It’s Riot Fest! One of the largest and greatest music festivals of the year is going down right now in Chicago. It’s the perfect mix of new bands and nostalgia acts to make for one hell of a musical weekend. In this list, AP picks nine bands you must see this weekend at Riot Fest. Here goes:

Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness

It’s been more than a decade since the heyday of Something Corporate, but this California singer is still going strong. After SoCo, Jack’s Mannequin and a stint as simply “Andrew McMahon,” the singer is breaking ground in his latest incantation, Andrew McMahon In The Wilderness. His Riot Fest set is a must, as he’s been known the throw in SoCo cuts, as well as the best of Everything In Transit. [MC]



These Orange County hardcore OGs are about to release their comeback album, appropriately titled Long Live, and it’s been a long time coming. After the mediocre Congregation Of The Damned and a long hiatus, the band are going back to their rough roots, channeling both the Curse and Suicide Notes And Butterfly Kisses on new singles like “Start To Break” and “Long Live.” You’ve been blessed with an opportunity to see the “hard Atreyu” from 10 years ago—don’t miss it. [MC]


Beach slang

Mix shoegaze-reminiscent fuzz with enough vocal gravel to make Paul Westerberg take notice, and you've got beach slang. This Philadelphia buzz band is destined to make your day sunnier…while slipping in a few tales of ennui and youthful confusion. [LM]


The Dear Hunter

The Dear Hunter provide a truly beautiful experience, stacked with lush, grandiose instrumentation, unforgettable melodies and Casey Crescenzo's often-booming vocals which deliver each evocative line from his intricate tales with a fervency unmatched in the world of indie rock. For Chicago, there shall be sing-a-longs aplenty, hearts divided both heavy and light, and a dry eye seldom seen, regardless. [BL]


Every Time I Die

Every Time I Die are always a must-see for any fan of live music. Even if you're not fond of the group's eclectic, southern-fried metal, watching frontman Keith Buckley bellow “I want to be dead with my friends” is enough entertainment in itself to warrant being present for their set. But be wary of guitarist Andy Williams—I heard he really likes to wrestle. [TS]



While the elders in Hum call the Chicago area home, many of the travelling Riot Fest-goers will check “Finally seeing Hum for the first time” off their bucket lists. They were recently dragged out of hibernation by fellow space-rockers Failure, but a busy year for Hum means, like, a dozen shows. That means they'll be dusting off their eternal masterpiece, 1998's Downward Is Heavenward, and close second, 1995's You'd Prefer An Astronaut. You've heard their influence on Title Fight and Turnover's new records, now you can have the real thing. [BK]


Manchester Orchestra

One of the loudest bands in all the land, Manchester Orchestra are sure to provide Chicago with some top-notch (heh), shake-you-to-your-core rock & roll goodness, packing a weighted punch in the form of Andy Hull's emotionally exhausting lyrics and vocal delivery. The energy never lets up, unless, of course, MO choose to deliver one of the more mellow, heart-wrenching cuts from their hefty catalog. Even then, it's hard not to be completely engulfed in their sound and presence. [BL]


Modern Life Is War

The mid-'00s were a fertile time for melodic hardcore (creatively, not commercially), paving the way for bands like Touché Amoré, Stick To Your Guns and the Ghost Inside to achieve worldwide success today. The title “the best band in hardcore” gets thrown around every year, with a revolving door of names attached to it (Turnover, in recent times). Modern Life Is War held the revered accolade in 2005-2006 after they dropped Witness, a desperately dramatic album that made the genre interesting. That appeal came in ripping ragers (“Martin Atchet,” “D.E.A.D.R.A.M.O.N.E.S.”) and time-invested epiphanies (“Marshalltown,” “I'm Not Ready”), all blessed by Jeffrey Eaton's ability to narrate growing up in a nowhere town. Did we mention they'll be playing that album in full? Yup, it's been ten years. [BK]


System Of A Down

System Of Down will close day two of Riot Fest Chicago with more than an hour of their radicalized, riff-heavy metal. Just imagining droves of people succumbing to frontman Serj Tankian's charismatic stage presence, all the while singing along to “Chop Suey!” is enough to get anyone's blood pumping. If you're in attendance at Riot Fest this weekend, don't miss your opportunity to catch one of modern-metal's most prolific names. [TS]