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ATP! Lists: 10 Must-Hear Acts at Riot Fest 2013

Fall Out Boy (Playing: September 13th)
Words by: Gina Catalano

Chicago has been the talk of the town this year with its second Stanley Cup victory in three years, its backdrop for the fourth Transformers movie, and its biggest headlining festival and carnival the city has seen. To top that off, hometown heroes Fall Out Boy will be back in the area for Riot Fest during a day off from their fall arena tour. While they won’t have opening acts Panic! At The Disco and twentyonepilots with them, the crowd should expect nothing less than pure entertainment from the punk-rock quartet.

After a four-year hiatus, the band made an unforgettable comeback this past February by torching their previous albums at the location where Comiskey Park once stood and announcing they were back with their new album, Save Rock and Roll. In the six months since, the band has showed the world that while they have grown as artists and bandmates, they are still the same band whose lyrics and melodies help heal the soul and set the mind to believe that anything is possible. Believers never die, after all. Now, while the man behind the Riot Fest Twitter account begs for a Jesse and the Rippers performance, can we start a petition to get Elton John on stage during Fall Out Boy’s set? Anyone? Bueller?

All Time Low (Playing: September 15th)
Words by: Claire Louise Sheridan

All Time Low couldn’t pull in a bad crowd if they tried, and Riot Fest will be no exception. Whatever your usual festival favorites; the infectious nature of their poppier-than-pop-punk will guarantee the chilled out, sunshine-singalong that any event in the calendar of this magnitude wouldn’t be complete without. 

Still riding on the success of last year’s game-changer ‘Don’t Panic,’ All Time Low are at a comfortable stage in their careers which will allow them to sit back and have fun, without it affecting their performance in the slightest. These are guys who truly love what they do and everything that comes along with it. So there's no shame in you loving it, too. 

Brand New (Playing: Sunday, September 15th)
Words by: Cara Friedman

If you're going to stay for any band this year at Riot Fest, you must stay to watch everybody’s favorite musical weapon, Brand New. The band may be best known for writing sad songs but that doesn't stop them from being able to put on a great and energetic show.

These guys have been knocking around for a while, leaping from strength to strength and gaining a reputation for their engaging performances as they go. Since the band hasn't released any new music since Daisy in 2009, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of setlist they’ll roll out. With a prolific back catalog of consistent bangers, there might even be a few unexpected surprises.

Touché Amoré (Playing: September 15th)
Words by: James Tremain

Buried within the numerous punk bands on the Riot Fest line-up is exciting post-hardcore act Touché Amoré. An old girlfriend told me about them ages ago and I ignored her for a long time only to really regret it later. Why? Because, along with La Dispute and Pianos Become the Teeth, they’re responsible for the most intelligent vein of post-hardcore around at the moment. 

Addressing heavy topics (latest single ‘Just Exist’ is about what we leave behind after we die) over diverse, dynamic songs, TA are infectiously energetic, simultaneously melodic and angular, and brilliant. Each of their songs is emotionally fraught, frantic and distressed, singer Jeremy Bolm’s voice imbuing it all with an immediate, desperate vitality that is too rare in music. They even made a Title Fight song sound urgent on a recent split covers EP, a compliment not usually dished out to introspective punks. 

Not convinced? Well almost all of TA’s songs are less than two minutes long, so you’ve nothing to lose. Invest five minutes of you time and you’ve have seen three tracks, and I’m almost certain you’ll want to stay for the remainder. 

Best Coast (Playing: September 14th)
Words by: Emma Garland

Bethany Cosentino is the poster-girl of summer holidays. Her blend of uplifting indie-pop melodies with nostalgic sensibilities is so widely affecting it’s landed Best Coast on TV commercials, episodes of Girls and an opening slot for Green Day’s entire arena tour.

From the initial days of lo-fi bedroom recordings about being constantly baked to her most recent release The Only Place - an instrumentally lush, thoughtfully produced album with more of an introspective edge – Cosentino has a knack for punching out tracks that act like an arm around your shoulder. Whether you’re partying or bumming hard, her sun-kissed songs make you feel less alone, even (especially) when that’s the very thing she’s singing about. If there’s anybody who’ll get your festival juices flowing it’s this kush-smoking, cat-loving queen of chill.

Yellowcard (Playing: September 13th)
Words by: Edward Strickson

They may have broken through the veil with Ocean Avenue, but Yellowcard have done some serious evolving and maturing since their first big success. 

Since Yellowcard's 2011 album, When You're Through Thinking, Say Yes, they’ve been going from strength to strength. Every record they make (and acoustic album they remake), every tour they plan and every festival they play really gives off the impression that they’re as passionate about their music as their fans. For violins, catchy-as-hell songs and a back catalog as tight as steel rope, combined with the added excitement that 2013 marks the tenth anniversary of Ocean Avenue, you’d have a hard time finding reasons not to go see Yellowcard at Riot Fest. 

Blondie (Playing: September 14th)
Words by Emma Garland

I don’t care how well you think you know punk – if you don’t know Blondie you don’t know shit. Debbie Harry is more than just a singer, a songwriter, an actress and a former Playboy bunny, Debby Harry is a cultural icon, and one that has had a hand in writing some of the greatest pop songs of the last forty years (Call Me, Atomic, Heart of Glass, One Way or Another, Hanging on the Telephone, Maria…need I go on?). When I say “pop songs,” I mean that’s what they are essentially.

Blondie are well known for integrating elements of disco, rap, reggae, new wave and punk in their music and that’s what makes them so vibrant and so exciting. As a band, they have overcome a great deal of personal and medical trouble in the last half of their career, but despite all that Blondie is still very much alive and kicking all types of butt. Grab the chance to see them while you still can.

Blink-182 (Playing: September 14th)
Words by Tamsyn Wilce

It may have been a little quiet in the Blink-182 camp lately, but that most definitely doesn't mean they should be wiped off the must-see list at Riot Fest this year. Let's face it, no matter how many times you've heard "All The Small Things" at your favorite alternative dive, you'll still sing a long and show off your best Tom DeLonge impression.

It's a pretty dead cert that the trio will be blasting out all of the 90s/00s pop-punk anthems, whilst chucking in a whole bunch of the newer material from last year’s Neighborhoods. Expect partial nudity, Mark Hoppus running around the stage a lot and Travis absolutely destroying it on the drums. Oh and if you don't like songs about dicks, they may not be for you. Then again, if you can't be immature when listening to Blink 182, when can you be?

The Devil Wears Prada (Playing: September 14th)
Words by Jordan Wyman

With a new album on the horizon, The Devil Wears Prada continues their romp through the hardcore world as metalcore royalty. The group will be performing at this year’s Riot Fest. If you feel like you don’t need another metal band on your roster, a little anecdote from a once great middle-schooler may change your mind…

Rewind to the 2009 Warped Tour at The Gorge Amphitheater. I was a little 8th grader making my way down the ever-daunting amphitheater hill to the Main Stage to watch one of my favorite heavy acts. Meg & Dia were finally finishing up their set. Once they were off, all bets were off. The Devil Wears Prada jumped on stage and suddenly the amphitheater was shaking, in more ways than one. 

Three songs in to their incredible set people were getting pulled out with bloody noses, broken ankles, and who knows what other mosh-related injuries before their third song "Hey John" began. The little 8th grader in me was fascinated with the idea of crowd surfing. So sure enough, that was my first and last time I ever crowd surfed. Being literally thrown side to side during "HTML Rulez D00d" was the most fun I had that entire day. Right up until I was expecting to be caught by a security guard, and instead found myself face-first on the asphalt. Thankfully, no blood came out of me so I ran back to the pit and thrashed their set away. 

So if the possibility of getting injured during your favorite band sounds appealing, then you probably are already going to The Devil Wears Prada’s set. If the sight of blood makes you sick, then watch The Devil Wears Prada from a distance because I can assure you, it will be one of the best sets you’ll see the whole day. 

Pierce The Veil (Playing: September 15th)
Words by Jordan Wyman

It’s the last day of a festival - a bittersweet goodbye to a weekend of partying to live music. You’re tired, sore, and out of the blue you hear a rap beat drop at the main stage. Don’t worry, 2 Chainz isn’t making a surprise appearance. That’s just San Diego post-hardcore outfit Pierce The Veil opening their show with a rap banger to get the crowd fired up. Before you know it you’ll be bombarded with fast guitars, powerful drums backed by wicked bass, and a solid falsetto to carry each song.

Pierce The Veil is known for putting on superb show after show for every tour they are on. Whether it’s them opening for bands like A Day To Remember or their own headlining shows, Pierce find a way to jump, crawl, slither, and flail their way around a stage to make every show as interesting as the last. Having been at it since 2007, Pierce has assimilated their own musical influences with their heritage to give their live shows the energy they deserve. Along with a monumental line-up, Pierce The Veil should not just be another band written on the marquis. Imagine confetti showers, guitar solos, and screaming lyrics like “Call the police, this whole place is gonna burn” at the top of your lungs. Pierce is a force to be reckoned with.

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