Douglas Park // Chicago, IL // September 14-16, 2018
Day 1: hot weather, jump shots, and inflatable sharks.
Riot Fest weekend is synonymous with rain and mud, but praise be! Last weekend, there was nothing but sunshine, balmy temps, and, as always, kickass music. Friday opened with some of the most exciting bands of the festival, including Russian protest punk group Pussy Riot and PG-ska favorites The Aquabats. During The Aquabats’ show, the band released inflatable sharks, blow-up dolls, and hamburgers into the crowd, which were spotted all across the park for the rest of the day.
Some of the most pop-heavy bands played on Friday and had people dancing up a storm on the dusty fields. Chicago’s own K. Flay gave the crowd a big dose of her hip-hop/indie pop vibes, including her hit “Blood in the Cut”. She was the perfect act to play the Roots Stage right before Matt and Kim, aka the most peppy and adorable music couple in the history of anything. The two came out to a massive group of people already crowdsurfing and throwing dozens of beach balls into the air. Kim defied logic by jumping up and down on her drum set and screaming so loud that she didn’t need a microphone to reach the back row.
Jack Antonoff, aka the indie rock God from New Jersey and frontman for Bleachers, put on the most enthusiastic set of the night. His 80’s infused pop sounds and all-American guitar licks make him the perfect storm for Riot Fest. As fans sang along to “Rollercoaster” and “Don’t Take the Money”, a picturesque sunset draped Bleachers in a beautiful yellow light. Finally, before the sun left Douglas Park, Taking Back Sunday played their emo hits and their new indie rock tracks. TBS weren’t initially on the lineup, but when Blink-182 had to pull out for health reasons, Adam Lazzara and company were one of the three bands happy to jump onto the lineup. Truth is, they should have been on there to begin with, and with any luck, they’ll be back next year.
Tune into Day 2 Riot Fest photos, coming soon!