Riot Fest Chicago is this weekend, and this year they’re hosting a number of heavy hitters along with some bands on the rise. There will be full album sets of Social Distortion’s White Light, White Heat, White Trash and The Hold Steady’s Boys & Girls on Saturday. Julian Marley will be playing his father’s reggae masterwork Exodus, and Rob Zombie will be busting out the White Zombie classic Astro-Creep 2000 on Friday and Sunday, respectively. Here are some under the radar acts to look out for while you’re roaming around Douglas Park this weekend:
1. The Dillinger Escape Plan – Friday, Rise Stage, 2:00pm
With their sixth studio album, Dissociation, dropping this October, the New Jersey mathcore band will be bringing new jams and (hopefully) older cuts. They are, arguably, one of the most intense active hardcore bands active today and their live shows are engrossing and enthusiastic. They manage to flail about stage and into the audience while still keeping an extremely tight groove going by nailing every note (and believe me, there are a lot of notes to hit). If you’re interested at all in hardcore or heavier music, this act is a must-see. If not, you’ll still be blown away by their live show and objective talent. Check them out on Friday!
For Fans Of: Converge, Daughters, Botch
2. Eskimeaux – Friday, Rebel Stage, 4:00pm
Eskimeaux is the solo project of songwriter Gabrielle Smith, who is also in other east coast Double Double Whammy bands such as Told Slant and Bellows. Their album O.K. dropped last year and made a distinct impression in the blogosphere, gaining them enough notoriety to earn their place as a supporting act on tours with larger bands such as Basement from the UK.
FFO: Frankie Cosmos, Told Slant, Teen Suicide
3. Big Ups – Sunday, Rebel Stage, 3:00pm
Touring off of their March release, Before a Million Universes, Brooklyn-based punk band Big Ups keep winning over fans across the board. With their minimalistic punk sound (Brendan Finn on drums, Carlos Salguero on bass, Amar Lal shredding guitar, and Joe Galarraga bringing the powerful and emotional vocals), they bring raw energy and an explosive live performance to every show they play. They are a guaranteed good time!
FFO: Fugazi, Jesus Lizard, Dischord Bands
4. Kitten Forever – Saturday, Rebel Stage, 7:00pm
Hailing from Minneapolis, Kitten Forever is a drum and bass party punk band reminiscent of riot grrrl. They’re celebrating ten years as a band this year, and released 7 Hearts on Atlas Chair Records this past March. They’re a trio of three women, Corrie Harrigan, Laura Larson, and Liz Elton, who switch off roles in the band between singing, bass, and percussion, all dancing throughout. Their fuzzed-out melodies will be sure to keep you bouncing in the sea of sweaty bodies.
FFO: Shannon and the Clams, Bikini Kill, the Replacements
5. All Dogs – Sunday, Revel Stage, 2:00pm
Originally from Columbus and now located in Philadelphia, All Dogs is a pop punk quartet led by singer/songwriter Maryn Jones, also of Saintseneca and Yowler, with drummer Jesse Withers, bassist Amanda Bartley, and guitarist Nick Harris. Their initial release was a split cassette with Slouch, followed by their debut full length Kicking Every Day in 2015. Their live show is a sing-a-long-er’s dream with fun rock grooves quickly followed by Harris’s emotional shredding that leaves you with an “I’m not okay, but that’s just fine” feeling in your gut.
FFO: Delay, The Muffs, LVL UP, P.s Eliot