The 10th annual Riot Fest hits Humboldt Park this Friday, and to celebrate a decade of tough-as-nails punk/metal/debauchery (not to mention their best lineup yet), Riot Mike & Co. have commissioned 10 bands to play 10 “essential albums” front-to-back. Of those 10, nine have been announced:
- Jane’s Addiction - Nothing’s Shocking (1988)
- The Offspring - Smash (1994)
- Weezer - Weezer (“blue album,” 1994)
- Slayer - Reign in Blood (1986)
- Samhain - Initium (1984)
- NOFX - Punk In Drublic (1994)
- Descendents - Milo Goes To College (1982)
- Naked Raygun - Throb Throb (1985)
- The Get Up Kids - Something To Write Home About (1999)
…which means one more band will play some jaw-dropping masterpiece in its entirety this weekend, and while the 10th candidate might be obvious at any other festival, Riot Fest’s lineup is so stacked with legends it could be any one of a dozen bands. An official announcement will reportedly come tomorrow morning, but until then, here are our best guesses at who it might be, ranked from least to most likely.
UPDATE: Riot Fest announced today that Cheap Trick will play the tenth essential album (Heaven Tonight). We’ll still leave our predictions up in case the band wants to add in an eleventh album.
5. Taking Back Sunday - Tell All Your Friends (2002)
Set Time: 8:45 Saturday
Why They Might Play It: It was their first and last good album. Just kidding! (Sort of.) The real deal is that in 2010, after seven years apart, founding members Shaun Cooper and John Nolan (who wrote a large chunk of Tell All Your Friends) rejoined Taking Back Sunday, and there isn’t an early-aughts knife-twisting emo band playing a full album at Riot Fest yet.
That said, Taking Back Sunday has played Tell All Your Friends to death since reuniting (they even did a TAYF tour in 2012), and the set would overlap with Samhain’s. If we’re talking punk essentials, Glenn Danzig probably trumps Adam Lazzara.
4. Rise Against - Revolutions Per Minute (2003)
SET TIME: 9:00 Friday
WHY THEY MIGHT PLAY IT: They came up in Logan Square. They razed Fireside Bowl. Revolutions was their last album on an indie label. They’re a homer-pick if there ever was one, and Riot Fest will be filthy with Rise Against-lifers eager for the old stuff.
3. Wu-Tang Clan - Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) (1993)
SET TIME: 6:00 Saturday
WHY THEY MIGHT PLAY IT: Wu-Tang’s debut album celebrated its 20th birthday in November, and this coming November marks the 10-year anniversary of founding member Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s death. Saturday seems like as good a time as any to break out the Ol’ Dirty hologram.
2. Social Distortion - White Light, White Heat, White Trash (1996)
SET TIME: 6:45 Sunday
WHY THEY MIGHT PLAY IT: The fact that Social Distortion isn’t already slated to play one of their first five albums is a testament to Riot Fest’s lineup, if not downright insane. Along with Robert and Patti Smith, Mike Ness is likely responsible for most of the bands on this year’s lineup existing at all. The man made pop-punk palatable.
1. The Cure - Disintegration (1989)
SET TIME: 7:45 Sunday
WHY THEY MIGHT PLAY IT: How else are the Cure going to fill two hours and fifteen minutes Sunday night? The only caveat is that they’ll have to play Disintegration at the beginning of their set, from 7:45 p.m. to 8:56 p.m., at which point all the fair-weather fans can scurry over to Weezer, who’ll have spent the first 16 minutes of their set on Pinkerton songs and saved the 9:13 - 9:55 block for blue album. It’s funky, but it could work.
Riot Fest runs from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Humboldt Park. Three-day and Sunday passes are sold out. Friday, Saturday, and two-day passes (including Friday/Sunday and Saturday/Sunday) are available here.