On Saturday, I headed out for the first music fest that I’ve gone to since Warped Tour and Skate and Surf back in 2003. I usually am not a fan of large music festivals, but the lineup of Riot Fest East was completely stellar, and I got tickets on craigslist for pretty damn cheap, so there was no way I was missing this all day punk fest (even if I was in the pit with a broken arm cast).
Riot Fest East took place in Philadelphia’s Festival Pier, which is pretty much just an outdoor open space facing the Delaware River. Unfortunately, since it was a LiveNation venue, water was $4 a bottle so I pretty much needed a freaking loan for the amount I drank, but I wasn’t going to let that ruin my good time.
The fest was composed of two stages, one outdoor one and one inside of a tent. They organized it so that there would be constant music, without any overlapping (pretty damn impressive, and no waiting for bands to set up).
The Holy Mess:
I got there a few songs in for Philly’s own The Holy Mess, and they played their usual fun, slightly sloppy set. A decent amount of people in the crowd were there for them, and some young-uns started a (very tiny) pit. The Holy Mess played one new song, and it sounded a lot different than anything they have written previously. Dark, heavier, and should be interesting to hear their upcoming release.
Easy On The Pepsi Fuller
A Soulful Punk Tune About A Working Class Dreamer
I Think Corduroy Is Making A Comeback
I’m not too familiar with their music, but I remember seeing Shot Baker open at a show here in Philly and being pretty impressed. The band played to a relatively small gathering, but they played tightly.
It seems like everyone in Philly and their mom knows about the beloved Menzingers at this point. The Philly adopted band played to an enthused crowd who had people crowd surfing and a bit of a more legit pit opening up… finally, it’s like we were at a punk show or something.
Who’s Your Partner
Straight To Hell (Clash Cover)
It seemed like the majority of people weren’t sure who these yesteryear pop-punkers were, and while I was a bit skeptical at first since last time I saw them, I was bored out of my mind during their set. But this time around, Weston put on a killer, fun set in my opinion. I had a giant smile on my face the entire set, and I’ll be definitely be giving these guys another chance.
I caught most of Samiam’s set, which they played Dull (the only song I really know by them), and I decided to take a breather during Excite Bike’s set in order to get myself ready for 7 Seconds.
One of the main reasons I came out to this fest, I’ve been a longtime fan of these original hardcore dudes but only got to see them once. 7 Seconds had a pretty damn big pit that opened the second they busted into the intro of New Wind. Fun set, besides some tough guys trying to fight during “Walk Together, Rock Together”. Are you dumb fucks even listening to the lyrics?
Not Just Boy’s Fun
Here We Go Again Kids
If The Kid’s Are United (Sham 69 Cover)
Walk Together, Rock Together
Here’s Your Warning
Young Til I Die
Holy shit, it’s like I’m 16 again, only with slightly less acne this time around. Suicide Machines had by far the biggest reaction of the night, with a gigantic pit of mostly people my age (mid twenties) living their 90s years again. With a bit of a surprise, the band opened with a Minor Threat cover before busting into their own material, and didn’t let up for the rest of their set.
Break The Glass
18% 17 to 25
War Profiteering Is Killing Us All
I wound up catching the majority of Hot Water Music’s set, but from the back (until they played Wayfarer and Trusty Chords, then I pushed my way up front into the pit). Sorry, I fail at punk rock for forgetting most of the set.
I was especially excited to see the legendary Dead Milkmen, but I have to admit, I felt a bit underwhelmed by their set. It was still fun, but I was expecting more energy from the crowd. At one glorious point, the lead singer of Dead Milkmen stage dove into the crowd and surfed around… Young Til He Dies.
Punk Rock Girl
Beach Party Vietnam
The Thing That Only Eats Hippies
X played Los Angeles in it’s entirety and had a lot of people going insane for it, I stuck for part, but I wanted to make sure to get a good spot for The Descendents.
The Descendents were singlehandedly the reason the majority of people came to Riot Fest to begin with, and with the countless bands that they influenced, it’s not hard to see why. At one point during their set, fireworks were gracing the sky, and while having nothing to do with Riot Fest, it was pretty fucking sweet rocking out to The Descendents with fireworks in the backdrop.
I Want To be A Bear
I’m Not A Loser
All-O-Gistics (had his kids come on stage to read them)
I’m The One
The Descendents – Suburban Home
7 Seconds – 4141 Done
Suicide Machines – Islands
Samiam – Dull
Hot Water Music – Wayfarer
The Holy Mess – Tonight! Stroudsburg! One Night Only!
The Menzingers – Home Outgrown