Hey Kids! Riot Fest weekend is quickly approaching and it’s bound to be a gas for all who choose to attend. Last year’s Riot Fest was, in no uncertain terms, the most fun I’ve ever had at a festival anywhere on earth, but (and this is a biggie) anyone can luck out and do something great once. Do the good folks at Riot Fest have the ability to pull it off twice? If they do, I’ll go ahead and call it the best fest in the world. Those Riot Festers are some of the best people around, so I’m rooting for em, and they know their shit, so I think they can do it again.
I’m also involved in bands that are playing all three nights and I’m gonna give you, oh loyal Dogs Of War, a quick guide to where you can see any and all Bad Sandwich related acts and tomfoolery. Ready?
Friday night the Lawrence Arms are playing a show at the Cobra Lounge with (I think) the Heat Tape. The Heat Tape is a rad band of dudes who live and practice in a trailer park in southern Illinois and uh…well, that’s about as rock and roll as it gets, kids. Don’t like your neighbors? Tow their fucking house away from yours. Cool. Anyway, that show is A) late at night and B) in a small club (about 250 people) and therefore C) sold way the fuck out. Officials estimate it sold out in 90 seconds. Therefore, if you don’t have tickets to this one, you’re pretty fucked if you wanna go. Maybe try to suck off the door guy or something. I don’t know.
As for what you can expect at Cobra Lounge: We’re gonna play a more whimsical set list, we’ll probably take some requests and we’ll maybe bust out a couple of tunes from our upcoming record. All in all, it promises to be a good show, if for no other reason than because we don’t take the stage until well after my bedtime, so it’ll be kind of like watching a rock and roll marathon.
The Lawrence Arms play on the Rise stage at 645. We play right before Public Enemy and at the exact same time as Blondie, which is a dickpunch, but what the fuck are you gonna do? Here’s what I say: Go watch Blondie if they’re your bag. I bet that after like 4 songs, you’ll be like “that was cool, but I’m kinda over it” and then you can head over and catch the rest of our set. We’ll probably be playing a more rehearsed, tight set on this day, and since it’s a big ass festival, we’ll keep the bombast and energy high (because more subtle moments tend to get lost in a field full of 30k people). Expect some hits and maybe a new song or two. This is also your big chance to see all our exciting local celebrity fans rocking out to our rad brand of kickassery, like uh….I dunno…maybe the drummer dude from the Broadways will show up or something. This one’s gonna be super fun, kids. Wear a condom.
Throughout Saturday, before and after the show, I’ll be down at the Red Scare/Fat tent where I’ll be hanging out, drinking beers and generally shooting the shit with the merchandising folks. So come say hi and bring me gifts (it was just my birthday!). There’ll be a lot of fun folks hanging out with me in the tent, including Fat Wreck and Red Scare brass, as well as band members from both labels’ acts. Will Sundowner himself show up? Only one way to find out, ladies!
On Sunday, a band I was in in the 90’s along with Chris (also of TLA) and Dan and Rob from the Honor System (and a bunch of other bands) called the Broadways is playing at 730 on the Rise Stage. We’re playing up against AFI and then the very end of our set is gonna conflict with the very beginning of the Pixies. Here’s the thing: You probably already know if you’re interested in seeing the Broadways or not. We haven’t played a show in Chicago in almost fifteen years. We were never popular when we were together, but we’ve managed to attract a dedicated legion of weirdos since we’ve broken up. From what I can tell, you’re pretty much either going to Riot Fest SPECIFICALLY to see the Broadways, or you could give two shits about ever seeing the Broadways. Either way, we’ll be up there. We practiced last night and it was a lot of fun. We’ve got the capabilities to play about 19 songs, and we’ll probably end up doing most of em, unless the whole thing starts going totally tits up, in which case we’ll play em all. So, yeah. You’ll either be at the Rise stage at 730 or you won’t. Enjoy AFI, the rest of you geeks. Funny thing, we’re actually ‘headlining’ the Rise stage and the band right before us on the Rise stage is none other than Suicidal Tendencies. One’s a cultural force that shaped the public idea of what punk and hardcore are (and were in Repo Man!), one’s a band that never drew more than 60 kids in their hometown…seems logical. I look forward to that entire thing. The band on our adjoining stage (Rock stage) that’s RIGHT before us is All Time Low, who are very famous and young. We’re gonna look like a band of crypt keepers following those dudes.
Sunday I will again be hanging out at the Red Scare/Fat Wreck Chords tent all day. Come by and say high (again with the gifts, of course) but make sure you check out Against Me! (235-330 on Roots stage) and Direct Hit! (330-4 on Rebel stage). Oh, and some band called the Replacements is playing at the very end. Sounds like a sacrificial lamb to me. Who wants to see a bunch of old drunks playing some of the awesomest punk songs ever? Pfft.
Anyway, if you’re coming to Riot Fest, come find me and say what’s up. I can’t wait to see y’all and bullshit and drink beers and have a great time. Fuck, I’m excited. Be safe, and I’ll see ya this weekend.