Have you ever stopped and thought to yourself, it’s Friday night, I think I’ll go see Bad Religion and Joan Jett? No? Well, let me tell you what: after attending Chicago’s Riot Fest 2013, I can recommend thinking that as something to do on a Friday night. That’s how I kicked off my photographing of Riot Fest, and it was a fitting opening to a festival that was full of loud guitars, louder guitars, badass rock and roll ladies — Joan Jett! Exene Cervenka! Debbie Harry! — badass rock and roll 20-something dudes and badass rock and roll 50-something dudes.
Saturday had perfect fall sunny weather; Sunday it poured on most of the day. Both days and Friday night I had fun at every set I shot: Bad Religion, Joan Jett, Fall Out Boy (now with extra Stanley Cup, as you may have seen), Surfer Blood, X, The Devil Wears Prada, Dinosaur Jr, Devotchka, Blondie, Violent Femmes, Chuck Ragan, Reggie & the Full Effect, Mission of Burma, & Against Me!. Riot Fest rocked hard; where Hopscotch has meticulously maintained mustaches, Riot Fest has meticulously curated mohawks.
I can’t convey how much fun it was to spend the weekend photographing nothing but hard rocking bands full electric guitars. I love boys with banjos and girls with acoustic guitars; I love them a lot. I love rock and roll, too, turned up to 11, and that’s what Riot Fest gave me in Humboldt Park this past weekend: rock and freaking roll.
Full set is here on Flickr, but scroll down to check out the highlights.