Riot Fest is just 17 days away and that means only 17 days left until the best weekend of the year. This year’s lineup was released right before summer and I’ve been counting down the days since then. I mean, no matter who is playing, Riot Fest never lets me down because there’s always good music, food, beer, and people.
I began attending Riot Fest in 2014 when it was held in Humboldt Park and it was life changing to say the least. This year being the 4th year I’ll be attending Riot Fest, I can confidently say that I have seen some of the best lineups which have included some of my favorite bands and some of the biggest names across a wide variety of music genres. Some of the sets that stick out to me most is Weezer, The Cure, The Offspring, System of a Down, The Original Misfits, Rob Zombie, Ice Cube & Special Guests, Iggy Pop, Billy Idol, and many more. But what I’ve learned since my rookie year at Riot Fest is that the lineup somehow continues to somehow get better every year. The headliners taking the stage this year include Nine Inch Nails (plays Friday), Queens of the Stone Age (QOTSA) (plays Saturday), Jawbreaker (plays Sunday), and Paramore (plays Sunday).
When I found out that QOTSA was playing I completely lost my shit because they have been one of my favorite bands for quite some time. For those of you who have a shitty taste in music and don’t know who they are I feel sorry for you because you’re missing out on some great alternative rock. QOTSA formed in the late 90’s and have since been producing some the biggest alternative rock anthems, such as No One Knows, I Sat By The Ocean, Little Sister, and plenty more jams since they formed. Their newest album, “Villains”, was just released last week, which may be the best album I’ve listened to this year.
Since QOTSA are performing on Saturday, I personally think that it’s going to be the best day of the fest. Let me walk you through what my day is going to look like… After a good night’s rest after moshing on Friday, my Riot Fest group of degenerates will get the ball rolling again on Saturday with a little pregame at one of our houses around noon. After consuming about a dozen beers each, we will head to Douglas Park at around 2 o’clock. Once we arrive at the motherland, we will post up at one of the smaller band’s set earlier on in the day, it will most likely be between Dead Cross at 3:25pm on the Roots Stage or Shabazz Palaces at 3:15pm on the Radicals Stage. Watching some of the smaller bands who perform earlier on in the day is one of my favorite things to do at Riot Fest because you never know what to expect, and also allows you to explore new music with an open mind. These sets are also a good way to warm up for the headliners performing later on in the day.
Then at 4:15pm I will be heading to the Riot Stage for FIDLAR’s set. When I first saw them play at Lollapalooza in 2016, I had no idea who they were, but holy shit did they know how to play and just like that, I’ve been listening to them since. After this set, I will hit up the food area and max out on some decent festival food (either Baccis or Billy Goat), while drinking $7-8 Dos Equis and maybe even go on the famous Riot Fest Ferris Wheel.
After clowning around in between sets, my Riot Fest group and I will stumble through the crowds to the Radicals Stage for Mike D’s set at 6:20pm (Mike D is from the Beastie Boys, so seeing Mike D is basically like seeing the Beastie Boys… just saying). The best thing to do after his set is to wait in the nearest port-a-potty line (so basically 45 minute wait), get more beer (probably 15-18 beers deep by now) and wait at the same stage to catch some of the Wu-Tang Clan’s set at 8:00pm to see them perform a couple of songs before heading to the Riot Stage for the main event, QOTSA, who starts at 8:45pm. Now, I have nothing against the Wu-Tang Clan and would stay for their whole set if they didn’t overlap with QOTSA, but ya gotta do what ya gottta do and I’m not missing a second of their set and I am throwing elbows in the crowd to get as close as possible for their set.
After QOTSA rocks Douglas Park, the second day of Riot Fest has come to an end. But there is no reason to get sad and depressed because there’s still another whole day filled with good music, beer, food and even better people.
PSA: If you have never been to Riot Fest, nor have you heard of it, I highly suggest you get your ass there. There’s so much going on and music that everyone can enjoy.
That’s all I have to say about that.