POZ Riot Fest Chicago Preview: Our Must-See Bands And Artists (Day One)

by Zack Zarrillo - Sep 9, 2013


Riot Fest Chicago kicks off this weekend, and PropertyOfZack has never been more excited for a festival. Just in case you haven’t put together your schedule, we thought it’d be a great idea to put together a list of POZ’s Must See Bands And Artists that will be gracing the stage this weekend in Chicago. Reblog and let us know who we need to see while we’re at the first day of Riot this weekend as well!


Fall Out Boy
You know how when you’re a kid (or a full blown adult, whichever) and you find a band that you really connect with, you start to fall in love with the places that they sing about, the hometown that they’re from, the physical location and context from which they hail? There’s a reason hometown and homecoming shows are so special for bands, and Fall Out Boy is by no means an exception. 

The first comeback show (which happened the same day the reunion was announced) was at the tiny Subterranean in Wicker Park; the first week of the mid-size club tour they did was concentrated in the Midwest, hitting the Riviera Theater in Chicago by day three. And even though time and careers have flung the members far and wide across the country when it comes to where they set down their luggage, Chicago is the city that will forever be the origin point for the band. Chicago is their home, Chicago is so two years ago, and Chicago will easily be losing their minds for FOB when they headline Riot Fest Friday night in the city that gave rise to them. - Adrienne Fisher


Bad Religion
After more than 30 years defining the So-Cal sound, Bad Religion have reached that point where their greatness seems to be taken for granted. True North, the band’s 16th(!) studio release, has been hailed as a “return to form,” but frankly, so has every album the band’s issued since their 2002 reconciliation with founding guitarist/songwriter (and Epitaph Records head honcho) Brett Gurewitz.

The truth is, Bad Religion know their strengths — skate punk tempos and shreddy guitars topped with vocalist Greg Graffin’s trademark rapid-fire hyper-intellectual lyrics, all sweetened with the act’s famous “oozin’ ahhs” harmonies — and they’ve done well to stick by them all these years. 

They still spit hot fire live too. Every young punk act at Riot Fest would do well to catch Bad Religion’s performance, just so they can understand how high the bar’s been set. You don’t last this long without being great, and if there’s one thing we can be pretty sure Bad Religion will never do, it’s coast. - Jesse Richman


Ocean Avenue just recently notched its birthday, so while the album is still eleven years too young to crack open a Pabst Blue Ribbon at Riot Fest, Yellowcard’s set should still mark a pretty spectacular birthday bash for their most celebrated album to date.

On tour with Thursday’s Geoff Rickly, Yellowcard has been underplaying their breakthrough record, reserving it for an understated acoustic set (a nod to their recent reimagining of Ocean Avenue) while saving the full-blown, full-band experience for “the hits.” Not so at Riot Fest: Yellowcard will dive into its set headfirst with all its instruments blazing, and that’s the kind of Yellowcard we’ve come to know and love.- Erik van Rheenen


Masked Intruder
Masked Intruder’s gimmick might be a great attention-getter, but a gimmick can only get you so far. Fortunately, the band’s self-titled debut album is a surprisingly fantastic burst of undeniably catchy Gilman Street-style ’90s pop-punk — it may have been reissued by Fat Wreck just this year, but you’d be forgiven for mistaking the LP for a long-lost Lookout! release. 

On a Riot Fest bill that mixes legacy acts and young turks together like a gnarly salad dressing, Masked Intruder are the binder, a new-school act with decidedly old-school sensibilities that should appeal to both crowds, and we can’t wait to see how they intermingle during the band’s set. Besides, watching Masked Intruder promises all the scruffy, light-hearted pop-punk fun of Screeching Weasel’s set the same day, without the serious buzzkill of having to indulge a shit-for-brains woman-puncher. Isn’t that reason enough to watch?  - Jesse Richman


Saul Williams
A poet might seem like an oddball choice for a punk rock festival, but Saul Williams is no ordinary poet. Williams came into his own as a standout in the 90’s slam poetry scene, a genre that took the tightly-crafted writing and imaginative imagery of traditional written poetry and launched it into the rap-battle arena through competitive live performances drenched in the incisive bombast of rock and roll. Since then, Williams has dabbled in hip-hop (you might not know “List Of Demands (Reparations)” by name, but you’ve definitely heard it in Nike commercials), and released a series of albums, highlighted by the open-wound rawness of 2007’s excellent Trent Reznor-produced The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of Niggy Tardust! Basically, Williams is as punk-rock as poets come, and he’s sure to blow open some closed minds at Riot Fest.  -Jesse Richman

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    Reblogging mainly for Saul Williams.
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    Stoked to be headed out to Riot Fest in Chicago this weekend for three days of music and friends! One of the best...
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