Riot Fest Day 2 reviews: Amigo the Devil and Meg Myers get the party started

Here’s a look at some of the sets for Riot Fest Day 2:

Crush pumpkins

Seeing a band perform in their hometown is one of the defining moments in live music, and watching the ownership Chicago fans have for The Smashing Pumpkins. really never gets old – nor do a crowd of people singing the lyrics “the city by the lake” like it’s their birthright when the band blows up in “Tonight, Tonight”.

The quintessential ’90s rock act (against fellow Chicagoan Lupe Fiasco who performed across the park) acted like time hadn’t passed when they closed out at Riot Fest on Friday. to the introduction of gothic organ music as lightning bolts crisscrossed the sky overhead adding to the cryptic ambience.

There are few bands that can yet evoke the feeling of an era as viscerally as the Smashing Pumpkins can with the opening notes of songs like “Cherub Rock” that bring to mind the Wicker Park art scene three decades ago. where they made their debut.

Founding members Billy Corgan, James Iha and Jimmy Chamberlin were a show of unity with their full reunion finally coming to fruition in 2018. Original bassist D’Arcy Wretzky is still missing, although the addition of Jeff Schroeder complements the cast nicely. and completes the lush sound that dominates their catalog.

Corgan – dressed in a long ‘Adore’ era cape and pops of face paint – reflected with Iha on whether to play more on her ‘artsy f ***’ side and free up song choices. more esoteric. In the end, the band chose to stick with the classics with all the bullets on the table on songs like “1979,” “Zero,” “Bullet With Butterfly Wings,” “Today” and the new song “ Cyr “.

One of the real pleasures of the ensemble was “Eye”, their contribution to the “Lost Highway” soundtrack, for which they enlisted Meg Myers (who delivered her own set earlier today) to vocal tasks while Corgan followed his young daughter Clémentine on stage.

The band later enlisted the help of local guitarist Michael Angelo Batio for a gripping rendition of “United States” that added even more of a heavy metal tinge to the track.

Lasting nearly two hours, the Coming Home Show was an unforgettable event.

Sublime with Rome

Sublime with Rome takes place on day two of Riot Fest at Douglass Park.
Ashlee Rezin / Sun-Times

With the death of frontman Bradley Nowell in 1996, Sublime could very well have passed away. Instead, the project was resurrected in 2009 by founding member and bassist Eric Wilson, who recruited new singer and guitarist Rome Ramirez and the project took on the new nickname of Sublime With Rome, indicative of their penchant for being. both a tribute to ska-reggae. mastodons while leaving room to go rogue with new material.

During the band’s Riot Fest set, which Ramirez called the “best” of the festival to date by the time they ended, the band’s and Nowell’s memory was held close to the chest.

Vintage video footage of the late singer was played during their recognizable hit “What I Got”, and Ramirez ended this song with a message for Nowell of “rest in peace”.

While the ensemble was marked by constant bleeding from nearby Motion City Soundtrack, the cold vibes of Sublime With Rome were no match for the contest; there was still a lot to hang on to the performance. While the material is mostly inherited in nature, they did well on the band’s beloved material like “Santeria,” “Summertime,” and “April 29, 1992 (Miami),” anchored by a live brass section and a DJ.

Fish bone

Fishbone performs Friday afternoon on the second day of Riot Fest at Douglass Park.

Fishbone performs on day two of Riot Fest at Douglass Park on Friday afternoon, September 17, 2021.
Ashlee Rezin / Sun-Times

The Radical Stage was the center of the funk groove on Friday with a back-to-back double feature from two of the biggest alternative bands out of the crowded 80s coastal rock scenes, Fishbone and Living Color.

LA’s Fishbone kicked things off with a special treat, playing their flagship album, “The Reality Of My Surroundings” from 1991 in full to commemorate his 30th landmark.e anniversary this year. That’s now normal for Riot Fest, with festival organizers sort of negotiating with a number of bands in the lineup each year to bring together or play entire albums. And whatever they sacrifice to the music gods to make it happen over and over again, it’s really something to be appreciated from the independent organizers who continue to set the standard.

Fishbone’s set was an incredible display of orchestral strength with horns, guitars, drums, keyboards and a range of voices and choirs working in harmony, proving that the troupe still possesses the magic that spurred their cult there. over 40 years ago. The leading singles from the album “Everyday Sunshine” and the closest one to the album “Sunless Saturday” were clear winners and set the bar high for the following weekend acts, many of which draw inspiration from the Fishbone’s work for decades.

Living color

Living Color's Corey Glover and Muzz Skillings perform on day two of Riot Fest at Douglass Park on Friday afternoon, September 17, 2021.

Corey Glover (left) and Muzz Skillings of Living Color perform on day two of Riot Fest at Douglass Park.
Ashlee Rezin / Sun-Times

Living Color had a special guest in tow for their set – not that the magnetic performance of the masters of alt metal-funk fusion needed anything more to put it on top.

Professional wrestler CM Punk took the stage to perform the act’s latest song, their mega-hit “Cult of Personality,” which is also his famous entry-level music.

“In 1989, my little league team, the Indians, played a song to cheer us up, and it helped us win the championship that year,” he said, calling the members. from the group of “four of the greatest artists in the world”. “Which is not a total hyperbole.

Guitarist Vernon Reid has Mensa-level licks that might evoke spirits of the long-time blues underworld, while vocalist Corey Glover has a voice that oozes rhythm with every note. Glover will be one of the most colorful characters of the weekend, not only for his vibrant rock star character, but also literally for what he wore. Dressed in a neon green suit and orange dreads tucked under a bowler hat, the ‘Clockwork Orange’ / Wonka vibe worked for him as he was clearly visible headbanging in front of the crowd, watching the mosh pit he invoked, when he was not letting go his uncompromising voice on songs like “Ignorance is Bliss” and “Love Rears Its Ugly Head”.

Four decades old and still with the energy they did in their formative years, Living Color still brings a top notch show – if only they had a longer set!

Amigo the devil

Amigo The Devil performs on Day 2 of Riot Fest at Douglass Park.

Amigo The Devil performs on Day 2 of Riot Fest at Douglass Park.
Ashlee Rezin / Sun-Times

Day 2 of Riot Fest got off to a crooked start with dark-minded singer-songwriter Amigo the devil, which was the antithesis of what most might expect from the genre.

The artist, born Danny Kiranos, pulled out a heavy sack of murderous ballads and revenge songs paired with expressive facial contractions that made you wonder if maybe you should avoid eye contact as he roamed the set. .

From spooky step-by-step details of how he took revenge on someone who harmed a child in “Better Ways To Fry A Fish” to Jim Jones-inspired song “Hungover In Jonestown,” the set de Kiranos was mired in the macabre and a good piece of cabaret theater that made him one of the early favorites of the day.

Jokingly describing himself as the “fat Dave Grohl,” Kiranos’ comparison at least suited the same way that he is able to command a crowd – and does it solo on top of it. “We just installed the drums for fun,” he reflected, pointing out that he actually didn’t have a band in the project.

Although Kiranos moves well between acoustic and electric guitars and banjo, it would be interesting to see him with a full range of accompaniments to really amplify the shock and awe that he delivers. A cover of “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” was a better weird bet, but it’s his original material – told in incredible storytelling style – that makes him the new Johnny Cash of our true crime-obsessed generation.

Meg myers

Meg Myers performs on Riot Fest Day 2 at Douglass Park on Friday afternoon.

Meg Myers performs on Riot Fest Day 2 at Douglass Park on Friday afternoon.
Ashlee Rezin / Sun-Times

Meg Myers’ the afternoon ended abruptly as she had to cut it short in the middle of her superb rendition of Kate Bush’s perennial hit “Running Up That Hill” as she entered overtime. However, anyone who looked at the ingenuous would have wondered where the time had passed, as her performance was nothing short of a hypnotic thrill – which may or may not have been a side effect of being blinded by her holographic suit. .

Tracks like the “Desire” blast to the convinced pop anthem “Any Way You Wanna Love” were well placed in his performance, uplifting him more as a lost relic of the evocative realm of ’90s alternative rock while staying current. the best of modernity. pop songwriters.

She gave flashbacks to Tori Amos’ best tracks in the heavy tracks while channeling the aggro poetry of artists like Liz Phair and making everything completely her own. Highlights included collaborating collaborator Morgxn for their soulful duo “I Hope You Cry”, as well as filling her set with a drummer and electric guitarist whose loud moans were the sauce on her plate of songs.

Myers stumbled across new material, rebooting a song or two while blaming it on her “one-eared” ears.

Come back for more reviews …

REMARK: Numerous COVID-19 safety protocols are in place for the festival, including disinfection and handwashing stations throughout the park, and an on-site COVID vaccination station (courtesy of St. Anthony; Pfizer and J&J vaccines only). In addition, all participants must present proof of a full vax or negative COVID test results (the latter within 48 hours of the date of entry) along with a valid photo ID issued by the government to be able to enter every day.


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