Thursday, October 9, 2014

Riot Fest 2014 - Denver Day 3

While day 2 was fun and energizing, I'll be honest - I had a difficult time getting up on Sunday morning for day 3. Which sucked, because I really wanted to get to Sports Authority Field's parking lot to see Denver's Dendrites and In The Whale. I haven't seen The Dendrites, but I do love ska. I have seen In The Whale, and they put on one hell of a live show. Waking up at 10:30 to make it to a 12:45 show is not a good sign, however. One of my kids already declined to attend day 3, and my other kid was moving just as slowly as I was.

What really helped us both get going were the messages that came in on our phones from the Riot Fest app. This one came in first, but I was asleep:


And then this one actually woke me up:


So…Riot Fest Mom said it was time to rally and conquer day 3.  So we rallied. (Spoiler alert: Day 3 conquered us.)

Riot Food!
I have to say, though, I was really impressed with the Riot Fest food. Compared to Warped Tour food, there was a bevy of choice and quality, and at pretty decent prices, I thought. One stand had french bread pizzas made on-site with all sorts of toppings (that's what my kids had Friday & Saturday), there was an abundance of gyros, there were ice cream trucks (like, food trucks that made ice cream, not your average ice cream truck selling bomb pops & Drumsticks), sausages, asian food, tacos…and on and on. I got burgers from Steuben's food truck. The truck's name is Pearl.

Steuben's Food Truck - AKA "Pearl"
Steuben's is a well-known Denver restaurant that opened in 2006 and serves regional comfort food from around the country - cayenne etouffe, Maine lobster roll, Memphis ribs - as well as plain old comfort food - pot roast, meat loaf, fried chicken. Pearl doesn't have that range of menu items, but the food was good and fresh. I'll definitely be heading in to the restaurant sometime.

So, back to the festival. My youngest and I got out the door a little before 2pm, which put us walking in to the festival about 2:30, just in time to catch the end of The Menzingers set.

The Menzingers - Greg Barnett, Tom May, Joe Godina, Eric Keen
I was glad we got there for this, I liked the songs I previewed before the fest - good, earnest rock. Not earnest in a bad way, but earnest like passionate and not fucking around. Besides, any group with a song called "I Don't Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore" deserves a longer look.

Bob. Fucking. Mould.
Bob Mould was the first must-see act for me on Sunday, and when the Menzingers' set ended, we turned around and walked the short distance to the May Stage.

Bob Mould band - Jason Narducy, Jon Wurster, Bob Mould
I've been a big fan of Bob's solo work and with Sugar. I got into Hüsker Dü a little later than most, and never quite as fervently as some, but I dig their music all right. This left me a little outside of the set, because he opened with three Hüsker songs and closed with four. It didn't matter to me, though, as it's always fun to watch Bob play, bouncing around the stage as he shows his guitar skills. And the music is always great.

Touché Amoré - Jeremy Bolm
The next band on my list was Touché Amoré, a band I saw for the first time at last year's Riot Fest. They had a great set and a ton of energy last year and the band delivered again, big time.

Touché Amoré - Nick Steinhardt, Tyler Kirby, Jeremy Bolm, Elliot Babin, Clayton Stevens
Touché Amoré - Jeremy Bolm in the crowd, Tyler Kirby on bass
I cut out after a few songs to go catch the Violent Femmes, another band that I've loved for years but haven't seen live. I'd seen them play their debut album plus other hits on the Coachella feed last year and it was pretty fun to see and hear the songs in person.

Violent Femmes - Gordon Gano nip slip
It's amazing that their music still resonates so strongly with people, even still. There's something in the songs - the folk punk, the aching nasal pleas of Gordon Gano, the xylophone - something that still speaks to people, young and old.

Violent Femmes - Brian Viglione
After the Femmes, my kid wanted to see 3OH!3, so we walked over to the Byers Country Feed stage for some of their set. At this point, we were both slowing way down, however, so we backtracked a bit and sat on the hay bales by the merch tent and pondered what our next move would be. My kid sat head-down for a while and it didn't take long for us to call "uncle" and make our way toward the exit. Which, happily, was just behind the Byers General Store stage where Me First and the Gimme Gimmes were playing.


We got our second dose of Fat Mike for the weekend, and got to see a bunch of punks fist-pump "oh-oh-oh" during the Gimme's version of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up," which was pretty amusing to me. As was Spike's pre-every-song ritual of announcing "This next one's a cover…"

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - Fat Mike, Dave Raun, Scott Shiflett
MF&tGGs - Fat Mike, Spike Slawson, Dave Raun
And thus ended our 2nd consecutive Riot Fest. It was just starting to rain a tiny bit and we got home fairly quickly. I took my kid's temperature - 102.8°F. Good call on leaving, dad.

Sometimes it's easy to second guess leaving a show early, but once the rain started coming down - hard - I knew we had made the right decision. Later that night I fell asleep for an hour or so and woke up about 7:30. Knowing that The National wouldn't go onstage for another two hours assured me (again) that I had chosen sadly, but wisely. My time to see The National will come, but the time hasn't been right, yet.

Thanks again for another great year, Riot Fest. You really suck.




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