UTG PREVIEW: Eight Reasons Riot Fest Is The Best Lineup Of The Year

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Riot Fest Chicago is everything an alternative music lover of the past 3 decades wants in a festival. It is arguably the most buzzed about, tweeted at, liked and talked about festival of 2013. It has the potential to be legendary. 

Riot Fest Chicago will be a weekend full of unforgettable sets and unrealistic appearances. Here at UTG, we understand this is the festival of 2013. Over the next week and a half, we are going to be bringing you a multiple-part series dissecting the lineup of Riot Fest Chicago and telling you why we think this particular event in 2013 will be the festival everyone will still be talking about when Danzig has their 50th anniversary show. The fourth and final section of the series is titled Eight Reasons Riot Fest Is The Best Lineup Of The Year  and it highlights eight bands we haven’t mentioned in the past three editions of the series that help make Riot Fest-Chicago the most anticipated lineup of 2013. Can’t wait to see you in Chicago!


It’s 2013 and what once was known as Fall Out Boy’s average-at-best live performance is now a monster of a well-performed show. Patrick Stump’s live vocal progression is astounding and it will be promising to see them close Friday night in their hometown of Chicago. Expect diversity and high-energy during the set. Not only are Fall Out Boy back in stronger-than-ever live form after their hiatus, their new record, Save Rock and Roll, has pushed the boundaries of pop-rock production.

Have no doubt that, if you see Fall Out Boy at Riot Fest 2013, you are seeing a band hitting the prime of their career, and singing along to all of your classic favorites is a much-appreciated bonus, too. – Matthew Leimkuehler, (@callinghomematt), Music Editor


No matter how much their fans have aged and their reputation has grown, Pennywise have developed themselves into mainstays at bigger outdoor festivals such as Riot Fest. Now that longtime frontman Jim Lindberg has found his way back into the picture, the band is shaping up to be better than ever.

Will we get to hear new material during their 4PM Saturday set on the Riot Stage? Probably not, but one could only hope. One thing that we can guarantee is that with all due respects to Zoli, this is one of the first opportunities since 2009 that American fans will get the chance to hear some Pennywise songs performed the way that they were meant to be performed. – Adrian Garza, (@adriangarza_), News & Review Writer 


The Replacements are to music as….well *insert one thing that really influenced something else here.*

That’s the only way to put it really. Having managed to not only shift the 1980s post-punk scene, but also the 1990s indie rock scene, the band’s thumbprint is as large as any at Riot Fest.

But music is more than that isn’t it? It outreaches legacy or structure. It can’t be measured only in album sales or history. Sometimes music comes down simply to how damn much it moves you.

The Replacements have touched a lot of people since they started in 1979. They’ve been around longer than every member of Under the Gun. It is safe to safe Riot Fest will be the first time MANY people experience this tumultuously game changing band. It may not be The Beatles at Ed Sullivan, but honestly, it is pretty damn close in this day and age. – Josh Hammond (@endless_rambles), Review Writer


Odds are, if you listen to any of the bands at Riot Fest that have broken into the scene in the last decade, you owe a huge thank you to Glassjaw. It has been years since we have heard new music from Daryl Palumbo and co, but that will not make it any less important to catch this Glassjaw set. These guys fall into a category of creating some of the most influencing music of the last two decades. I have been waiting to see “Ape Dos Mil” (let’s hope they play it) performed live since first spin so many years ago.

Watch Glassjaw at Riot Fest, simply because they are one of the bands that you truly don’t know when they will come around again. You may have to wait years for another chance, or you may not have another chance at all. – Matthew Leimkuehler (@callinghomematt), Music Editor


When it comes to certain bands, seeing them comes down to their frailty. Often with great artistic ability comes a certain collection of demons. It could be sensitivity or depression, anti-social disorder or anxiety. However, there is usually a certain level of trauma below the surface driving the emotions that make your favorite band hit you with such an overwhelming connection.

That same drive often causes drama and meltdowns in a band. There are fights. There are conflicts. There are artistic differences. Then there are hiatuses.

Often when a band you love is so shy to play shows there is a reason. I’m not saying that this is the case with Brand New. However, what I am saying is this: when you are presented with the chance to see a band that you love, who often isn’t the best at providing those chances, you should probably grab that opportunity with a white-knuckle grip.

There is no telling when that last chance will happen. – Josh Hammond (@endless_rambles), Review Writer


I didn’t think it could be done live. All the layers, the definition, the brilliance behind The Dear Hunter’s music. But it can be done, and it is done, very well. Between the elaborate Act series and the impressive EP collection, The Color Spectrum, The Dear Hunter mastermind Casey Crescenzo has experimented in many of the nooks and crannies of modern music composition. This translates into one hell of an energetic show. If it is your first time experiencing The Dear Hunter live, don’t worry, I had to pick my jaw off of the ground, too.

And be sure to catch ‘em this weekend in Chicago before Casey leaves to the Czech Republic to conduct his first symphony under The Dear Hunter. Yes, it is okay to be overly impressed now. – Matthew Leimkuehler (@callinghomematt), Music Editor


Chances are if you’re at Riot Fest-Chicago, I don’t have to explain to you who Joan Jett is. However, just in case you’re currently referring to Jett as “that girl from the K Stew movie,” lets refresh.

Joan Jett is a punk icon — a three time gold or platinum selling artist and a feminist icon. She is responsible for some of the most recognizable hits of her generation, with “I Love Rock n’ Rock” and “Bad Reputation.” She’s played along side Lita Ford and Cherie Currie and opened for Van Halen, Cheap Trick and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

She’s Joan Jett and at 54 she could probably whip your ass. – Josh Hammond (@endless_rambles), Review Writer 


Will Bayside be playing new music? This guy can hope. Bayside has been my favorite band for as long as I can remember, and I am sure they will deliver as always this weekend at Riot Fest. Bayside is a cult. Those that know their music love it. I don’t think I’ve ever met someone that didn’t appreciate Bayside. With that being said, it will be interesting to see where their set selection goes for this performance. Will they dive into some of the tracks from Covers: Volume I? Will we see more of Killing Time, like we did during the TAYF10 tour? Maybe a surprise Sirens and Condolences set? The record is coming up on a decade anniversary in the beginning of 2014.

No matter what the set selection, it will be pleasing to see an old favorite once again. -Matthew Leimkuehler (@callinghomematt), Music Editor

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