Riot Fest 2006 part five

Since the last time that Naked Raygun played a show and gave out some free shit, things have changed. They made families. It seems the entire Raygun staff has produced little Rayguns and they were all sitting on the side of the stage watching the show. When it was time for the first of three dispensing of “free shit” intermissions, the band brought their kids on stage and had them toss the stuff into the crowd.

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Son of Raygun dispensing some free shit.

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Free shit!

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The roulette tape measure keychain.

The first item was a keychain that doubled as a roulette wheel and a tape measure. On the back of it was the old school NR logo. The kids started throwing them into the crowd and the crowd were going crazy trying to catch them. Some of the kids couldn’t quite clear the barrier so the security guards were picking up the missed ones and tossing them to the crowd. Spicer’s kid was right in front of me and simply handed me one. He was decked out in a Naked Raygun t-shirt and was sporting a mohawk.

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Naked Raygun

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Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

After that, the band started playing again and the crowd resumed flying all over the venue and jumping up and down. I swear at times Jeff could have just held out the microphone and the crowd would have sang entire songs for as much singing along as they were doing. They did a couple of songs where Jeff played guitar, including “Peacemaker” which is my favorite song on All Rise! Every song sounded great, and better than the last few times I saw them play even before they broke up.

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Naked Raygun

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Naked Raygun

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Naked Raygun

As time flew by, it came time to be round two of the free shit. This time it was these plastic hands that would make a clapping noise if you shook them back and forth. Once again Spicer’s son handed me one.

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Spank you very much

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Little Spicer

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Raygun offspring

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Free shit for everyone!

After the stuff was gone, the band was about to start playing again when they announced for the next song they would have a special guest join them on stage. Now I had peeked at the set list a few times on the stage and knew what was coming next in the way of songs, but had no clue what the special guest was. I thought maybe they were going to bring out a former band member to play or something but who it turned out to be made the song they were about to play something pretty spectacular.

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Jake Burns of Stiff Little Fingers and Naked Raygun

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Jake Burns of Stiff Little Fingers and Naked Raygun

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Jake Burns of Stiff Little Fingers and Naked Raygun

They brought out Jake Burns from Stiff Little Fingers to sing “Suspect Device”! When I saw that song listed on the set list I was wondering why they’d bother since they had so many of their own great songs to sing, but once they brought out Jake it all made sense! It was incredible. The crowd went absolutely apeshit for that song, everyone was singing the chorus.

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Naked Raygun

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The crowd during Naked Raygun

When the song finished, Jake left the stage and they played a few more songs and then came the final dispensing of the free shit. This time Spicer’s son gave up on trying to throw the stuff and just started handing me the stuff and had me throw it for him.

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Naked Raygun buttons

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Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

The last item was Naked Raygun buttons. There were two different ones, black or white. They had a ton of them and it felt like a good 5 minutes or more that they were handing them out. At this point the band had been on stage for about an hour and it looked like they didn’t intend on stopping.

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Eventually they stopped playing and left the stage only to come back a few minutes later for the first encore, which included the mighty “I Lie”. It sounded even better than it did the night before. They played another song and left the stage again, only to return to close the show with “New Dreams”. I thought that was a great song to go out on. When they left, the lights came on and they opened the doors to escort out the people as the show went way over its scheduled time. I’m sure no one there minded, from top to bottom it was a solid show. I packed up my gear and left exhausted and elated from a full day of some great old punk rock and recapturing a little bit of my youth.

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Naked Raygun

Naked Raygun
Naked Raygun

Riot Fest 2006 far exceeded my high expectations. It was better than last year’s show (which ended up being a lot of fun) in every way; better lineup, better organized, all in one day, and a better crowd. I think you might be hard pressed to find someone who disagrees.

Some post show thoughts:

– Riot Mike did a hell of a job putting this show together and it was run smoothly. I’d also like to personally thank him for the pass and accommodations. He went above and beyond the call of duty in hooking me up and letting me stay in the barricade shooting through the entire Naked Raygun set while others had to go. He is a real fan of the punk rock and an all around good guy.

– The security crew from what I could see from being up there with them most of the time did a stellar job as well. They were catching the crowd surfers and gently putting them back on their feet and out the side of the barrier back into the crowd. I never once saw them harm anyone or display any attitude.

– Regardless of my personal opinion on the horn bands, every band I saw up on that stage were entertaining and gave it their all. I don’t think anyone half-assed it up there and it made even the bands whose music I wasn’t a fan of worth watching at least part of their sets.

– The bathrooms at the Congress Theater are pretty nasty, but the theatre itself I actually like. I certainly am a fan of the stage lighting and the barricade! All these photos were shot with my Tamron f2.8 28-75mm lens.

– It’s now a couple weeks later and I am still happy from what a good time the show was. This show was as much fun for seeing friends and hanging out between bands as it was for seeing such a great lineup of longtime favorite bands.

More photos not seen here and larger sized ones are up on my flickr page.