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Chicago’s Riot Fest Ready to Rock for a Sixth Year

Caleb Wilson

Riot Fest is set to take over Chicago Oct. 6 through Oct. 10. Festival founder Riot Mike has expanded the scope of the fest in its sixth year to go beyond punk rock, including bands from sub-genres of hardcore and metal. Some of the key confirmations that Midwestern Noisecreep readers planning to attend Riot Fest will dig for this year’s lineup include Corrosion of Conformity performing as their original, ‘Animosity’ three-piece lineup of Mike Dean, Reed Mullin and Woody Weatherman for the first time in at least 20 years.

Other ear bending metal bands set to play include High on Fire, Torche, Kylesa, Negative Approach, Cro-Mags, Snapcase, who will play their first show outside of their native Buffalo in years, Agnostic Front and Articles of Faith, who are playing with the original lineup for the first time in 25 years.

Other bands confirmed to performed are Bad Religion, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Circle Jerks, Less Than Jake, the Lawrence Arms, Bouncing Souls, Riverboat Gamblers, Red Oktoberfest presented by Red Scare, ‘Busted at Oz’ reunion, Fun, Smoking Popes, Bhopal Stiffs, the Meatmen, Off With Their Heads, Brendan Kelly, the Toasters, Roy Ellis aka Mr. Symarip and many more.

Venues involved in Riot Fest include Congress Theater, Metro, House of Blues, Double Door and Subterranean. There will 17 shows spread across five venues, and the event is offering five-day passes. Shuttle buses will run fans to each venue and back. Official Riot Fest secret shows will be announced on the festival’s official website; they’ll take place at undisclosed locations over the summer and fall.

COC’s Mike Dean weighed in on Riot Fest, telling Noisecreep, “We’re looking forward to playing Chicago as a three piece for the first time in 20-something years. We’re looking forward to seeing Articles of Faith, the best Chicago hardcore band ever. We’re excited that the Cro-Mags and High on Fire are scheduled to perform.” It is indeed going to be an ‘event’ with COC and AOF playing together in these incarnations, so if you’ve not yet bought your passes for Riot Fest, what are you waiting for?

As for his own band coming aboard to play Riot Fest, Dean explained how the idea was formulated and came to fruition, saying, “At this point it’s still considered a surprise that we’re playing this set at all. The fact that we have four or five well received new songs integrated into the mix, alongside ‘Animosity’ in its entirety, surprises me. The COC three-piece reunion came about when the four-piece lineup, received an offer to play the High Voltage Festival in London early this year, but Pepper ended up doing it with Down instead. I joked that we should do it as a three-piece. After thinking about it for a second, it didn’t seem like a joke. We didn’t make it to London, but we’ve recorded a vinyl release for Southern Lord and here we are touring North America.”

Dean even called out High on Fire and the Cro-Mags as reason enough for fans to make the trip or shell out the cash for Riot Fest. “High on Fire alone are worth the trip and the Cro-Mags are one of the heaviest bands of all time. Especially Mackie, the drummer, is just relentless,” Dean said. “For years now, it’s been a very blurry line of distinction, stylistically, between hardcore and metal, with all of the influences in all directions. Get out there and soak it up and keep blurring the lines.”

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