Features Music Bands to check out at Riot Fest 2019

Music: Bands to check out at Riot Fest 2019

Top 10 acts playing Riot Fest 2019 we're most excited about


The Selecter

A 2 Tone ska revival band from the 80s might not sound like your kind of music, and hell some of you might have stopped reading after the word ska, but chances are they’ve inspired a lot of the music you listen to now. The Selecter are set to put on an album performance of their iconic record Too Much Pressure, and honestly I’m expecting the performance to be better than the original recording. Check out some YouTube videos of their recent performances and you’ll see that these musicians have only gotten better over time. Top tracks they’re playing: “Three Minute Hero,” “My Collie (Not a Dog),” and “Too Much Pressure.”



It’s been years since we've seen Lucero live and given how fast their after show performance sold out, we're not the only ones excited to see them play again. And for those of you that don’t think country is your kind of music, lead singer Ben Nichols might change your mind. Their music is hauntingly beautiful and Nichols’ voice pierces through with the perfect amount of grit. Rooted in country, soul, and punk Lucero aren’t just going to play music, they are going to tell us a whole damn story so get ready to listen. Top tracks they’re likely to play: “For The Lonely Ones,” “Slow Dancing,” and “Sweet Little Thing.”


Taking Back Sunday

Riot Fest 2019 is really playing up the nostalgia card this year with a dual album performance of Tell All Your Friends and Louder Now—and we're not complaining. It’s hard to believe that much time has passed, but Tell All Your Friends is the band’s first studio album and remains one of their best. It might not be the early 2000s anymore, but at least during Taking Back Sunday’s set we can pretend. And if you don’t have a solid memory of listening to either record, I’m sure you can learn all the words by September 15th. Top tracks they’re playing “MakeDamnSure,” “Cute Without The ‘E’ (Cut From The Team),” and “You’re So Last Summer.”


Patti Smith And Her Band

Iconic. Revolutionary. Groundbreaking. But really, Patti Smith is remarkable and beyond words. As a true poet and singer-songwriter, her music transcends time. Music can come and go for some artists, but it’s clear for Smith that it’s a part of who she is. This will be a moment to hold near and dear to your heart; I have no doubts Patti Smith will be nothing short of incredible. Top tracks she’s likely to play: “Dancing Barefoot,” “Pissing In a River,” and “Because the Night.”



In celebration of the 21st anniversary of their album Over The James, Avail will be playing the record in its entirety during Riot Fest. Not only nostalgic for many people, Avail represents a time when punk/hardcore music was just blooming. I’m expecting their set to be full of late 90s energy and for vocalist Tim Barry to add an element of sincerity with his melodic hardcore range. Top tracks they’re playing: “August,” “Sanctuary 13,” and “Fifth Wheel.”


Blink 182

Blink 182 is perhaps the most mainstream artist playing Riot Fest this year and likely to draw the biggest crowd. It’s the 20th anniversary of Enema of the State, the record that really skyrocketed them into media success. Despite early reports of the band being a joke act it’s clear that 20 years later the band’s positive impact on pop punk music paved the way for many others. I’m excited to hear Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba play as part of the band now and be transported back to 1999. And yes, that means we’ll be here for all the classic hits. Top tracks they’re playing: “What’s My Age Again?,” “All The Small Things,” and “Adam’s Song.”


The Ergs!

The band hasn’t played together since 2017, and even then it was a few reunion shows, so this performance is all the more exciting. We remember when they played NJ basement shows and poured out everything they had to a room of no more than 50 kids. There’s something heartwarming about The Ergs!—they have the nicest personalities and play punk songs about love and heartbreak. And sure it’ll just be three geeky guys and some instruments onstage, but we promise you their performance will be anything but ordinary. Top tracks they’re likely to play: “1000 Letters,” “Pray For Rain,” and “Kind of Like Smitten.”



Jawbreaker’s Riot Fest 2017 reunion show really kicked off the band’s touring schedule after and punk fans around the world rejoiced. Prior to this the band hadn't been active since 1996, so their return to Riot Fest only feels fitting. Jawbreaker stands for an important time in punk music and few punk bands have come close to what they’ve managed to create. They are one of the most influential punk bands not just of the 90s, but of today. We’re expecting them to top their 2017 performance, which was one we thought couldn’t be topped. Top tracks they’re likely to play: “Accident Prone,” “Boxcar,” and “Kiss The Bottle.”


Against Me!

A punk band that transcends time, Against Me! will be playing a dual album performance of their 2002 debut album Reinventing Axl Rose and sixth studio album Transgender Dysphoria Blues. We’re excited about the dynamic between the two records and couldn’t imagine a better choice to fully showcase the growth of the band. Reinventing Axl Rose remains an untouchable punk album and Transgender Dysphoria Blues is a self-exploration of lead vocalist Laura Jane Grace’s journey. And aside from all the above, Against Me! always, always, always knows how to put on a hell of a live show. Top tracks they’re playing: “Black Me Out,” “Pints of Guinness Make You Strong," and “Walking is Still Honest.”


Bikini Kill

This past spring Bikini Kill announced a handful of reunion shows in LA and NYC, and afterwards the rest of the world sulked in jealousy at those who managed to get tickets. Known as the pioneers of the riot grrrl movement and having been inactive since 1997, we never thought we'd get to see Bikini Kill live. During the band’s active years reception wasn’t always the best—sometimes crowds would even react violently to the band’s feminist lyrics and hardcore sound. One thing that remains the same, though, Bikini Kill didn’t change for anyone. They held their ground and paved the way for women that had something to say. For a band that was once vilified for daring to be different, we’re excited they’re headlining one of the biggest festivals around. Top tracks they’re likely to play: “Rebel Girl,” “I Hate Danger,” and “Suck My Left One.”

Jump to page
  1. Page 2 of 2

Words by Kristen Swanson on Sept. 11, 2019, 7:36 a.m.

KFAI - Roar of the Underground
Leave a comment
Bands to check out at Riot Fest 2019

Posted by Kristen Swanson on Sept. 11, 2019, 7:36 a.m.

Share this content

Pages in this feature:

  1. Top 10 acts playing Riot Fest 2019 we're most excited about
KFAI - Root Of All Evil

More like this

Also in this section
Only Death Is Real #8

Music Only Death Is Real #8

Posted June 18, 2020, 1:46 p.m.
Only Death Is Real

Finding new music to explore has become many people's escape since the world of 2020 changed for the worse. In times of struggle music ...

Only Death Is Real #7

Music Only Death Is Real #7

Posted May 19, 2020, 2:44 p.m.
Only Death Is Real

The world has gotten exponentially more weird since the last time this column was published and it doesn’t seem as though it’s going ...

Table Talk #2 – The state of the music business

Music Table Talk #2 – The state of the music business

Posted May 3, 2020, 1:54 p.m.
Table Talk

Discussing the state of the music business at the kitchen table Welcome back to my kitchen table. Especially welcome in these strange times. I need ...



Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.