- Leor Galil
There’s something about a Ferris wheel that can put anyone in a good mood. Cursive front man Tim Kasher sounded just as downcast as ever on Saturday afternoon at Riot Fest, when his band rolled out its thundering, cathartic posthardcore tunes, but his between-song patter was practically giddy, at least for him. “We are owed a Ferris wheel ride, at the very least,” he said.
This year Riot Fest evolved from a collection of shows spread out among several venues to a full-fledged festival in Humboldt Park, with four stages, circus performers, and carnival rides and games. (The fest technically kicked off Friday night at the Congress, but that night’s four-band bill was really just a warm-up for the dozens of acts playing in the park on Saturday and Sunday.) Combining music and carnival entertainment is hardly novel; Brilliant Corners of Popular Amusements did it last year (and will do it again next weekend), and in our Riot Fest preview founder Mike Petryshyn compared his new baby to a state fair. But unlike most state fairs, Riot Fest is about punk, and the mix of rowdy bands and brightly light attractions proved to be a winning one.