Riot Fest Chicago, taking place September 11-13 in Douglas Park, has announced its slate of aftershows for 2015. On September 10, The Academy Is… will play a festival pre-show at Double Door. Friday aftershows include Drive Like Jehu at Bottom Lounge, Taking Back Sunday at Cobra Lounge, and Government Issue at Double Door. Saturday aftershows include Alexisonfire at Bottom Lounge, Babes In Toyland at Cobra Lounge, Thrice at Concord Music Hall, and Atreyu at Double Door. Sunday aftershows include Swervedriver at Bottom Lounge, Dead Milkmen at Cobra Lounge, Alkaline Trio/Naked Raygun at Concord Music Hall, The Damned at Double Door, and Rancid at House of Blues. Tickets are currently on site via the Riot Fest site.
React Presents continues to solidify its hold on the local EDM market with the recently announced 2015 expansion of Freaky Deaky, taking place October 30-November 1 in Toyota Park. The annual Halloween dance party has been around as a one-day freak fest held at local clubs since 2008 and, after expanding to two days in 2012, its evolution into a full-scale festival was inevitable. Freaky Deaky 2015 will feature 75+ artists including Bassnectar, Armin Van Buuren, Pretty Lights, 2 Chainz, Big Gigantic, Action Bronson, Benny Benassi, Datsik, Flying Lotus, Griz, Logic, Mac Miller, AlunaGeorge, A-Trak, Cash Cash, Emancipator Ensemble, Grandtheft, Keys N Krates, Paper Diamond, Pete Tong, Riff Raff, Vic Mensa, Midnight Conspiracy, and Porn & Chicken. The fest also includes themed “Scary Stages” hosted by DJs like Gesaffelstein and Richie Hawtin as well as carnival rides, games, haunted houses and graveyards. Tickets are currently on sale for $159 and up.
Sunday started out swell but then came the rain. Luckily for fans of Chicago band Twin Peaks, the temporary evacuation of the festival happened after their set. The hometown boys packed the kids in at the Sprint Stage and, as to be expected, started the first real mosh pit of the day as an appearance by Juicy J of The Lemons had those “in the know” crowd surfing and getting down even harder. Once the park reopened, schedules were adjusted and it was back to business as George Ezra played a shortened set, which included “Budapest.” But Twenty One Pilots easily had the most insane crowd of the festival. While the rock-rap duo’s wild antics of drumming in the crowd and flipping off pianos are usually what’s most impressive, this time around seeing such an enormous crowd jump up and down like a turbulent sea was what really left an impression. Bully filled the shady knoll in front of the BMI Stage with as many fellow musicians and industry types as actual fans of the Nashville rockers, with Alicia Bognanno’s feral vocals doing their part to justify the hype. A$AP Rocky brought out Vic Mensa much to the delight of fans before FKA twigs enthralled attendees as she danced around the Pepsi Stage, voguing and contorting under dim lights. Florence + the Machine ran shirtless through the crowd during an intense 9-song set shortened by weather as flashes of light exploded from the epic lightning storm over Lake Michigan. BY SARAH HESS–PHOTO BY SARAH HESS
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Hungover fans slowly trickled in Saturday afternoon as 19-year-old Raury flew onto the Pepsi Stage, bringing some soul with “Devil’s Whisper” and getting serious with “Fly.” Django Django started a dance party with their art rock, creating funky sounds with cardboard boxes and coconut shells. Meanwhile, Travis Scott was arrested after fleeing the stage following his first song and charged with disorderly conduct for encouraging fans to jump over barricades past security onto the stage. Charli XCX pranced around The Sprint Stage with a giant inflatable guitar, making the tweens go crazy while Death from Above 1979 had millennials head-banging…or were those just Metallica fans? Walk the Moon brought in a massive crowd too big for their side stage thanks to their ‘80s-infused hit “Shut Up and Dance”, which has face-painted teens and twentysomethings jumping up and down in excitement while singing along word for word. Yet out of nowhere, Elle King put on one of the best performances of the day with emotional songs about catty girls and foolish men, which she sang with killer pipes and relatable humor while strumming away on her banjo. Metallica brought bleachers full of lucky fan club members on stage during their headlining set, giving them primo spots for the night as James Hetfield and company uncorked a manic set of classic killers including “For Whom the Bells Tolls” and set closer “Enter Sandman.” For those not into metal, fans poured into the north end of the park to hear Grammy winner Sam Smith belt out hits such as “I’m Not the Only One” and “Stay With Me.” BY SARAH HESS–PHOTO BY SARAH HESS
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