All photos and illustrations by Brian Butler
This past weekend, Riot Fest Chicago brought mayhem of all punk and rock and hip-hop stripes to the Windy City to incite rebellion in the form of extreme fun. No Doubt played! GWAR and Bootsy Collins brought interplanetary journeys of different types to the fest. CM Punk was there, and Iggy Pop was, as usual, shirtless. Newer bands Dirty Fences, Cayetana, Foxing, and Superheaven all had standout sets. Oh, and it was muddy. So muddy that there was enough wet earth caked into the nearby CTA subway station to break the escalator. That didn't stop us from capturing the best of it, though. Illustrator Brian Butler of Show Drawn was on the scene capturing the entire festival in his signature on-the-spot sketches.
FRIDAY: The Coathangers, Death, and Dirty Fences (click here for hi-res)
FRIDAY: Barb Wire Dolls, Bayside, and Against Me! (click here for hi-res)
FRIDAY: Heems, Thrice, Anthrax, Faith No More, and No Doubt (click here for hi-res)
Faith No More's flower arrangements sort of made the stage look like a funeral parlor. No Doubt was so electric that they possessed a dude in a wheelchair to crowd surf—chair and all. Someone won Anthrax a stuffed character prize on the Riot Fest midway and threw it on stage.
SATURDAY: The Ataris, Fidlar, Lifetime, and GWAR (click here for hi-res)
Fidlar psyched a bunch of high people into thinking they were watching an R. Kelly set. GWAR could have been its own sketchbook. A troll named OLDerus came to Earth and declared himself the rightful heir to the band. Then he pissed on the crowd and got castrated. Then Marilyn Manson was murdered. Then a baby got murdered. Then OLDerus came back in boss mode, riding a cyclops who shot diarrhea with the force of 200 chili bean burritos. GWAR emerged victorious and returned the festival to safety.
SATURDAY: The Damned, American Nightmare, Echo and the Bunnymen, Lawrence Arms, and Clowns (click here for hi-res)
SATURDAY: Bootsy Collins Rubber Band, Drive Like Jehu, Rancid, and Iggy Pop (click here for hi-res)
Technical troubles delayed the launch of spaceship Bootsy. But the mission prevailed, and the star-clad legend lead his rubber band through a series of funky sex innuendos and hits from the P Funk catalog. Rancid confirmed suspicions that CM Punk was floating around the festival by pulling him on stage. Iggy Pop is a machine. He's a flailing, smiling, waving, smashing powerhouse whose body is not built to cooperate alongside the restrictive fibers of clothing.
SUNDAY: Jazz Cartier, Cayetana, Alvvays, and Dwarves (click here for hi-res)
SUNDAY: De La Soul, Less Than Jake, Foxing, and Yelawolf (click here for hi-res)
De La Soul had the most endearing set of the weekend, occasionally pausing songs to have the audience, stage hands, security and photographers join the crowd by throwing their hands in the air
SUNDAY: L7, Cypress Hill, Superheaven, The Prodigy, and Tenacious D (click here for hi-res)
L7 pointed out an important flock of geese that flew by during their set, and Tenacious D did a 3 hour and 28 minute improvised skat-jazz set.