All good things must come to and end, and so must Riot Fest. All around me heading into Douglas Park, plenty of exhausted Rioters lamented the end of this year’s fest. However, their sadness quickly turned to excitement as they walked into the park, psyched for what was certain to be another amazing day. Despite not being as star-studded as the previous night, day 3 was still full of plenty of amazing artists for festivalgoers to enjoy.
Riot Fest was educated in the afternoon. The subject was hip-hop and the teacher was De La Soul. From the moment they hit the stage class was in session.
“Who here likes Drake? Meek Mill? Kanye? Yeah, those guys are great, but we was here first,” said Maseo of De La Soul. Despite being from 1987, De La Soul stays relevant as they rocked their generation spanning crowd. From crowd led chants to an entire crowd waving their hands in unison, De La Soul had it all as they showed the crowd why they are one of the best hip-hop trios of all time.
Once my trip to the east coast with De La Soul was over, I made my way to the Rebel Stage to catch classic Ska act, Less Than Jake. This show was for the punks as Less Than Jake rocked the crowd with their brass section. The set was full of fast paced, upbeat songs that moved the crowd to form one of the largest circle pits I’ve ever seen. At least one hundred people ran in the circle while Evolution Kid, the band’s mascot, shot water guns and threw toilet paper into the crowd. It was a nonstop adrenaline rush that got the crowd pumped for the rest of the day.
I soon took a trip down south as I caught Yelawolf’s stage. Getting the award for most creative setup, Yelawolf’s backing artists consisted of a shred guitarist and DJ. The crowd was full of people sporting cowboy boots and hats as they crowded to see the Alabama rapper in person. There weren’t too many words spoken by Yelawolf as he went through his set, spitting lyrics so fast it was hard to follow. The only time he took a break from playing his own music was to lead the crowd in a country sing-a-long, desperate to remind the crowd that he is a white boy from the crowd.
I left during the last song in order to get a closer spot for the party that was coming up. This was no regular party however. This was an Andrew W.K. party. Playing alongside with backing band, Andrew’s hard rock music was what plenty of Rioters looked forward to for the third day.
“You’re doing great…. At living! Keep it up! Let’s Go!” Andrew W.K. assured the crowd throughout his set. Andrew maintains a positive twitter account, always encouraging people to have fun. This was no different in person. Andrew asked that the press only be allowed into the photo area for the last three songs. This only last one and a half songs as the crowd was driven into a frenzy by his biggest song, “Party Hard.” When his time was up, he thanked the crowd one last time for being there before heading off stage, leaving all in high spirits.
As night carried on, the big names were set to hit the stage. While Tenacious D played for a packed crowd across the field, thousands were made to wait for a West Coast OG. Snoop Dogg took 30 minutes to show up to his set, much to the chagrin of those waiting. Once he finally came out, Snoop Dogg treated the crowd to exactly what they expected from the D-O-double-G, coming out to “Gin & Juice” with a blunt in hand. Snoop’s set went on like a haze as the crowd took every opportunity to smoke weed in his presence. Closing out with “Young, Wild, & Free,” Snoop’s set came to an abrupt end in order to make room for the headliners.
In similar fashion, Modest Mouse came out to a smoke filled stage. The lights created ominous silhouettes as they performed “Night on the Sun.” The band filled the stage with their equipment, making good use of the space provided as they put on a show to remember for avid fans. Even though it didn’t have all pushing and shoving System of a Down had a night ago, the field was still packed for the indie rockers. All through the night the band played through their sentimental discography, including songs from both their new and old albums, for all to enjoy. It was a somber ending to what was primarily an energy filled weekend.