Chicago’s Riot Fest saw Black Pistol Fire, Dead Cross and At The Drive-In amongst the performers, with Queens of the Stone Age headlining day two.

As the masses crawled through the gates for day two, it was time to get this show on the road. Kicking the day off on the Radicals Stage was UK punk rockers, Slaves. The duo took to the stage with Laurie Vincent donning an oversized rabbit’s head. Along with singer and drummer Isaac Holman, these guys have been taking the UK by storm and are certainly making waves for themselves stateside. Despite the early set time, there was an impressive crowd gathered to appreciate the raw punk explosion that was happening on stage.

Fellow Brits GBH started the day on the Riot Stage. Forming in 1978, these punk rockers helped shape the hardcore punk genre and it’s clear to see how. Just looking at them, their image oozes all things 80s punk. The legendary performers made the most of their time in Chicago, as they also had a show at the Cobra Lounge the prior night as part of the Riot Fest Late Night shows. 

With the energy level set to 12, Black Pistol Fire burst onto the Roots Stage for a fun, attention-grabbing set from beginning to end. If you haven’t seen these guys perform live, you really must. They are a band who truly come to life on the stage. The stage that can barely contain them, that is. The two-piece band, made up of Kevin McKeown on vocals and guitar and Eric Owen on drums, have their own blend of energetic blues rock. It’s unclear how McKeown is able to pull off some of the bluesy riffs so melodically, whilst jumping all over the stage. This marks the beginning of their tour in support of their new album Deadbeat Graffiti. Be sure to check out their tour dates as this is one you will be talking about long after the show.

Taking the festival in a whole different direction, Peaches took to the Roots Stage. This was a set which had people talking for the rest of the day, mainly due to the dancing vaginas which joined her on stage for “Vaginoplasty”. Not averse to a bit of controversy, Peaches had numerous costumes, including a naked suit which included bright pink fake nipples and pubic hair sewn on. 

Moving to the total opposite end of the scale, supergroup Dead Cross performed at Riot Fest as part of their first ever tour. Having just released their first, self-titled album in August, they have embarked on a US tour in support. Mike Patton is the newest addition to the band’s lineup and does not shy away from taking center stage as they rattle through their set at breakneck speed.  

Alt-rockers, Bayside performed their album The Walking Wounded in its entirety to celebrate its tenth anniversary. This album is particularly important to them as it is the first album the current lineup recorded together. The band are currently touring to mark the milestone.

Over on the Heather Owen Stage, pop-punk trio Potty Mouth entertained the sweltering crowd.  It has been two years since they released their EP, so here’s hoping there’ll be news of a new release shortly.

The Lawrence Arms performed their album Oh, Calcutta! which was released back in March 2006. The Chicago band clearly had a strong fanbase in attendance, with numerous band t-shirts being spotted throughout the festival crowd.

The Regrettes are the newer kids on the block, having only formed in 2015. They have been touring non-stop since the beginning of the year in support of their debut album, Feel Your Feelings Fool!, which was released in January. After a whistle-stop European tour, they will be back in the US touring from mid-Oct through until the end of the year. If you are looking for some fresh new music, give these guys a listen.

Gogol Bordello added a theatric flare to proceedings with their numerous band members. Singer Eugene Hütz didn’t stand still for two seconds as he entertained the sizeable audience. The gypsy punks certainly added something different to the festival lineup with their own unique music style and the inclusion of an accordion.  Seekers and Finders was released in August so go check it out.

It was time to duck for cover and brace yourself as At The Drive-In‘s microphone-swinging singer Cedric Bixler sprung into action. Wielding the microphone and jumping off the kick drum, this was one energetic performance which certainly kept you on your toes and glued to every minute of the set. Touring in support of In•ter a•li•a, their first studio album in 17 years, they are heading over to the UK where they will be opening for Royal Blood.

After much anticipation, headliners Queens of the Stone Age took to the Riot Stage to close out the second night of Riot Fest 2017.  It’s been just a matter of weeks since the release of their Villains, which has a stronger dance-rock feel to it than previous releases and producer Mark Ronson’s influence can be felt throughout. The new material was very well received by the adoring audience. However, it was songs like “Nobody Knows” and “Go With The Flow” from Songs for the Deaf which still seem to receive the biggest reactions from the crowd. With many dates on the tour already sold-out, you need to be quick to snatch up tickets for shows in your area. 

Riot Fest
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Event Date: 16-SEP-2017