Riot Fest 2014 – Toronto
Sherry | On 12, Sep 2014
This past weekend Riot Fest 2014 stomped into and through the Toronto mud. From SASSYTIDBITS’ perspective, this is what we saw and heard, in three lines or less (sometimes more), of the artists we caught, and some artists we didn’t.
Saturday, Sept 6
The Afghan Whigs – Oh Dulli, that voice of yours makes you wanta, you know! Sexy stage presence in the daytime with the sun out, only a few can pull that off. Made you wish you could watch them all over again as soon as they were done.
Taking Back Sunday – Missed the band, but not the massive amount of fans spilling down the mud bank with huge smiles on their faces.
Paul Weller – Pay attention! Lead singer of The Jam and Style Council = Godfather of MOD. Brit Pop fans united up front.
AWOLNATION – Get it. This is what FUN sounds like. Great energy, catchy songs with some dark lyrics and happy fans everywhere you look. There is a reason for the hype.
Brand New – Always hard to keep a dry eye when watching Brand New and truthfully some didn’t. This band is one of those personal bands, where you don’t want one single person chatting to you. You just want to feed your soul.
Rise Against – Always a favourite; smart lyrics and punk music. Seems like a lot of people agree. Moshing, chanting and a massive scream-a-long.
Death From Above 1979 – Back from the dead is what they are saying. Sounds like they mean it…loud and punchy, all we wished and hoped for when they were gone. Hallelujah.
Billy Talent – Home field advantage. Made a mud pit out of it, which is pretty Rock n Roll.
The Flaming Lips – Big stage show: waterfall of lights, life size stuffed animals taking over. Although, sometimes you might just want to close your eyes and just listen to the music. There is a reason that crazy stage show exists.
The Cure – The hits…they played the hits! Lighting was amazing, sound was a bit quiet, but it was the bloody Cure! Everyone Gothed right out.
Sunday, Sept 7
Wounds – First missed band of the day. Irish fellows who are about to spend a lot of time on this side of the pond and guaranteed to take no prisoners. Get ready.
Nostalghia – For fans of haunting female lead singers, this is a band you might want to check out. Singer, electric cello and drums. Not a ton of fans to see them, but those who were there were rabid.
Bob Mould – Formerly of Hüsker Du and Sugar, Bob Mould is a confirmed rock legend for the alternative generation. Solid solo band set staring with “Flip Your Wig” and ending with “Makes No Sense At All”.
The New Pornographers – Vancouver peeps (well, some are in Brooklyn now). Glad they are still doing their thing and continue to bring harmonies to the world. Very few can do it better.
The Head and The Heart – Pretty ‘heart on your sleeve’ songs played by Northwest folks. Sadly or happily, depends on the person, an accidental mash-up occurred when Die Antwoord started and their sound bled over to the Riot stage. It didn’t seem to faze the fans, they still loved every moment.
Die Antwoord – What can you say? PACKED! Jumping. Swearing. Vulgar gestures. People loved it. Where were the glow sticks?
Dropkick Murphys – Always a band to give it their all, they certainly were ‘Taking Care Of Business’, literally. They covered Taking Care of Business. The kids ate it up.
Stars – Slight hiccup to the start of the set with a technical glitch. Then huge sing-a-long.
Social Distortion – Mike Ness. Social D represents every time and always.
Death Cab For Cutie – Best sound of the festival. Sing-a-long time continued with the Death Cab set. All words to all songs. Everyone.
The National – Beautiful. Always beautiful. Matt’s voice, full of soul, completes the masterpiece started by the musicianship of the Dessner brothers.
Buzzcocks – UK punk from the 70s. Still kicking it out. LOVE. Yes, they played Orgasm Addict.
Tired legs would not allow the opportunity to catch the Metric or City and Colour sets, which we suspect were stellar, as they have been in the past. Pretty exciting Monday morning to hear the news of City and Colour collaborating with the one and only P!nk, to release You and Me. So that’s about it for this year, unless you are heading to Chicago this weekend or Denver next…which, by the way, is a damn good idea.