The third and final weekend of this year's slate of Riot Fest shows begins in Denver today, after successive weekends in Toronto and Chicago. What began as a punk rock-leaning showcase has morphed over the years into a delightfully eclectic mix of punk, hip-hop, metal, left-field weirdo noise and everything in between.
AllMusic ventured to the Chicago weekend, which was highlighted by several bands playing full albums, such as the Offspring dutifully re-creating 1994's Smash, Slayer dusting off Reign in Blood, Jane's Addiction drunkenly (supposedly) slurring through Nothing's Shocking and Weezer, happy as always to remind us that they once made the blue album. The Chicago incarnation's half-moon layout and congested pathways made it nigh impossible to catch everything, but we managed to catch the muddy rebirth of GWAR, featuring a new female vocalist, the Buzzcocks tunefully blasting through a set of classics, Andrew W.K. continuing to get wet (without even trying), and Wu-Tang Clan displaying strength in numbers with an early evening set that touched on their biggest collective and solo hits.
A slow, steady rain on Friday reduced Humboldt Park to a mud pit from the beginning, which ruined countless pairs of shoes and created the spectator sport of watching drunk people fall in the slop that stretched across the entire viewing areas of the main stages. By late Saturday the mud had been transformed into a hard-packed clay that was less sloppy but caked extra pounds onto shoes, which made jumping up and down to Die Antwoord's mid-afternoon set a little more difficult than normal. Cameos included Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe guesting with Glenn Danzig's mid-80s band Samhain and former WWE champion CM Punk hopping onstage with the Bouncing Souls, but with fairly limited set times, most performances were straightforward, no-frills affairs with minimal production beyond a banner.
Scroll down for our gallery of photos from the weekend, and check back over the next few weeks for our Riot Fest interviews, including Taking Back Sunday, Andrew WK, New Found Glory and many more.
Tegan and Sara
Tokyo Police Club
Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas
Ferris Wheel view
Photos by Ryan Cady