Riot Fest Day Three

Riot Fest Day Three

Day three of Riot Fest had me returning to the Metro for a totally Chicago old school punk rock lineup. Nostalgia would be running wild this evening because three of the four bands were regulars on the Metro’s stage back in the old punk rock days and this evening would end up feeling like some sort of family reunion!


Wax


Wax


Wax

The show started off with the reunion of Wax, who were a 1990s band that I had never heard of before. Apparently they were some sort of big deal for a few minutes back then but I must have totally missed them. They were an indie rock band and it seemed like an odd pairing for this show, I thought they’d be better suited playing the Congress show that was happening at the same time that evening. They put on a pretty good performance though and their half hour set seemed to be over before I knew it.


No Empathy


No Empathy


No Empathy


No Empathy


No Empathy

No Empathy were up next. I think the last time I saw them play was something like 15 years ago! If I didn’t know any better I’d say no time had passed and it was still 15 years ago because they sounded exactly as good as I remembered them. Marc was, and still is, a good front man and has lots of energy up on stage. They played a variety of songs including “Ben Weasel Don’t Like It” which I particularly enjoyed.


Rights of the Accused


Rights of the Accused


Rights of the Accused

Next up Rights of the Accused, Chicago’s most notorious party rock band (and once a hardcore band), did a one-off reunion just for the Riot Fest. This was a lineup of ROTA that I’m not sure ever actually existed in this form which was Mike singing, Herb playing bass, Wes on guitar and Anthony on drums. All of them had played in the band (all but Wes and Herb being founding members), but that lineup I don’t think ever played that way before this evening.  They were introduced by a dude in a banana suit and when them came onstage Mike was wearing some crazy silver outfit and looked like something out of the Village People and Herb was wearing a wig.


Rights of the Accused


Rights of the Accused


Rights of the Accused

Ever the showman, Mike totally entertained the crowd and the whole set was a lot of fun. They even played the song “Innocence” from their one and only hardcore record and that made my day! I wasn’t much of a fan of the non-hardcore ROTA but this evening something clicked for me and I ended up really liking them.


Naked Raygun


Naked Raygun


Naked Raygun

Finally it came to the grand finale of the evening, Naked Raygun! I have seen them every time they’ve played since getting back together and I never grow tired of it. This time would prove no differently. As usual they came out firing on all cylinders for “Home of the Brave” and then quickly moved on to a plethora of hits. Part way through the set they played a couple of brand new songs that sounded great, and then back to the hits again. They made most people’s wishes come true by playing songs like, “Vanilla Blue,” “Treason,” Peacemaker,” “Surf Combat,” Wonder Beer” and then some.


Naked Raygun


Naked Raygun

freeshit

About a half hour into the set, the chant for “Free Shit” began and after the pairing of “Peacemaker” and “Treason” Pierre pulled out the bags. Tonight’s Free Shit was a Naked Raygun Love Glove!

After the people went crazy trying to get the flying Love Gloves (I managed to get one!), it was back to business and the crowd were going nuts for every song. There was flying bodies, and everyone was singing along. It was just like the old days of the NR shows at Metro, except those wings jutting out from the stage were missing and so were the cartoons before the show.

The band came out for an encore and played a few more songs but actually had to cut short their set because of the curfew, they had listed on their set list about four more songs than they actually had time to play. When they finished the sweaty and exhausted crowd filed out of the club and everyone was saying what a great time they had and how good the band sounded. It was a lot like a high school reunion you actually wanted to attend, and a hell of a lot more fun.


Naked Raygun


Naked Raygun


Naked Raygun

So far three days into it and Riot Fest is batting 1000! And there is still two more days worth of fun left to report…






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