This is gonna be one rowdy rodeo.
Riot Fest day one was rowdy. I saw it all: people chowing down on turkey legs, headbanging to ripping guitar solos, breaching barriers while moshing, and fans crying while they stood watching what was clearly, one of their favorite bands. Although the fest was packed with rioters, some people simply couldn’t hang. Humans were already passed out come 5PM, scattered about the coliseum (Hoffman stage stomping grounds). It was no doubt a scorcher, and 12 hours of nonstop music under the beating sun took its toll.
Things really heated up when Suicidal Tendencies took the Rock Stage. A sea of black t-shirts stood tightly packed together, hands raised and fingers firmly sporting the historic rock and roll symbol. True story though, I am not overestimating the ratio of black shirts to varying colors of t-shirts at Riot Fest yesterday. It must have been 10-1 and about 50% of those black shirts had the classic Misfits skull logo on them.Riot Fest’s foods stands were on point: corn on the cob, corn dogs, funnel cakes, donuts, and fresh squeezed lemonade. My personal favorite music festival food stop, hands down is, McDevitt Taco Supply. Its a food truck near and dear to my heart, hailing from Boulder, CO. In a sea of new faces, food trucks and merchandise tents, it is grounding to see a little piece of home. Plus, these tacos will give you a hard on.
NOFX took the Hoffman stage for a rowdy late afternoon set. What a crew- unnecessary leg lifts were crushed and leather kilts were worn. The Hoffman stage, no doubt, housed the rowdiest bands of the day, with NOFX leading the pack.
When the sun went down, the dust settled and Death Cab For Cutie took the Roots stage. I grew up on these dude’s music; each on of their songs truly has a fond place in my heart. But truth be told, they played a pretty ‘meh’ set last night at Riot Fest. Their setlist was a bit mellow and left fans (mainly me) craving more of their classics. It pains me to be critical of their performance, but I left feeling a bit disappointed. If they hadn’t played “Soul Meets Body”, my disappointment would have turned to anger.
Deftones wrapped day one with a ripping set. Guitarist Stephen Carpenter rocked a sweet “The F*ck Face” t-shirt, and lead singer Chino Moreno kept using his mic like a lasso, swinging it across the stage with no discernment about smacking fellow band members. The crowd's energy was ravenous, devouring every song and screaming out for more. One can only hope Riot Fest was warm up to a Deftones solo tour.
Riot Fest: No livestock needed to create a downright rowdy rodeo.
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All photos per the author for BolderBeat. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.