Riot Fest 2017 Preview

Riot Fest returns to Douglas Park, Friday-Sunday, September 15th-17th....

Riot Fest 2017 Preview

America is undoubtedly in a festival bubble – the hilarious chaos that was Fyre Festival earlier this year was like its Enron or Lehman Brothers or Heaven’s Gate, signaling that things had gone too far. The survivors have had to go corporate or worse, EDM, save for those that had already established their brand and identity, such as the nation’s premiere big punk rock festival, Riot Fest, which has survived its own tragedy in co-founder Sean McKeough’s death, to return to Douglas Park, Friday-Sunday, September 15th-17th:



Riot Stage

Nine Inch Nails, 8:30 PM – 10:00 PM

The most successful and well-known industrial band ever, Trent Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails (QRO photos) are legends in quality as well. The group was loud & angry in debut Pretty Hate Machine and “Head Like a Hole” before grunge was a ‘thing’, and has kept up that spirit ever since. Yes, they inspired countless imitators, but NIN themselves never fell into a Downward Spiral. The iconic nineties act managed to stay relevant in the new century/millennium with such creations as the inspired underground viral alternate reality game/marketing campaign Year Zero, but went into hiatus in 2009 while Reznor worked on other projects, such as the Oscar-winning score for The Social Network (and American version of Girl With a Dragon Tattoo), work on Dave Grohl’s Sound City documentary (QRO soundtrack review) and …Like Clockwork (QRO review) by Queens of the Stone Age (see below), plus new group How To Destroy Angels (QRO album review).

But the unholy Nine Inch Nails has rise again, with 2013’s excellent Hesitation Marks (QRO review) and last year’s Not the Actual Events EP, reportedly the first in a trilogy. Be sure to catch NIN headlining Riot Fest, as it’s an experience you will never forget, guaranteed.
Nine Inch Nails
Ministry, 6:05 PM – 7:05 PM

Is there a better act to share the Riot Fest with Nine Inch Nails than Ministry? Born out of Chicago itself, Al Jourgensen’s group pioneered the industrial metal sound in the nineties. There was a break-up that was definitely going to be permanent, and a reunion a few years later – we wait for third post-reunion record, AmeriKKKant, supposedly this fall.
Buzzcocks, 3:55 PM – 4:55 PM

A seminal member of the ‘Spirit of ‘77’ punk explosion, the Buzzcocks managed to achieve popular success as well, with music that fused pop craftsmanship with rapid-fire punk energy (QRO live review). The seventies flamed out and so did the Buzzcocks, but once the eighties were in the rearview mirror, the group reunited – and they’ve finally outlived successful U.K. comedy panel game, Never Mind The Buzzcocks – with most recent record The Way out in 2014, when they last played Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’14).
Liars, 2:15 PM – 3:00 PM

Though 2001’s They Threw Us All In a Trench and Stuck a Monument On Top got Liars (QRO photos outdoors) labeled ‘dance-punk’, they’ve since shifted radically, losing old fans, but gaining new ones (QRO photos at a festival), especially with 2010’s Sisterworld (QRO review), 2012’s WIXIW (QRO review) & 2014’s Mess (QRO review), including live (QRO photos) and at festivals (QRO photos at a festival). They come to Riot Fest behind this summer’s TFCF.
Tobacco, 12:35 PM – 1:20 PM

Black Moth Super Rainbow (QRO live review) main man Tobacco plays solo at Riot Fest behind new record Ripe & Majestic.


Roots Stage

New Order, 7:10 PM – 8:25 PM

New Order formed in post-industrial Salford in the early eighties – after the tragic suicide of singer Ian Curtis, the rest of Joy Division (along with new keyboardist Gillian Gilbert) became New Order (QRO photos at a northern English festival), and became the band that perhaps most defined the eighties dance club sound, as well as influencing the alternative and rave scenes of the nineties while the group was on hiatus.

The original trio of Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, and Bernard Sumner returned with the new millennium, but in 2007 Hook permanently departed and Morris & Sumner became Bad Lieutenant (QRO album review). But now, even as Hook as been redoing Joy Division and early New Order (QRO Hook live review), Morris, Sumner, and the returning Gilbert have returned (QRO photos) as the iconic New Order (QRO photos at a festival), with 2015’s completely excellent Music Complete (QRO review).
New Order
Death From Above, 5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

For an act that was only gone for five years, Death From Above 1979’s reunion was actually one of the most anticipated (QRO photos at a festival). It helped that the duo of Jesse F. Keeler (who’s been in MSTRKRFT since the break-up) and Sebastien Grainger (who had his own solo career after the break-up – QRO album review) basically invented the dance-punk/noise-rock scene. Their initial reunion gig at South-by-Southwest in Austin in 2011 (QRO recap) was so mobbed that policemen came in on horses and used mace – won’t be that nuts when they come to Riot Fest (QRO photos at a festival), but expect a wild time (QRO photos at a festival) as the band tours (QRO live review) behind their second reunion record, Outrage! Is Now, follow-up to 2014’s The Physical World (QRO review).

Oh, and they’ve made peace with James Murphy’s Death From Above label and have reverted to their old name, after having to add their birth year due to major label qualms.
Death From Above
X, 3:05 PM – 3:50 PM

Another hugely influential punk band playing Riot Fest is X (QRO photos). Begun back when punk begun in 1977, fronted by the likes of Exene Cervenka & John Doe, they achieved only limited mainstream success, but have since been hailed as possibly the best live band ever (QRO live review). They’ve even been recognized by their own City of Los Angeles (QRO photos at a festival in Los Angeles) – and have been playing their own 1980 debut Los Angeles in its entirety (QRO photos of X playing Los Angeles at a festival). The group returns to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest East ’11).

Invsn, 1:25 PM – 2:10 PM

Skating Polly, 12:00 PM – 12:30 PMQRO photos at Riot Fest ‘15

Skating Polly

Radicals Stage

A Day To Remember, 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Florida’s A Day To Remember (QRO photos) manage to mix metalcore and pop-punk. Previously at odd with their label, Victory, over 2013’s Common Courtesy, they were eventually able to release it, and come back to Riot Fest (QRO photos) behind last year’s follow-up, Bad Vibrations.
A Day To Remember
Mayday Parade, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Tallahassee’s Mayday Parade (QRO photos) goes more for the straight rock ‘n’ roll, but still with some of the emo-skate northern Florida is known for. They return to Riot Fest for their second time in three years, to play the tenth anniversary of debut A Lesson In Romantics.
Mayday Parade

The Story So Far, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

State Champs, 4:15 PM – 5:00 PMQRO photos

Four Year Strong, 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM

Sleep On It, 1:50 PM – 2:30 PM

State Champs

Rise Stage

Vic Mensa, 7:25 PM – 8:25 PM

Chicago’s own Vic Mensa (QRO photos at a festival) comes to Riot Fest, throwing down rhymes to headline the Rise Stage.
Vic Mensa
Dirty Heads, 5:45 PM – 6:45 PM

Huntington Beach’s Dirty Heads (QRO live review) began by fusing reggae, rock, and hip-hop, and their 2008 debut Any Port In a Storm featured appearances by the likes of Beatles collaborator Billy Preston, Weezer/DEVO/Vandals drummer Josh Freese, and reggae singer/DJ Tippa Irie. They return to Riot Fest for a second time in three years.
The Dirty Heads
Action Bronson, 4:05 PM – 5:05 PM

From Flushing, Queens, Action Bronson moved from gourmet chef to rapper with panache on his 2014 major label debut, Mr. Wonderful. He still keeps his hand in the foodie game thanks to his own television shows, though has been dogged by his controversial lyrics.
Action Bronson
Saul Williams, 2:45 PM – 3:30 PM

Saul Williams mixes alternative hip-hop and poetry for a captivating presence on records like 2011’s Volcano Sunlight (QRO review), as well as live (QRO live review). He returns to Riot Fest for a second time.
Saul Williams

Warm Brew, 1:45 PM – 2:15 PM

Hdbeendope, 12:45 PM – 1:15 PM

Warm Brew

Your Name Here Stage

Nothing More, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM

San Antonio metalcore outfit Nothing More play Riot Fest on the release date for their sixth full-length, The Stories We Tell Ourselves.
Nothing More
The Cribs, 6:20 PM – 7:00 PM

Come play the expectations game with The Cribs (QRO live review)! Brothers Gary, Ryan, and Ross Jarman got notice in their native U.K. early on with songs like “Hey Scenesters!”, but it was their team-up with Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth on 2007’s Men’s Needs, Women’s Needs, Whatever (QRO review) that got them attention stateside – even if it wasn’t a great album. Then they recruited none other than Johnny Marr (QRO live review with Marr) of The Smiths – stealing from his gig in Modest Mouse – for 2009’s Ignore the Ignorant (QRO review), which was a better record, but still not up to the quality of their latest legendary collaborator. 2011 saw the band – now back just to the brothers Jarman – improve once again with In the Belly of the Brazen Bull (QRO review) and 2015’s For All My Sisters (QRO review). This year they surprised Britain (QRO live review in U.K.) with the rushed  24-7 Rock Star Shit (QRO review).
The Cribs
Chon, 5:10 PM – 5:50 PM

For a different side of Riot Fest, check out the instrumental prog rock of Chon as they return to the festival.
The Hotelier, 4:00 PM – 4:40 PM

Worcester’s The Hotelier (QRO photos at a festival) bring their post-hardcore emo-rock back to Riot Fest.
The Hotelier

Radar State, 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Sea Way, 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Like Pacific, 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Grayscale, 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
Radar State




Riot Stage

Queens of the Stone Age, 8:45 PM – 10:00 PM

After the dissolution of the hard rock Kyuss, singer/guitarist Josh Homme formed what today might be the biggest ‘stoner rock’ band in the world, The Queens of the Stone Age (QRO photos at a festival). This is the kind of band that can put Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl back on skins, get contributions from Screaming Trees’ Mark Lanegan & Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, and more. Maybe no record has matched Songs For the Deaf, but 2013’s …Like Clockwork (QRO review) has come the closest. They come to headline Riot Fest after recovering from injury – and the release of their latest, Villains (QRO review).
Queens of the Stone Age
Gogol Bordello, 6:35 PM – 7:35 PM

From Eastern Europe & elsewhere, through the Lower East Side comes ‘gypsy punks’ Gogol Bordello (QRO live review). The many, many-person outfit is fronted by singer/guitarist Eugene Hutz (also of the film version of Everything Is Illuminated), but there’s so much going on on-stage, you won’t know where to look (QRO photos outdoors). The band followed up debut Underdog World Strike with the not-quite-as-impressive Super Taranta! (QRO review) in 2007, and even less so with 2010’s Trans-Continental Hustle (QRO review), but were revived in 2013 on Pure Vida Conspiracy (QRO review) – and the band still brings it live (QRO live review), including at festivals like Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ‘14). They return to the festival right after the release of Seekers and Finders (QRO review).
Gogol Bordello
FIDLAR, 4:15 PM – 5:15 PM

Back in the long-lost eighties, punk outfits like Black Flag would prompt conflict with Commissioner Chief Daryl Gates’ pre-Rodney King LAPD – but everyone’s mellower these days, right? Not if FIDLAR (QRO photos) have anything to say about it (QRO photos at a festival), as they return to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’15).
Peaches, 2:35 PM – 3:20 PM

‘Sexually explicit’ doesn’t begin to cover the gender-bending extravagance of Peaches (QRO photos), from albums like Fatherfucker, Impeach My Bush, I Feel Cream, and 2015’s Rub, to her backing band, The Herms (short for hermaphrodites); her stage show – including attire – is even more extreme (QRO live review). She comes off of playing Samantha Bee’s Not the White House Correspondent’s Dinner earlier this year, where she did her Impeach single “Boys Wanna Be Her”, the theme song to Full Frontal with Samantha Bee.
GBH, 12:55 PM – 1:40 PM

Get to Riot Fest early for the charged O.G. street punk of pioneers GBH (QRO photos).


Roots Stage

At the Drive-In, 7:40 PM – 8:40 PM

Important, influential, and successful, At the Drive-In was everything one could want in the post-hardcore band in the nineties, so of course they broke up, with Cedric Bixler and Omar Rodriguez forming The Mars Volta (QRO album review), and Paul Hinojos, Tony Hajjar, and Jim Ward making Sparta. A one-off reunion in 2012 proved to be just that, a one-off, but now they’re back together for a full tour (QRO photos at a festival) & new album in•ter a•li•la – though without Ward.
At the Drive-In
Danzig, 5:20 PM – 6:30 PM

The metal-horror-rock of Danzig is legendary, now into its third decade. Emerging out of the horror-punk of The Misfits (who reunited last year for a one-off at Riot Fest), Danzig come back to Riot Fest behind new album Black Laden Crown – but at Riot Fest will play the twenty-fifth anniversary of Danzig III: How the Gods Kill.

Dead Cross, 3:25 PM – 4:10 PM

Black Pistol Fire, 1:45 PM – 2:30 PM QRO photos at a festival

Rvivr, 12:05 PM – 12:50 PM

Black Pistol Fire

Radicals Stage

Wu-Tang Clan, 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM

“Wu-Tang Clan ain’t nothing to fuck with!” The Staten Island outfit (QRO photos at a festival) was the hip-hop collective of the nineties, spawning the careers of the likes of RZA (QRO photos at a festival), GZA (QRO live review), Method Man (QRO photos), Raekwon (QRO photos at a festival), Ghostface Killah (QRO live review), and more. As fearless as they are skilled, Wu-Tang is arguably the greatest rap group ever. Their members have done much else (not just singing – RZA released his directorial debut, Russell Crowe kung-fu flick The Man with the Iron Fists), but have been getting the band back together (save for the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard), and in 2014 all together put out A Better Tomorrow.

The following year saw the Wu release the most expensive musical work ever, the secretly recorded Once Upon a Time in Shaolin, of which only one copy was made (stored in a vault in Morocco). The winning bidder was unfortunately ‘pharma bro’ and recently convicted criminal/guy you most want to punch in the face, Martin Shkreli. But for the Clan’s return to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’14), they’re playing ultra-classic Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).
Wu-Tang Clan
Mike D, 6:20 PM – 7:20 PM

If you’re gonna watch a DJ set, who better to watch spin records than the one-and-only Mike D? Yes, that Mike D, one-third of the ultra-important Beastie Boys. Fellow Boy MCA’s lamented death in 2012 saw D & Ad-Rock put their iconic group to rest, but they have not been, and Mike D comes to spin at Riot fest.
Mike D
Bad Brains, 4:40 PM – 5:40 PM

It’s getting to the point where you can’t say Bad Brains’ appearances are ‘reunions’, but rather the stable return of the legendary punk act. Pretty much single-handedly founding the Afro-punk movement (and the D.C. punk scene), as they moved from jazz fusion to hardcore in the late seventies & early eighties, Bad Brains (QRO photos) have had more than their fair share of ups & downs over the years, including the departure of seminal frontman H.R., but the original line-up has stayed stable for a while now – but only in the past decade, especially since releasing 2006’s Build a Nation, has the band toured (and sold) so steadily (QRO photos). Their mix of hardcore and reggae can make for stop-start shows (and records), but has also given them a growing festival popularity (QRO photos at a festival).
Bad Brains
Shabazz Palaces, 3:15 PM – 4:00 PM

Hip-hop collective Shabazz Palaces hail from Seattle (QRO photos at a Washington State festival) – that’s why their Black Up (QRO review) was released by indie label Sub Pop, better known for starting the grunge sound from up there thirty years ago. But they’ve also got Butterfly of nineties alt-hip-hop outfit Digable Planets (QRO live review).
Shabazz Palaces
Fishbone, 1:45 PM – 2:45 PM

There’s really no act out there like Fishbone (QRO photos at a festival). Starting way back in 1979, their afro-punk mélange of ska, punk, funk, soul, and more truly stood out (they also added some color to the lily-white American punk scene of the eighties). While they never broke through to the mainstream, that might be for the best, as it would likely have sanded down their unique rough edges. The band returns to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’15) to play 1988’s Truth and Soul – that includes theirs seminal cover of Curtis Mayfield’s Super Fly soundtrack song, “Freddie’s Dead”.

Slaves, 12:30 PM – 1:15 PMQRO photos


Rise Stage

Taking Back Sunday, 8:45 PM – 9:45 PM

It’s all come full circle. Though the line-up for Amityville’s emo-rockers Taking Back Sunday (QRO photos) has changed since 2002 debut Tell All Your Friends, it returned to the original line-up for 2011’s self-titled album – as well as 2012’s tenth anniversary tour Tell All Your Friends (QRO live review). They play Riot Fest for their four time in five years, behind last year’s Tidal Wave.
Taking Back Sunday
New Found Glory, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

New Found Glory emerged on the leading edge of the second wave of nineties pop-punk and have somehow kept on going, including returning to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ‘14).
New Found Glory
The Lawrence Arms, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Out of The Broadways (who reunited at Riot Fest ’13) came Chicago’s own punk rockers The Lawrence Arms, who return to Riot Fest for a third time, now playing their own Oh! Calcutta! in full.
The Lawrence Arms
Bayside, 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Queens’ emo-punks Bayside (QRO photos) come back to Riot Fest (QRO photos at a festival) for the third time in five years (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’15), this time to perform The Walking Wounded for its tenth anniversary.

Knuckle Puck, 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM

The Smith Street Band, 1:15 PM – 2:00 PM

Knuckle Puck

Your Name Here Stage

Streetlight Manifesto, 8:15 PM – 9:15 PM

Lucky Chops, 7:00 PM – 7:45 PM

The Regrettes, 6:00 PM – 6:30 PM

Potty Mouth, 5:00 PM – 5:30 PMQRO live review

Gin Rummy, 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM

Cold Beat, 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

La Armada, 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Turnspit, 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Streetlight Manifesto

Potty Mouth




Riot Stage

Jawbreaker, 8:45 PM – 10:00 PM

Riot Fest is known for big, special punk rock reunions – 2013 saw The Replacements do their first two reunions at Riot Fests, and last year it was The Misfits. For 2017 it one of the biggest and most influential acts of the emo era, New York’s Jawbreaker. In the nineties they went from opening for Nirvana to singer/guitarist Blake Schwarzenbach becoming a cult idol thanks to his personal lyrics. Their too-polished Dear You and internal tensions led to their break up over twenty years ago, but their legacy has endured. After a few secret club gigs this year, Jawbreaker are set for their big reunion to close out Riot Fest ’17.
Dinosaur Jr, 6:35 PM – 7:35 PM

Back & better than ever is Dinosaur Jr (QRO photos at a festival)! In the late eighties and early nineties, one of the biggest & best bands in the punk-grunge revolution was Dinosaur Jr (QRO live review), combining a hippie-punk ethos (and artwork) with feedback-driven guitar from the legendary J Mascis (QRO solo album review). The trio (QRO live review) was also characterized by Mascis’ controlling tendencies, leading to the departure first of bassist Lou Barlow (QRO solo album review) for his Sebadoh (QRO live review) and eventually even beloved drummer Murph (QRO photos at a festival without Murph), with Mascis retiring the ‘Dinosaur Jr’ moniker in 1997.

But then the band reunited (QRO live review outdoors) – with original line-up! – to tour their re-release of old, Barlow-era records (QRO photos at a festival in St. LOUis). And they kept going (QRO photos at a festival), putting out three new records that are some of their best yet, Beyond (QRO review), Farm (QRO review), I Bet On Sky (QRO review), and this year’s Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not (QRO review) – with more to come (QRO live review playing new material). So revel in the glory (QRO photos at a festival) that is Dinosaur Jr (QRO photos), who know how to play festivals (QRO photos at a festival) – but bring your earplugs, because J’s ‘circle of amps’ is a force to be reckoned with (QRO photos at a festival), as they come back to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ‘13), this time to perform classic You’re Living All Over Me.
Dinosaur Jr
Cap’n Jazz, 4:25 PM – 5:25 PM

Who the hell are/were Cap’n Jazz, and why as their reunion in 2010 such a big thing to so many people? The early nineties Chicago outfit didn’t sell a ton of records, but influenced the development of emo. The re-release of anthology Analphabetapolothology (QRO review) in 2010 coincided with the band’s reunion & tour, to the delight of cult fans that never forgot them. Of course they broke up again – and this year have reunited again.
Cap'n Jazz
that dog., 2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

In the early nineties alt-rock boom, Los Angeles gave the world Weezer, who went on to massive success. But there was also that dog., the could-have-been alt-hit power-pop outfit that didn’t make it out of the decade. Nostalgia brought the group back together for a few shows in this decade, but more recently there is talk of a new album, to finally follow-up 1997’s Retreat from the Sun, which the group plays in full at Riot fest.
that dog.
Beach Slang, 12:40 PM – 1:20 PM

Philly punks Beach Slang (QRO photos at a festival) put just the right amount of emotion into the rock of their debut, 2015’s The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us (QRO review), and last year’s follow-up, A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings (QRO review). They play Riot Fest for the second time in three years.

Beach Slang

Roots Stage

Prophets of Rage, 7:40 PM – 8:40 PM

The terms ‘rap-rock’ and ‘supergroup’ often elicit groans, but Prophets of Rage (QRO photos) combine the two to pull it off. With three members of Rage Against the Machine, two members of Public Enemy, and one of Cypress Hill (QRO photos at Riot ‘15), expect a lot Trump denunciations at Riot Fest.
Prophets of Rage
Pennywise, 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM

Hermosa Beach punks Pennywise (QRO photos) came up in the nineties interest in skate-punk, and have kept on going, despite suicide of bassist Jason Thirsk in 1996, singer Jim Lindberg’s departure in 2010, and new singer Zoli Téglás being sidelined by back injury after the release of 2012’s All Or Nothing – Lindberg rejoined, and they play Riot Fest for the second time (QRO photos at a festival).
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, 3:20 PM – 4:20 PM

It’s the one-and-only Mighty Mighty Bosstones! Maybe no act more exemplified the nineties third wave ska craze than Boston ensemble, who introduced kids across the country to horns with songs like “Don’t Know How To Party” “Someday I Suppose”, and “The Impression That I Get”. The decade ended and they went on a hiatus, only to reunite in 2007 (after singer Dicky Barrett became the announcer on Jimmy Kimmel Live), because this is a revival well worth happening. The group returns to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’14), to play the twentieth anniversary of their hit record Let’s Face It (QRO live review playing Let’s Face It in full).
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Hot Water Music, 1:25 PM – 2:10 PM

Northern Florida is home to many punk acts of the nineties & later; one of the more successful has been Hot Water Music (QRO photos). They went on hiatus, and then permanent break-up, when singer/guitarist Chuck Ragan left to care for his family & pursue a low-key solo career, but got back together only two years later. They return to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest East ’11) behind this year’s Light It Up.


Engine 88, 12:00 PM – 12:35 PM

Hot Water Music

Radicals Stage

Paramore, 8:00 PM – 9:00 PM

You might as well just stop being a hater and embrace the pop-punk of Paramore (QRO live review). The group your little sister likes (QRO live review) may be huge, but they’re also enjoyable (QRO photos). Fronted by the singular Hayley Williams (though there have been some revolving cast members behind her since 2013’s self-titled record – QRO review), they come to headline Riot Fest (QRO photos) behind this year’s more synth-pop After Laughter.
Best Coast, 6:45 PM – 7:30 PM

Los Angeles’ Best Coast (QRO live review) is a practical veteran at the still-new garage-scene (QRO photos at a festival), but a goodie (QRO photos at a festival), combining surf, garage, indie, and pop for a sound (QRO photos) that’s sure to be sweet coming from frontwoman Bethany Cosentino (QRO live review) outdoors (QRO photos outdoors). They come back to Riot Fest (QRO photos at Riot Fest Toronto ‘13) behind 2015’s California Nights (QRO review), the follow-up to 2012’s simplistic The Only Place (QRO review).
Best Coast
Minus the Bear, 5:30 PM – 6:15 PM

From Seattle, Minus the Bear (QRO photos at a festival) have been combining rock with intricate electronics for just about all of the twenty-first century. They come back to Riot Fest (QRO photos at a festival) behind this year’s strong VOIDS (QRO review).
Minus the Bear
The Menzingers, 4:15 PM – 5:00 PM

Coming from the home of The Office & Joe Biden, Scranton’s ska-punks The Menzingers (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’11 in Pennsylvania) are one of the younger punks acts at Riot Fest – or at least were when they first played the festival three years ago…
The Menzingers
Say Anything, 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM

Los Angeles pop-punk outfit Say Anything (QRO photos) defended their genre in 2007’s In Defense of the Genre, but came on more original with the following Say Anything. Last year they surprise released I Don’t Think It Is, and now return to Riot Fest.
Say Anything

Real Friends, 1:45 PM – 2:30 PM

Kitten Forever, 12:45 PM – 1:15 PM

Kitten Forever

Rise Stage

M.I.A., 7:40 PM – 8:40 PM

Hip-hop has a host of controversial personalities, and when those artists cross into other genres, they often bring the controversy with them. Taking the controversial mic a few years ago was M.I.A. (full name: Mathangi ‘Maya’ Arulpragasam – QRO photos), from her ultra-pregnant appearance on The Grammys to maybe endorsing the terrorist Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka to a feud with The New York Times after a less-than-flattering feature piece/interview to giving the finger to the camera while performing at the 2012 Super Bowl Halftime Show.

In 2011 she came out with /\/\/\Y/\, her follow-up to 2007 smash-hit Arular, and it proved as divisive as Maya herself (that’s how the title is pronounced), but hasn’t had the same love-her-or-hate-her profile with 2013’s Matangi and last year’s AIM. She’s had some problems at festivals (QRO photos at a festival), and isn’t as big as she used to be (QRO photos outdoors at a festival), but her is still a sight to behold.
TV on the Radio, 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM

One of the bands that put Brooklyn not only on the indie-map, but also at the top of it, is the borough’s TV On the Radio (QRO live review outdoors in Brooklyn). 2004’s debut Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes introduced their complex-yet-accessible indie-tech-punk-rock, 2006’s Return to Cookie Mountain proved it was no fluke, and 2008’s Dear Science (QRO review) saw the band launched into the top tier of alternative music (QRO live review). The group took something of a break after that, as members such as Tunde Adebimpe, David Andrew Sitek, and Kyp Malone did various side/solo projects, but returned in 2013 (QRO photos at a festival) with Nine Types of Light (QRO review). Nine Types was a return in quality as well as success for the band (QRO photos at a festival), though they unfortunately lost bassist Gerard Smith to cancer in 2011, but have kept on magnificently (QRO photos outdoors in New York), including at festivals (QRO photos at a festival) and with 2014’s Seeds (QRO review).
TV On the Radio
Built To Spill, 4:20 PM – 5:20 PM

Yes, the ‘biggest indie-rock band outta Boise, Idaho’, Built To Spill (QRO photos at a festival), is still around, still on Warner Bros., and still putting out new music (QRO live review), releasing Untethered Moon in 2015 They’ve gained a second life on the festival circuit (QRO photos at a festival) – and have been moving up the festival food chain (QRO photos headlining a festival). For their return to Riot Fest, they play the twentieth anniversary of Keep It Like a Secret.
Built To Spill
The Orwells, 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM

Illinois’ The Orwells (QRO photos at a festival) graduated from high school early to pursue their rock ‘n’ roll dreams, and started living up to them with 2013’s debut Remember When. They return to Riot Fest for a second time (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’14).
The Orwells

Dessa, 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Downtown Boys, 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM QRO photos

Downtown Boys

Your Name Here Stage

Andrew W.K., 8:30 PM – 9:30 PM

No artist in this millennium has done as many different things, worked with as many different people, while staying true to who he is, than Andrew W.K. (QRO photos). He started as a party-rock impresario with 2001’s I Get Wet and “Party Hard”, but has since built a wide list of accomplishments, from founding his own NYC venue, Santos Party House (QRO venue review), to doing self-help & motivational speaking, his own MTV series (and guest-appearing on Adult Swim’s Aqua Teen Hunger Force), playing with a classical string quartet (QRO photos), hosting the World Snowboarding Championship in Oslo in 2012 (QRO kick-off review), founding the ‘Party Party’, and even bringing I Get Wet back for its tenth anniversary (QRO live review of I Get Wet show). The hard-partying, hard-working man comes to Riot Fest for his sixth year in a row (QRO photos at Riot ’16QRO photos at Riot ‘15QRO photos at Riot ’14QRO photos at Riot Fest ’13) on his latest tour (QRO live review).
Andrew W.K.
GWAR, 7:15 PM – 8:15 PM

There is no band as unique as GWAR (QRO spotlight on). Somewhere between Motörhead, Tenacious D, George Romero, KISS, and Gallagher, GWAR combines thrash metal with sci-fi/horror spectacle, including massive costumes & massive amounts of stage gore (QRO photos), plus taking on about every taboo there is for one of the most amazing spectacles out there (QRO live review), including at Riot Fest the last four years (QRO photos at Riot Fest ’16QRO photos at Riot ’15QRO photos at Riot Fest ’14QRO photos at Riot Fest ‘13).

The group (QRO live review) survived longtime member Flattus Maximus (Cory Smoot) departing to the intergalactic heavens in 2011, recruiting a new scumdog of the universe from the Maximus clan, putting out Battle Maximus in 2013 – only to lose singer/frontman extraordinaire Oderus Urungus (a.k.a. Dave Brockie – QRO interview) the following year. The band could have folded their tent, but instead have kept defiling the universe – and Riot Fest (QRO interview at Riot Fest) – with their first post-Brockie record, The Blood of the Gods, out in October.
Mad Caddies, 6:00 PM – 6:45 PM

The SoCal ska punks Mad Caddies draw from everything from cowpunk to sea shanties.
Mad Caddies
The Flatliners, 5:00 PM – 5:30 PM

The Flatliners hail from Richmond Hill in Ontario (QRO photos at Riot Fest Toronto ‘13). Leaning to the humorous ska-punk of prior Riot Fest acts like Less Than Jake and NOFX, they come back to the festival this year behind Inviting Light.
The Flatliners

The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, 3:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Culture Abuse, 2:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Upset, 1:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Culture Abuse



The Orwells @ House of Vans – Free RSVP
The Queers, with The Ataris @ Cobra Lounge – QRO photos of The Ataris at Riot Fest ’15
Tobacco, with High Tides @ Smartbar

New Found Glory, with Bayside & Radar State @ Concord Music hall
GBH @ Cobra Lounge
The AtarisCap’n Jazz, with Rapperchicks @ Bottom Lounge

Buzzcocks @ Cobra Lounge
Dinosaur Jr, with Built To Spill @ Bottom Lounge

Gogol Bordello, with Lucky Chops @ Concord Music Hall
Hot Water Music, with Airstream Futures @ Cobra Lounge
Taking Back Sunday, with Sleep On It @ Bottom Lounge



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