It sure seems like you can't go one weekend in the summer without a music festival.
Riot Fest - Page 2
Of course it rained. At day three (Sept. 15) of Riot Fest Chicago, where the newly reunited Replacements played their second show -- and first in the U.S. -- since 1991, the gods were bound to muddy the grounds. Throughout their original run, the 'Mats were victims of cruel fate and terrible decisions, and before for these shoulda-been-contenders could make any kind of triumphant return, a few thousand people were going to have to ruin their shoes.
If opening day of Riot Fest Chicago was all about originators -- Joan Jett, Danzig, Bad Religion -- Saturday (Sept. 14) showcased agitators and innovators, artists behind bastard sub-genres and styles difficult to peg. The theme extended from noontime openers Mephiskapheles to main attractions Rancid and the Violent Femmes, and if headliners Blink-182 aren't exactly sonic voyagers, they've found new ways to sell pop-punk to mass audiences.
Some festivals are all about what's new. Not Riot Fest. At stop No. 2 of the 2013 traveling punk weekender, which kicked off yesterday (Sept. 13) in Chicago's Humboldt Park, there were no 22-year-old techno wizards hunched over laptops, double-clicking up twitchy variants of house music. The only people on computers were likely 30- and 40-something journalist-types tapping out stories about guitar bands they could have seen 20 or 30 years ago. And that was pretty great.
Riot Fest Chicago is less than a week away, and the second of the festival's three weekend-long stops promises to be one of the year's finest rock 'n' roll outings. As in Toronto last month, the big story is the Replacements, but their return to the stage after more than two decades is just one reason to fly, drive, hitch, run or crawl your way to Chi-Town this weekend. Joining the 'Mats is a Who's Who of punk, garage, indie, metal, hip-hop and yes, even ska bands -- plus carnival rides, choice eats and more.
Riot Fest comes to May Farms in Denver, Colo., on Sept. 21-22 with a slew of top-name acts in tow, and Diffuser.fm and Loudwire are stoked to be giving away five pairs of two-day passes. Enter via the widget above.
The Replacements will reunite for Riot Fest shows in Toronto (Aug. 24-25), Chicago (Sept. 13-15) and Denver (Sept. 21-22), according to a press release that's sure to have fans of the legendary Minneapolis punk band scrambling to make summer travel plans. The group hasn't performed live in 22 years, but according to bassist Tommy Stinson, they never actually broke up. Last fall, Stinson and frontman Paul Westerberg reconvened in the studio for 'Songs for Slim,' an EP recorded to raise money for former Replacements guitarist Slim Dunlap, who suffered a stroke in 2012, and the old chemistry was apparently still there.