Chicago’s own Riot Fest made its return this year, once again kicking down doors to several venues for the annual punk rock festivities. Things started in high gear on Friday, October 12 at the House of Blues with the lineup of The Frankl Project, Das Kapital, Shot Baker, The Bouncing Souls, and The Lawrence Arms.
Due to my day job, I was unable to make the five o’clock show time and arrived at the tail end of Shot Baker’s set. It was a rowdy crowd with punk rockers both young and old throwing arms on a packed floor.
The Bouncing Souls were welcomed with a roar and their fast-paced energetic set – a Souls standard – immediately took off. Songs like “East Coast Fuck You” and “Here We Go” fueled the crowd and I personally enjoyed their rendition of “Lean on Sheena”.
Local punk rock heroes, The Lawrence Arms, headlined opening night and with good reason. As usual, Brendan Kelly (bass) and Chris McCaughan (guitar) brought their drunken yet engaging stage presence. The band played what seemed to be a perfect set, and fans showed their love by the continuous flow of crowd surfing and throwing cigarettes up on the stage. Kelly and McCaughan were very appreciative of the latter. The highlight for me was Kelly’s intoxicated shit talking with regards to how much Sarah Palin sucks. Golden indeed.
– Tanya Van Kampen