TVD Live Shots: Riot Fest Chicago, 9/13

3:30PM: It’s going to take us 90 minutes to get to Riot Fest thanks to traffic, so my wife and I are busy compiling a list of bands we hope to see play Riot Fest in the future. The highlights from our lengthy discussion include: Spinal Tap (my #1 wish), R.E.M. reunion, Smashing Pumpkins playing Siamese Dream in full, The Fugees, Talking Heads reunion, the band from School of Rock, Led Zeppelin reunion, Ben Folds Five, The Muppets, Tool, Missy Elliott. Pretty solid list, don’t you think?

4:45PM: Made it! The grounds seem more crowded than last year—especially for a Friday. It’s snug.

5:08PM: Neck Deep get some laughter and claps for their cover of Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn.”

5:17PM: The Riot Mall is packed with the usual suspects—Fat Wreck Chords, the fake pot candy booth (Chronic Candy), and my favorite To Write Love on Her Arms—and some new faces including a tent simply labeled “I Love Vagina.”

5:42PM: The Violent Femmes are bringing me right back to high school. It’s a crowd sing-a-long—and it’s necessary. The sound is so low they might as well be whispering. Turn that shit up, Riot Fest!

6:55PM: Dashboard Confessional is playing The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most in full at sunset and I’ve witnessed at least 20 people crying.

6:59PM: Over at the Radicals Stage, Pennywise is covering a classic: Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me.”

7:14PM: Descendents are roaring through their set and packing it with classics (“Everything Sux,” “Hope”). Solid.

8:05PM: Is there anything more fun than a Flaming Lips concert?! Especially when they play Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots in full?! They are up to their usual antics: confetti, balloons, a giant inflatable robot, and of course Wayne rolling around in his hamster ball.

8:05PM: The Lips interrupt their set to play tribute to the late great Daniel Johnston with a gorgeous cover of “True Love Will Find You in the End.” It’s powerful.

9:00PM: After cancelling their headlining Riot Fest performance last year due to health issues, Blink-182 is here. “We made it,” Mark Hoppus exclaims to the massive crowd before diving into their seminal album, Enema of the State. It’s a rambunctious end to day one.

VIOLENT FEMMES

DASHBOARD CONFESSIONAL

DESCENDENTS

THE FLAMING LIPS

BLINK-182

RIOT FEST CHICAGO, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2019

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