Riot Fest Sucks (But Less Than Our Football Team)


Sam Bulkley

It’s become popular humor within the fans that go to Riot Fest to say that the festival sucks. The festival even promotes itself by using #RiotFestSucks. Over this Labor Day weekend, some of the KCSU staff skipped The Rocky Mountain Blowout and Tour De Fat to experience how much Riot Fest does not actually suck. They bring large acts from a multitude of genres and get them all in one place at one time. This year’s Riot Fest was branded with The Original Misfits reunion. The band hadn’t performed together for over 33 years because of  founding members’ lawsuits and struggles with each other. Besides the reunion of this iconic band Riot Fest brought a lineup of from a multitude of genres and got them all in one place at one time. Here are some of the best and worst moments throughout the weekend.

Day 1

Most Regrettable Moments:

3.) The Showdown proved to make a challenge for making it down to Denver in time to see some of the opening acts. Missing bands like Somos, Death Spells, and Diarrhea Planet was not the best start of the day because of the nuisance of traffic.

2.) Jane’s Addiction had two girls on the stage during their set performing a (sort of) burlesque performance to the music. They made the set almost embarrassing and uncomfortable. One of the girls decided to grind on lead singer Perry Farrell to which he looked awkward about how to react to it. It was weird.

1.) Motion City Soundtrack saying farewell and so long to all of their fans in Denver. They departed with a solid 45 minute set in the middle of the afternoon playing all of their old hits and fan favorites. They ended their last ever show in Denver with “Everything Is Alright” as a farewell and a way to console the crowd. They were one of the top acts of the day.

Top Three Moments:

3.) When entering the festival, 93.3 was playing music from their station. The song that came on was “How To Save a Life” by The Fray. Let’s just say that many festival goers were not too happy with the lack of punk rock music being played and the person working their booth got yelled at on multiple occasions.

2.) The Aquabats had fans fill up the coliseum floor. They brought some kids sporting Aquabats gear and had them dance on stage. They proceeded to throw the biggest pool party (it was a cool party) the National Western Complex has ever seen. Whenever they perform their song “Pool Party”, the band throw out inflatables into the crowd. This time there were about ten inflatable balls, that were bigger than exercise balls, that got thrown out to the massive crowd that continued to bounce around during the entire set.

1.) Death Cab For Cutie had a remarkable performance. Everything about their visual and auditory experience was almost perfect. I wasn’t that big of a fan of Death Cab until I actually saw what they could do with their live performance. They brought a powerful set to the festival that they had never experienced before.

Day 2

Most Regrettable Moments:

2.) The Dandy Warhols’ set was very underwhelming. I was expecting more energy from the band but they seemed reserved and unwilling to get too into their music. Maybe they were experiencing Colorado a bit too much.

1.) The second day’s lineup wasn’t the most appealing to a lot of people. You could tell that by the lack of audience compared to the day before and the day after. Ween was the closer and didn’t harbor the biggest crowd.

Top Three Moments:

3.) Fred Armisen showed up to support his partner in Portlandia, Carrie Brownstein, and listen to Sleater-Kinney’s set. They brought on a whole hour of all girl punk rock and that astounded the crowd and gave them energy.

2.) Tigers Jaw and Turnover were put into the lineup very early in the day. While neither band had the largest crowd, they both brought amazing energy to the stage. Turnover played many songs from their newer album Peripheral Vision while Tigers Jaw had a more broad selection of music.

1.) We interviewed Australian band Violent Soho. They’re really cool guy that make really cool music. The video will be up soon.

Day 3

Most Regrettable Moments:

1.) The only bad thing about the last day was that there wasn’t enough energy in my system to keep me peppy the whole day. Three day festivals in the heat and sun and a bunch a mosh pits will do that.

Top Three Moments:

3.) The Original Misfits reunion was an epic appearance. Thousands of people crowded to the stage to get a glimpse of Glenn Danzig appear on stage with the original lineup of the horror-punk band. The reunited group will only make one other appearance at Riot Fest in Chicago.

2.) Tyler, The Creator’s set started with him running on the stage to perform “What The Fuck Right Now”. He stopped the song halfway through because he didn’t think the crowd was energetic enough. He told the fans, “I’m gonna start the song over and come out here and get fuckin’ stupid. Then y’all gonna get fucking stupid.” The rest of the performance he heckled the crowd in their lack of energy to participate in his songs. Although the crowd wasn’t the best that Tyler had seen, he performed a hilariously hyped-up performance that made the fans burst out in laughter between songs.

3.) Gogol Bordello may have had the best performance out of all three days. The gypsy punk band brought the crowd of thousands of people waiting to see The Original Misfits together in unison. Making them clap, dance, and sing together the bands unique live performance was a perfect fit to end the festival.