Day two of Riot Fest, although a bit overcast, began as another beautiful day. Everyone was talking about Iggy Pop, Gogol Bordello and Alkaline Trio. These were the most anticipated acts of the day. There were also plenty of other acts that came before, that should not be overlooked.
Both NOFX and Awolnation put on great performances. NOFX played lots of older hits beginning many a sing alongs throughout the crowd. There was certainly no shortage of ska style mosh pits either. Awolnation proved to be amazing showmen. The set list didn’t lag at all and kept a steady build of energy during the show. With some of the most loyal fans there Awolnation lived up to the expectations.
The Jesus and Mary Chain used their years of musical experience to present an excellent performance. The set list, being comprised of many recognizable hits, proved that with experience and years of training, you can expect a quality show. Elvis Costello gave the festival a bit of a change in vibes. He used a mix of different genres to put forth a well rounded set. The performance was both unexpected and refreshing. His talented guitar solos along with his booming voice made everyone yearn for more. A Day to Remember on the other hand, didn’t have quite the same effect. One thing they achieved was a solid crowd participation among their fans. However, they failed to really connect with the rest of the crowd, whom may have been less familiar with the catalog.
Alkaline Trio had a fantastic set. With a strong concentration of diehard fans, the crowd energy was through the roof. They played a set list that covered all aspects of their discography. Both the new and the old helped prove that this band has much more to show us in the future.
Gogol Bordello and his gypsy punk band really cranked up the energy in the grounds. He is by far one of the best performers of the festival. Gogol puts on a complete show from physical set to musical set and everything in-between. His own specific brand of punk sets him apart from all other punk bands. The performance at Riot Fest further sustained that reputation.
Last, but certainly not least, there was Iggy Pop and The Stooges. I experienced this show right in the thick of the mosh pit, and it was certainly unforgettable. For starters Iggy Pop looks way too in shape for his age. His stamina hasn’t waned since his early years of performing. It was as if he was able to read the minds of his fans. The set list flowed very well and built to “I Wanna Be Your Dog” at the very end. The crowd was relentless and demanded an encore, which Iggy and the band gladly provided.
Riot Fest 2012 was by far the best festival in Chicago all summer. There is no other atmosphere like this festival and its a truly original experience. Make sure you keep an eye out for the 2013 lineup because this festival is only going to get better.