Riot Fest 2015 Preview: Sunday

By Brad Bordyn

Riot Fest comes to the Lawndale neighborhood this Friday through Sunday, capping off what is shaping up to be another successful festival season in Chicago. While it remains to be seen how the predominantly punk rock festival will be received by its new neighbors, given the prior controversies in Humboldt Park and the last-minute lawsuit from that was dropped, the lineup is as strong as ever. Here’s a preview of some of the must-see performers set to take the stage on SUNDAY

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Bands of note

De La Soul, one of the most important hip-hop acts of their era, put on an absolutely flawless live show. While the temptation to roll through later in the day on Sunday after two full days of Riot Fest fun might be strong, make sure not to miss them. For anyone intent on reliving the glory days of ska-punk, Less Than Jake will take the stage at 3:45. Please make sure to bring skanking-appropriate footwear, lest those signature horns at the beginning of “Gainsville Rock City” start to blare and you find yourself entirely unprepared. Indie rock giants Modest Mouse will serve as the headliner on Sunday night. After releasing their sixth studio album Strangers to Ourselves back in March, Isaac Brock and co. will close out Riot Fest with their satisfyingly noisy pop sensibilities. Sunday also features a couple performers who fall from the Bob Marley family tree. Stephen Marley and Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley will hit the Roots Stage, sandwiching another reggae heavyweight Jimmy Cliff.

Local flavors

Sure they might be based out of San Francisco now, but The Dwarves are scum punk royalty (if there is such a thing) whose roots trace back to the 80s Chicago punk scene. Notoriously, their shows are not for the faint of heart. This time around, lead singer Blag Dahlia and crew will be performing 1990’s Blood, Guts & Pussy in its entirety.


Foxing bring their post-rock tinged style of indie pop to the Revolt Stage. Reverb-soaked and atmospheric, melodically complex while still maintaining some semblance of minimalism, Foxing brings to mind some of the early 90s post-punk/emo pioneers. If you’re looking for something new, their positively hypnotizing sound might be exactly what you’re looking for midway through your Sunday afternoon.


Local rock heroes Hum had an impact on Chicago alternative scene that is still felt today. While it’s been nearly two decades since their last album release, 1995’s You’d Prefer an Astronaut is the gold standard of 90s alt-rock. While they’ve played the occasional show since 2000 or so, these brief reunions can’t be taken for granted. See them.

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