5 Acts to See: Riot Fest Chicago Day 1


Okay, so before we jump into this, let us just say, choosing only five acts to see from this incredibly jam-packed Riot Fest lineup was very – and we mean very – difficult. For that reason, we chose to break this feature into three separate parts focusing on each day taking place this weekend in Chicago. With that said, we’ll still admit that choosing only five acts to see per day was still an extremely difficult task.

So, if your favorite act didn’t make this list, tweet us @thenoise and let us know all about it. We haven’t had a Twitter war in a while, so we are ready to hear what you have to say. #Bringiton      

The Offspring

Performing their ground breaking album, Smash, it’s no surprise that the Offspring made our list of must see acts. Celebrating Smash’s 20 year anniversary is an impressive feat, and being able to share that once in a lifetime experience with thousands of sweaty Chicago punks makes it all that much more desirable. Hearing such tracks as “Nitro,” “Gotta Get Away,” “Come Out and Play,” as well as “Self Esteem” live will certainly be a moment you’ll remember for quite some time.    


Similar to The Offspring, NOFX will also be playing one of their classic albums in-full. Punk in Drublic, which was released in 1994, will be heard throughout Humboldt Park as Fat Mike, El Jefe, Smelly and Eric Melvin take the stage to a presumably large crowd. Even if you’re too young to remember the hit album, you’ll still want to take advantage of getting to see Fat Mike and co. talk crap about anything and everything.     

Gogol Bordello

If you have never seen Gogol Bordello before, please let this weekend in Chicago be the first. We promise you that seeing this act live will be some of the most fun you will ever have. Boasting a hefty lineup of on stage dancers, a violinist, an accordion player and more, these gypsy punks will have you wearing a huge smile as you dance your ass off in the pit.    

Of Mice & Men

Look, Of Mice & Men didn’t become one of the biggest names in metalcore for nothing. Reigning supreme in the eyes of Warped Tour and Mayhem Fest concertgoers since their start in 2009, these southern California residents will undoubtedly give you some music to smash something to. If you don’t believe us, just go give their latest album, Restoring Force, a listen.      


Although GWAR will be without their longtime leader and frontman Oderus Urungus – who tragically passed due to an accidental heroin overdose – seeing this act live is a no brainer. Even if you’re not a fan of their old school metal sound, their live show is one for the ages. Let’s put it this way, the last time we saw GWAR live, besides their trademark blood spraying into the crowd, they also proceeded to mutilate a Snooki and Pairs Hilton doll from a very interesting insertion point. Yeah, you’re not going to want to miss out on what they’ll destroy this time around.   

Notable Mentions: Jane’s Addiction, Rise Against, Slayer, Mastodon, Circa Survive, We Came As Romans, Senses Fail, Title Fight, Emarosa, From Indian Lakes, The Hotelier, Pianos Become the Teeth, Plague Vendor