The absolute best thing I did this fall was attend Riot Fest in Toronto. Supercrawl in Hamilton was great, and I had a great time at smaller festivals and harvest picnics. A lot of things are great but as far as fall events go – Riot Fest is #1 in my books.
This year’s Riot Fest was a god damn mess. I’ve never been rained on so hard or caked in mud to the extent that I experienced at Downsview park this past September. The mud meant that I missed seeing GWAR which was a bummer because that was on my list of ‘must see’ performances for the festival. Apparently GWAR played a short set that was called off due to extreme rain and wind. The blood that they shot at the crowd continued to stain everything for the rest of the weekend. So in a way – their performance lived on.
Highlights included: Alexisonfire who absolutely blew my mind. My teenage years were spent angsting out to Alexisonfire and it was a long time dream come true to see them play at a huge festival like that. Their set was without a doubt the most electric at the festival. Speaking of dreams coming true – standing two feet away from the RZA during the Wu-Tang performance was unreal. Even though everyone wasn’t there it was still a very high energy set and a surreal moment that plastered a weekend-long smirk on my face. It was also a really cool treat to see Weezer play two nights in a row.
The surprise element of the 2015 Toronto Riot Fest was seeing how well all of the hip hop acts did. Riot Fest is traditionally a rock fest and the strong hip hop presence was an unexpected surprise this year. Tyler The Creator and Jazz Cartier were both really high energy and both put on great sets.
The festival was wonderful and for the second year in a row it is the best thing I attended in the fall.
See you next year, Riot Fest!
Day One Albums
Eagles of Death Metal
Echo and the Bunnymen
The Dirty Nil
Day Two –
Tyler the Creator