “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” and “I.O.U” (as that was all that could be crammed into the Sunday night noise control curfew).

 

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Iggy And The Stooges
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1. Raw Power
2. Gimme Danger
3. Gun
4. 1970
5. Search and Destroy
6. Fun House
7. Beyond the Law (Iggy Pop and James Williamson cover)
8. Johanna (Iggy Pop and James Williamson cover)
9. Ready to Die
10. I Wanna Be Your Dog
11. No Fun
12. The Passenger (Iggy Pop song)
13. I Got a Right
14. Cock in My Pocket
15. Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell
16. Sex & Money

The insane ruckus from the crowd as Stooges guitarist James Williamson rang out the opening riff of “Raw Power”, felt like a part of the song. On call, Iggy Pop assaulted the stage, flailing about like a cobra about to shed its skin. There was an infectious, reckless abandon to his every movement and every word out of his mouth was a nihilistic call to action.  After spitting all over the crowd during “Gun”, Iggy invited the spit-drenched first row on stage with him for “Fun House”, before blasting into “1970”. During Steve Mackay’s saxophone solo, Iggy outshouted the blaring and left the stage momentarily. You can’t really blame him though, at 66 he’s still going harder than everyone His age. He returned amidst some feverish jamming and then descended into the photography pit as his mic technician reeled out the cord like he was fishing. When he ascended the stage again to perform“Ready to Die” it wasn’t long until he launched himself back into the audience like a flying squirrel. The set’s highlight (and for many the highlight of their life) was the performance of the proto-punk classics “I Wanna Be You Dog” and “The Passenger”. After faking out a stage exit, the band was quickly prompted back on by the desperate calls for an encore. They played the aforementioned classic “The Passenger”, a stand-out gem from Iggy’s solo career, but the set truly ended with “Sex and Money” from their latest album.

 

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The Weakerthans
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1. One Great City!
2. Tournament of Hearts
3. Benediction
4. Reconstruction Site
5. Aside
6. The Reasons
7. Bigfoot!
8. Watermark
9. Plea From A Cat Named Virtute
10. Left and Leaving
11. Confessions of a Futon-Revolutionist
12. (Manifest)

It was clear right away that their name was 100% suitable for the occasion. The Winnipeg band’s folk/country-style and friendly demeanour made them even softer than Best Coast. To kick off their set, lead singer John Samson took to the stage to play “One Great City”, an ode to their hometown of Winnipeg, solo accompanied only by the guitar. For the second song, the band emerged decked out in various plaid patterns. As if possible, things turned even more Canadian when they went on to dedicate a song to all the curlers in the crowd. Their music is enjoyable the way lukewarm water can sometimes be satisfying. For guest vocals on a song, Samson did a duet with CarlyAikens. To their testament, they never let energy levels dip too much and several crowd members seemed to have come just for them. They concluded their set with “Left and Leaving”.

 

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Rocket From The Crypt
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1. I Know
2. Panic Scam
3. Made for You
4. Middle
5. Born in ’69
6. On a Rope
7. Young Livers
8. Boychucker
9. Short Lip Fuser
10. Don’t Darlene
11. Come See Come Saw

As the 6-piece punk band from San Diego came out onto the stage in matching black and white mariachi outfits, they couldn’t help but looking like an amalgam of a wedding band and your dad’s embarrassing friends. However, that was exactly what was punk about them: they were taking the piss on their aging image and they didn’t care about how stupid they looked. Or perhaps it was as Travolta-esque frontman Speedo explained later in the show, “…these are the latest trends in America, everything just seems to come to Canada later.” Their music seemed almost secondary to their performance but an interesting element to their sound was the addition of a saxophonist and a trumpet player. They concluded their set with “Come See, Come Saw” off of 1995’s Scream, Dracula Scream!

 

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Dinosaur Jr.
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1. The Lung
2. Watch the Corners
3. Rude
4. Out There
5. Feel The Pain
6. The Wagon
7. Just Like Heaven (The Cure cover)
8. Freak Scene
9. Training Ground (Deep Wound cover)
10. Sludgefeast

Given the level of influence the Massachusetts­­-based trio have exerted on the world of music, it was odd that in return they were only given a 30-minute time slot. In all honesty, Dinosaur Jr. could be headlining festivals of this caliber. But what soon becameapparent, was that the reason they weren’t further up on the bill was because they didn’t care to be. The humble J Mascis had the stage presence of a sage; a silent knowingness. Bassist Lou Barlow and drummer Murph were all placed on par in level of importance. Fittingly, they performed all in a row with the wall of Marshall Amps behind them taking up more stage space than they did. Unfortunately, for most of their set the Mascis’ mic was too low in the mix and the guitar too high. Technical issues aside though, the band was on point. Their gravelly distortion and feedback made them sound colossal as they played a take on the beloved “Freak Scene” which evolved into a beastly jam session. Another fan favourite was their cover of The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven”.

After mocking the crowd for being too soft, calling our Toronto riot “very friendly”, they then ripped into some songs from their old hardcore band (prior to Dinosaur Jr.), called Deep Wound. At this point a raging mosh pit ensued. The murky haze made for the ideal way to take in a Dinosaur Jr. performance. The moshing still seemed rather polite after having first been welcomed to it. Canadians, eh?

 

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Best Coast
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The crowds slowly trickled in like waves crashing just in time for Best Coast. Their mellow, surf-pop output made for the lightest slot on the bill. The rudimentary band is the duo of vocalist Bethany Cosentino and guitarist Bobb Bruno. For their live performances however, the band is filled out with a guest drummer and bassist. Though both of their records got their time in the sun, their set was more reliant on 2011’s Crazy For You. They also played a new song called “I Wanna Know”, which is a doo-wop inspired ditty that is awfully similar to Meat Loaf’s contribution in the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Both of the set highlights came at the end of the show as “When I’m With You” and “Boyfriend” were played back to back. Somehow though, after every sunshine filled, hazy song Cosentino tapped out with the same monotonous stage banter, without even sounding a tad bit interested.

 

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The Flatliners
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The Flatliners formed in 2002 – and sound like it. Their brand of punk/ska, however representative of that era of music, still sees steady blips on heart rate monitors. People still love it, which was most apparent when passionate fans chimed in on vocal duties. The enveloping dirt rising from the mosh pit was another sign. Though fans throughout the crowd shouted at the band to play “Freds Got Slacks”, their pleas were never met. Instead, they treated fans to a few songs from their upcoming record Dead Language called “Daggers” and “Trail of Blood”, which contained the same unrelenting chaos as their earlier work.

 

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Single Mothers
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As fans would know, Single Mothers are a “fucking gang” that hail from London, Ontario. Frontman Andrew Thomson is a toothless, barefoot, uninhibited­­ savage. His appearance is almost as striking – and looked like it’s taken as many hits, as their drum kit. ­­Their sound involved feedback that bathed in sharp cymbals and a downpour of pleading that dribbled out of Thomson’s seedy grin. It is apparent almost immediately that this is a band that thrived on the violence and claustrophobia of a smaller stage and functioned best in the later hours of the day. However, that is not to say that their shoeless feet did not step up to the plate. A select few attendees who sported the bands logo were sprawled throughout the crowd even though no Single Mothers’ merch was for sale. An impressive feat when you consider the band only has an EP to its name. It was only during their final song, “Christian Girls” that the crowd caught on that this was music tomosh to – but the main point is that they did, and surely someone lost a tooth.

 

Discussion

2 thoughts on “Concert Review + Photos: Riot Fest Toronto (Day 2) – The Replacements, Iggy and The Stooges + More

  1. Iggy invited people up for Fun House not 1970

    Posted by Stacey Barbetta | September 5, 2013, 2:34 am

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