Yeah yeah yeah, My Chemical Romance, Ice Cube and more — gehen press
Riot Fest returned to Douglass Park on September 16 for another three-day punk rock convention featuring Nine Inch Nails, Alkaline Trio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Yungblud, among many others in a nostalgic carnival theme that never gets old. .
The festival kicked off on Friday afternoon with Sincere Engineer’s highly anticipated Circular Corn Dog Pit, which left many feeling very hungry for a hot Chicago-style red. Pop punk bands like cult band The Wonder Years and long-time veterans Taking Back Sunday rekindled the sea of fans in the evening as a number of memorable punk acts spun the Rebel stage, including Bob Vylan , Destroy Boys, and Algiers earlier today.
The biggest crowd of the weekend was undoubtedly My Chemical Romance on Friday night, which drove the Friday single-day ticket sales. Early 2000s emo fans came from all over town, neighboring states and out of the country to see MCR’s first set in the Midwest after a six-year hiatus.
Gerard Way was calm and collected in a long black pea coat and scarf wrapped around his head, kicking off with “The Foundations of Decay” and “Na Na Na.” They played seventeen songs in total, including crowd favorites “Helena”, “I’m Not Okay” and “Welcome to the Black Parade”. He stopped the set several times to ask fans to step back to make sure no one got hurt in the rowdy pit, and that they were able to walk away without casualties.
On Saturday, The Joy Formidable shone on the Roots stage with warm indie tunes and a zen-like presence, a nice change from the sheer craziness happening in some of the other corners of the festival. Jxdn and Yungblud each performed later in the day on the Roots stage, both of whom delivered energetic sets as they jumped and ran from side to side of the stage.
One of Blondie’s favorite bands, Surfbort, impressed the Rebel scene with an uplifting dose of punk rock. Feminist rockers War on Women have highlighted social and political themes through their music, covering abortion rights, rape and misogyny. Later, chaos ensued with New York hardcore band Madball. Singer Freddy Cricien sparked a fury among the crowd, prompting a diver to make a near-fatal miscalculation and crash into the face-first barricade on the Rebel stage. He stumbled a little and continued as the pit turned into a mess of fists and hysteria.
Three-time Grammy-nominated indie band Yeah Yeah Yeahs, fronted by singer and pianist Karen O., was one of the highlights on Sunday. Decked out in a bold technicolor ensemble, she led the band through twelve tracks on five studio albums. Guitarist Nick Zinner, known for his anthemic guitar riffs in Mad Max: Fury Roadand drummer Brian Chase completed the trio in a highly anticipated performance, closing the set with “Date With The Night”.
On the Rise stage, Ice Cube brought gansta rap and hip-hop, highlighting his work in NWA with “Straight Outta Compton” mid-set and closing with “It Was a Good Day,” a song that garnered more 658 million streams since its release in 1992.
Heavy metal band Nine Inch Nails closed the festival, an act rescheduled from 2021 due to concerns over the coronavirus. They played classics like “Closer”, “Hurts” and “March of the Pigs” as well as newer songs “Less Than” and “The Lovers”. Nine Inch Nails have sold 20 million records since their inception in 1988, earning two Grammy Awards early in their career along with ten additional nominations.
Since its inception in 2005, Riot Fest has grown exponentially and stands today as one of the largest and most diverse annual punk festivals in the country. He’s best known for his distinctive artist reunions, full-album performances, and occasional pop legends — like No Doubt, Blondie, and MIA — that garner enthusiastic fans in droves.
Although this year is over, viewers are hoping for another year of Riot Fest in 2023. Dates have yet to be announced, so stay tuned.