FESTIVAL PREVIEW: 10 Cover Songs We Hope To Hear at Riot Fest Chicago

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Nothing gets a festival crowd going like a good cover tune, so it’s no surprise that many of my favorite memories from Riot Fest 2013 involved covers. The festival opened on Friday afternoon with Hatebreed paying tribute to fallen Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman with their cover of “Ghosts of War,” during which Jamey Jasta made the proclamation that you should “never marry a woman who doesn’t like Slayer,” and it’s hard to argue with the man. The festival ended on a high note as well, with Sunday performers AFI offering their take on The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” just before Pixies opened their set with The Fall’s “Big New Prinz.”

We’re sure to hear plenty of memorable covers this weekend as well, so UTG Music Editor Matthew Leimkuehler and I put together this list of covers we expect (or at least hope) to hear at Riot Fest 2014.

The Cure – “Hello, Goodbye” (The Beatles)

Just released earlier this week as part of The Art of McCartney collection featuring rock ‘n’ roll’s finest celebrating the work of Paul, this cover has the potential to be the most special song played at Riot Fest Chicago. Robert Smith and his band put a dark and sardonic twist on a song that has lasted the ages. It’s two of music’s finest rolled into one. – Matthew Leimkuehler, Music Editor & Feature Writer

The Get Up Kids – “Close To Me” (The Cure)

The Get Up Kids were given an hour-long set on Saturday afternoon, but we already know their full album performance of Something to Write Home About will fill at least 45 of those minutes. That leaves room for just a couple of other songs and, let’s face it, The Get Up Kids don’t have a ton of hits outside that album. But, fortunately, this is one of them. — Kevin Blumeyer, News & Review Writer

Social Distortion – “Under My Thumb” (The Rolling Stones)

I realize “Ring of Fire” is sort of Social Distortion’s signature cover tune and we’re all but guaranteed to hear it on Sunday evening, but I’m hoping Mike Ness and Co. will also make room on the setlist for their take on this Rolling Stones classic. And as much as I love the studio version from Social D’s White Light, White Heat, White Trash, the live version from Live at the Roxy is even better. — Kevin Blumeyer, News & Review Writer

The Orwells – “I Wanna Be Your Dog” (The Stooges)

When I saw The Orwells’ set at Lollapalooza 2013, the band earned the rare early afternoon encore, with singer Mario Cuomo returning to the stage after several minutes of chants wearing nothing but his boxers. The band proceeded to tear through their version of The Stooges’ “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” a song that has remained a staple of the band’s setlists as they’ve continued to gain buzz off a particularly memorable Letterman performance and their well-reviewed sophomore LP Disgraceland. Here’s hoping for a repeat performance and an audience that will be even more appreciative. — Kevin Blumeyer, News & Review Writer

Say Anything – “Got Your Money” (Ol’ Dirty Bastard)

There’s something oddly enlightening about hearing an angsty Jewish man sing one of the most perverted hip hop songs of a decade past. But it would be amazing to see Max Bemis and co. deliver their unique take on Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Got Your Money.” I mean, it is only a couple notches more raunchy than “Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too,” right? — Matthew Leimkuehler, Music Editor & Feature Writer

The Afghan Whigs – “Tusk” (Fleetwood Mac)

The vast amount of research I’ve done in preparation for writing this article tells me The Afghan Whigs have been covering Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk” as part of a medley with “In The End,” a standout ballad from this year’s Do To The Beast. I’m beyond intrigued to see how Greg Dulli handles the track’s male/female vocal harmonies and I’m hoping to find out on Saturday afternoon. — Kevin Blumeyer, News & Review Writer


New Found Glory – “No Reason Why” (Gorilla Biscuits)

While New Found Glory has such a deep catalogue that I generally prefer they don’t play covers, Riot Fest bands often seem inspired to prove their punk-ness by covering one of their forefathers at the festival (see: Rise Against’s Black Flag cover in 2012). And if NFG goes that route, I’d much prefer they bust out their cover of Gorilla Biscuits’ “No Reason Why” over one of their overdone Ramones or Green Day covers. Circle pits are sure to follow. — Kevin Blumeyer, News & Review Writer

The Used — “Under Pressure” (Queen and David Bowie)

Although Gerard Way will be absent from this year’s Riot Fest Chicago (as far as we know), it’d be fun to see The Used dust off this cover and bring it to the light of day one more time. There are more than suitable candidates to take Way’s place on the piece — why not have tourmate Adam Lazzara fill the void? The fan-pleasing potential for a collaboration is nearly limitless. — Matthew Leimkuehler, Music Editor & Feature Writer

Taking Back Sunday — “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” (Kayne West)

Speaking of Adam Lazzara, why couldn’t we see Lazzara and the rest of our favorite boys from Long Island cover Kayne West? The video for “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” showed us the band has some serious soul deep down behind its emo roots. It’s a sexy cover waiting to light up a Saturday night in Chicago. — Matthew Leimkuehler, Music Editor & Feature Writer

The Offspring — “No Control” (Bad Religion)

It doesn’t get much more punk rock than The Offspring covering Bad Religion. It’s that simple. — Matthew Leimkuehler, Music Editor & Feature Writer

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