Riot Fest 2016: How I learned to Survive a Music Fest & Love the Misfits Again
Denver, you are beautiful. As I stepped off the plane weed fell from the sky; literally. Not being one to generally partake in the wilds of shrubbery, I was still impressed. However, Riot Fest was not as impressive, except the Misfits. The Misfits were everything they should have been. The word epic is bandied about these days to describe chicken wings and other banal minutia that doesn’t deserve that level of appreciation. Chicken wings are delicious but they are rarely epic. The Misfits were epic.
Day One was headlined by Jane’s Addiction, to say they phoned it in would be an insult to Alexander Graham Bell. To put it bluntly, they were boring. Perry Farrell and company were draped with stripper/dancers who were undoubtedly employed to take attention away from the atrocity of once great musicians who made a paycheck to fool people who have never seen them into thinking they still have it in them to deliver a stellar show.
Suicidal Tendencies were great. Descendants were great, NOFX were (begrudgingly) great. The shitty part of this whole situation is that the younger bands, who needed the exposure the most, played at noon; a mile high in the air in stifling heat. Needless to say, despite my best efforts to catch: Planes Mistaken for Stars, Plague Vendor, Culture Abuse, etc., the need to preserve energy and basically not wither and die took precedent.
Ween played Saturday; I love Ween. It was great to see them after a few years off. But, let’s get down to brass tacks; the Misfits.
They made us wait, what seemed like an ungodly amount of time. In reality I was standing in the same spot for 2 hours to ensure decent positioning. However, as soon as they hit the stage the crowd devolved into a swirling maelstrom of pent up aggression. Everyone lost their goddamn mind, and it made total sense. They weren’t the pseudo metal band that has been limping around for the last 20 years. I respect the hustle, but I can’t get behind Jerry Only’s final product. Danzig, same goes for you; let’s be honest, it’s been a while since Mother was on heavy rotation on the bullshit channel that used to be MTV. No, this Misfits is THE Misfits. They were a punk band that lived up to every daydream that most of us have ever had. Danzig came out swinging…literally. Doyle and Jerry Only have kept the image and name alive, and Danzig has evolved into the part he should be playing: he’s the Werewolf band leader of a group of Misfits. They played almost all of the catalog, and everything sounded amazing. It doesn’t matter that the sound was spotty (is that a joke, soundguy? Danzig is notoriously fickle) it doesn’t matter that the songs were a little sloppy (punk band, remember) they were on point and out of control. If they tour they’ll kill every night, because they did everything we want them to do. They played hits, they did it furiously and they didn’t do much bullshitting. That’s it. Bring the danger boys, that other Misfits have become safe in this lame new world of Hot Topic punks and bully free zones. The Misfits that played last night were not safe, they were fierce and unhinged. A lot of people have opinions on reunion tours, and some of those tours are really depressing. But, the ones that strike gold, cash grab or not, are totally necessary. We need this Misfits. Let’s hope they stick around a little longer than Chicago. Please, stick around a little longer guys. Show these kids what it really means to be a fucking Misfit.
All photos care of Chuck Livid at Tuff Gnarl.com