Festival Preview | RiotFest Chicago

Photo by Agatha Donkar

There’s bands on the RiotFest Chicago — in its 9th year — that everyone is going to see; you don’t need me to tell you about them. Pixies, The Dismemberment Plan, Bob Mould, Public Enemy, Blondie. The Replacements.

(And frankly, if you’re not going to RF to see the Replacements, we have to have a long conversation, in which you can buy me whiskey, while I explain why you are going to see the Replacements at RiotFest. You are also probably 22 years old, and that’s okay.)

But there are plenty of bands on the lineup that you might not be going to see, and this is the officially endorsed SiC Make Sure You See Them lineup for this weekend’s outdoor festival of punks, grown-up punks, old punks, and people who like good music, with a bonus choice for each night’s You Might Skip Them, But Don’t.


Saul Williams
Andrew W.K.
Joan Jett

You Might Skip Them, But Don’t: Fall Out Boy. I know, you guys. I know. But I saw Fall Out Boy play DC’s legendary, tiny 9:30 Club earlier this year, and whether or not you like their music, Pete Wentz, Pete Wentz’s ex-wife, or the pop punk scene that built up around FOB, I can tell you this: they are a rock and roll band that rocks hard. I don’t expect to see a bad live performance in Chicago this weekend, but Fall Out Boy, no matter what you think of their songs, puts on one of the best live shows I’ve ever have the pleasure of seeing. And to see them in their hometown? See it just to say you were there.


Surfer Blood
The Lawrence Arms
Public Enemy
Violent Femmes

You Might Skip Them, But Don’t: Rancid. Their pop punk anthems are still ear-wormingly devastatingly catchy, and Tim Armstrong’s abs are still incredible and he might take his shirt off.


Maps & Atlases
Mission of Burma
Peter Hook & the Light
Bob Mould
Best Coast
The Dismemberment Plan
The Replacements

You Might Skip Them, But Don’t: Chuck Ragan. Chuck has one of the earlier morning sets on Sunday, and you might be hungover and miserable, but you should get out for his punk rock folk song shout-back anthems. His solo stuff is as good as his Hot Water Music stuff, and it’s worth seeing!

I’ll be tweeting and Instagramming all weekend as @brandnewkindof, so follow along if you are a punk, a grown-up punk, an old punk, people who like good music, or just a Replacements fan.

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