Riot Fest - Gexa Energy Pavilion - 9/22/12

Categories: Last Night

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Rachel Parker
The Descendents
Riot Fest
Gexa Energy Pavilion
Saturday, September 22

Though the inaugural Dallas edition of Riot Fest was a mild success, here's something the festival's organizers should consider if it returns next year: give the audience some kind of clue when bands are going on. While the Heineken Pavilion stage (curated by Parade of Flesh) had their shit together, posting set times for all of their acts online and near the stage, the other two stages did not. This led to plenty of frustration from people who really wanted to see one band over others.

See also:
- The fans of Riot Fest

The first few acts felt like a talent show: Municipal Waste played their sophomoric metal on the large main stage while locals Mouth of the South assaulted the plaza stage with generic screamo, yet Arlington's own Big Fiction wowed with their punishing concoction of Melvins-like bomp. Later, Houston's own The American Heist and Venomous Maximus, along with Off With Their Heads, drew good crowds at the plaza stage.

Andrew W.K. gave the most bizarre set of the day. Billed as a special solo performance, he opened with an a capella rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner." He threw out prizes, like Ben-Hur and Thundercats on DVD, and did versions of "Party Hard," "Ruby Tuesday" and "I Get Wet" on the piano. He even brought a fan on stage, who drove five hours in hopes of seeing a full-band set, and let him hang out. Again, bizarre, but this is a guy whose live band features a Jazzercise member.

The Sword did not disappoint and The Gaslight Anthem put on the most scenic set of the day. As the sun set, the New Jersey boys ran right through eight songs in 25 minutes. NOFX was their usual bratty and comedic self for a half-hour, leading into probably the highlight of the show: an hour set by the legendary Descendents. The venue was half-full (the largest it was for the whole night) and the band cooked. With 27 songs, including "Silly Girl," "Suburban Home" and "When I Get Old," there wasn't anything the band forgot to play. Performing with such joy and conviction, the hour flew by.

Headliners Rise Against played to a dedicated number of die-hards, but their100-minute set felt interminable at times. The band has their heart in the right place, raging against injustice and greed in the world. Through the filter of generic pop-punk and radio rock, the four-piece's sound doesn't necessarily come across as inspired. Luckily, an incredibly moving tribute to Tony Sly from No Use for a Name and Minor Threat and Black Flag covers were welcome reprieves.

Personal bias: As somebody who has covered the Warped Tour for the past few years, I was really looking forward to Riot Fest. I'd love to see it again next year, giving people my age a chance to see bands that don't pander to the 15-year-old demographic.

Random quote: "It's like an episode of Cheers," said by a punk rock Statler and Waldorf sitting behind me during Andrew W.K'.s set.

By the way: Fireworks literally went off in the middle of the crowd during Power Trip's set in the Heineken Pavilion.

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flagrantlyfalse
flagrantlyfalse

The band I went to see was on the Parade of Flesh stage. Which is.....where exactly? When their start time came, I had to go back to the front gate to find someone to ask where they were playing. There were no lights for that stage, the schedule was 20 minutes behind, water bottles littered the stage from previous sets, and the band had to set an amp up on a Heineken table! Not sure if Riotfest or Parade of Flesh was to blame, but I'm just as happy if this mess doesn't come back.

ObserverHatesFacts
ObserverHatesFacts

 @flagrantlyfalse OMG WATER BOTTLES?! YOU HAD TO ASK WHERE A STAGE WAS?!?!? A SHOW RAN BEHIND SCHEDULE??!?! 

 

YOU SHOULD CLEARLY FILE A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT!

mwa6582751
mwa6582751

Just got a thumbs up from Russia!  My good friend was asking me to say hello to a guy he's just met,who was going back to Venezuela, and is a good friend of Carlos Guedes, the jazz harpist here in Dallas.  So Carlos, though we have not met,  now you are part of the international family of musicians!  Congratulations!!

mwa6582751
mwa6582751

Riot Fest!  Where do they get these people?

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