Riot Fest reviews Day 1: Descendents, Taking Back Sunday, Lucky Boys Confusion delight crowds at Douglass Park


Resume on Sunday

Adam Lazzara performs with Taking Back Sunday on day one of Riot Fest at Douglass Park.

Taking Back Sunday proved there was still a market for whiny, poseable punk rock with a night at Riot Fest that should have gone to a better band. The band, from Long Island, who released their debut album in 2002, haven’t released anything since 2016, when they released “Tidal Wave.” Maybe it’s time for them to hang up.

To be fair, Taking Back Sunday is more of a mediocre rock band with a punk influence than a punk band. So while they may not have the punk cred of bands like Descendents, who played before them, or Bad Religion, who play tomorrow, they still had more appeal and record sales.

However, mass appeal doesn’t always equate to good taste and that was proven again on Friday during their 60-minute set. at 6:20 p.m. only added to the already long queues.


Guitarist Stephen Egerton performs with the Descendents on day one of Riot Fest.

Guitarist Stephen Egerton performs with the Descendents on day one of Riot Fest.

Seminal California punk rockers Descendents have become a Riot Fest favorite over the years, and rightly so, as their Friday afternoon set once again proved they deserved a spot at the top of the roster. attach.

Led by biologist and singer Milo Aukerman, whose caricature graces the cover of five of the band’s seven studio albums, the group was quick to get to work.

Aukerman, the only band member to wear shorts on the wet day, came out with a thermos of water strapped to his chest and wore a pair of sunglasses he said he borrowed, telling the crowd that he normally wears prescription glasses. He then launched into “Everything Sux”, which was fitting since Riot Fest appropriated his trademark “Riot Fest Sucks” from the band.

The band’s latest album, ‘9th & Walnut’, was released in 2021 – 39 years after their debut ‘Milo Goes To College’. In the meantime, they’ve released plenty of songs, mostly short and fast, and influenced hundreds of bands, many of which have slots at this year’s Riot Fest.

On Friday, they played more than two dozen songs in an hour-long set, while much of the front crowd slammed into a mosh pit and the crowd surfed to skater-punk tunes at high energy played.

The last time Descendents played at Riot Fest, they were on the small Radical stage. Presumably, the organizers took note that they draw a crowd worthy of one of the biggest stages and made the appropriate decision to have them on the festival’s Roots stage on Friday.

Whether or not they top the charts in the future may depend on whether enough young fans in the audience learn to appreciate them and if they release another album. They made their case Friday.

Confusion of lucky boys

Lucky Boys Confusion performs on day one of Riot Fest at Douglass Park.

Lucky Boys Confusion performs on day one of Riot Fest at Douglass Park.

Twenty-five years after Lucky Boys Confusion played their first party in the western suburbs where they grew up, the group showed Friday at Riot Fest that they are seasoned professionals.

Festival organizers scheduled them for 1.25pm ​​on the first day of the three-day festival, which can be tricky as queues to enter were stretched for blocks. Despite this, they still drew a large crowd for their hour-long set.

Before they started, they could be seen taking pictures with people backstage, likely a risk playing near their hometowns of Downers Grove and Naperville, then taking the stage to LBC chants from an adoring crowd.

The band, which was making its Riot Fest debut, played a dozen songs in 51 minutes and seemed to be having as much fun as the crowd, who sang along to many songs.

Lead vocalist Kaustaubh “Stubhy” Pandav, who has made no secret of his multiple sclerosis, told the crowd that “the past five years have been a real struggle” and told the band they will be playing their annual benefit MS Sucks: Singing For A cure in the coming months.

Persistence seems to be the defining trait of Lucky Boys Confusion. Over the quarter-century, the band has been through a lot, including the death of founding member Joe Sell in 2012, and a four-year run with Elektra Records that resulted in two albums but ended when they were abandoned in 2004.

During their Friday set, Pandav addressed Elektra’s passage saying, “Some time ago we were signed to this label which gave us a lot of promises; they lied,” before launching into their song “Closer to our Graves.”

Other crowd favorites were “Commitment” and “Atari” – both Elektra alumni; as well as “Stormchaser”, “Breaking Rules” and “Cigarettes”.

The kinds of things Lucky Boys Confusion endured would probably end most bands, but they persisted. Their last album came out in 2017, but today’s show had fans begging for more, maybe even another album.

More reviews to come…


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