Day 2 of Riot Fest had some amazing acts but was also a slightly calmer day for many. Following the incredible power of Nine Inch Nails and A Day To Remember the night before, many seemed to be a little less energetic on Saturday. That didn’t stop the earlier bands, however, and by the middle of the afternoon (and the heat of the day), the party was back up and running. Smart festival-goers got there early for Peaches, the singer slash performance artist slash provocateur. Complete with a hot pink pubic hair bodysuit, vagina backup dancers, and a coat that looked like the corpse of a Muppet, Peaches had a huge audience for a 2:30 time slot.

One of the sleeper hits of the day was Shabazz Palaces, a hip-hop duo consisting of Ishmael Butler of Digable Planets and Tendai Maraire. The experimental group have been around since 2009 but got a lot of attention for releasing two studio albums in 2017. They didn’t have the biggest crowd at the festival, but, like Peaches, those who came to see them were treated to an incredible set. On that same stage later in the day, one of the most iconic punk bands of all time, Bad Brains, played some of their fastest and hardest songs. Lead singer H.R. has an impressive vocal range and style which hasn’t faded too much in the past 40 years. The band also played some of their slower, reggae-influenced songs.

Gogol Bordello are always a must-see act, whether playing a small club or headlining a stage at Riot Fest. The multi-instrumental gypsy punk group, fronted by Eugene Hutz, have a number of massive hits under their belt, but they’re the kind of band you could see only knowing one song but fall in love with their entire set. Halfway through Gogol Bordello’s set, New Found Glory played the Rise Stage on the other side of the park. The band is currently celebrating their 20th anniversary (which will make most people who listened to them in middle school feel incredibly old) with a worldwide tour and a nostalgic setlist. Their set had some of the biggest diehard fans of the day, many who had waited at the stage’s barricade since the festival opened at noon (the band played at 7pm).

While the big headliners of the night were unquestionably Queens of the Stone Age, the smaller stage drew a big number of people who were excited to see Taking Back Sunday. The band have been riding a massive wave of success following their seventh album, Tidal Wave, in 2016. “We’ve been waiting for this night all year!” said frontman Adam Lazzara. TBS have been a staple of Riot Fest for years, and this year they not only headlined the Rise stage on Saturday night, they also sold out their Sunday night aftershow. Queens of the Stone Age may have had the bigger crowd, but Taking Back Sunday had the more excited fans.

Bad Brains


Dead Cross

Gogol Bordello

Lucky Chops

New Found Glory


Shabazz Palaces

Taking Back Sunday

The Lawrence Arms

The Regrettes