Riot Fest Day Two Continues Excitement 9-20-14 Denver, CO

Riot Fest Day Two Continues Excitement 9-20-14 Denver, CO

After an eventful opening day of Riot Fest in Denver, CO on Friday September 19th, day two promised to be equally as exciting starting just before 1 PM and twenty-seven diverse bands on tap to perform through midnight.  With the weather just as gorgeous as the evening prior, concert goers arrived at Sports Authority Field at Mile High early on Saturday September 20th to plan their days out.  Anticipating a day which would feature everyone from Clutch to Social Distortion, Bring Me The Horizon, and headliners The Cure, it was imperative to make a schedule so no act would be missed.


At approximately 3:45 PM Maryland Rock band Clutch took to the Byers General Store stage.  Although Clutch had a bit of a slow start, taking about five years to really become known, their entire twenty-four year journey has been far from in vain. Making a name for themselves by touring almost constantly and leaving little time between albums being released, they have been respected among Hard Rock fans. Focusing mainly on their latest album Earth Rocker during this nine song performance, mixing in other songs such as “The Mob Goes Wild” and “Cypress Grove,” they left little room for complaints.  They will be on tour through the end of 2014 so there are plenty of opportunities to see them rock out live.


Over at the Byers Country Feed stage at 4:45 PM, it was time for Glassjaw.  From Long Island, NY, this Post-Hardcore act has been going strong for over two decades.  Sustaining some lineup changes and declaring their independence from major record labels, Glassjaw has been a highly influential act in the underground scene.   Adding a little necessary Hardcore to the day, the band lived up to their reputation of an intense, raw, in the spectators’ face live show.  Playing songs like “Mu Empire,” “Ape Dos Mil,” and “Pink Roses,” among others, Riot Festival would be lacking if fans did not include a band like Glassjaw on their itinerary.  Amazingly, the band played another show that same night at Marquis Theater mere miles away.

Taking Back Sunday

Keeping the Long Island, NY theme going at the Byers Country Feed stage, Taking Back Sunday took over at 6 PM.  In the midst of a co-headlining tour with The Used, this high-power Rock band continue to wow fans six records deep into their career with 2014’s Happiness Is.   Having already graced Riot Fest Toronto a few weeks earlier, Denver was fortunate enough to see the band as well.  While they have been together since 1999, Taking Back Sunday brought some youth to the festival; blaring out favorites like “Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut from the Team),” “Timberwolves at New Jersey,” and “MakeDamnSure.”  Their high dose of energy was loud, clear, and extremely eye-opening for this crowd.


Back at the Byers General Store Stage, Punk Rock pioneers, the Descendents, were ready to roll at 6:45 PM.  Hailing from Southern California, they have been a household name within the Punk scene since 1978.  After a few hiatuses, the lineup of  Bill Stevenson (drums), Milo Aukerman (vocals), Karl Alvarez (bass), and Stephen Egerton (guitar) has been back together now since 2010.   In this case, it is ok that they “don’t want to grow up.”  They performed their 1982 album Milo Goes to College from start to finish, which really was exhilarating as it may be their most momentous album to date, and it brought a welcomed dose of humor to the evening.  Continuing on with other classics like “Everything Sux” and “I Don’t Want to Grow Up,” this was a set for the ages.  The current generation needs to be embraced by the likes of the Decendents in all their glory and understand the treasure they are to the scene.

The Used

Meanwhile, heading over to Byers Country Feed stage again, a large crowd was getting ready for The Used at 7:15 PM.  Hailing from Utah, The Used are inarguably a very busy band; touring relentlessly and pumping out album after album including the acclaimed 2014 Imaginary Enemy.   Always known for their lively stage presence and wild frontman Bert McCracken, they dominated the stage of Riot Fest with blunt force.  Rattling through a set which featured “Listening,” “I Caught Fire,” “The Taste of Ink,” and “A Box Full of Sharp Objects,” to name a few, this performance was definitely off the top, crazy, and at full-speed.  Everyone should see The Used at least once in their lives.

Social Distortion

With night closing in, fans of all ages gathered over at the Byers General Store stage one last time for living Punk legends Social Distortion.  There are those bands out there that have amazingly devoted fans and Social Distortion may very well reign the top of that list. Fans adorned with tattoos of the well know dancing skeleton flock to the stage to rock out to three decades of dirty, raw, in their face Punk Rock.  Offering songs like “Don’t Drag Me Down,” “The Creeps (I Just Wanna Give You),” and “Cold Feelings,” everyone was dancing and singing until the very last note.  Generation after generation will continue to rightfully idolize this band. After all, performing for over thirty years, many of which were done in true Do-It-Yourself Punk Rock fashion, these guys have got some balls!

The Cure

Closing out the evening at May Farms stage at 9:30 PM after a long fun day of music was none other than The Cure.  One of the most amazing things about Riot Festival is its constant ability to bring together an amazing lineup of true musical genius. Every genre of Alternative music is respectfully represented. The Cure is not exempt in terms of deserving the right to be admired and categorized as musical geniuses. This band has astonished the music scene for nearly forty years, hit after hit, performing truly incredible live sets in addition to releasing mind-blowing albums. Sounding just as astounding as they ever have; they took the audience on a tour of their discography over the course of their two and a half hour absolutely spellbinding set.  Led by the unmistakable voice of Robert Smith, each tune sounded as magical as ever and everyone was either on their feet moving around in joy or singing along loudly.  There are few bands which garnish the love and admiration The Cure does, and the fact that they have consistently given fans these extensive sets over the years is remarkable and greatly appreciated.

Check out coverage of Day One & Three:

riot fest day one slide 2riot fest day 3 slide

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Selina Shlosman
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