Riot Fest: Day 1

Riot Fest: Day 1: live in Chicagolive in Chicago (2005)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 3

Contributed by: TheOneTrueBillTheOneTrueBill
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Just to get this out of the way, I wasn't planning on attending the first night of Riot Fest, but I won a ticket by answering a trivia question. I'm glad I went because I ended up having a good time as a whole. As my friend and I walked in a band called the Unmutuals was playing. We watched a son.

Just to get this out of the way, I wasn't planning on attending the first night of Riot Fest, but I won a ticket by answering a trivia question. I'm glad I went because I ended up having a good time as a whole.

As my friend and I walked in a band called the Unmutuals was playing. We watched a song, got bored and then explored the various merchandise tables set around the Congress Theater.

Next up were the Street Brats. I have three words for the Street Brats: Break up now. If you like poorly executed, generic and cliché-riddled `77-style punk, then you'd love these guys. They're basically the Casualties of their "genre." They had the look and sound down pat, and even had a special name for their fans, The Fallen Angels. All the songs sounded the same and they even covered "Surrender" from Cheap Trick. Now I'm not a real Cheap Trick fan, but I do enjoy their songs, and it was horrifying to watch. They also pulled off the biggest dick move of the night when they were informed they had time for one more song. The singer begged to be able to play one more and promised it would be a short one, so the staff relented. What came next was an over four-minute cover of "Stand by Me," which was completely unnecessary. This cut into the Angry Samoans time slot, a band that traveled from California to play the show. Nice move guys, real classy. Break up now and save yourself the embarrassment of being a "Fallen Angel."

Thankfully, the Angry Samoans set more than made up for the horrible Street Brats debacle, launching straight into "Electrocute My Cock." They were sloppy as hell but had more energy than I've ever seen a band their age have. The main singer still looked like he was twenty-years-old and was running all over the stage and falling over, consequently unplugging his guitar chord several times during the set. He also switched places with the drummer for a few songs too! They played all the hits like "Homosexual," "Gas Chamber," "They Saved Hitler's Cock," and "Inside My Brain."

The Lawrence Arms came up after the Samoans. I didn't watch their set but went to a table that was selling overstock records from Choke Distribution. At the end of the night I ended up with a box containing almost forty 7"s, two LPs, and two 10"s for the grand total of $8. From what I could hear through the doors it seemed like the crowd loved them.

The Dickies were next. I've never been able to get into the Dickies too much because of the guy's voice, but rest assured that I'm going to give them another try after last. They came out to a hugely positive response to the crowd, and didn't let the kids (and old guys) down. I had seen pictures of the band playing with props and wasn't disappointed; they used blow-up dolls, swimming goggles, an ape mask, and an arm-length penis puppet. On top of this, the stage banter they were throwing out was legitimately funny too. Some songs I recognized were "You Drive Me Ape," "My Pop the Cop," "Water Slide," and "Gigantor." I am definitely going to give the Dickies a second listen.

The Suicide Machines were the second to last band, and the main reason why I got myself to the Congress Theater that night. I've never come away from a Suicide Machines show disappointed, and despite problems, this still holds true. During the second song Dan fried the cabinet of his amp beyond repair. They tried and tried to fix it but nothing was working. 60% of their set time was Jay talking to the crowd about various things on his mind. Finally after getting equipment from another band and rigging up about ten cables, the band started up again. The clean channel of his guitar wasn't working, so Jay promised nothing but punk stuff. The sad thing is that this abbreviated seven-song set ranks up there with the best sets I've seen them do. If only the gear hadn't screwed up.

Suicide Machines set list:

  • Islands
  • Someone (with no guitar; this is when all hell broke loose)
  • DDT
  • War Profiteering Is Killing Us All
  • Too Much
  • Your Silence
  • Break The Glass
The Dead Kennedys were last. I missed the first few songs of their set because I was purchasing the records I mentioned above. Apparently before they came on, a kid hopped on stage, grabbed a microphone and called the band a bunch of sellouts and fakes, then was promptly tackled by security. If only I could've seen that. I heard Jeff Penalty's voice in the hallways and cringed a little bit. After maybe four or five songs I went back into the main room to watch the rest of their time. Over time I slowly got used to Jeff's voice. It's not that he's bad, per se, but, you know? That's pretty much the only way I can describe it. It wasn't bad and I don't want to burn my Dead Kennedys records, but it wasn't something I'd see again. They played most of the songs you'd expect from the Fresh Fruit through Frankenchrist eras.

Overall, it was a positive experience. I'll be leaving to attend the second night in approximately one hour, and will write up another review. Hopefully this isn't a one-time only deal.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (January 3, 2006)

Sounds like that dude is the manager. And by the way, I heard teh Street Brats before -- and they do suck. Tell their singer to sing in the right key for once and stop butchering Ramones songs.

Anonymous (December 24, 2005)

To One True Bill...

It's amazing how much shit you talk and how easily you can write off a band like the Street Brats when you are just a fuckin critic. What do you do? Do you create? Inspire? Influence? Or just sit at your parents house (I assume since you're 19 and look foolish in your pic) and critisize a band out there doing everything you're not: creating, inspiring, influencing... and losing money doing it. Somethings are for the love of the game, and some people are a waste with empty opinions....

Or maybe you had your ass kicked by a real punk rocker one time?


Anonymous (December 9, 2005)

Best two day punk fest ever!!! Fuckin great!!

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

I agree. The Street Brats suck. Awful. Goes to show you that kids are starving for some real music these days.

Anonymous (December 2, 2005)

77 punks are lame and dress like pussies. fuck them. most of them are drunk, uneducated assholes who would be better off dead.

KittyVermin (November 16, 2005)

That, and vice versa. They hate each other, so they fight a lot.

Anonymous (November 14, 2005)

i hear that the 77 punx tend to get beat up on by skinheads, is that true?

KittyVermin (November 14, 2005)

OneTrueBill - Actually, no, I'm not a "fallen angel" because I'm not in the 77 gang. Next time someone makes a comment like that in a review, they should really know what the hell they're talking about. I am a proud Street Brats fan, though.

Anonymous - I could go on and on concerning what's wrong with Underoath, but I'll leave it at the fact that they're hardcore, not punk.

Anonymous (November 13, 2005)

...the fuck is wrong with Underoath?

TheOneTrueBill (November 13, 2005)

I actually like all of those types of punk (well, minus the oi!) when they're actually well done. I'm assuming you're a "fallen angel?"

KittyVermin (November 13, 2005)

Basically, most of the people on this site are whiney bitches who hate 77, street, hardcore, oi... and, well, basically anything that could be considered punk.


Anonymous (November 13, 2005)

whats up with the street brats? I actually bought the Cd and i like it. I hear they are down with river city rebel so that coudl explain some of the gay-ness.

TheOneTrueBill (November 13, 2005)

To you, Mr. Anonymous, I know you probably won't read this, but I'd just like to point out that I've covered this multiple times. Here are some references.

http://www.punknews.org/reviews.php?op=albumreview &id=4646#139330

http://www.punknews.org/reviews.php?op=albumre view&id=4416

http://www.punknews.org/article.php?thold=-1&mode =nested&order=0&sid=13995#388042

http://www.punknews.org/comme nts.php?op=showreply&tid=374800&sid=13758&pid=374794&mode=&order= &thold=#374800

Anonymous (November 12, 2005)

"The Lawrence Arms came up after the Samoans. I didn‚??t watch their set"

fuckin retard

Anonymous (November 12, 2005)

hey steve jones,
how does it feel to be a punknews.org celebrity?
i hope you have red hair.

stevejonestherealbones (November 12, 2005)

i'm pretty sure rkl carries a knife

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

TheOneTrueBill (November 12, 2005)

Ha, good luck with that. I've been trying to rip every one off I see but they have 'em taped on so well it's impossible unless you carry a knife with you. It's a shame because it's a cool looking flyer.

rkl (November 12, 2005)

oh. i guess i need to rip one of those flyers off a lamppost so i can remind myself.

TheOneTrueBill (November 11, 2005)

The 17th? The Chicago show for the Dwarves is the 18th.

rkl (November 11, 2005)

i wish i couldve gone to this(second day moreso thanthe first)but im saving my money for the dwarves on the 17th. hopefully i can figure out how to get to the venue.

Anonymous (November 11, 2005)

u missed the lawrence arms?? blasphemy

Anonymous (November 11, 2005)

The Dickies' first album is a masterpiece. I kinda think that they were never the same after that, but damn... What an awesome album!


Anonymous (November 11, 2005)

I was at this show, and I travelled from Cincinnati to see it. The Lawrence Arms and the Dickies....excellent. The Suicide Machines fucked up, so I didn't watch them. But the Larry Arms set was great. They played two new songs and they both smoked. The one song I found out the title to was called "Cut It Up" and it was damn good because it was Chris and Brendan trading lines back and forth with Bren doing the chorus. The first new song they played was a Chris song, and it was a bit faster than most of his more recent stuff. the Dickies were so fucking awesome, I was so happy I got to see them. Legendary, and hilarious. Angry Samoans were really fun to watch as well, I'm glad someone still plays music that embodies the very essence of real punk rock. Singing about hialrious things, being offensive, being sloppy, having fun, and generally just sucking at music in a very stylish and awesome way. The only other band that plays (or played? not sure if they're still together) that style are the Wrangler Brutes.

All in all, it was great. And apparenly, my girlfriend and I will be appearing in the next issue of Punk Rock Confidential in a picture with Brendan. So that was neat too.


skolarx (November 11, 2005)

that sounds like a great bunch of stuff you got with those records. the termites live album is incredible

TheOneTrueBill (November 11, 2005)

Ha, not the Bad Brains, but the Damned. Bad Brains were my first answer but I switched it later to the Damned and that's when I won.

TheOneTrueBill (November 11, 2005)

Of the 7"s I got, there were a few Bollweevils ones, Doc Hopper, Western Addiction, The Crowd, Boris the Sprinkler, Kill-a-Watts, Fury 66, and other ones that I can't think of right away. The two LPs were a live Beatnik Termites picture disc and Guttermouth's liev album, and the two 10"s were Snuff and Consumed. It was well worth $8.

The question was a three parter.

"Question: The organizer of Riot Fest, Riot Mike, has three favorite bands. Name three out of three and you win!!!


Band One: When their first album was made, critics believed that the band used recording "trickery" because the drumming was so fast.

Band Two: After his banded disbanded, he became an announcer for a late-night talk show. Name the band.

Band Three: They're headlining night two of Riot Fest. "

Bad Brains
Mighty Mighty Bosstones

stevejonestherealbones (November 11, 2005)

i got into the dickeis by listening to a best of of sorts, Great Dictations or something, give that a try

what was the trivia question you answered?...i think you should have put that in the review

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Anonymous (November 11, 2005)

That Choke table was awesome.. got vinyl of Strung Out - Twisted By Design for $1. woot

TheNightProwler (November 11, 2005)

i saw bad religion at this place last night...the sound at the congress is hoooooooooooooooorrible

I didn't think the sound was bad. I don‚??t know, maybe I'm just not a good judge on sound quality.

My only disappointment was the fact that Bad Religion don‚??t offer any surprises in their setlist, they play the same songs at every show. Plus with Murphy‚??s Law being late I think their setlist was fucking shorter by a few songs from I saw from the set lists at their last few shows, so we missed out on Atomic Garden, Epiphany, Do What You Want, and Prove It from what I've seen from some previous setlists.

Anonymous (November 11, 2005)

Out of curiosity, what did you buy?

TheOneTrueBill (November 11, 2005)

Because the Street Brats are fun to make fun of and the Lawrence Arms aren't. Simple as that. Grow up.

Anonymous (November 11, 2005)

why didnt you buy records during the shitty street brats set instead of the sweet larry arms set? you my friend are a homosexuelle.

Anonymous (November 11, 2005)

pennywise are so numetal

Anonymous (November 11, 2005)

I thought this was in Paris?

ryanbolger (November 11, 2005)

you could have bought your oodles of shitty scenester punk rock records at any point in time, and you choose to do so during the lawrence arms set?

that is so scene, man.

gladimnotemo (November 11, 2005)

I read on Punk Vinyl (or another blog) about the show they did afterwards in the club. I would punch a baby to see the Effigies, Angry Samoans, and the "Germs" play a show together in that small of a space. I mean, whatshisname is no Darby Crash, but he's obviously dedicated to his role (with the tattoos and teeth alteration and all), even if touring seems like a marketing stunt (how big is the release for the movie, anyways?).

Anonymous (November 11, 2005)

i saw bad religion at this place last night...the sound at the congress is hoooooooooooooooorrible

plus, pennywise opened...double horrible

fletcher actually asked the crowd, "WHO HATES THEIR PARENTS!?"

no fucking joke

TheOneTrueBill (November 11, 2005)

"that's nine reviews for the day...AHHH WHAT'S #1"

Ha, apparently not the review for the second day of this. Oh well.

TheOneTrueBill (November 11, 2005)

I'm just not a fan. I actually saw them about a month ago at the "secret" show they played at the Bottom Lounge (which is reviewed here) and they didn't do anything for. Looking through those records was much more rewarding, because about 15 of the 7"s were good and the LPs and 10"s were all good too.

theundergroundscene (November 11, 2005)

that's nine reviews for the day...AHHH WHAT'S #1

bemused (November 11, 2005)

you should have watched Larry arms


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