Day 3 started off rocky. FEAR went on stage play the debut album “FEAR: The Record”in its entirety. Actually, they started the set with “Fuck You, Let’s Rodeo”and “Honor and Obey”from their 1995 album “Have Another Beer with FEAR.” FEAR fans will tell you that the band is, well, not exactly PC, so it was interesting how the crowd will react to the album. Well, no need to worry because singer Lee Ving changed some of the words in certain songs to be a bit more friendly. But self-censorship was only one of the problems with the set, as it seemed the band didn’t do that much practicing, with the guitarist struggling during “Sanatorium”and Ving missed his cue on, well, quite a few songs, actually. A weird thing considering he’s been singing these songs for over thirty years.
By comparison Suicidal Tendencies were the complete opposite. The California thrash punk legends blazed through most of their self-title debut album (they didn’t play “I Want More”) completely annihilating the captive crowd with Mike running back and forth on stage, pumping his fists like a fucking lunatic off his meds. Naturally, with this much going on, one of the larger pits I’ve seen that day formed. Songs from “Fascist Pig” to “I Shot Reagan”were played with such ferocity that you forget singer Mike Muir is in his 50’s. The set ended with Mike bringing kids and adults on stage as he performed the classic “Institutionalized.”
The three-day Riot Fest experience was…good. Not great, but it didn’t suck either. There were some definite peaks and valleys in regards to the performances. Overall, I did enjoy it. Hopefully, they work out the kinks next year.
In the interim, please check out some images from a few of the other Day 3 acts, including Bad Religion, Beach Rats, Bouncing Souls and Alkaline Trio! For more coverage from the festival, check out our stories from Day One and Day Two. As with the last two days, all words by Frederic Hall and all photos by Meredith Goldberg.