(n) Riot Fest: A three day endurance test of basically all five senses. A slew of punk, metal, hard rock and ska bands pummel your eardrums throughout the festival. You drink till your liver is the size of texas. Bump into the right person or have a taut sphincter, and you can get some drugs to fuck with your sensory perceptors. People fucking stink. The sun beats you down. The whole thing is a *rimshot* riot.
Who Ruled and Who Sucked
The lineup was pretty specgoddamntacular. It spanned the whole gamut. Weezer, Primus, NOFX, Slayer, The Vilent Femmes, The Cure, Wu-Tang Clan, Dropkick Murphys, Social Distortion, Clutch, New Found Glory, The National, TV on the Radio and Me First and Gimmie Gimmies were some of the main names people would recognize. I was pumped to see most of those bands, but acts like GlassJaw, Touche Amore, Failure, Red City Radio and a few choice other bands were ones I was trying to hide a boner over. They were either newly discovered bands or some major league bucket list bands.
As is common at Riot Fests, several bands were playing some of their best albums in their entirety including Weezer (Blue Album), NOFX (Punk in Drublic), Slayer (Reign in Blood) and maybe some others, but these were the only ones I gave any fucks about. Saw pieces of NOFX and Slayer’s sets. Awesome. Especially NOFX’s set since they dove right into “The Decline” after finishing “Punk in Drublic.” It all started by Fat Mike hoping they could play an 18 minute song in 15 minutes. I wasn’t with Pete, but I knew he was shitting his pants over that bit of icing on the cake.
Weezer was almost the ultimate set to watch. “The Blue Album” has been one of my life long favorites since the sixth grade, and I have always said I would only see them if they were playing mostly stuff off that Album and “Pinkerton.” Determined to have the best of all worlds, Weezer started off by playing their popular singles from their past bajillion albums. Whatever. I can live with that. When they broke out into “My Name is Jonas,” I felt like a kid again and the feeling didn’t stop until they were cut off towards the end of “Only in Dreams.” Pure. Fucking. Nostalgia.
Another band I was ecstatic to see was Failure. I got into them about six or seven years after the band broke up, but loved them to death. I honestly thought I’d never get the chance to see them live, and even though they had to re-start one of my favorite songs, it was worth every second. GlassJaw was another bucket list band that didn’t disappoint. I just wish they’d gotten a longer slot. Red City Radio was stellar as usual. If you haven’t heard of these guys, stop being an idiot and listen to pretty much any of their music.
— sam (@BeernLoathing) September 20, 2014
Primus was surprisingly boring at first. It was a lot of jamming and I shouldn’t have been surprised at that. We actually snuck away to catch the last 15 minutes of Slayer’s set, which ended with “Raining Blood.” That was about as much as I needed to hear from them, and we managed to get back to Primus’s stage to hear the end of “Jerry was a Race Car Driver,” the entirety of “Tommy the Cat” and, lastly, “Too Many Puppies.” This basically redeemed Primus’s performance in my eyes.
The last of the bands who blew my dick off were Social Distortion and Me First and the Gimmie Gimmies. Social D just wrecked it. And Mike Ness is like 60 now but the dude had tons of energy, was great with the crowd and made all of us wish he was our awesome dad/grandpa.
Me First was a treat because I had never heard a single song of theirs. Well, I had never heard their version of a song since they do cover songs. But goddamn never has “Do You Believe In Life After Love” and “My Heart Will Go On” sounded so kick ass. Just imagine with me, if you will, going to see a band who you’ve never listened to and immediately being able to sing every word to each song they played. Shit, man, I even knew the words to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” And those outfits? Get outta here!
The weekend wasn’t without its disappointments. Some could have been anticipated. Not shockingly, A Day to Remember should have been called A Day to Forget. Similarly, Bring Me the Horizon was insanely awful. Maybe I just don’t get that pop punk/hardcore scene. I’m probably just old.
BUT, even at my age I was shocked to find out that in the seven years since last seeing them, Dropkick Murphys learned how to suck more than a supercharged Dyson. We stood around for their entire set Sunday waiting for them to play a good song. We got “Gonna Be a Blackout” and “Shipping Up to Boston” and the rest was all their new shit which just sounds like them trying to be Flogging Molly. Overall, the awesome parts of the weekend way outweighed the shitty. Plus, with a vodka buzz even a bad concert can be hilarious.
The chronology of the weekend hasn’t been fully explained properly to this point. It wasn’t like we went to the festival during the day, stayed until midnight then went home, slept a solid eight and got up and did it again. Friday night, we didn’t even go to bed until damn near six in the morning. We kept the party going with a friend up in the ‘burbs. Managed to hit last call at a local dive bar and then stood around drinking whatever beer we could find till the wee hours. Matt even ate a fresh scotch bonnet pepper to avoid paying for a cab ride. Ironically, we missed the cab’s phone call when he was in the bathroom puking up fire. He’d regret that decision even more on Saturday when he shat the equivalent of the sun’s surface before we even got into the festival grounds.
On top of Matt’s firerrhea, Saturday was brutal because Pete and I decided we didn’t need to sleep. We got about two hours of shuteye in the burbs before finding a cab that would actually come pick us up. Once we got back to my apartment, we bought a case of beer, ordered a pizza and watched Archer instead of napping. This means I was extra surprised when we sat around drinking the last of our bush vodka and decided that downtown was the only true option left after regaining Matt from the Cure concert. But where to? the Beauty Bar, that’s where. This is where we lost Matt for 12 hours. To top off that night, Pete and I dined on tortilla chips and brown mustard once we got back to my apartment because I’m a broke as single guy.
After finally getting Matt back and leaving Sunday’s events early due to rain, we knew we had to go back downtown one last time. But where? This time, Wynkoop was the unanimous winner. Wynkoop’s chips and queso is exactly what three sleep deprived, slightly fucked up guys need after 10 hours of music and bodily abuse, and that’s exactly what we got (along with several beers). Pete pointed out this was the second night in a row we had tortilla chips for dinner. We even met a nice young lady from out of town. Where she was from or what her name was totally escapes me, but that brave soul came with us down to the Beauty Bar of all places to finish out Sunday. This time, we didn’t lose Matt.
I’d like to say we eased into Monday and let our bodies recover, but that would be a lie. Instead, Pete and I went up the mountain. I honestly can’t even remember what we did at this point, but I do know we ate some food and had some beers at the Dillon Dam Brewery, and I barely got him to the airport in time for his flight.
Today I ate spent grain tortilla chips and Pete barely made his flight home by the skin of his balls. Good day. — sam (@BeernLoathing) September 23, 2014
I fully intend to do it all over again next year when Riot Fest comes back through Denver.