Only two weeks had passed since the first secret Riot Fest show and already there was another one and this time it featured Chicago punk rock Super Heroes Naked Raygun! Never one to pass up an opportunity to see one of my all time favorite bands from my own city, I found myself at the secret Riot Fest location once more with camera in hand to document the event.
This secret show was by invitation only. Invitations were sent out to people who pre-ordered the new Naked Raygun 7″ on Riot Fest Records, and also to people chosen at random who bought Riot Fest passes for this year’s festival. The cost of admission was the low price of FREE. The doors opened a good two hours before the band were scheduled to play which gave everyone plenty of time to drink, socialize, and wait in line for the bathroom. I had fun talking to some friends who were there and the makeshift club had a good positive vibe inside the entire evening.
When the time finally came for Naked Raygun to take the stage, the place was packed full. I was front and center with camera gear in hand and hoped that I wouldn’t get killed up there if the crowd were to start going crazy. As soon as the band started playing the opening chords to “Home of the Brave” I fully expected to get hit in the back by some goofy “mosher” but thankfully that didn’t happen. Instead of moshing people were singing along, bouncing up and down, raising their hands and showing their appreciation for the band in an actual civilized manner! I was in shock, and also relieved that I wasn’t going to have to keep turning around every five seconds to brace myself for a shot to the back.
After “The Strip” and “Metastasis” the band played a brand new song. This new song (Jeff said the title of the song but I foolishly didn’t write it down) sounded as good as anything the band did in their later years before breaking up and made me look forward to their new release that’s in the works. In fact, I would like it to be sent to me now please!
From there it was a couple more older songs and then Jeff strapped on his guitar for the one-two punch of “Peacemaker” and “Treason”. I hope they never stop playing “Peacemaker” because it is easily my favorite song from All Rise. After that they played “Gear” which I don’t think they have played the last couple times I’ve seen them at least. Another all time favorite that made me quite happy, so much that I was even singing along.
At some point they played another new song that sounded pretty good as well, and I believe even a third one later on. They closed their main set, as usual, with “New Dreams”. The crowd started chanting for more so the band came back and played a few more songs including “Wonder Beer” (which is a huge hit with the crowd) and a cover of “Ever Fallen in Love” by the Buzzcocks. They left only to have the crowd demand more so they came back and played a couple more tunes. Sadly they did not play “I Lie” (despite the crowd singing the opening “ohh ohh ohhs” in an effort to get the band back on stage) or “Potential Rapist” but that aside it was still a very solid set list that really satisfied.
Total playing time was around an hour and a half and not a dull minute in the whole thing. When the show was done I packed up and walked in the rain back to my car with a smile on my face and happy that I got to see our punk rock Super Heroes deliver the goods one more time and not let anyone down.
A few more photos can be seen by clicking below.