Keep your back-to-school kodak moments on ice for another damn minute! September rips it up with the first days of Riot Fest. The series was littered with artists that pulled out their late-summer energy to thrash around on four stages in Denver. Along with some other side attractions like Hellzapoppin freak show and the numerous local food trucks, the festival provided every good fixin’ that a rock-enthusiast could dream up. With a stellar opening day lineup, fans from all generations thoroughly enjoyed big-name artists in the Rocky Mountain heat.
Suicidal Tendencies drew in one of the largest crowds on Friday. Mike Muir, the long-time lead vocalist for the band, led fans into an array of chaos and orchestrated rage. Fans cheered on one of the most beloved 80’s thrash bands as they soared through classics like “Institutionalized” and “Cyco Vision”.
Though Muir is the only original band member, the show’s glory thrived with ex-Slayer member Dave Lombardo on drums. In my opinion, having another big name on stage is enough to get people excited to come see you perform.
I can’t pass up mentioning Death Cab for Cutie‘s hour long performance in the late slot of Friday night. The performance was exciting and surprisingly “big” considering the band’s gentler demeanor. Also, cheers to the awesome performance by Motion City Soundtrack. After much dispute, this is the exit year for Motion City. Frontman Justin Pierre thanked the public for coming out to the last show in Denver. The past decades have been such a thrill with this band.
One of the more youthful bands to play at the festival was Nashville-based Diarrhea Planet. From the first sights on stage to seeing them behind the scenes at the press tent, the band left Riot Fest with tasteful obscenities. These guys kicked ass and made it look like a stroll in the park. Diarrhea Planet chiseled out leaps and other commodities that are fitting for this type of event. The band must do cardio and stretch before the show, I’ll tell you that much. I left the stage shaking in my boots from the five guitars swirling around, beating in my head like a wiffle ball.
That kind of showmanship is what this festival needed. For endeavors of this caliber, the all-time great rock bands stick around and the newbies keep coming in hot, straight out of the blazing furnace.