Saturday at Riot Fest 2014 was a long day. I had over 5,000 photos from that day alone, and The Cure didn’t allow any photographers in, so that would have been a few million more had I been able to shoot Robert Smith. Lots of hard choices and as I look through other reviews, it’s interesting how we all ended up seeing different bands. I would have loved to see every single one, because the lineup (just like Day One) was stellar.
Riot Fest 2014 / Denver / Day Two (Saturday):
Wiredogs • Pianos Become the Teeth • Larry And His Flask • Allout Helter • The Bots • Frnkiero And The Cellabration • Strung Out • Dum Dum Girls • We Came As Romans • Clutch • Baby Baby • Lucero • Glassjaw • Face To Face • Dads • Hot Snakes • Taking Back Sunday • Red City Radio • Descendents • The Used • City & Colour • Plaque Vendor • Social Distortion • Bring Me The Horizon • I Am The Avalanche • A Day To Remember • The Cure
Denver band, friends and general bad-asses. I love how Wiredogs can make really hard rock accessible for someone like me, although they will roll their eyes when they read that. It’s the truth, though. I like punk with musicality behind it, and also how lead singer Dan Aid somehow manages to sound British when he sings it.
Pianos Become The Teeth
“Get over there, these guys are really fun to watch.” My friend (and sister to Wiredogs’ drummer Stefan) Monika is pretty much my boss in festival photography decisions. She was right, this band was a blast to photograph. And! They are from my hometown of Baltimore.
Larry & The Flask
The parking lot at Mile High Stadium doesn’t seem that big until you have to run across it in sweltering heat multiple times a day. I made it into the pit for the last song of Larry And The Flask’s set and made a huge discovery: this band KICKS ASS live. You can see it in the photos without me saying much else.
It was pretty cool how many Denver bands were on the bill this year, and I had actually never seen Allout Helter before. They definitely rocked the stage. And the finger.
This is a band who I have always liked but they 100% won me over with their live performance. I could have done a whole post of my “Jason Cruz sweating his face off” photos. These guys completely, undeniably killed it.
Dum Dum Girls
Feeling like a complete traitor to women saying this, but Dum Dum Girls were boring and it felt like they didn’t want to be there. Sigh.
“Hi. I know your wife.” Words that Dan Maines from Clutch really wasn’t expecting to hear at Riot Fest Denver, but it’s true. Lindsay and I go back to the old days of blogging, so I would know of Clutch even if they weren’t, well, Clutch. The sad part is, after all this time, Riot Fest was the first chance I had to see Clutch, much less photograph them. They totally delivered. Cowbell and all.
I gotta be honest. I don’t like Lucero all that much. Until, that is, I saw them play live at Riot Fest. They sounded amazing, they were incredibly friendly, and I will now go see them any time they come back to Denver. I apologize, Lucero.
Taking Back Sunday
Yeah, I really don’t like to talk about looks since I gripe about feminist bullshit all the time (not to mention being married for 18 years) but I pretty much have a huge crush on Adam Lazzara. How could anyone not? But besides that, Taking Back Sunday (all of them) were amazing live, sounded great, and were insane to photograph.
Bill Stevenson is a local hero for co-founding The Blasting Room in Fort Collins. The Descendents are legends. Enough said.
I got a little discombobulated during this band because a) they had a really cool stage set that was virtually impossible to shoot and b) they pulled photographers out early. At least I think I remember looking at others and holding up one or two fingers in question while TVs flashed all around me. Ah well. Good band nonetheless.
City & Colour
The oddballs of Riot Fest, with more of a folk sound than anyone else. I absolutely love Dallas Green’s voice and was so happy to see all these punk rockers digging his set. Total highlight for me.
What can I say about Social D? Mike Ness and crew have been one of my favorite bands since high school – but the last time I had seen them live was back when I still lived in Maryland. So… a long. time. ago. They are still COMPLETELY awesome. Anyone who thinks rock is dead (like some dumbass from KISS) needs to get his balls kicked in the chains at a Social Distortion show.
And there you have it. I wish I had some Cure photos for you, but alas, it was not meant to be. At least I got to hear them play for 3 hours.