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The Countdown: Must-See Riot Fest Chicago Acts

Posted by - 01:19 PM on 09/12/13
Everything we've been doing over the last couple of months - from our guides to our playlists - have been leading up to this weekend's Riot Fest in Chicago. So there is only one thing left to do (other than, you know, attending the damn thing!) and that's to release our "must-see" acts at this weekend's festival. Since it's packed with many great bands, I asked Thomas Nassiff to count down his five most anticipated acts in addition to mine. You can check those out in the replies. You can find more information about Riot Fest at their website. Have fun this weekend and be safe!
 
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01:19 PM on 09/12/13
#2
Drew Beringer
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Drew Beringer:
5) Glassjaw (Saturday at 3:45; Rock Stage)
NoteThe on-again, off-again Long Island hardcore veterans will always make a live show list for me. Come on, now. You're always guaranteed a wild and chaotic show when Daryl Palumbo and company take the stage. And when the band plays a deep cut like "Tip Your Bartender" or "Siberian Kiss" in between newer songs like "(You Think You're) Fucking John Lennon" and "Black Nurse," you know there's only one place to be. And that's the pit.


4) Pixies (Sunday at 8:00, Roots Stage)
NoteOfficially, Pixies have been back or reunited since 2004, but it didn't really feel like the quartet was back back till now, as the band has released new material for the first time in nearly ten years. Even though Kim Deal is no longer the bassist, don't think that'll take away any of the greatness you'll witness on the Roots Stage Sunday night. Expect a small dose of new songs like "Bagboy" and "Indie Cindy," but the reason people will be lining up to see the band will be for all the classics from Surfer Rosa, Doolittle, and the like.


3) The Lawrence Arms (Saturday at 6:45; Rise Stage)
NoteThe Lawrence Arms haven't released a new album in eight years and it's been slowly killing me on the inside. But finally the band is back and the Chicago trio is planning to release it sometime this year (hopefully). To get the word out, the band is back on the touring circuit and will be one of the best evening bands to check out on Saturday (the perfect appetizer before The Violent Femmes, if you ask me). You can bet your ass the band will play some fan favorites from classic LPs like The Greatest Story Ever Told and Oh! Calcutta!, but be on the lookout for some new punk barnburners from the hometown Larry Arms as well.


2) Touché Amoré (Sunday at 6:30, Rebel Stage)
NoteThis is Touché's year, with playing an evening shift on Sunday being one of many milestones the band has and will reach in 2013. The record doesn't release till the 24th, but expect a good handful of new tracks to be littered throughout the band's breathless and pulverizing set. Touché Amoré has continually improved its live craft year after year. This will be one of the most intense and cathartic sets during the entirety of Riot Fest's run this weekend, guaranteed


1) Violent Femmes (Saturday at 8:45; Roots Stage)
NoteYou don't want to be that asshole who misses Violent Femmes closing out the Roots stage on Saturday night, right? The iconic trio is currently touring in celebration of its first release 30 years ago - you know, the album that contains such classics like "Blister in the Sun," "Kiss Off," and "Add It Up," just to name a few. Plus I gotta represent the hometown heroes of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This is bound to be one of the most energetic and fun sets of all of Riot Fest.


Thomas Nassiff:
5) The Flatliners / Dessa (Friday at 4:00, Rock Stage // Friday at 4:15, Roots Stage)
NoteThere's no reason these two acts are sharing a blurb other than their set times. The Flatliners and Dessa couldn't be on more polar opposite ends of Riot Fest's lineup. But they are the two best options to kick off your weekend on Friday, so make sure you catch one of them. If you like The Menzingers, be sure to check out The Flatliners' Dead Language – it's one of the year's best punk records – and Dessa keeps putting out a consistent flow of quality hip-hop from Minneapolis. She should be an early crowd favorite. Happy Riot Fest, people.


4) Fall Out Boy (Friday at 9:45, Riot Stage)
NoteThey're Friday night's headliner, so by nature it's a big deal to catch Fall Out Boy this weekend. But we'll be surprised if Stump, Wentz, Trohman and Hurley don't have something special up their collective sleeve for this enormous hometown gig. With an hour and 15 minutes to toy with, might we get a complete performance of Take This To Your Grave followed by a mixed bag of hits? Probably not…but we can sure as hell hope.


3) Against Me! (Sunday at 2:35; Roots Stage)
NoteIt's not that Against Me! provided us with one of the best music stories of 2012 – musically speaking, we have no idea what Transgender Dysporia Blues is going to sound like when it's finished – but the band's frontwoman, Laura Jane Grace, provided one of the best human stories of the year. She's an inspiration, and that's going to show most when you see her lead Against Me! on stage (remember this quote? "However fierce our band was in the past, imagine me, six-foot-two, in heels, fucking screaming into someone's face"). We should hear some new stuff and plenty of old tunes; and if you haven't yet seen Against Me! since Grace's transformation, that's all the more reason to not miss this set.


2) Brand New (Sunday at 6:00, Roots Stage)
NoteThe only band that's almost as much of a no-brainer as The Replacements. This website's readership knows better than most people how Brand New rarely graces the United States with…um…live shows. So take your fix when you can get it. They have an hour to toy with, so we should expect to see a few old things for the festival crowd. It might not be as ideal as seeing them in a club setting, but it'll undoubtedly be one of the best sets of the weekend (and one of the most anticipated – get to the stage early). Unless the band does another New Year's Eve extravaganza for Deja Entendu's 10th anniversary, this will be their most important show in the States this year.


1) The Replacements (Sunday at 9:15; Riot Stage)
NoteI mean, duh? Riot Fest's headlining act has played one show in my lifetime – and that was at Riot Fest in Toronto. Regardless of whether you're a fan of the band…regardless of whether you've ever even listened to "Bastards of Young" and experienced its awesome anti-MTV-culture music video…you'd be a fool to not stick around Sunday night for the last hoorah of the weekend. There are no competing acts (other than the last 15 minutes of Pierce The Veil's set – feel free to collectively chuckle at that), so there's no excuse to not watch. Experience something new and something legendary. Watch something that will be equally cool to tell your parents and your future kids about.
01:51 PM on 09/12/13
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Some love for Violent Femmes! First folk/punk record ever in my eyes. Can't wait! TSOL should be an interesting throwback as well, and the setlist Saves the Day is throwing out is insane
02:07 PM on 09/12/13
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GWAR
02:31 PM on 09/12/13
#5
Dctromotola
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hopefully someone in touche or the rebel stage has an "accident" that pushes their set back about 20-30 min. fingers crossed. brand new and touche are 1 and 2 for the weekend for me and they playing the same time.
02:38 PM on 09/12/13
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EastCoastVans
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Thomas, I think a TTTYG set is wishful thinking...but I'd love to be proven wrong.
02:58 PM on 09/12/13
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wang_chung_li
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Brand New is gonna kill it on Sunday.
03:32 PM on 09/12/13
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ACA
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Disappointed that I have to miss Touche Amore, Against Me!, Glassjaw, Taking Back Sunday, and Hatebreed, but otherwise my schedule is fan-fucking-tastic.

What a year for punk-related festivals! I've already caught.. Circa Survive, Minus the Bear, The Menzingers, I am the Avalanche, Kevin Devine, and Vinnie Caruana .. Phoenix, Passion Pit, Paramore, Silversun Pickups, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Airborne Toxic Event, and Twenty One Pilots .. Bayside, Saves the Day, Balance and Composure, Mixtapes, I Call Fives, This Good Robot, Rx Bandits, Glassjaw, Streetlight Manifesto, Cartel .. Motion City Soundtrack, Silverstein, MC Lars, letlive., The Chariot, August Burns Red, The Wonder Years, Ace Enders, and The Story so Far .. Motion City Soundtrack, Silverstein, MC Lars, Story of the Year, The Swellers, and Reel Big Fish .. Judge, 7 Seconds, H2O, All Out War, The Rival Mob, and Defeater .. 2013, you rule.
03:39 PM on 09/12/13
#9
brettrsd
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Disappointed that I have to miss Touche Amore, Against Me!, Glassjaw, Taking Back Sunday, and Hatebreed, but otherwise my schedule is fan-fucking-tastic.

What a year for punk-related festivals! I've already caught.. Circa Survive, Minus the Bear, The Menzingers, I am the Avalanche, Kevin Devine, and Vinnie Caruana .. Phoenix, Passion Pit, Paramore, Silversun Pickups, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Airborne Toxic Event, and Twenty One Pilots .. Bayside, Saves the Day, Balance and Composure, Mixtapes, I Call Fives, This Good Robot, Rx Bandits, Glassjaw, Streetlight Manifesto, Cartel .. Motion City Soundtrack, Silverstein, MC Lars, letlive., The Chariot, August Burns Red, The Wonder Years, Ace Enders, and The Story so Far .. Motion City Soundtrack, Silverstein, MC Lars, Story of the Year, The Swellers, and Reel Big Fish .. Judge, 7 Seconds, H2O, All Out War, The Rival Mob, and Defeater .. 2013, you rule.
I really wish I caught the menzingers at some point....Where do you live? Looks like your around to catch the northeast bands. Man I miss living back in Philly-bands pass by SF
03:43 PM on 09/12/13
ACA
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I really wish I caught the menzingers at some point....Where do you live? Looks like your around to catch the northeast bands. Man I miss living back in Philly-bands pass by SF

Interesting you call The Menzingers out.. they were definitely one of the weakest bands from that list.

Yeah this is all east coast (DC, PA, NJ). There is no better place to live for music than Jersey, in my opinion. Aside from all the super-close spots, Chicago is a $250 roundtrip flight and Boston isn't a four hour drive.
04:13 PM on 09/12/13
ACA
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Brand New is gonna kill it on Sunday.
Ideally. The last time I saw them they did Your Favorite Weapon front-to-back and it was fantastic. In fact, aside from a strange Bamboozle set, they've always been pretty solid. Would love to see a surprise Deja Entendu set at Riot Fest..
05:24 PM on 09/12/13
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Very excited to see Brand New. Saw them last year at River's Edge and they put on an amazing show. Excited to see The Dear Hunter, Bad Books, Bayside... and quite a few others. Sunday is a completely stacked day for me. Other two days will be great as well!
05:34 PM on 09/12/13
serotoninzero
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Disappointed that I have to miss Touche Amore, Against Me!, Glassjaw, Taking Back Sunday, and Hatebreed, but otherwise my schedule is fan-fucking-tastic.

What a year for punk-related festivals! I've already caught.. Circa Survive, Minus the Bear, The Menzingers, I am the Avalanche, Kevin Devine, and Vinnie Caruana .. Phoenix, Passion Pit, Paramore, Silversun Pickups, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, The Airborne Toxic Event, and Twenty One Pilots .. Bayside, Saves the Day, Balance and Composure, Mixtapes, I Call Fives, This Good Robot, Rx Bandits, Glassjaw, Streetlight Manifesto, Cartel .. Motion City Soundtrack, Silverstein, MC Lars, letlive., The Chariot, August Burns Red, The Wonder Years, Ace Enders, and The Story so Far .. Motion City Soundtrack, Silverstein, MC Lars, Story of the Year, The Swellers, and Reel Big Fish .. Judge, 7 Seconds, H2O, All Out War, The Rival Mob, and Defeater .. 2013, you rule.
Looks like I'll basically be following you around all weekend.
09:34 PM on 09/12/13
irthesteve
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I really would love to see a fest like this in CA
10:55 PM on 09/12/13
xapplexpiex
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It's awesome to see Replacements love.

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