Riot Fest 2009 Day Five

Sunday was the fifth and final day of the biggest Riot Fest yet, and it was being held simultaneously at two different venues. I choose to return to the Congress Theater for the show being held there and the chance to see a couple bands that I’d never seen before.


She Likes Todd


She Likes Todd


She Likes Todd

When I arrived She Likes Todd was getting things started for the day. I had never heard of them before this day. They were a fairly fast melodic hardcore band. They weren’t bad at all but nothing really stood out much about them either. They played a half hour and it was a pretty solid set for the most part.


The Arrivals


The Arrivals


The Arrivals

Local punkers, The Arrivals soon followed. I have seen them play before and they put on a good show then and this time they did much the same. Melodic punk rock that is really catchy and punchy. They kind of sound like a band you might also find on No Idea Records which is quite a compliment.


Pegboy


Pegboy


Pegboy


Pegboy

Pegboy, who recently played one of the secret Riot Fest shows took the stage in front of an eager crowd. They just returned from a small tour and it showed in how tight the band sounded on stage. When I say the band, I mean the musicians. Larry still ran out of breath and was complaining he was tired like three songs into the set. He sat and knelt down a lot during the set but also still managed to muster up enough energy to do a good job singing the songs and came down into the barricade to sing into the crowd a few times. Their bass player busted open a finger and was bleeding all over his bass but that didn’t slow down his playing one bit. Now that is hardcore!


Screeching Weasel


Screeching Weasel


Screeching Weasel

After a decade long hiatus, one of the evening’s highlights was the return of Screeching Weasel. I wasn’t much of a fan back when they were around so I never bothered to go to any of their shows. I remember everyone I know liking them and never really understood the appeal so I thought maybe I needed to see them to figure it out. This version of Screeching Weasel featured founding member Ben Weasel and long-time cohort Dan Vapid returning to his guitarist role in the band after a longer than decade hiatus for that particular member.


Screeching Weasel


Screeching Weasel


Screeching Weasel


Screeching Weasel

When the band started playing the crowd, which was at near capacity, was going insane. It consisted mostly of younger folks who seemed to know the words to every song. The entire main floor was a sea of bodies. They played a pretty good mix of songs from their various releases which seemed to please everyone in attendance. Honestly I think they could have played country songs and those kids would have still gone nuts. I did understand the appeal though during the show, they have perfect the pop-punk craft and have become masters of it. I think I’d go see them again for sure as I was really surprised by how good I thought they were and I barely own any of their records (only the earliest ones). To me they ended up being the highlight of that day’s show.


Alkaline Trio


Alkaline Trio


Alkaline Trio

Alkaline Trio closed the show shop after a lengthy setup process. Somehow the crowd in the front shifted to a whole new group of people who looked just as eager to see them as the ones waiting to see Screeching Weasel before them. They delivered about an hour’s worth of pop punk with a heavy emphasis on the pop and I saw every teenage girl up front singing along lovingly. There was plenty of crowd surfing action too which kept the security guards on their toes and gave them their daily workout catching bodies and returning them safely to the action.

After they finished another Riot Fest was completed and logged in the record books. The biggest and most ambitious one yet was a huge success and made for nearly an entire week of non-stop fun. I was exhausted, but in the good way and am already hopeful that we can do it again next fall!