Honestly?  Riot Fest sucks.

  • Post Author
    by Promotions director
  • Post Date
    Sun Oct 15 2023


What is it with Riot Fest booking all these bands at these specific times on this specific weekend?  It's ridiculous. 

Unrelated, but I FULLY blamed the guy who ran the Riot Fest Twitter account for the rain delay.  Also, I absolutely do not believe that it was simply a rain delay, it was obviously flooding due to the Insane Clown Posse Faygo fiasco. 

Don't even get me started on the food.  And the drinks.  And the booths.  And the mud. 

But for real, Riot Fest was the most fun I've had in a while. Band after band took the stage and continuously blew me away with their musical capabilities and stage presence (or lack thereof).  Below I've compiled a list of my standouts from this weekend of music.  

Day One:

Yard Act:  An unexpected riotous show for sure. This British band was so intensely British, that I forgot where I was for a second during the show (maybe it was the multiple cigarettes they smoked on stage). To be honest, I hadn't heard much from this band before my encounter with them on the stage, but by golly-gee, they really knocked my socks off. The amount of cigarettes smoked during this set was insurmountable, and the singer's shakily riotous way of singing was contagious as a viewer. 

Turnstile:  Like, what the hell? Turnstile was another band not really on my radar that VERY quickly created an unforgettable show experience. First of all, everyone on stage was so energetic and absolutely gorgeous. Secondly, I was shocked by the size of their sound. Granted, 5 members of a band is a pretty typical size, however, I wouldn't have been shocked had there been 50 people up on that stage.     

Foo Fighters:  I've got to be honest, I really only went into this show knowing only Everlong. But I left with a laundry list of new-old songs that I immediately added to my playlist. My main standouts were the deep-cut White Limo and the rambunctious Breakout. Dave Grohl was MADE for the stage. I honestly didn't even know banter like that was possible with that large of an audience, but somehow he pulled it off. From start to finish, even though I was exhausted after a long day, I enjoyed the hell out of the Foo Fighters. 

Day Two:

100 gecs:  I never guessed I would be so entertained by frogs on the floor and getting a tooth removed. Although their songs are “simplistic” their show was definitely not. Laura and Dylan hold their audience in a chokehold. The fans are dedicated. I watched a few audience members sing every single word with accuracy I didn't know was possible.   

Insane Clown Posse: What. Just. Happened. No seriously, I left the ICP show in such shock, we barely got home afterward. First off, let me introduce you to a nice little drink named Faygo.  Faygo, kind of an off-brand version of Coke or Pepsi, is based in Detroit. Do you know what else is based in Detroit?  ICP. And ICP loves to spray their fans in, you guessed it, Faygo!  Never in my life have I attended a concert where they literally threw 2-liter bottles of Diet Faygo into the crowd. By the end of the concert, I was SOAKED in soda. From a music perspective though, I felt that they sounded a lot like their recordings. But really, I was so focused on not getting hit in the head by a bottle of Faygo.   

Day Three:

L.S. Dunes: I swear this whole weekend was just me getting shocked by band after band that simply wasn't on my radar. L.S. Dunes was so contagiously rambunctious that I couldn't stop dancing. In fact, at one point in the show, people crowd-surfed pizza and funnel cake up to the stage for the band to munch on. Of course, we couldn't talk about L.S. Dunes without talking about the one, the only, Frank Iero from MCR.   

The Dresden Dolls: Oh. My. Gosh. The Dresden Dolls were so good.  I loved the makeup, the outfits, the whole look, and the stage presence.  I also had no idea that this band was only two people!  And then suddenly, it wasn't, when they brought out the bassist for Hole and The Smashing Pumpkins, Melissa Auf der Maur. The best part?  They played a Beastie Boys cover. 

The Cure: I'd like to start off this review by saying I love The Cure. However, Robert Smith has ZERO stage presence. The most interaction he had with the crowd was a small little wave between one of the songs.  That being said, they sounded the same as they did 30 years ago, which is simply amazing.  They were such an enjoyable show, I was very sad to have to leave halfway through in order to drive on back to Madison 

Although I still firmly believe Riot Fest sucks, it sucks in the best way.  Keep being terrible Riot Fest, and I hope to be able to tromp through your muddy fields again soon.