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Best bands by day and what not to miss


Riot Fest and Friday headliners Foo Fighters have something in common other than their love of rock ‘n’ roll: They both know what it means to survive. Featuring more than 90 artists on five stages, Riot Fest comes to Douglass Park September 15-17 for the annual celebration of rock, punk, goth, hip-hop and new styles. His return to the West Side park was uncertain.

The independently held festival has faced backlash from residents since it was expanded to a three-day outdoor event in 2012, damaging parks and banning green spaces for weeks. Such backtracking led organizers to leave Humboldt Park in 2015 and decamp to Douglass Park the following year. Neighborhood residents continue express concerns.

In April, a meeting about the festival at a North Lawndale school turned into a fight between supporters and opponents. Of course, Riot Fest isn’t the only music convention in Chicago that encourages debate between public and private access to parks. (In response to residents’ complaints, two other music festivals — Summer Smash and Heatwave Festival — ended their previous affiliations with Douglass Park and booked new venues for 2023.) But the ongoing controversy has seemingly motivated Riot Fest to evolve into arguably the city’s most popular venue did. The most community-minded festival.

Organizers are currently holding a job fair, clothing drives, charitable donations, park cleanups and book drives targeting the Lawndale and Little Village neighborhoods. Riot Fest builds small libraries, sponsors a youth baseball camp, and welcomes artwork from the community. A handful of artists from the immediate area (Future Nobodies, Through N Through, 1300cadoe) grace the 2023 lineup. Residents living around Douglass Park can attend the festival for free (registration is now closed).

Riot Fest’s future at Douglass Park will continue to be discussed. For now, there’s a solid playlist that offers something for just about anyone interested in loud, urgent, rowdy fare.

In any other year, Foo Warriors It will be the most important gain of the weekend. In 2023, recovering from the unexpected death of Taylor Hawkins and retooling with new drummer Josh Freese, the Dave Grohl-led band, which recently backed its best album (“But Here We Are”), represents a coup. Get there early to catch the trio of ’90s icons and grrrl powerhouses: former Sonic Youth bassist-vocalist KimGordon continues his decades-long obsession with experimentation; Bet on feminist musicians Ani DiFranco jumping on a political soapbox in an environment receptive to their message; former Sleater-Kinney percussionist Janet Weiss anchors loud, bumpy fun Half. Funk Architect’s outgoing personality george clinton and the tense, loud-screaming momentum of the modern hardcore quartet Tourniquet also deserves attention.

Supporting roles queens of the stone age specialize in the kind of hard, sticky riffs that penetrate the subconscious and persuade the lower limbs to relax. Armed with new material for the first time since 2017, Josh Homme and Co. are also able to draw from a rich back catalog full of sultry melodies and desert-baked psychedelia. Chaos and madness come through the juggling of jazz, rock, metal and ska. Mr Bungle. The avant-garde collective is always led by adventurous vocalist Mike Patton and is derailed by former Slayer timekeeper Dave Lombardo. contemporary duo 100 ge takes a similarly gonzo, albeit less focused and resourceful approach. Plus: Don’t sleep with atmospheric sounds. war paint and the pure sincerity that the former Savages singer represents Johnny Beth.

Queens of the Stone Age will perform at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago on May 5, 2014.

If you miss of treatment epic june show At the United Center, you can be sure the British band are looking in top form – and are coming up with a host of new, moody songs to accompany the somber favorites that inspired young people around the world to wear all-black outfits in the ’80s and ’90s. In another blast from the past, local pop-punk heroes Smoking Popes satisfyingly, the singer combined vocals with swoony hooks. Few bands champion heartfelt, heartfelt rock as seriously as the New Jersey reunion band Gaslight Anthem. Slow instrumental journeys for auditory cinema May God give you clarity! Black Emperor get the reward. Bonus: The Canadian ensemble often reflects film cycle backdrops that emphasize the widescreen feel.

Fans march through Douglass Park during the first day of Riot Fest in Chicago on September 16, 2021.

As per Riot Fest tradition, eight bands are scheduled to play one of their records in its entirety. Friday sees breeders Check out the eclectic classic “Last Splash” (1993), Swamp Go through the metallic mazes of “Slip” (1993) and Braid Fly the emo flag with “Frame & Canvas” (1998). It will be on Saturday Postal Service Marking the 20th anniversary of low-key indie pop favorite “Give Up” Death Cab for Cutie Blow out 20 candles for the relationship-themed “Transatlanticism” and Rival Schools Consider again the tamed aggression of “United by Fate” (2001). “Album Plays” ends Sunday Danzig howling his self-titled debut (1988) and Gorilla Biscuit They hit the ground running with their groundbreaking breakthrough, “Start Today” (1989).

Need a break from music? Ride carnival attractions like the Ferris wheel, Zipper, and Tilt-A-Whirl. Or browse the jewelry, artwork, records and other trinkets offered by local merchants. Are you looking for romance? Riot Fest Wedding Chapel will celebrate the nuptials of at least 32 couples who have registered to exchange vows over the weekend. Are you feeling competitive? A tent full of free arcade games awaits the gamer in you. Are you courting danger? RiotPop! The skateboard ramp hosts professional skateboarders performing gravity-defying tricks.

Riot Fest will run from Friday to Sunday from 11:00 to 22:00. The entrance and box office is located at the intersection of Ogden Street and Sacramento Drive. General admission ticket holders are not allowed to re-enter. VIP, Deluxe and Deluxe+ passes require users to purchase wristbands at the box office prior to entry; they allow entry and exit privileges. Lockers are available for rent on site. Cash and credit cards are accepted by most merchants. Meals will include vegetarian and vegan options. The festival goes on come rain or shine.

Allowed Items:

Bags and belongings are searched before entry. For a full list of allowed and prohibited items, visit: riotfest.org

  • Standard size backpacks, purses and wallets.
  • Bug spray and sunscreen in non-aerosol containers
  • Empty, transparent water bladder systems; empty plastic water bottles
  • Air sun loungers; blankets
  • Factory sealed E-cigarettes
  • small hand fans
  • Phone chargers; non professional cameras
  • Prescription and OTC medications
  • Raincoats and ponchos
  • Baby strollers and soft-sided carriages
  • breastfeeding pumps

Prohibited Items:

  • Coolers; other than food and drink
  • big bags
  • Glass; metal containers; aerosol containers
  • Umbrellas; chairs
  • Drones; professional camera or recording equipment; selfie sticks; glue; laser pointers; laptops; professional radios or walkie talkies
  • Air horns and noisemakers; megaphones
  • Pets (except service animals)
  • All kinds of weapons; Knob
  • Skateboards, scooters, bicycles and roller skates
  • Totems or signs on sticks
  • Firework
  • hula hoops; soccer balls, footballs and frisbees; water guns and balloons

Getting there: To avoid the inevitable headaches, use public transportation, bike, or take a taxi or carpool. There is no designated parking at Riot Fest. Rideshare pickup and drop-off is located at the corner of Ogden Boulevard and Sacramento Drive. Cyclists can use the bike parking lot staffed by Work Bikes located at California Boulevard and 19th Street. The California stop on the CTA Pink Line is 0.75 miles from the entrance. The 82 Kimball-Homan bus stops a few blocks from the festival and is generally less crowded than the train and exponentially cheaper than carpooling.

Tickets: General admission day passes start at $104.98; three-day passes start at $299.98. VIP passes start at $169.98 per day and have unlimited re-entry, expedited entry, air-conditioned bathrooms and other amenities. Deluxe ($299.99/day; $949.98/three days) and Deluxe+ ($649.98/day; $1,499.98/three days) options include all VIP features and include advanced viewing areas, provides access to lounges and more. Children aged 5 and under can enter for free. Tickets are available at: riotfest.org

Bob Gendron is a freelance critic.


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