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Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

The 5 best things we saw on Sunday at Riot Fest

Written by
Time Out Chicago editors

1. The weather that finally came around

The past two years of Riot Fest were plagued by torrential downpours that tore up the fields and turned them into a disgusting, muddy catastrophe. It seemed like that would be the case again this year after a cold, wet Friday left the grounds as wet as the Mississippi River. But dry weather on Sunday gave way for fields that weren't filled with temporary lagoons, instead allowing for fans to mosh their socks off without looking like they spent all day working in a wastewater treatment plant. — Clayton Guse

2. A hip-hop history lesson from De La Soul

De La Soul may not be a household name, but there's a good chance you've heard a track by the group (after all, they've been around for nearly 30 years). The wisecracking trio made sure everyone in attendance at its mid-afternoon set was enjoying themselves, even insisting that the photographers and security guards put their hands in the air. De La Soul epitomizes the positive attitude of old school hip-hop, an era that predated beefs and diss tracks. As DJ Maseo reminded the crowd, "You gotta know where it's coming from to know where it's going." — Zach Long

3. The one carnival to rule them all

Riot Fest sets itself apart from other music festivals in the city not only because of its punk and metal lineup, but also because of its full-fledged carnival atmosphere. The rides and lights have never been better—Douglas Park offered more space than Humboldt Park has in years past. All of the rides you'd find at a conventional Midwestern fest were present, including a Ferris wheel, the Zipper and the Skat, which is basically a combination of the Gravitron and Eggbeater (of RollerCoaster Tycoon fame). — CG

4. The crowd at Tenacious D

Aside from Flight of the Concords, has there ever been a comedy band that commands the devout following of Tenacious D? When the duo opened its set with "Tribute," the sizable crowd seemed to know every lyric, even emulating Jack Black's tongue-in-cheek inflection. The D's mid-aughts box office fiasco and its dearth of new material can't detract from the solid foundation of the duo's miniature acoustic rock operas—and we can't help but chuckle along to "Kickapoo" for the 100th time. — ZL

5. Modest Mouse's melancholy finale

Given the thankless job of abruptly cutting off Snoop Dogg (who was 30 minutes late to his own set), Modest Mouse had its work cut out for itself. Thankfully, Isaac Brock and company were more than up to the task, digging into some deep cuts to close out the final night of Riot Fest. Songs like "The World At Large" and "Missed the Boat" hit an appropriate melancholy note after a long weekend of music, mud and questionable porta-potties. By the time the group got around to "Float On," most of the crowd was already drifting out of the park, heading back to reality after a three-day respite during the the waning days of summer. — ZL

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