Riotfest & Carnival | Day 3 | 9/16/18

Article Contributed by Tom Joens | Published on Monday, September 24, 2018

The Sunday of Riot Fest featured numerous acts that have been playing for a long period of time.

The band Fear has been around for more than forty years.  Fear played in the mid-afternoon heat at the Rise Stage, furiously playing their 1982 classic, but politically incorrect release "The Record" in its entirety in order, sandwiched by several other songs.  Many fans knew the words to every song, and anticipated some of the more humorous lyrics as they were being sung.  Front man Lee Ving, who has been the only constant in the band from the beginning, did not take himself or the band's songs too seriously.  Fear closed with their song "More Beer," which the crowd appreciated on many levels.

Johnny Marr live at Riotfest 2018

Johhny Marr played at the Roots Stage, and he featured  a variety of songs from his solo releases (and one song he helped to write and perform with his one-time band Electronica), but the music which received the most reaction from the enthralled audience was, of course, the songs that Marr cowrote and performed while a member of the Smiiths.  The Smiths' songs that were played by Marr and his band were "Bigmouth Strikes Again," a version of many fans' favorite Smiths' song "There is a Light that Never Goes Out" which turned into an audience singalong at the end, and Marr's set closer "How Soon is Now?"  Many of the fans that attended Marr's performance on Sunday also saw Morrissey play Riot Fest two years ago.

Suicidal Tendencies live at Riotfest 2018

The thrash band Suicidal Tendencies has been around for over 35 years, but lead singer and only original member of the band Mike Muir and the rest of the current group played with an intensity and energy that bands that have only been around for a few years would be jealous of.  Security at the Riot Stage, which was aptly named for S.T.'s performance, were kept busy plucking crowd surfers from the throbbing mosh pit, with some crowd-surfers being taken out more than once.  Towards the end of Suicidal Tendencies' set, Muir invited several children and their parents to go onstage with the band, and several younger audience members came on stage to dance along to the music as well.

Punk/New Wave veterans Blondie played the Roots Stage in the late afternoon/early evening, and lead singer Debbie Harry led the band in a virtual greatest hits concert.  Harry was resplendent in what presumably was a fluorescent greenish yellow wig and hot pants, and it was hard to believe that she is 73 years old.  Harry was in fine voice, although she complained about having to play as the sun was streaming down on the stage.  Harry was lucky that she was wearing sunglasses that matched her hair!  Highlights included "Call Me," "Rapture," Blondie's cover of the Paragons song "The Tide is High," and Blondie's closer "Heart of Glass."

McHenry, Illinois's Alkaline Trio played the Riot Stage to a young and enthusiastic crowd.  Guitarist and lead vocalist Matt Skiba, bass player and vocalist Dan Adriano, and drummer Derek Grant played songs from this year's album "Is This Thing Cursed?," the band's first long-player in five years, as well as many songs from throughout Alkaline Trio's twelve year career.  Because Skiba's "other band" Blink 182 was a late cancellation to Riot Fest, many Blink fans showed their support by attending the Alkaline Trio set while sporting Blink 182 tee-shirts.

Father John Misty live at Riotfest 2018

When Father John Misty played the Roots Stage after the sun had set, he must not have gotten the memo about not wearing white after Labor Day.  Dapper in a three-piece white suit. Father John presented a  stunning figure to a relatively small but enthralled audience.  Father John performed songs from all four of his "Father John Misty" releases, while emphasizing songs from this year's release "God's Favorite Customer." 

Father John was not as talkative as he has previously been in concert, perhaps believing that it made sense for his music to do the talking during his one hour set.  Father John played the acoustic guitar for most of his set, occasionally putting it down so that he could strut around the stage while singing. Some fans had seen Father John for several concerts during this tour, remarking that he was more subdued than at previous shows.  Father John played most of his best-known songs, although he did not play "Bored in the U.S.A."