Sunday Morning Soliloquy - Musings of an Urbanite: How the Old Folks Liked Riot Fest 2014

Saturday, September 20, 2014

How the Old Folks Liked Riot Fest 2014

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Riot Fest wrap up by Leyla and her old-ass friends 

My only regret is that I couldn't be in two places at once... that's what the old folks are saying about Riot Fest. There's a lot of mumbo-jumbo in here but the end is alright, feel free to scroll.

Excitable Boy at Social Distortion
Excitable Boys at Riot Fest
(hee hee... taken by me during Social Distortion)

But First... A Short Rant 
I am a fortunate lady who is grateful for many things - my friends, my family and the fact that I saw approximately 22 bands last weekend for less than $15 / band with VIP access that included booze. How can I complain? Now that the weekend has come and gone, I wonder... how come we don't do this more often?

Riot Fest Highlights - with a little help from my friends 
A favorite highlight of the weekend took place on Friday in the cold and rain. We were all pretty miserable (because we're soft) and then this little girl in pink rain boots started jumping into mud puddles next to us, she was splashing and dancing with her dad. The rain and the mud was the show and the music was a bonus.

General Observations
  • Excellent line-up, my only regret is that I couldn't be in two places at once (said Adam)
  • Liked the fact that most people maintained their composure, particularly before 3PM
  • The crowd on Friday night was older and braver than the Saturday and Sunday crowds 
  • Lots and LOTS of face tattoos (what's wrong with kids today?)

Riot Fest Chicago Gwar
(photo by Adam)

Friday Moments
  • Gwar was a Riot Fest highlight for both Adam and Sean (Adam's first time)
  • Missing Gwar was a regret for me, it would've been my 3rd (or 4th) time 
  • Mastodon was dark and bluesy, impressed by the power of the vocals and how the styles of the singers played off each other - Sean
  • Gogol Bordello was loud, enthusiastic and clearly having a good time - Traci and I agree
  • Jane's Addiction played a solid set, Dave Navarro's sleeveless shirt; Perry Farrell's admiration for Oz park and recent frisbee purchase - Traci and I agree once again
  • Dave Navarro proved once again that he is tiny but mighty  

Riot Fest Chicago Die Antwoord
Die Antwoord
(photo by Adam and his incredibly tiny panasonic lumix)

riot fest chicago flaming lips
Wayne Coyne doing his best hamster impression
(photo by Adam)

Riot Fest Chicago Slayer
(photo by Adam - again)

Saturday Moments
  • Buzzcocks, what a pleasant surprise, I intended to see the Dandy Warhols but gratefully I stuck around after 7 Seconds
  • Die Antwoord was Traci's recommendation, she missed it but Adam and I had a blast 
  • Jennifer Hernandez was amazing, a solid artist with a unique style - like fire on stage, said Paloma and Sean agreed
  • Wu-Tang played a good set, a lot from 36 Chambers, and over pre-recorded tracks vs. live, but having not seen them before, not sure if this was a good thing or not - Traci 
  • Cater said that Me First and the Gimme Gimmes were not to miss, and they are an ex's favorite, they were surely entertaining
  • The Afghan Whigs were much older than I remembered and much better than I remembered
  • Offspring was the one band I wished I could unhear; Traci compared Dexter Holland to Guy Fieri and the comment about how most of the crowd "is doable" was unintentially hilarious 
  • Wished The Flaming Lips set was longer, Wayne Coyne's silver streamers and muscle bodysuit; giant mushrooms and glitter bombs that blew the power; fast recovery; hamster ball and he can still hit the high notes; Traci was bummed because she hoped that Henry Rollins may get up and perform a couple off their Dark Side of the Moon album 
  • Samhain what happened? He looks like a cross between Meatloaf and the guy from The Crow, exclaimed Traci; it was mutually agreed upon by all my friends that it was a bad headliner choice, probably paid to have a headliner spot - exclusively my own opinion

Afghan Whigs Riot Fest
Afghan Whigs
(photo by Adam - naturally)

Patti Smith at Riot Fest
 Patti Smith 
(by Adam, again)

Making Believe You Still Love Me
Social Distortion 
(taken by me)

(by Adam)

Sunday Moments 
  • For Traci the early part of the day consisted of: not seeing but catching last part of the Whigs and part of The Hold Steady and Superchunk (I was already there - heard and saw them); snippets of Lucero and Hot Snakes (at this point she was floating about with me)
  • The Hold Steady was better than Adam and I expected 
  • Adam saw The Dads, "lame name but great vibe, there was no way we going to see them based on that name but we ended up there" - makes sense
  • Had to see Naked Raygun in honor of my broham (who once said he was almost as happy on his wedding day as he was at a Naked Raygun concert) 
  • Social Distortion, a no-brainer highlight for me, and it was fun knowing more about Mike Ness than the 20-something-year-old punk rock boys asking "how long has he been sober?" 
  • Not seeing the Blue Meanies was my biggest Riot Fest disappointment but there was nothing I could do - more on this at the end
  • Traci thought Patti Smith was solid solid solid...shout out to Fred Smith was a little heartbreaking and sweet, and dedication of a song to her grandson; I was pleased that she broke out Rock N Roll N***** hope the millennials didn't freak out too badly
  • Traci though The Cure / Weezer time set-up was terrible; glad to have seen Weezer but would like to know why they needed to take a break before starting into the Blue Album 
  • I was thrilled to be hanging with the crying 40-year-old women rather than the 30-something frat boys with beards on their chins and graphic tees on their torsos chanting every last word to every song (I managed to see Weezer and The Cure but guess where I finished on Sunday)

Sunday at Riot Fest was the best and the most conflicting day for me. Seeing legendary bands was extremely gratifying, having to decide between Weezer and The Cure was tough (I went back and forth but stuck with The Cure), but choosing between The Blue Meanies and Patti Smith was like making Sofie's Choice.

I went to school in Carbondale and worked at the bar where The Blue Meanies played regularly. It is possible that I saw them 100x and I was usually with my friend Steph. Steph is no longer with us, so naturally I couldn't help but think about her over the weekend. How much fun we had, and would've had, there were many moments where I could still hear her say, Leyla can fend for herself... as she left me in some ditch to wither and die while she wandered off (or vice versa, it was the way we were back then, and that was OK). 

Riot Fest pre-game at Twisted Spoke
Sunday Bloody Mary's with Sean and Paloma
Twisted Spoke

Ultimately, Riot Fest weekend was fun because of the friendships I've built over a lifetime - fond memories and great friendships. I asked all my friends to send me their highlights, which they did, and tonight Traci sent me a text asking to amend her highlights. Traci's amendment...
I think my email about the weekend was lame and thought about it some more. My highlight is that I got to spend the weekend listening to great music with you. Laughing a lot and feeling really excited about the weekend like a 14-year-old while sharing dark humor when most people wouldn't. Bonding with strangers when most of the time I hate people. But I really liked our symmetry and not feeling we had to be bound at the hip, while at the same time we ended up that way. I wouldn't have had the same experience without you being a part of it.

Sounds like something you'd write as a eulogy, I think Traci should recycle it, I can't possibly live too much longer. And once again, I agree with Traci.

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