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

Concert Review + Photos: Riot Fest Chicago (Day 1) – Fall Out Boy, Atmosphere, Bad Religion + More

By: Jessica Manzilla (@swoonnspoon) –

Yellowcard. (Photo: Katie Kuropas/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

Yellowcard. (Photo: Katie Kuropas/Aesthetic Magazine Toronto)

Day one of Riot Fest had a certain energy in the air, other than the random brisk change in the weather. As soon as you walked in you were surrounded by the heavy smell of food and the shine of carnival rides.

Toronto-based punk rock quartet The Flatliners began the day with their fast paced scream nostalgic punk, which was very reminiscent of a time when punk was the forefront of music.

Few dedicated fans gathered and thoroughly enjoyed kicking off the fest with a high jolt of energy.  Anyone in the area did take the time to stop and just enjoy the music. Loud jeers from the crowd were more prevalent as they talked of their new record, which comes out on Tuesday, but that soon made a transition from Mohawks and studded jackets to a chiller environment for Saul Williams

Saul Williams performed with no music during this set, instead he performed a spoken word poetry set that ignited the crowd with Williams’ politically words that brought a homely preach style to his performance. Cheers grew louder as he spoke of religion, hope, life, and death.  Seeing Saul Williams perform is just a reminder of the creative souls that performfor the love of changing people’s lives.

As dusk began to set we switched gears to take on Hatebreed. The change in crowd went right along with their progressive heavy metal sound, which contained surprisingly rhythmic tunes for a headbangers dream. The fast pace brought out all the people who were ready to rock and keep up the vigor of Riot Fest.

Fresh from a string of several dates as the opener on Black Sabbath’s ongoing North American tour, Andrew W.K. came out to an underwhelming crowd. Most of the excitement was just in anticipation of seeing him live after there’s been some controversy over his authenticity, but he proved that he is an authentic party master as he wailed around on stage as he ignited a party atmosphere. Beyond party-ready tracks like “We Want Fun” and “Party Hard”, every college frat boy in the city loves “Ready To Die”, which served as one of several songs that they wanted to hear. If you want to experience Andrew WK the proper way, see him in some small club and get ready to party.

One of the more shockingly amped performances definitely came from Yellowcard. The Los Angeles-based quintet saw the crowd triple in size once they took the stage, and once there they played quite a few songs from their most best known album Ocean Avenue, including “Way Away” and the title track. Yellowcard’s set also sparked the first of the daylong series of crowdsurfing and extensive crowd participation, especially since they were the first band to have a light show on this day, which peaked during the song “Light up sky”, which they brought to another level. Backflips and circle pits were what could be expected during their set and they did not disappoint.

Punk rock icons Bad Religion took the stage and proved that their stage performance wouldn’t be hindered by age. They blasted through their fast pace anthems, including “American Jesus” and “True North”, to the largest crowd thus far. As each song progressed so did the size of the crowd. This brought them to the realization that the last time they played Chicago was for the release of their most recent album True North, which was released in January. If you want to hear what real punk rock sounds like, check out Bad Religion the next time they’re in town.

After Bad Religion, Minneapolis-based hip-hop duo Atmosphere performed and their lyrics bolstered their set, which provided insightful social commentary. The most crowd participation resulted in crowd mimicking a cult like hammer motion during a rant on age. The song “Sunshine” was most memorable because the lighting cascaded a bright yellow glow over the darkened grounds.

Coming towards the close of the show Sublime with Rome took hold of the crowd as they ignited a massive singalong of Bon Jovi’s “Living  on a prayer”. Their long jam sessions kept the crowd at ease. As they performed “Summertime” it welcomed in the transition of sweater weather in Chicago.

Headliners Fall Out Boy came out to the stage in black masks to add an air of mystery. They performed with video montages to some of the songs to match the lyrics.  There was a slight confidence in Fall Out Boy’s performance as they mentioned many times how happy they were to be back in their hometown Chicago and how they got their start in The Windy City. Fall Out Boy took it upon themselves to do an homage to Chicago punk, and covered Naked Raygun. Closing the show as usual with “Saturday”, bassist Pete Wentz jumped in the crowd to sing face to face with the people thatmade them famous.

All together Riot Fest was an eclectic group of alternative fans that accumulated the appreciation of music.  The setting gave the whole festival a strong community vibe, and day two is sure to be just as action packed with Taking Back Sunday and Blink 182 taking the stage in the evening.

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Fall Out Boy
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Joan Jett
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Set-List

  1. TMI
  2. Cherry Bomb
    (The Runaways cover)
  3. Do You Wanna Touch Me
    (Gary Glitter cover)
  4. Soulmates to Strangers (with Laura Jane Grace)
  5. Make It Back
  6. Fragile
  7. I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll (The Arrows cover)
  8. Crimson & Clover (Tommy James & the Shondells cover)
  9. I Hate Myself for Loving You

 

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Atmosphere
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Bad Religion
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Set-List

1. True North
2. Fuck You
3. Dharma and the Bomb
4. Dept. of False Hope
5. New Dark Ages
6. American Jesus
7. You
8. I Want to Conquer the World
9. Overture
10. Sinister Rouge
11. 21st Century (Digital Boy)
12. Submission Complete
13. Generator
14. No Direction
15. Sorrow
16. Infected

 

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Yellowcard
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Andrew W.K.
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Set-List

1. It’s Time to Party
2. Take It Off
3. Long Live the Party
4. Ready to Die
5. She Is Beautiful
6. You Will Remember Tonight
7. Party Hard
8. I Get Wet
9. Head Bang
10. We Want Fun

 

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Hatebreed
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Saul Williams
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The Flatliners
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Discussion

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