Riot Fest has made its third appearance to Denver, CO for the third consecutive year in a row now. Three years and now held at three difference venues, the Riot Fest was held at the national western complex over the weekend, with talk and promise of a rodeo. There was no rodeo. But there was almost a Riot however; every year attendees love to make the joke or assumption that just because they see a mosh pit that it constitutes to be an actual Riot. Despite some of the heavier sets from bands such as Testament, Anthrax and System of a Down, there was quite the uproar with the sudden, yet not so surprising cancellation of Motorhead, due to Lemmy’s health issues.
Spanning over the course of three days, Riot Festers came out for the eclectic mix of alternative, rock, punk, metal and rap performers. With Night number one concluding the rare performance of System of a Down, which by the way… if you want to talk about Riots then don’t get me started on how insane their live show is. Iggy made his appearance without the Stooges, or perhaps a younger version of them. Testament created such a dust bowl from the heavy moshers and career head bangers that you would need an inhaler to continue spectating; with the same going for Anthrax. Night two was a bit more tamed of an audience with the lineup consisting of more punk rock such as Rancid, Alkaline Trio, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Bayside, Less Than Jake and more epic sets from GWAR who perform their legendary shows in the way only they can do. Thrice made their appearance after their brief hiatus but not before a headlining show the night before held at the Summit Music hall, playing most of their hits off of The Artist in the Ambulence and Illusion of Safety. They truly did make the earth shake. Punk rock enthusiats ans verterans rallied up for the anticipation of an evening with Alkaline Trio, whose lead, Matt Skiba has been filling in for Blink 182. Followed by an explosive set performance by Rancid.
Riot Fest’s third day was more of the same which included the hot dusty weather combined with the sounds of a mixture of punk, metal, rock, and alternative bands spreading across 5 stages. Sunday included sets from the recently reformed girl fronted punk bands Babes in Toyland and L7 and the always upbeat celtic punk band Flogging Molly. The radicals stage was the only one located inside but it was spot to take a break from the heat and check out some indie rock bands including Beach Slang and The Moth & The Flame. The festival closed out up with Tenacious D’s fun comedic brand of metal followed up shortly after with Snoop Dog.