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15 reasons to get excited for Riot Fest 2013

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May 16, 2013|By Jessica Galliart, Brian Moore, Matt Pais, Ernest Wilkins | RedEye Sound Board

Immediately when the Riot Fest lineup was announced Wednesday night, many noted how this year's bash (Sept. 13-15 in Humboldt Park) ranks among the summer's best music fests. It's easily better than the underwhelming Lolla lineup and deserves to be discussed against an unusually strong Pitchfork roster. Here are 15 reasons (in alphabetical order) this year's Riot Fest roster, well, rocks.

AFI

You might know them from the hit "Girl's Not Grey," but this Cali band has a solid arsenal of catchy, melodic alterna-punk. There’s a reason they’ve been around since 1991, folks. --BM

Against Me!

If we’re being honest, this pick is mostly out of curiosity to see Laura Jane Grace in action. I last saw the group in 2010 at the Aragon, and while that was a particularly weird and confusing showing that left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth, I know they’re capable of a rock-the-[bleep]-out set. --JG

Atmosphere

On record, Slug's raps and Ant's beats have grown more minimalist over the years, but that doesn't make them any less shattering. On stage, the Minneapolis pair takes a bigger, more party-starting hammer to broader glass. --MP

Blink 182

Please get out of my face if you insist on crapping all over the classic pop-rock album that is “Enema of the State.” Travis Barker is a damn great drummer, and the twentysomething-heavy crowd will be over this ’90s blast from the past. --JG

Brand New

Definitely a throwback act for me—I grew up in middle-of-nowhere Kansas and never had the chance to see them tour. Besides the excitement of finally getting to hear “The Devil and God...” live, the anticipation of whether or not they’ll finally announce the new album (first seen “Daisy” in 2009) they’ve been slowly working on might kill me. --JG

Dessa

More Minneapolis hip-hop excellence, courtesy of the Doomtree member and acclaimed solo rapper/singer/poet. The upcoming "Parts of Speech" could and should expose Dessa to a wider audience. --MP

The Dismemberment Plan

Any list of great indie rock records from the past 15 years must include The Dismemberment Plan's 1999 album "Emergency & I," an influential outing that sounds just as essential today. Listen to it now. Like, right now. --MP

Empires

The Chicago rockers played Lolla in 2012, appearing Sunday night after their Saturday afternoon slot was rained out. To an unfortunately sparse crowd, the band made the most of the opportunity. Great, great show. --MP

Fall Out Boy

When the Chicago natives were passed over for Lollapalooza, it was pretty clear they would be involved in Riot Fest in some fashion. (How could one of the biggest bands to come out of Chicago release a new album after a more than three-year hiatus and NOT play one of the many Chicago fests that summer?) Their addition to the lineup will keep the fest a little younger than I’d like, but it will also make for one hell of a great outdoor dance-rock show. --JG

Gwar

The music is almost an afterthought at a Gwar show. The real draw is the ridiculous costumes the band members wear, their sometimes-shocking stage show and the opportunity to get showered in fake blood or other liquids. --BM

Motorhead

Lemmy Freakin’ Kilmister is a metal god, and Motorhead is appropriately known as the Godfather of thrash metal, paving the way for bands like Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth. The chance to hear “Ace of Spades” live should be enough to get anyone on board. --BM

Surfer Blood

Having seen Surfer Blood play every time they've been in Chicago, here’s what you can expect from these guys: High energy, fun on-stage banter and a damn fine collection of post-punk tunes. It's fine if you wanna dance; no one will judge you.  --EW

Taking Back Sunday

The pop-punk/emo elder statesmen still know how to tug at your heartstrings while beating you over the heads with great riffs. If they play anything from their 2001 record “Tell All Your Friends,” prepare yourself for MAXIMUM FEELS. --EW

White Mystery

Local love! This brother-sister psych-rock duo seems to be everywhere all the time, and it’s great to see them included in such a rock-heavy fest. --JG

Saul Williams

Admittedly, I didn't know the rapper/poet put out his most recent album, "Volcanic Sunlight," in 2011. Regardless of your familiarity with Williams, take the months between now and Riot Fest to marvel at the tremendous urgency of his music, and the wisdom of his words. --MP

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