Sure people say that bands need to stay relevant, and music tends to follow trends but some bands defy that logic. Riot Fest has a history of bringing in artists that have withstood the test of time and constantly evolved to be a force in the music industry. Previously bringing in bands/individuals like The Cure, Flaming Lips, Dropkick Murphys, Social Distortion, Bob Mould and Paul Weller, Riot Fest is doused with history. This year bands such as Weezer, Rancid, Motörhead, They Prodigy, Echo and the Bunnymen, and individuals such as Thurston Moore have had not only historical success internationally but here at home as well.
Riot Fest selects all types of music to play at their festival therefore wide variety of people coming to these shows and showing that music never dies. The wonderful thing about having bands that do have a long history of music is that people from all walks of life can come and enjoy the music. I grew up listening to 102.1 The Edge and that’s where my music taste diverged. The History of New Music was where I found out about the nature of music and which musicians influenced my favourite bands.
Weezer is synonymous with the alternative scene. Not only are they cool with the Muppets (Trust me “Keep Fishing” is one of the catchiest songs period, but Animal on drums is amazing too) but they have a history that is unlike any other band. Rivers Cuomo, Brian Bell, Scott Shiner and Patrick Wilson make up this magical band. Weezer formed in 1992 and hail from the city of angels. Yup Los Angeles, California. Their first album was the “Blue” album (released in 1994) and Pinkerton followed (released in 1996). During Riot Fest this year, Weezer is playing both albums that started their career. I’m not only excited, but I had tears of joy because I can finally hear “Undone – The Sweater Song” live. Do I need to say more?
The members of Rancid are legendary. The celebrated punk band started in 1991 hailing from Berkeley, California. Since then they have dominated the punk scene. This band consists of lead singer Tim Armstrong (Member of another band called The Transplants), Lars Frederiksen (also apart of Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards), Matt Freeman, and Branden Steineckert. It was radio show Punk O Rama that got me into Rancid and since then I haven’t looked back. Their album “…And Out Came The Wolves” propelled them into the limelight, with singles like “Time Bomb” and “Ruby Soho”, this album was and is still one of the best punk albums during the 1990’s. Their latest album “…Honor Is All We Know” was released just last year and it shows that the boys aren’t anywhere close to being done.
Echo & The Bunnymen
Echo & The Bunnyman started out in 1978, back when disco was still in the clubs. Originating from Liverpool, England, these lads have been dominating the world ever since. Current members include Ian McCulloch, Will Sergeant and touring members are Gordy Goudie, Jez Wing, Nick Kilroe and Stephen Brannan. Throughout their history as a band, they have had numerous number one singles and albums that have gone gold. Their most recent album was released in 2014 called Meteorites and they still continue to tour throughout the years while their original drummer died in 1989, in addition to also going on hiatus during the 90’s. Proving that music never dies, this band continues to play their heart out every night. They have sold out shows at the O2 Arena and have headlined major festivals including V Festival out in the U.K.
Legendary Hip Hop group Wu-Tang Clan are as influential as they come. Consisting of east-coast rappers RZA, Method Man, GZA, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, inspectah Deck, U-God, Masta Killa, Cappadonna, and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, critics and other artists sight this group as the best and most influential rap group ever. Having started in 1992 out of Staten Island, New York, Wu-Tang Clan members have gone on to produce, act, direct, including winning Grammy’s for their work. If you don’t think they deserve a spot at Riot Fest, RZA is collaborating with System of a Down’s bassist, Shavo Odadjian, releasing an album called “Achozen”. I became a fan of them after seeing their logo at a family friend’s house and got curious as to what it meant. These talented musicians are going to steal the show at Riot Fest and I am not going to miss out.
Thurston Moore hails from America. Born in Coral Gables, Florida but grew up in Bethel, Connecticut, he became the lead singer of Sonic Youth. He has changed boundaries within music while defining the DIY ethic of the hardcore punk genre. Considered one of the leaders in the noise rock and alternative rock genres, Thurston Moore is a legend all on his own. Last year Thurston Moore was on bill and I’m glad he’s coming back to do this festival again. His individual work speaks for itself, with his debut album “Psychic Hearts” being released in 1995 and continuing the trend. His most recent album “The Best Day” was released last year, with a stunning album cover that is a photo of his mother circa 1940’s. Look out for Mr. Moore at Riot Fest, it’s something you don’t want to miss.
Riot Fest will also host all the bands/individuals you love from Andrew W.K. to Alexisonfire to Cancer Bats and even Yelawolf. Currently there layaway tickets available, in addition to general admission and VIP tickets. There are locker rentals on site too so you can the most optimal bag-free experience during this festival. In addition, this year there will be rides and you can buy tickets to the carnival rides as well. Tickets can be purchased here.