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

by Zack Zarrillo - Sep 10, 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 second day of Riot this weekend as well!

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Our Must-See Bands And Artists (Day One)


Bay Area neo-punk outfit Rancid has, for the most part, been M.I.A. (pun very intended) in more recent years. For anyone similar to me in age, when I first had my “punk epiphany,” I was still too young (by parent standards) to attend a concert, and pretty much was S.O.L on seeing this band. By the time I was of appropriate age, things had dwindled back down for them. I had since accepted the fate of probably never getting to see them, at least until the Riot Fest lineup was revealed and all felt (almost) right in the world again. 

This band was monumental for me in my discovery of punk, ska, and a lot of music in general. Although 1995’s …And Out Come The Wolves is widely accepted as their best release, 2003 (during the peak of my so-called “punk epiphany”) saw the release of Indestructible. Indestructible was not only a success by measure of fans, but was generally very popular, soliciting major play on MTV and even earning the band a personal call from Conan O’Brien to perform Red Hot Moon on his show. This band has influenced and inspired many over the years, and there is no doubt that this performance will be a certain highlight of the weekend. - Brittany Oblak


Taking Back Sunday
Taking Back Sunday’s coveted Tell All Your Friends  lineup has been quite active over the past few years, covering ground touring for the 10th anniversary of their much-beloved album. They’ve been a hard act to miss considering, they’ve done multiple tours featuring TAYF set lists, but if you’re anything like me or any other 2003 lifer, you just can’t get enough of these guys.

You’ve probably also dreamt up one (if not several) scenarios where TBS and fellow Long Islanders/thought to be long-time rivals Brand New (who are also playing Riot Fest) have some definitive, intense lyric duel sporadically amidst one of their sets. Okay, probably highly unlikely, but even the though of both playing the same festival is enough in itself. Mics can be for singing and swinging, guys, and plenty of both will be had. - Brittany Oblak


The Lawrence Arms
Punk rock legends and Chicago natives The Lawrence Arms are a natural pick for this Riot Fest bill and, moreover, an obvious choice when it comes to making your personal schedule. While you don’t need me or anyone else to tell you again that the lineup itself is bristling with the hugest of huge names, making room for the Larry Arms kinda seems like a no-brainer. 

They haven’t really toured much in a while, they haven’t even really made new music in a while, and so the opportunity to see oneof the heavyweight Fat Wreck punk bands of the early 2000s play a set in the city that very directly influenced, like, every single oneof their songs is one that probably shouldn’t be missed. And if we’re being honest, the only other act conflicting with their set is Blondie and you won’t be missing much because you only know that “Heart of Glass” song, anyway. - Adrienne Fisher


Not content with stealing just one band’s name, the assclowns behind Attack Attack! have rebranded themselves by “borrowing” the name of recent Sargent House standouts Native and chopping off the “e”, because, uh, their target demographic thinks vowels suck or something, probably.  

Attack Attack! were, of course, stalwarts of “crabcore,” the genre/joke defined by a limp-kneed synchronized stage dance that spread through the heavy music scene like a particularly nasty case of herpes at a family bareback orgy, which come to think of it isn’t a bad metaphor for the scene as a whole, with its indescriminate partner-swapping and increasingly-dumber offspring. We’re hoping Nativ unveil some sort of new rawk move on Saturday — might we suggest a penguin waddle? Everybody loves penguins! 

If nothing else, you should catch Nativ on Saturday because, if their prior incarnation is any sort of blueprint, this is likely your only chance to see these dudes before some sort of major lineup change. Oh, and they’re supposedly gonna play some br00tal music or something. But lets be honest, if you’re a fan of these guys, music’s probably not really your “thing”. - Jesse Richman


Violent Femmes
Do you like American music? I like American music! Don’t you like American music, baby? - Jesse Richman


Riot Fest’s schedule is stacked with west coast punk progenitors, from [Black] FLAG to Bad Religion to T.S.O.L., but X has them all beat on longevity. 36 years into their career now, it’s been an awful long time since the band recorded any new music together, but X still tears through their classic catalog with mercurial abandon live, and we fully expect them to hold their own on Saturday. 

Exene Cervenka’s banshee wail remains forceful as ever (despite a questionable MS diagnosis in 2009), and John Doe’s weathered croon has only picked up gravitas over the years — when the two sing in tandem, his sobriety and her recklessness cancel out like sine waves, leaving only the gut-churning desperation that underpins the two former lovers forever tethered in song. It’s an awesome force to behold. - Jesse Richman


Public Enemy
Okay, here’s the deal. My knowledge of hip-hop is extraordinarily limited. I have no idea what it’s like to see hip-hop acts live and I’m not going to pretend that I know anything about the history or even have a well constructed argument for why we’re stoked to see Public Enemy at Riot Fest. Except for the fact that it’s fucking Public Enemy. 

How many times have you heard this name thrown around in reference to hip-hop legend and development? Not to mention that they’ve been around for 20 years and are still going strong, even independently of the rap group themselves. It’s just another example of how Riot Fest is bringing it big time with huge stalwart groups in not just punk rock, but in music in general, giving everyone the opportunity to see unbelievably legendary acts that we may not have gone out of our way to see otherwise. Plus, remember “Flava-FLAAAAAAAAV?” Yeah, that guy’s gonna be on stage. Rapping. Or hyping, we’re not entirely sure. Still, pretty cool. - Adrienne Fisher


Kitten seems to have drawn the short straw on Saturday’s bill, with a pre-noon Day-2-opening set, but as anyone who caught them on their recent tour with Paramore can attest, Kitten are worth showing up early for. Don’t let that pairing fool you, though — these LA-based teens truck in a mix of ’80s darkwave vibes and classic rock musicianship that couldn’t be further from Paramore’s spry pop. In a lot of ways, Kitten have captured what VersaEmerge could never quite pull off, churning up stormy rock haunted by the ghosts of future past.

That makes for a fun listen on record, but it’s in the live setting that Kitten truly shines. Frontwoman Chloe Chaidez is an animated spark as she pogos and twirls across the stage, but her preternatural wail never suffers for her constant motion, and the muscular band that forms the remainder of Kitten has all the chops of studio aces twice their age. We know it’s going to be tough to roll out of bed early following Day 1’s afterparties; trust us, they’re worth it. Think of Kitten’s set like a hair-of-the-dog Redbull & Vodka —- it’ll wake you up and ease you into the next day’s mania all at once. - Jesse Richman


Best Coast
Cool, quirky, and cute Californian vibes are coming to the Midwest this weekend when West-Coast 60s surfer rock inspired Best Coast hits the stage. Front woman Bethany Cosentino is notorious for her adorable style, her love for her cat, Snacks, and has generated quite a cult-like following. The duo’s fun, lo-fi songs are some of the most catchy, sing-along inspiring jamsthat are around right now.

Cosentino’s cool girl attitude, mixed with her laid back lyrics about pining over ever-elusive boys and being broken-hearted makes it not only relatable, but also impossible not to love. Their 2010 single “Our Deal” even boasts a music directed by fellow “one of the coolest girls to ever exist club” member Drew Barrymore. 

2012 brought the release of better produced but still equally fun The Only Place, which was critically acclaimed. Girl, guy, or cat, you’d be silly to miss this band’s pinch of SoCal spice in Chicago this weekend. Best Coast is guaranteed to bring a refreshing, upbeat vibe and get caught in your head for many weeks to follow. - Adrienne Fisher

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    Oh to be at this!
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