TVD Live Shots: Riot Fest Chicago, 9/15

1:33PM: It’s another beautiful (and shockingly hot!) day here in Chicago. I wander over to Riot Fest’s Deep Eddy tent—also dubbed the “Punk Rock and Paintbrushes” tent because it’s decorated with art from various musicians on the weekend bill. There is definitely some cool stuff up for grabs, including pieces by Blink 182 and Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba, Twin Peaks’ Clay Frankel, and more.

1:40PM: The “Riot Mall” area features various local vendors…and apparently karaoke at the Chicago History Museum tent! Some kid is singing his heart out and a crowd is growing.

2:15PM: It’s Gwar time in the press tent and as usual every member of the media has temporarily lost all professionalism in order to take selfies with the scumdogs of the universe.

2:38PM: Philadelphia’s Mannequin Pussy ease the crowd into their set before turning up the volume.

3:08PM: Technical issues are plaguing Health’s set, which is unfortunate because they are captivating. It’s easy to see why this is one of Trent Reznor’s favorite bands.

3:40PM: The Numanoids are out in throngs today and their wait is over because Gary Numan has hit the stage. It’s a killer performance and a weekend highlight.

4:55PM: More sound issues at the Riot Stage, this time during Cat Power’s set. Singer Chan Marshall powers through and her voice is as incredible as ever.

5:42PM: Andrew W.K. might as well be the poster musician for Riot Fest. I guess he kind of already is, as this is now his second year in a row headlining the fest. I spent a few moments with him snapping photos and am happy to report that he’s a really lovely guy. Party hard!

6:28PM: Twin Peaks are easily lovable. They’re bouncing around the Roots Stage, feeling right at home since, well, they are home! I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them a couple of times a year for the last few years and it’s been exciting to watch their musical evolution. I’m especially digging their guitar improvisations lately.

7:12PM: “I’m doing fine, thanks,” Elvis Costello assures the crowd before kicking off his set with “Pump It Up.” This is excellent news, given his cancer diagnosis earlier this year. Easily one of my most anticipated sets, Elvis and The Imposters also ended up being one of my favorite weekend sets.

7:51PM: I was hoping to hear some songs from Interpol’s brilliant debut album, Turn on the Bright Lights, and I was handsomely rewarded. It’s a beautiful, mellow show.

8:05PM: Meanwhile, over at the Rise Stage, David Yow of The Jesus Lizard kicks off their set by lunging himself into the crowd. He returns to the stage a few minutes later and jokes, “We’re Interpol. Suck a dick.” It’s easily the most exhilarating performance I’ve seen all weekend—and a nice reminder that this band is badass.

8:41PM: Overheard while waiting for Beck: “So do you feel at all guilty for leaving her in the medical tent?”

8:45PM: I forgot what really bad weed smells like until now.

9:26PM: Beck got a late start but he’s making up for it. He’s plowing through his hits and I’m not the only one reminded of his prolific, genre-spanning career. He encores by bringing Gary Numan out to sing “Cars,” thus concluding a really solid day of music.

GWAR

MANNEQUIN PUSSY

HEALTH

GARY NUMAN

BULLY

CAT POWER

ANDREW WK

TWIN PEAKS

ELVIS COSTELLO

INTERPOL

THE JESUS LIZARD

JERRY LEE LEWIS

BECK

RIOT FEST CHICAGO, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2018

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