Riot Fest 2009 Day Four

Saturday’s Riot Fest show (well one of the them) had me back to the venue where Riot Fest all began, the Congress Theater. I’m quite fond of that venue and it’s nice big stage and good lighting so I pretty much figured I’d be in for a good time and of course a good time is just what I got!


Off With Their Heads


Off With Their Heads


Off With Their Heads

When I got there Off With Their Heads just started playing. They put on a great performance a few weeks ago at one of the secret shows and this time was no different. They played a half an hour of solid and crunchy melodic punk/hardcore.  They were every bit as good as the show a few weeks ago and I swear once I’m re-employed I’m going to buy their records!


Shot Baker


Shot Baker


Shot Baker

Shot Baker took the stage a few minutes later and it had been awhile since I’d seen them play. They had a temporary replacement guitar player for this show. That didn’t seem to slow them down one bit and if I hadn’t seen them before I probably wouldn’t have known they had a substitute in the lineup. Good solid Chicago punk sound. They played a half an hour and it too went by very quickly.


Youth Brigade


Youth Brigade


Youth Brigade


Youth Brigade

Riot Fest regulars Youth Brigade returned yet again and delivered a half hour of their trademark energetic punk. Some highlights included “Violence”, and of course “Sink With California” where a bunch of people came on stage to sing along with the chorus. They played some newer material in their set too and between songs Shawn Stern talked a lot about various subjects as he usually does. As always they put on a great set and are always a highlight of Riot Fest.


Street Dogs


Street Dogs


Street Dogs


Street Dogs

Boston’s Street Dogs were next in line. They were a huge hit with the crowd and played a set consisting mostly of newer material. They have a lot of singalong type songs that really get the crowd going and the singer talked a lot between songs and dedicated songs to various people like firefighters and friends. The band moved around a lot on stage and the singer would often hop down off the stage and sing with the crowd pinned against the barricade. While I probably wouldn’t listen to their records very often, the couple times I’ve seen them now have been very entertaining and they are a really good live band.


88 Fingers Louie


88 Fingers Louie


88 Fingers Louie

Chicago’s own 88 Fingers Louie donned the stage in their reunited format. They played a variety of songs from their past and sounded even better and tighter this time than they did at the secret Riot Fest show they did awhile back. It is obvious that they have been playing and practicing again as they sounded true to form. The crowd were way into them too, people were dancing all over and singing along and a few bodies came over the barricade into the waiting hands of of security who would get them back safely on their feet and back into the action.


Cock Sparrer


Cock Sparrer


Cock Sparrer


Cock Sparer

UK punk legends Cock Sparrer took the stage to what was now a totally packed house. The sea of people extended to every wall and people started chanting “oi oi oi” in anticipation of the band playing. They opened with “Riot Squad” and the crowd went nuts. By the time they got to their second song, “Watch Your Back” the crowd was already at a frenzy with crowd surfers flowing over the barricade like a waterfall, people slamming, pogoing, and singing along while pumping their fists. For a bunch of older guys even by old punk rock standards, they played with an amazing amount of youthful energy.  They played pretty close to non-stop for about 45 minutes and the crowd didn’t run out of gas for a single minute. When they were finished played the crowd was chanting for more! I’m pretty sure the band could have played another hour without anyone in the crowd growing tired.


NOFX


NOFX


NOFX

After what felt like a really long setup process, NOFX finally came out to close the show. Fat Mike came out dressed as “Cokie the Clown” which is the title track and character of their upcoming 7″ of the same name. A film crew came out with them too to film a music video for that song.  Fat Mike had a lot to say and was a big wise ass between every song they played.


NOFX


NOFX


NOFX

The other band members also got in on the between song fun and after some fun they’d belt out hit after hit of mostly newer material. About halfway through the set they played the aforementioned “Cokie the Clown” and filmed the video. It was the first time they’ve played the song live according to Fat Mike and it was good enough to make me want to pick up the single when it comes out.


NOFX


NOFX


NOFX


NOFX

From there it was more songs and more between song shenanigans. During their entire set the crowd was going bonkers and kids were crowd surfing throughout the entire thing giving the security staff a lot to keep them busy with. After about an hour of playing the band stopped and started dancing around the stage while a pre-recorded skit about everyone being a little bit racist was playing through the PA. When this was finished, they left and the lights came on indicating the show was over and another really fun Riot Fest show was on the books, leaving just one day left to go.