A Dozen Riot Fest Bands (That Aren’t Headliners) You Should See

The Bombpops

This year’s Riot Fest is a wealth of riches. Yup, that’s a cliché but it’s so true. When you’re done with your whining over this or that headliner going up against each other (what did you expect?!) here are the acts you should see earlier in the next few days. (And to see late because PARTY.)

The Bombpops
These folks are basically the living incarnation of Josie and the Pussycats. The good version, not the cartoon. If You miss them, you’re an idiot.

Direct Hit!
Milwaukee’s finest isn’t actually a beer, it’s this band. Get crazy with their unrelenting hooks and mindbending lyrics. They have a new album coming out soon so you’ll also get a sneak peek into that.

Liz Phair
Why is Liz playing so early? We’ll never know. But she never said something so get to Douglas Park early and figure out what she WILL say. I saw her at The Empty Bottle a few months ago and her live set is incredibly strong. Don’t miss it.

Archie Powell & The Exports
Wanna listen to the sound of a drunken blackout and actually remember it? These kids will be your jam.

Dude writes songs for Taylor Swift and still manages to rock on his own. You wanna miss that?!

Sum 41
Who doesn’t love Canadian pop-punk?!

Andrew W.K.
Party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party this never gets old  party  party  party party party party party party party party  party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party party  party party party  party party party party party party party party party party party!

Speedy Ortiz
This band has come a long way from their indie roots. They still kill it live but have figured out to inject electropop into guitar squalls and make it work.

Pussy Riot
One of their compatriots just got poisoned by Russia. This band is supremely important as far as actually standing up to oppression and speaking the truth to the people. Get to their stage early. They are the real deal.

Beach Bunny
Chicago’s finest lo-fi beach pop. They kick ass.

Street Dogs
Who doesn’t want to rage and party like you’re in a Boston basement in 1997? God knows I do (even though I’d probably get the shit kicked out of me).

One of the best live bands on the planet. Ever.

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Jim Kopeny / Tankboy

Tankboy resides in the body of Jim Kopeny and lives in Mayfair with Pickle the Kitten and a beagle named Betty (RIP) who may actually be slightly more famous than most of the musicians slogging through the local scene. He's written about music for much longer than most bands you hear on the radio have even existed. He also swears that it wasn't him who did that and has learned that "deny everything" is a basic tenet of existence.