THE TOP FIVE ACTS ON THE RIOT FEST UNDERCARD Last year I started my Riot Fest coverage by getting kicked in the head and ended it with a man drinking whisky out of a catheter bag. In between some bands played. While topping that experience will be difficult, this Saturday and Sunday I am venturing out to the Downsview Park, a giant field north of the city that is still technically a part of Toronto, to cover this year’s festivities. If you’re into long distance, out of focus, photos and acerbic commentary you can follow my exploits on twitter.
This year’s line-up is headlined by the Alexisonfire reunion, The Wu Tang Clan, and two nights of Weezer (Because clearly the lively and energetic live show that is Weezer could not be contained to just one evening). The festival also features performances by site favourites Frank Turner, Andrew WK, and Rancid who will be playing …And Out Come The Wolves in its entirety (Because someone at Riot Fest clearly wants me to blubber cry in front of a bunch of strangers).
By now I’m guessing that concert goers have figured out who they want to see on the main card, but below I’ve thrown together some of my suggestions for some (slightly) lesser known acts. If you’d like to argue with me about why this list is the best or the worst, again, twitter.
Fidlar play up-tempo California indie punk. They sing about drinking and getting high. They’re one of the first acts on the second day of Riot Fest. They are the hair of the dog. They’re gonna be the morning booze that lets you keeps you going. (Roots Stage. Sunday September 20th. 12:40) Four: Moneen
While never quite reaching the commercial success of Alexisonfire or Billy Talent, Moneen were mainstays in the Southern Ontario scene around the turn of the century. Admittedly it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the band play – they’ve been mostly inactive since 2013 – but during my formative years Moneen were the bench mark for live bands. I’m willing to vouch for them. (Riot Stage. Saturday September 19th. 3:00)
Three: THE OBGMS
Toronto’s OBGMS (Oh Baby Gimme Mores) are danceable Thrash-rock in the vain of Death From Above 1979. Their music would serve equally well as the soundtrack for the best house party of your life or that day when you drank too much and decided to fight a mailbox. That’s something you’re either going to understand or you’re not. (Riot Stage. Saturday September 19th. 1:45)
Two: The Cancer Bats Earlier this year the Cancer Bats released Searching for Zero, a contender for 2015’s best hardcore record. Equal parts Black Sabbath and Black Flag, The Cancer bats seamlessly blend metal and punk, beating their audiences into submission with a seemingly relentless energy. Plus the band looks like game of thrones extras dressed like kids from Detroit Rock City. (Riot Stage. Saturday September 19th. 4:25)
One: The Diry Nil The Dirty Nil play dirty, guitar driven, rock and roll. Earlier this year singer/guitarist Luke Bentham quit his day job after crashing a limousine and celebrated by buying a clear guitar. The story kind of works as a larger metaphor for the whole band. It’s the devil may care irreverence accompanied by a lo-fi balls to the wall grit. (Radicals Stage. Saturday Septmeber 19th. 8:00) Photo of the Dirty Nil via YOSH PHOTOGRAPHY