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Stage Buzz: Riot Fest 2018 – Undercard Picks

| September 13, 2018


Riot Fest returns for its 14th year in to historical Douglas Park at Chicago at Ogden & Ashland. From its humble beginnings in small clubs to its current incarnation as a classic punk and hip-hop celebration each Fall, Riot Fest has a connection to Chicago like no other festival. Here are some of our must-see picks for the undercard.

Johnny Marr
Marr co-wrote some of the most timeless pre-emo anthems with the Smiths in the ’80s with fellow Riot Fest alumnus, Morrissey. Though he’s partnered with The Pretenders, The The, The Kills, and Talking Heads over the years, he’s come into his own as a solo artist on his new album  Call The Comet, taking up the mantle as a timely protest singer yolked with his signature chiming guitar that has influenced a generation of guitar players. Roots Stage, Sunday, 3:5opm

Kevin Devine
Devine has always reminded us of an American Billy Bragg. Naturally, he fits into the Riot Fest mold as a passionate wear-your-heart-on-your-sleeve punk/emo singer/songwriter that built his following through great songwriting on his best albums Brother’s Blood and The Instigator. Radicals Stage, Sunday, 2:0opm

Hard to believe Spitalfield are pushing two decades as a band. Launched in the second wave of suburban-punk emo bands that also spawned Fall Out Boy and Plain White Tees, they’ve been chosen to perform their classic album Remember Right Now,  which is an amazing feat, considering the band produced it during their college years. The album captured a near perfect moment of pop/emo and punk that was recorded in part at the legendary Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin with stalwart producer Sean Okeefe. Radicals Stage, Sunday, 3:3opm

The Bouncing Souls
Another prototype punk-pop band of the 1990’s, The Bouncing Souls put their New Jersey stamp on their brand of punk, powered by the like-minded Epitath/Hopeless Records rosters of the Clinton-era. Like their stints in Asbury Park, Riot Fest has become a home away from home for these Garden State vets. Their 2016 album **Simplicity is a reminder of the salad days of the ‘90s. Rebel Stage, Sunday, 4:3opm

Jerry Lee Lewis
One of the godfathers of Rock N’ Roll, Lewis’ appearance seems like an odd choice for a mostly punk and hip-hop festival, but like their Merle Haggard booking in 2015, RF’s talent buyers include iconic legacy acts in their 3-day lineup. Jerry Lee was eclipsed by the shadow of Elvis and Johnny Cash at Sun Records, but no one can deny his hillbilly baritone and the magic fingers that defined his honky-tonk piano. Radicals Stage, Saturday, 7:45pm

Led by Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard, these Canadian indie rockers mesh C86 ramshackle indie rock of The Pastels with the more modern pop of MGMT. Like a singles band of the ‘60s they have six singles out, but no album. But it’s coming, and we can’t wait! Riot Stage, Sunday, 1:45pm

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