Riot Fest 2017: Day Three in Review

  A woman had three rules scribbled on the back of her black denim vest: Eat pussy. Chug whiskey. Hail Satan. And after suffering two scorchers, the gods – or Satan – blessed the final day of Riot Fest with a little cloud coverage and a gentle breeze. Here's a look at some of Sunday's performances. The Menzingers Views from the front row: A typical Menzingers fan pumps his fist up in the air and really emphasizes the "f" in "fuck." (Bonus: All the way in the back of the crowd, a man tried to find a window among a sea of bobbing heads to see the stage. On his right calf, he had a tattoo that read: "Straight Edge (For Some of My) Life XXX.") The Menzingers have a knack for making you hate yourself. It's plain and simple: growing up is a pain, and the changes – no matter what they are – are inevitable. The Pennsylvania-based punk band wasted no time in diving into heavy hitters like "The Obituaries," "I Don't Want to be an Asshole Anymore," "Thick as Thieves" and "After the Party." A sweaty fan in a white T-shirt mimicked vocalist Greg Barnett's screams. Truth be told, The Menzingers couldn't have posted a harder question than this: "Oh, where are we gonna go? Oh, now that our 20s are over?" – F. Amanda Tugade The Flatliners Views from the front row: A young security guard examined his uneven tan lines. His co-worker hands him a bottle of sunscreen, but he refuses. – F. Amanda Tugade Paramore Views from the front row: A group of boys claimed a coveted spot. One of them told a photographer that he hasn't moved all day; he's been there since 11 a.m., waiting for this very moment.  (Bonus: "I feel like I can't breathe," said a fangirl, moments before the lights dimmed and Paramore stepped on the Radicals Stage. "My stomach is turning.") Hayley Williams has not aged, not one bit. For many who grew up alongside with her, it was plain to see the impression the songstress has made on them. Williams is the girl-next-door with a spunk. Her energy and her spunk seeped through her performance on stage. As Paramore kicked off its set with its latest hit, "Hard Times" and a recent number "Still Into You,"  it was clear to see the pop-punk band continues to evolve through time. – F. Amanda Tugade

Built to Spill

The grandfather’s of indie took the stage on the final night to play Keep It Like a Secret in it's entirety which was a rare treat. Built to Spill have been masters of blending pop melodies, unique riffs, and simple, but beautiful solos. Naturally, KILAS has a balance that marries the innocence of There's Nothing Wrong With Love and the maturity of Perfect From Now On that holds up even after nearly two decades.

Doug Martsch may be a humble man, but it’s clear that his guitar skills and beautiful solos (although subtle to some) are quite phenomenal, which was really highlighted during “Carry The Zero” and “Time Trap.”

They then launched into “Else” – a track with such morose beauty that offered a brief reprise before going into the rocking homage, “You Were Wrong.”

Keep It Like a Secret is definitely an album that harkens back to an age of indie rock that was more honest and innovative. It’s no secret that Doug Martsch was heavily influenced by comparatively heavier bands such as Dinosaur Jr. and that element was crystal clear as Martsch flowed into the dark, jammy realm of “Broken Chairs” to cap off their set. – Jennifer Roger

Best Coast

The smell of weed continued to waft in the air as the L.A. lo-fi pop darlings put on a fun and easy show during the sunset of the fest’s final night. Bethany Cosentino and Co. brought the relaxed vibes which was a great way to help close out the Indian Summer weekend in Chicago. – Jennifer Roger

Dinosaur Jr.

There were a number of highly anticipated bands this weekend, but Dinosaur Jr. had droves of people sprinting toward the stage to catch a moment of You’re Living All Over Me. And the 30 year old album certainly stands the test of time, combining rough and distorted guitars with J. Mascis’ deceptively soothing vocals.

“Little Fury Things” pulsated with heavy, unrelenting kick drums echoing throughout the park, and “Sludgefeast” stayed true to its name, bringing in that beautifully dirty guitar tone. “Just Like Heaven” was of course a fan favorite, providing a final boost of energy for the three-day festivities.

Mascis effortlessly shredded throughout the evening, never missing a beat except during “Tarpit” when he repeated one line of lyrics twice, but who cares? It’s Dinosaur Jr. – Jennifer Roger

All photos by F. Amanda Tugade
Picture of the author
F. Amanda Tugade