3 must-see artists at riot fest in chicago

September 2016

Riot Fest Chicago returns to distort the ears of Douglas Park this weekend. While attendees can expect huge crowds for acts like The Flaming Lips and The Original Misfits, earlier sets offer a glimpse at rising, not-to-be-missed artists.



Friday at 4:00 on the Rebel Stage


Brooklyn’s Eskimeaux has been called bedroom pop.  However, this does not provide a clear window into the dynamism of their live shows.  Front-woman Gabrielle Smith writes heartfelt lyrics rife with metaphor elevated to truth by her backing friends, also known as her band.  It is, perhaps, this sense of community that makes their music so compelling.  Live shows feature the passionately expressive drumming of Felix Walworth, adding momentum and entertainment to these arresting songs.

Essential Track: Epic song of their 2015 album, O.K. “The Thunder Answered Back”


High Waisted

Saturday at 2:30 on the Storyheart Stage


For fans of retro, surf-rock, High Waisted provides a sunny, late-summer escape.  This New York City band belies their location with a vintage, generation-spanning sound.  Refreshing in their approach to this style, it is not difficult to imagine these songs sliding smoothly into 1960s Beach Party movies.  As an added bonus, lead singer, Jessica Louise Dye scales heights of sincerity like classic girl groups with a contemporary flare. Toss in a couple timely instrumentals and you have a recipe for festival go-go shimmying.

Essential Track: “Door” off this-year’s debut, On Ludlow


All Dogs

Sunday at 2:00 on the Rebel Stage


All grungy guitars and yearning vocals, Columbus, Ohio’s All Dogs feel like a soundtrack to aimless, soul-searching afternoons.  Splitting time between saintseneca and her solo act, Yowler, Maryn Jones voice echoes late-nineties, female-fronted acts like Belly or Liz Phair. As further evidence of their pedigree, “Leading Me Back to You” off last year’s album, Kicking Every Day, ends with a Stevie Nicks homage. Given their arena-sized ambition, the airy murkiness of this four-piece band promises to lift your spirits.

Essential Track: “Sunday Morning”

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