The last day of Chicago’s Riot Fest brought some of the heaviest acts yet, not to mention one of the most anticipated musical reunions of the 21st century. As the sun continued to shine, much to the chagrin (and happiness) of hundreds of goths, Leftover Crack drew the largest crowd of the early day. The hardcore punk group sound nearly exactly as they do on their records, bringing a substantially more aggressive stage presence to their shows. Growling through such hits as “Crack Rock Steady” (a Choking Victim original) and “Rock the 40 Oz”, the band set the tone for the remainder of the day. To those who wanted to crowd surf and party, party, party!, Andrew W.K. welcomed everyone in his open arms, spreading the message of love, partying, and true entertainment.
On the Rock Stage, Juliette and the Licks played good old-fashioned rock n’ roll and ended her set by stage diving directly into her adoring fans. Later on, Chevy Metal, composed of Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins and Chris Shiflet, played tons of quintessential rock covers, ending the set with Queen’s “Tie Your Mother Down” with guest vocalist Dee Snider. Punk fans hadn’t finished for the day, though, as Bad Religion took the main stage late in the afternoon, playing riotous songs for 40 brief but explosive minutes. The crowd at the Riot Stage was growing by the second, but their payoff for waiting for hours was yet to come.
For fans of more hardcore, screamo music, Underoath took the reins at the Roots stage, immediately followed by Deftones. Both bands drew huge crowds and used every inch of the stage to deliver a heart-stopping performance. Fans had to make a tough choice before the headliners: rock hard (and be slightly terrified) at Rob Zombie’s carnival of horrors, take in hip-hop group Death Grips at the Rise Stage, or nod along to all-girl powerhouse Sleater Kinney.
Every act was great, but slowly, all 45,000 concert-goers shifted to the Riot stage for the reunion that brought people from all across the country: The Misfits. Jerry Doyle, Danzig, everyone from the original lineup donned the makeup and hairstyles that made fans scream. While the band’s performance was polarizing amongst critics, those who waited hours in the heat to see them were not disappointed. In fact, they were goddamn gleeful.