Riot Fest is right around the corner with the Toronto dates coming up this weekend and both Chicago and Denver following shortly after. Here are a few of the songs the AP editorial staff would like to see played at Riot Fest this year.
Rachel Campbell [RC]
Scott Heisel [SH]
Brian Kraus [BK]
Brittany Moseley [BM]
Cassie Whitt [CW]
AFI - "17 Crimes"
Playing: Chicago September 15 and Denver September 21
Now don’t get me wrong, I want AFI to play “Girls Not Grey” and “The Leaving Song Pt. 2” as much as the next person who remembers a time when the genre-jumping band were still playing Warped Tour. But just in case they decide to play music that’s a bit more recent, I vote for their new single, “17 Crimes.” The song from the band’s upcoming album, Burials, is a mix of everything AFI do well: glam/goth rock, a chorus that leans toward the darker side and a music video about young love—the good (hot people frolicking and making out) and the just plain weird (blood oaths, branding—your normal teenage activities). [BM]
BAYSIDE - "The Wrong Way"
Playing Chicago, September 15
Bayside can do no wrong in my eyes when it comes to putting out great music, and their most recent full-length, 2011’s Killing Time, was no exception. While the entire record rocks; “The Wrong Way” stick out the most. The track is visually haunting ("I've seen you bite your nails in guilty thought/Thought you couldn't care less until I saw those paws/I'd say if ya took a bite for every lie you told/You would've run out of fingers and started on your toes"), and that’s enough to keep me interested. [RC]
BRAND NEW - "Seventy Times 7"
Playing Chicago, September 15; Denver, September 21
The people who already know Brand New haven’t put out any new music since 2009’s Daisy are the same people who are anxiously awaiting their next one–myself included. Daisy wasn’t my favorite (to say the least), but I would never miss the chance to see Brand New live. I finally got to hear them play “Seventy Times 7” from 2001’s Your Favorite Weapon at Penn State’s Movin’ On Festival this past April, and I greedily would love to hear it again. The excitement rolling across the crowd as almost every mouth screamed the words was quite a sight. [RC]
EMPIRES - "I Want Blood"
Playing Chicago, September 14
This band is based in Chicago, which are almost reason enough for me to want to check them out at Riot Fest, because who doesn’t love seeing a band perform on their home turf? While their most recent release, Garage Hymns, was fantastic, How l their 2008, self-released debut sold me on their sound. Because of this, I really hope to hear vocalist Sean Van Vleet screaming about wanting blood. [RC]
GLASSJAW – “Tip Your Bartender”
Playing Chicago, September 14
I’ve never seen Glassjaw, so I would be thrilled to see them perform any song. But the aggressive opening track off 2002’s Worship And Tribute trumps all. I imagine their performance much like the music video, except maybe now with pants that fit a bit better and a stage farther away from the front row of fans. [CW]
GRADE - "A Year In The Past, Forever In The Future"
Playing Toronto, August 24
Melodic hardcore bands can write hits, too. Just reference Grade's "A Year In The Past, Forever In The Future" (which they finally started playing live, and will no doubt repeat for their homeland Riot Fest set), and you'll get the idea: It's like a bunch of tattooed dudes dressing up pretty for a wedding. A punchy pop riff trade-off proves far catchier than it's complexity, right up there with the best of vintage Victory Records. Bonus points for frontman Kyle Bishop who admits when he disagrees with his bandmates and can't pull off the recordings live ("The record sounds great/For some reason/I can't pull it off from day to day"). You don't see self-awareness like that anywhere. Real talk, indeed! [BK]
HOSTAGE CALM - "Woke Up Next To A Body"
Playing Chicago, September 15
Harmonizing like their matching fades, Hostage Calm went for early Taking Back Sunday's dramatized sound of sidekick singers (and an unrelated Long Island reference) on "Woke Up Next To A Body." Paired with their penchant for Moz-influenced Brit-pop, frontman Chris Martin's ever-so-slightly embellished accent over dainty acoustic guitars help cut up the tension. [BK]
MISFITS - "Skulls"
Danzig 25th Anniversary play Riot Fest Chicago on 9/13
There's a great pie chart hanging around on the internet that compares what the Ramones want you to do vs. what the Misfits want you to do. Joey and the boys want their listeners to sniff some glue, puke, get some kicks and steal some chicks, among other tasks. But the only thing Glenn Danzig ever asked his fans for were their skulls. Not only does he want your skull; he needs your skull. Glenn, if you're reading this, I humbly offer mine up for an onstage mid-set sacrifice. [SH]
QUICKSAND - "Delusional"
Playing Riot Fest Chicago on 9/15.
Earlier this year, I found myself with an extraordinarily difficult decision: Do I drive to Detroit to see ’90s post-hardcore innovators Quicksand on their brief reunion tour, or stay in Cleveland to see reclusive Neutral Milk Hotel frontman Jeff Mangum play a solo show before likely disappearing off the face of the Earth again? I chose the latter and really enjoyed the stripped-down performance, but in the back of my mind, I kept thinking about all the monster riffage I was missing out on. Luckily Walter Schreifels & Co. still have a little more gas in the tank, and I am absolutely over the moon at the prospect of seeing them kick out some motherfucking jams next month—especially this tasty nugget with a devious guitar chug and a massive sing-along chorus. [SH]
REGGIE AND THE FULL EFFECT – “Deathnotronic”
Playing Riot Fest Chicago on 9/15
At my dream Riot Fest, James Dewees would take the stage with a booming “Hello, Americans! This is Klaus from Common Denominator!” Klaus is one of my favorite Reggie characters, and his industrial dance parody “Deathnotronic,” while hilarious and ridiculously redundant, is also a great song and sure to make any crowd dance (and laugh). [CW]
Touché Amoré – “Just Exist"
Playing: Chicago, September 15 and Denver], September 21
Touché Amoré’s third full-length, Is Survived By, doesn’t come out until September 24, but take my word for it when I tell you it fucking slays. “Just Exist,” the album’s opener and first single, starts off a bit slower and more subdued than the band’s past work (at least as subdued as a hardcore band can be), but Jeremy Bolm’s voice is just as forceful and full-bodied. “I was once asked how I’d like to be remembered, and I simply smiled and said, ‘I’d rather stay forever,’” Bolm opines in the song’s first line. It would sound cliché coming from anyone else (“It was possibly my loudest cliché,” he deadpans in the next line), but from Bolm, who’s leading the new class of hardcore, it’s nothing but chill-inducing honesty. By the end of the song, you feel like you’ve been run ragged—and you can’t wait for what’s next. [BM]