Riotfest Chicago 2012 (Saturday)

Posted: October 17, 2012 in Music, Travel

To pick up where I left off from Riotfest Day 1, Day 2 began and although there were some cobwebs to deal with, and a little bit of a sore back from my awesome bunk bed at the Getaway Hostel, by the time we made our way over to Humbolt Park, things were going pretty well.  Although i will say, if the Chicago cab drivers are still playing that game where they identify hungover people and then drive like arseholes in an effort to make them want to jump out of a moving (well moving if you count accelerating to 60 between stop signs and screeching to a halt every ten feet) cab, then the chick who drove is to Humbolt Park wins the game, no competition.  I wish I knew your name so I could tell all the cab drivers how great you are at making people want to curl up into the fetal position and cry.  Where was I?  Oh, yeah, Riotfest 2012.

So when you are at Riotfest you know that there are going to have to be some choices made, too many great bands to see them all, so decisions must be made.  Check out this schedule for Saturday, what a lineup.

Nobunny.  We wanted to get to the venue in time to see No Bunny, based on recommendations from my friends B&S.  Not my favorite band, but the early slot at the beginning of a long day of rocking is a tough spot.  I bet they got in some good partying the rest of the day.  I also probably didn’t need to see the singer in tightywhities covered in glitter.  I think I am a little bit cranky today based on my cab rant and this, but I am going to go with it and probably be in a good mood by the time I get to Larry and His Flask.  The gift that No Bunny bestowed was the theme song for the Squad, “Assholes, Everywhere.”  Pretty catchy tune, and hard not to repeat over and over again in inappropriate situations.

Frank Turner.  We then caught Frank Turner, which was very worthwhile.  This was actually the first chance that I have had to catch Frank Turner live, and to be honest, I have only listened to him sparingly.  Very glad we checked out this show, he is pretty amazing and although he isn’t the most traditionally punk person that you will ever run across, by the sound of him he is as punk as anyone, plus he is Irish and that is cool (with some limited and unsaid exceptions).  Below is a link to Frank covering Linoleum on youtube.  I feel like I have a bunch of folks singing this song (NOFX original of course), and its a pretty good litmus test of style and ability.  Give it a listen, I think you will see why I have been playing this version into my wifes pregnant stomach on a regular basis to say hello to my little girl to be.

Larry and His Flask.  So, here I am writing about Larry and His Flask and their bluegrassfolkpunkrockabilly again.  I have to say that every time I see these guys I am amazed and how great they are and how much they continue to improve upon their live show and their music, which started at such a high level improvement is pretty cool to see.  I’ve read other blogs and articles about how these guys stole the show at Riotfest 2012.  If I head Riot Mike’s ear I would say that Larry and His Flask would be an awesome, awesome, awesome secret show.  Make it so Riot Mike.   One thing that is undeniable is the level of talent spread across this band.  They pick with the best of them and rock harder than most at the same time, hard to do, awesome to watch.  Check out the clip below, the effort that these guys put into the show and the crowd is fully reciprocated and has to be one of the best live show experiences on the road these days, shit, even some GWAR fans (yes GWAR is both still alive and played Riotfest 2012) were rocking to the show.  I think that this would be a band that I would enjoy grabbing a beer with, but not having a mustache or beard contest.  I could write more about these guys, but I have a fair amount of ground still to cover and hope to see them again soon in STL so I can continue my affair with their shows.

Teenage Bottlerocket.  To go from Larry His Flask to Teenage Bottlerocket in one day is the makings of a pretty killer day alone.   Last time I saw Teenage Bottlerocket at Riotfest it was at a secret show at the Cobra Lounge (one of my favorite places in the world to see a show).  TBR put on another great show, although their failure to play Maverick nearly sent my buddy Scott into a tailspin.  Was able to see TBR in STL two days ago where they headlined and played Maverick, so S has almost totally forgiven the band.  As usual TBR is rocking.  Their set is always tight and they cram a very punk rock amount of music into a set, very little talking, very lot rocking, which unless you are Brendan Kelly or Fat Mike should be what you do as a band, especially a young band.   TBR’s most recent release Freak Out is definitely worth buying, super rocking all the way through. 

The Gaslight Anthem.  Was good to catch these guys again.  I just wrote about them, still feel the same way, lets not reinvent the wheel here.

Slapstick.  So round two of Brendan Kelly and Dan Adriano, as Slapstick reunited after god knows how long to play a show.   Other than the Asian Man records 15th anniversary, I believe that this is the first reunion since 1997.  A buddy who was/is in the Secret Cajun Band (RIP Skip) told me a story about touring with Slapstick and shooting fireworks at each other in vans on the Fourth of July in the mid-nineties.  Although much older these days, Slapstick still played a great set (how they remember those songs at this point with limited practice is pretty amazing in and of itself).  Brendan made fun of ska the requisite amount to allow them to get through the set, and the lineup of other artists on the stage was pretty telling as far as how special it was for those guys to get together and play a show.

Dropkick Murphys.  As you may imagine if you read the above, at this point in the day I am getting a little drunk and a bit fatigued.  Since the VIP bracelets had us pretty close to the state for most of the shows, and the Dropkicks have to play one of the loudest shows in the history of history, so I hung out in the lawn and watched their show from a bit of a far.  The Dropkicks did what the Dropkicks do, they were awesome and made me want to hate Red Sox fans less for about a second.  Then they played Nessie, which reminder me of 2004, and I now hate Boston fans more that I did before the concert.  Great show.

Decendants.  Although I have been blessed to see the Decendents (with Milo) at previous Riotfests, it is always a pleasure to see these guys as who knows how long they are going to come out.  For a band that was founded in the late 70s, yes 1970s, it is amazing to see them.  We all have our favorite songs, albeit potentially cliche (who knw how that was spelled until now) mine is Hope.  If anyone is punk rocker on the younger side make sure and do your diligence on this band and realize how cool it is that you can see one of the inspirations of SoCal skate punk/hardcore in 2012.  I didn’t take any pictures, as it was getting dark and I was taking in the show.

Rise Against.  Rise Against headlined the Saturday shows at Humbolt Park.  These guys are just pros.  Although it is unlikely to happen, or least not for a few decades, I would love to see Rise Against at a small venue again.  These guys rock and write songs from the gut.  Have lots of respect for them, however, they are super big right now and their show has to match the size of the arena like crowds they are playing to.  No knocks on them, super excited that they are where they are, but definitely miss seeing them with less effects and on smaller stages.

NOFX (1).  So, NOFX is clearly one of my favorite bands of all time.  The new album SelfEntitled is different but the same.  They are definitely taking some chances, but also retaining their sound and the reason that they have to be seen as one of the best punk bands in history, hands down, no argument, I will fist fight over this.  The night before this show NOFX canceled in Minnesota because Fat Mike was sick.  Well thank god he made the secret show at the Congress.  They played again on Sunday at Humbolt Park, so I will get more gooey about my love for them in the next post.

Writing this post has been about as draining as watching 14 hours of Punk music in the day in question.  Unfortunately I have had zero beers in the production of this post, which wasn’t the case with the 14 hours of awesomeness in question.  What a day, next post will be about Sunday.

 

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