As we walked through the gates on Saturday afternoon, I heard the familiar screeching of “Rain Down Some Change On Me.” RVIVR was on the big stage and they were fucking loud. We had showed up a little later than planned due to an unexpected pickup. As we were driving down the street heading to Douglas Park, we saw our friend Colin Dana walking to the bus stop on his way to the second day of Riot Fest. Not on our watch! So, we missed RVIVR. What we didn’t miss was the Press area and Day 2 of our free drinks marathon. I fully expected to feel way worse than I did when I woke up earlier that morning. Fortunately, I don’t get hangovers. Unfortunately, that meant I felt fine enough to get back to drinking and ordered two Strongbow ciders (still hoping for that sponsorship!) right off the bat.
Team Bad Copy headed to the Heather Owens stage to see local Chicago band, Turnspit. I had heard the name before, but had no idea what they sounded like. I was impressed, making a mental note to check them out in the future. But in the present, my drink was empty and that was not okay. After a quick refill, I stopped by the Radicals stage to watch Fishbone perform a few songs.
Everyone was dancing, including a guy to my left. I took a video of him and put it on our Instagram and soon, it had almost 50,000 views. I would later find out that the guy was Nolan Farrell.
I just loved the way he would not stop dancing, either to check his phone real quick, or smoke his cigarette. It was impressive, especially considering how goddamn hot it was out.
We ran over to catch a couple songs from La Armada before deciding that it was too hot and early to be shouted at. We headed back to the Press area to enjoy some shade and get our backs adjusted for free by the onsite chiropractor, Dr. Matthew Ray. And… to drink more. An electronic beat blasted from the nearby Riot stage, and all I could hear was “Tell on my pussy, whistle blow my clit.” It was time for Peaches! Kendra and I went over to check out what was one of the better live acts of the weekend so far. Peaches and her dancers came out in vagina costumes. She also did all of her costume changes without leaving the stage. At one point, she yelled, “Jesus walked on water. Peaches walks on you!” before jumping the barricade and walking on the crowd. Imagine the uncensored video for “Rub”, but live. Peaches was amazing.
Amped up from that performance, Kendra and I attempted to get into the Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue. But the line was at least a hundred people long. So we bailed and headed to the Electric Sky Wine booth instead. Kendra had previously gotten an email from the Interscope Records owned, stackable wine company asking if we would like to stop by for a meet and greet. Of course we would! These were like like the Buzzballz of wine but with inter-locking properties. I saw a guy with a wizard staff made from, like, fifteen of them. Anyway, the red one tasted like red wine and also stained the fuck out of my fingers. All in all, they were pretty good.
Kendra and I heard that Four Lights’ Jeff Mangalin, who we missed seeing the day before, was at Riot Fest for the day. We ran past both FIDLAR and Bad Brains to get to Pottymouth, but more importantly, to Jeff. With our Seattle giant in tow, it was time to head back to the Rise stage to see the set that would be the highlight of my weekend: The Lawrence Arms performing Oh! Calcutta! in its entirety. Somewhere in the crowd, I ran into another buddy (let’s call him B-Rad) who told me how he had tossed a 24-pack of PBR over the fence earlier in the day so he could drink all day for free. I love my scumbag friends! The Lawrence Arms were great. Although they didn’t fucking play the secret track off Oh Calcutta!, “Warped Summer Extravaganza (Major Excellent),” they did have time to run through all of their Buttsweat and Tears EP. They ended the set with “Beautiful Things” from Metropole. It’s an awesome track, but not I’m not sure it’s a closer. On the other hand, Chris McCaughan was dressed in all white like a sad Andrew W.K. so basically we ALL won in the end.
Gogol Bordello was next up on the Riot stage. I’ve been listening to that band since I heard them on the soundtrack for the movie Wristcutters, but have never been able to catch them live. They were fucking great. Frontman Eugene Hütz is a maniac. He used every inch of the big stage to his advantage.
For the first time all weekend, I was also able to stay put and watch the second band on the adjoining Roots stage, At the Drive-In. They are another band I love and was very stoked to see play live. I’ve heard mixed reactions about their shows since their reformation in 2015. But I thought they sounded fucking great as they played a good mix of older stuff mixed with the new tracks off this year’s release, In•ter a•li•a. We even saw our friend Sergio in the crowd!
As Queens of the Stone Age began playing, we walked over the Rise stage to catch the last twenty minutes of Wu-Tang Clan. By the time we settled on our spot in the crowd, they were done with their full performance of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).
Still, we got there in time to hear an Ol’ Dirty Bastard-less version of “Shimmy Shimmy Ya” and what they called a never-before-played live song of what we could only jokingly assume was a track off the album that actual human turd Martin Shkreli had bought for more money than I will ever make in my life.
Riot Fest Day Two was at an end. My drink tally for the day stood at 11. As we made our way out of the gates and toward Quencher’s Saloon for Soothsayer Hot Sauce’s 3rd Annual Pop Punk Pizza Party, we could hear the sounds of Taking Back Sunday playing to the crowd of people walking toward their rides.
“Jesus fucking Christ, they sound old.”
Check out photos from Day 2 below and also our full Day 1 coverage!