Riot Fest Brought the Good Vibes and a Love of Cannabis to Chicago



On working day-one of Riot Fest, there was paranoia. Prior to new music-fans, which the Chicago-dependent pageant appeals to on your own, entered the competition grounds, several were inquiring, “What about my lawfully obtained cannabis?!” I overheard that problem a lot more than as soon as, but all those fears were quickly laid to rest as competition goers bypassed the attractive safety associates and enjoyed their vices in a tranquil, a few-day celebration of music and neighborhood. 

It was really a celebration, too, with an endearing feeling of local community. Men and women cared. Not only about high quality songs and very good occasions, but about each individual other. Petty arguing and fighting, which are however typical at festivals, were a uncommon sight, at least for my eyes. When a person was harm or had a handful of also numerous, individuals served.

Image courtesy of Jack Giroux

During a booming established from cannabis fans Run the Jewels, when a gentleman hit the floor, there was only worry, no laughter. Persons offering a crap about one particular an additional produced the music and all round experience of Riot Fest all the more pleasant. 

A handful of bands dropped out in advance of the occasion, such as 9 Inch Nails and the Pixies, but the lineup remained stacked. This calendar year, a number of of the headliners included Lupe Fiasco, Devo, Slipknot, The Flaming Lips and The Smashing Pumpkins. 

In some cases will have to-see acts conflicted in the plan, but more typically than not, all the stages introduced selection. Based on one’s temper on the day, there was a band that would cater to it. Immediately after a very long working day, for instance, Lupe Fiasco acquired the electrical power elevated sky-substantial. The Chicago native performed “The Interesting,” and it ruled. The artist’s voice was as wonderful as it appears on a file. 

Artists ended up delighted to be back again on phase. Many functions admitted to the group they hadn’t performed given that the pandemic started. Numerous, these types of as Run the Jewels, worried they’d demonstrate signs of rust. Not the scenario. Every artist, except Machine Gun Kelly, brought nothing but pleasure and their A-match to the pageant. 

A little bit of clarification: Equipment Gun Kelly took a swipe at Slipknot as the band carried out on yet another phase and committed the show to a single of its founding associates, Joey Jordison. Kelly mocked the team. In the stop, Slipknot experienced the previous laugh simply because folks were in fact talking about their effectiveness the following working day, though people just groaned about Kelly.

Each working day was an embarrassment of riches in conditions of acts to catch. K.Flay was a dominant pressure on phase. Together with her band, she held practically nothing back. She was thrilling. Sublime ignited a wave of nostalgia in the audience. 

“I utilized to smoke weed listening to this in college!” a friend shouted. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Living Color introduced it, as very well. Those bands have these kinds of an infectious on-phase chemistry alongside one another. It radiates off the stage and consumes the audience. 

On the far more rock aspect, no person left Thrice or Getting Back Sunday dissatisfied. Disappointment was not common at Riot Fest. The enormous crowd, which required to deliver evidence of vaccination or a adverse COVID examination to show up at, had very little to complain about. 

Riot FestPicture courtesy of Jack Giroux

Shoutout to the attendees, whose telephones had been not normally up and selfies didn’t operate rampant. People today ended up respectful of the performances. There was a tangible passion between the crowd there. Every person, dependent on my practical experience, was there for the audio alone. 

The viewers was perhaps at its most rowdy when Run the Jewels strike the phase. The two-person hip hop team, El-P and Killer Mike, have usually been recognised to put on a helluva demonstrate. The hype is appropriate. Their audio is not even to my taste, but what a fantastic general performance the self-admittedly high duo sent.

Both equally spontaneous and choreographed, Operate the Jewels had an military of new music admirers on their ft and going. There had been nonstop cheers, specifically when Killer Mike mentioned hashish prohibition demands to prevent. He also gave a wonderful shout out to his spouse in the viewers. She, too, was superior, Killer Mike pointed out. 

Riot Fest didn’t cease after the headliners performed. There are late nights following demonstrates to catch around Chicago. I only caught 1 myself, but it was one particular worthy of catching. The feverish punk group from Los Angeles, The Bronx, experienced my ears ringing in delight at The Cobra Lounge. The band even gave me an excuse to at last put my very long hair to superior use and bang it close to a bit. They hadn’t performed in a extended time, but you’d hardly ever know it. 

Riot Fest was this sort of an pleasant knowledge entire of very good moments that it’s impossible to listing off all the damn fine functions that livened up not only the weekend, but the year, for many in attendance. Fever 333, Anti-Flag, Body Depend, which is fronted by Iced-T, and quite a few other groups introduced nothing but pleasure to Chicago. This year’s Riot Fest was nevertheless an additional reminder of why reside new music is just great for the soul.