RIOT FEST ROCKS: With its surprising and offbeat mix of punk, metal, rock, reggae and dance — as well as a smattering of colorful carnival rides and even the occasional stilt walker — Riot Fest is clearly not paying attention to the music charts; the festival has its fans on the brain.
The 11th edition of Riot Fest Chicago kicks off Friday, featuring a diverse roster of acts including The Flaming Lips, Morrissey, the reunited Original Misfits, Julian Marley, Death Cab for Cutie, Rob Zombie, Social Distortion, Fitz and the Tantrums, Black Box and more.
Held at Douglas Park on the city’s west side, the three-day festival will include about 124 artists and is expected to draw crowds of 60,000 each day. Returning acts include Andrew W.K., Gwar and Bad Religion. Something fun for the fans, four bands will play select full-length albums from their music history in their entirety, including Grammy-nominated reggae musician Julian Marley performing his father, reggae legend Bob Marley’s, iconic 1977 album, “Exodus,” written during a period of unrest and violence in Jamaica, on Friday. Social Distortion will perform their entire “White Light, White Heat, White Trash” album — on the exact date of the 20th anniversary of its release in 1996 — and The Hold Steady will perform “Boys & Girls in America,” both on Saturday. Rob Zombie will play White Zombie’s beloved metal album, “Astro-Creep 2000,” circa 1995, on Sunday.