Riot Fest is gearing up to be the best festival of 2017

If you haven’t already secured your tickets for Riot Fest 2017…what are you waiting for? When the festival was announced earlier this year…fans immediately began buzzing over this year’s bill. In April came the second-wave announcement, and to this already unbelievable list of artists, latest news confirms the return of DANZIG to be performing on Saturday’s line-up. 

The festival takes place mid-September, just over a month away… but event organizers are still working to make this years Riot Festival the event of 2017! It doesn’t get much better than a festival where you can enjoy legendary acts including Queens of the Stone Age, Wu-Tang Clan, Nine Inch Nails and Jawbreaker… pop/punk/emo favorites in Paramore, A Day To Remember, State Champs, Real Friends, Taking Back Sunday and so many more. 

The festival has announced their single day line ups, and general/VIP tickets (three day passes or single day entry) are still available! Don’t wait, grab your tickets before it’s too late! 

What sets Riot Fest apart from the several other music-festivals happening this summer? In addition to the unbeatable line-up of artists, there will also be a full-scale Carnival including all your favorite carnival games, the Hellzapoppin’ Sideshow Revue freak show and all the best food imaginable. Did we mention…food? 

This year, Riot Fest is also introducing… THE RIOT FEAST! Teaming up with the pop-up diner, Saved By The Max, you won’t want to miss out on this limited-time restaurant/bar in Chicago where the menu will be inspired by none other than Riot Fest itself! This carnival themed restaurant is serving up the food you dream about underneath their carnival decor. Rumor has it, some of the menu items include things like: TAKING BACK SUNDAES, a tribute to M.I.A. with BUCKY DONE DAIQUIRIS, PARAMOREOS, NEVER MIND THE CHICKEN, HERE’S THE FUNNEL CAKES and an ‘opener’ (their play on appetizers) called HAVE MERCY! CORNBREAD which is served up with a pat of John Stamos butter… what else could you ever ask for? The Riot Feast eatery is now open for business – but only for a short time! For more information and reservation opportunities visit their Facebook or check out their page on Riot Fest’s website here: http://riotfest.org/the-riot-feast/ 

TICKETS ARE ON SALE NOW

SEPTEMBER 15TH – 17TH AT DOUGLAS PARK. CHICAGO, IL.

After Laughter just may be Paramore’s biggest rebellion yet

After Laughter is an album with a message, in the simplest terms – when the going gets tough, the tough get going – to encourage us all to smile in times of absolute despair, the fight-back kicking and screaming sentiment being a reoccurring one for some time with Paramore.

Change may sometimes be hard to swallow – for fans of Paramore who have followed the band since their earliest days (as far back as 2005 when their debut, All We Know is Falling was released) up to their previous self-titled release in 2013… it is no surprise that with four years to experiment, Paramore’s sound has graduated and moved on to something unexpected. Fans of Riot!Brand New Eyes and even the previously mentioned Paramore may find themselves a bit disappointed when they’ve realized Paramore has shed their outer skin and has taken a step back from those ‘harder’ rock days. “Misery Business” is arguably the band’s best known, as a fast-paced, hard-hitting, head-banging anthem with a similar theme for the surrounding tracks on their 2007 album. The once emo and yet rebellious band has grown up, as most of us have these days (perfect pun placement: some of us have to grow up sometimes, and so, if I have to I’m gonna leave you behind). Although, for those who learned to love Paramore – which was considered a bit of a stretch from their original sound with its funky beats, playful guitar licks, pianos and synths (such with songs like “Fast In My Car,” “Ain’t It Fun” and “Anklebiters”) – the album was a shock after the departure of two founding members and a new shift in sound, despite the rock aspect the band was known for still there, somewhere faintly heard beneath the sound and rumble of the new experimental sound. It seems as though all caution has been thrown to the wind, making After Laughter a refreshing, brand new kind of Paramore, which in our opinion may be the most genuine and sincere collection of songs in terms of sound and lyrics… and yes, we’re counting the brutal, painful honesty that so many Brand New Eyes tracks revolved around. Some fans may be quick to label them as sell-outs, but we’re interpreting this pop-gold as something deeper. Could this change be Paramore’s biggest rebellion yet? We’re almost certain it is, and with that, we dare to say, After Laughter just may be the band’s biggest success thus far too.

After Laughter is the band’s first release with original drummer Zac Farro since his departure from the band in late 2010. If this doesn’t excite you in the least bit… we’re sorry. There have always been accusations surrounding Paramore (the painful ‘break-up letter’ written by guitarist Josh Farro upon his departure, the legal battle that came when bassist Jeremy Davis left in 2016) that once painted the group as ‘Hayley Williams and some other lesser-important dudes’ though After Laughter proves and puts to shame the naysayers. The incredible talent surrounding the percussion alone on this album would never have been possible without Farro’s return alongside guitarist/instrumentalist Taylor York (although we’re sure Hayley and a number of other friends outstretched a helping hand). Paramore has followed in a direction many artists have flirted with towards the beloved and playful ‘80s pop. Though, so few artists have pulled off the resurrected sound as well as Paramore has in their newest release.

Despite the obvious lack of that in-your-face rockstar energy, there is a new energy bubbling from After Laughter that draws in the listener from the album’s first track and single, “Hard Times.” Frontwoman Hayley William’s voice has always been incomparably strong. Her voice can be pushed to the limit, hitting high notes most others can only squeak out and back down to the baritones, bass, and contralto without losing any of its clarity and strength. After Laughter will take you through a journey – we can only imagine some of the band’s influences towards the lyrics in a few of the tracks, with yet again another publicized lineup change – while most songs sound upbeat and happy, the darker lyrics (see the chorus in “Rose-Colored Boy,” “Idle Worship,” and “Forgiveness”) tease with a reoccurring theme of wanting to stay sad if you want to, ignoring the pressure of a happier lifestyle, growing up and ultimately deciding for yourself the person you want to be.

Another obvious change is the aesthetic shift leaning towards the ‘80s pop and the popular new wave electronica that can be heard in nearly each track, fitting in place with pieces and memories of a younger, adored version of Paramore. Even the bright colors have returned – who remembers back to the early Riot!days whenParamore played Warped Tour in matching red pants? We’re talking 10 years ago.  As previously mentioned, After Laughter is not the first time Paramore have dipped their toes in a new current. “Ain’t It Fun” was the perfect blend between the ‘original’ Paramore in their recognizable identity while floating towards a new direction in sound. How exactly do you follow up the Grammy-awarded track? Paramore seems to know exactly how. The self-titled album seems to have been a bridge between the old and new, though the sugary-sweet hooks and bouncy, playful synths can’t fool us into believing all of Paramore’s worries are behind them. At a glance and superficial, inattentive listen, the album seems all sunshine, rainbows, and puppy dogs. Though there is an unmistakable seriousness to the lyrics in the album, although we’re almost certain it is meant to be brushed off a shoulder and forgiven if the real message blows over your head due to being swept up in just how much fun the album is to sing and dance along to. There is almost a sense of inspirational emotional release in Williams’ bold and honest frustrations, the futile optimism, anxiety and all-around unforgiving angst yet defiantly happy theme that has been such a success for Paramore throughout the years. It is an album with a message, in the simplest terms – when the going gets tough, the tough get going – to encourage us all to smile in times of absolute despair, the fight-back kicking and screaming sentiment being a reoccurring one for some time with Paramore.

Since the release, the band has taken to social media to express that with After Laughter comes a sense of pride they have yet to reach as a band. We can only imagine the conversations leading up to the return of original drummer Zac Farro and relocating the dynamic that made you so desperate to be a band in the first place. Track-by-track from the very beginning “Hard Times” is an immediate attention-grabber with its retro tropical club vibes and it’s paired neon/pastel colored music video with doodles and overlays that take us back to the “Saved By The Bell” opening credits. Whether you interpret Williams’ chant as “And I got to get to rock bottom” or the argued “Not gonna get to rock bottom” — the message stays the same in proving that even through hard times, somehow against all odds, you’ll still survive. 

“Rose-Colored Boy” is our personal favorite off the album. Why? From the opening cheerleader-like chants in the beginning to the infectious chorus with lyrics “Just let me cry a little bit longer / I ain’t gon’ smile if I don’t want to / Hey man, we all can’t be like you / I wish we were all rose-colored too…” we dare you to not get this upbeat hit stuck in your head. Our guess? When Paramore’s self-titled was released, Williams eventually admitted the heartfelt “Hate To See Your Heart Break” was written for none other than guitarist Taylor York – if we had to give our expert opinion, we’d place a bet on Hayley admitting in the future that this track is also about the optimistic Taylor York who has always been seen shedding light on even the darkest Paramore days. 

“Told You So” was released as the band’s second single before the album was fully released — featuring a music video with the trio in matching red getups and a car ride full of “what the heck is going on?” moments. The song itself begins with the hard-hitting lyrics “For all I know / The best is over and the worst is yet to come” which tip-toes to the previously mentioned hardships Paramore has publicly faced with the change in band members over the years. The song then leds into a repeated chant-like “Throw me into the fire / Throw me in, pull me out again” which we hope was an intentional reference to a phoenix-esque new beginning, meaning even if Paramore are burned and thrown into a fire, they’ll be pulled out whole and anew and better than ever before as shown with After Laughter

It’s hard to speculate who exactly “Forgiveness” could be about even with the loss in band members. The song itself is a bit softer than the previous on the record, and while the song talks about being unable to forgive someone just yet, there is a heartbreaking lyrics that begins the second verse, “There’s still a thread that runs from your body to mine / you can’t break what you don’t see, an invisible line” giving a love-song type feel to this emotional track that leaves it haunting and resonates even after you’ve gone on and listened to the rest of the album. 

“Fake Happy” is the anthem our generation was waiting for. The track begins with a washed-out sounding Hayley Williams and an acoustic, slow, toe-tapping washroom recording that sounds similar to the interludes included in the band’s prior release. The song is just as you’d imagine, about making everyone believe you’re as happy as you seem even though you’re just pretending. The playful lyrics include a line we can all relate to: “And if I go out tonight, dress up my fears / You think I’ll look alright with these mascara tears?” which gives a nod back to Paramore’s emo days but in all reality, they hit the nail on the head with this one and everyone’s facade of being blissfully happy. 

“26” may be the softest track on the record, but the meaning is anything but. The emotional lyrics repeat the lines “Hold onto hope if you got it / Don’t let it go for nobody / They say that dreaming is free / I wouldn’t care what it costs me” – it is a perfectly placed track amidst all the higher-tempo bubbly numbers, though the uniqueness shines through, reminding us of the unforgettable tracks on previous released, “Last Hope” and “When It Rains.” 

It wouldn’t quite be a Paramore album without a skillfully written love song in disguise. “Pool” plays the part with ease, the entire song embodying that feeling of being underwater and just seconds away from drowning… the overwhelmingness that comes hand-in-hand with falling in love… and despite feeling like you might die, if you survive, you willingly dive back in. “I’m underwater with no air in my lungs / My eyes are open, I’m done giving up / You are the wave I could never tame / If I survive, I’ll dive back in.” 

“Grudges” appears to follow in the footsteps of earlier angst tracks such as “Playing God” or “Brick By Boring Brick” with a happier ending as Hayley sings the questions of if her faults are being recounted and who in the party has changed. The final verse begins “And if you wanna call me up or come over / Come on we’ll laugh til we cry / Like we did when we were kids” does this hint we’ll see original lead guitarist Josh Farro return alongside brother and band mates? Possibly. Or it could be about any number of fall-outs the band has faced, including Zac’s own return. 

“Caught In The Middle” is a slower tempo, yet just as enthusiastic number that mimics the theme of day dreaming and facing reality and being stuck in some place between. The hook “No I don’t need no help / I can sabotage me by myself / Don’t need no one else / I can sabotage me by myself” is guaranteed fun as it begs to be screamed along to… and I’m sure fans will agree that we can’t wait for the chance once Paramore hits the road. 

“Idle Worship” has already been catching a lot of praise from Paramore fans who were quick to check this number off as their favorite. Hayley’s voice comes off rushed and playful as she sings “Don’t hold your breath, I never said I’d save you, honey” and urges the listenter to put their faith in something more. This track is dripping with remnants from Brand New Eyes as the lyrics point out flaws and inevitable falls from pedestals in such a personal way, it’s hard not to fall in love even with such pushing-away lyrics.

“No Friend” continues the theme of hating to let someone down. The song itself begins with several minutes of a repeated riff with spoken words from Aaron Weiss that are begged to be read as we struggle to hear him over the hypnotic instrumental. What can be heard clearly? “I’m no savior of yours / You’re no friend of mine.” The track almost seems unfitting with the rest of the album, but we’re hoping the energetic speech gets used as a new intro/outro on tour. 

“Tell Me How” closes out the album with a piano and a raw, less-touched up version of Hayley’s chilling vocals. The song picks up pace with the chorus “Tell me how to feel about you now / Oh, let me know / Do I suffocate or let go?” It is the perfect end to an album with such a powerful message of new beginnings, the end of friendships, forgiveness and rekindling relationships. The final words are a spoken verse in a washed-out far-away echo where Hayley says “You don’t have to tell me / I can still believe” – leaving hope for us all. 

Overall, we may have been surprised with Paramore’s change in sound, but it was a pleasant one. We’ve given the album several listen-throughs and with each, we find more details to love. Is it safe to say we give it a 10/10? What about you guys? Love it or hate it? Let us know. 

Only ONE WEEK until KROQ’s 2017 Weenie Roast… what to expect?

KROQ’s 2017 Weenie Roast y Fiesta is just one week away! With a massive line-up, including Weenie veterans in Incubus, Cage The Elephant, 311 and Paramore… alongside newcomers Andrew McMahon, Lorde and Lana Del Rey… this year’s sold out festival is expected to be the best yet! We’ve mapped out some of the essentials for next weekend, so you can avoid those WURST-case scenarios. 

We’re just ONE WEEK AWAY from this year’s world famous KROQ Weenie Roast y Fiesta! Taking place this year in Carson at the Stubhub Center! This year’s SOLD OUT festival includes acts from Lorde, Incubus, Imagine Dragons, Paramore, Cage The Elephant, 311, Lana Del Rey, Dreamcar, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Judah & The Lion, New Politics and The Revivalists – what a massive line-up! 

KROQ’s Weenie Roast was founded all the way back in 1993 and has since been held annually in June. This is the first year the StubHub Center will be hosting the event, which took place every year (all twenty-three previous Weenie Roasts, except 2000 which was held at the Edison International Field) at the late and great iconic Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre (which closed it’s doors in October of last year but lives on in all of our hearts). 

What can you expect from the Weenie Roast y Fiesta? Complimentary sombreros for one,  it’s not called ‘y Fiesta’ for nothing.. But that’s not all! In 2015 the festival held their first annual “Pan Toss” — and no, we don’t mean skillets. During DJ Jeremiah Red’s party set, the KROQ team blasted fans with tasty baked goods (Mexican pan, those delicious pastries) and those on the dance floor LITERALLY ate it up! 

Previous line-ups have included some of the most influential artists to this day — Gin Blossoms, Stone Temple Pilots, The Violent Femmes, Green Day, The Ramones, Rancid, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Foo Fighters, Third Eye Blind, Blink 182, Metallica, My Chemical Romance, Motley Crue, Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy… you get the idea. 

This year Incubus returns for the fifth year (their first appearance was back in 2000), Paramore returns for their first time since 2010, Cage The Elephant played back-to-back (to-back) in 2009-2011 and returns this year alongside newcomers such as Lorde, Andrew McMahon and Lana Del Rey. 

At a glance, it can seem overwhelming, we know! Set-times have yet to be released (we’re still one week away), but we assure you there will be a way to pack everything in your day, don’t worry! 

So, what do you prepare? We’ve compiled some quick tips to help while we count the hours to this exciting festival: 

If the rules follow in suite to the previous years: pack your swimsuit! Wearing your swimmies as part of your ensemble is a great way to beat the heat! Also, fans are allowed one gallon of food in a clear plastic bag (cut up fruit is a GREAT way to stay hydrated and refreshed). 

Unlike previous years – there will be no lawn section, so there’s no need for lawn chairs, beach towels, blankets, coolers… keep the picnicking items to a minimum! 

California weather can be a bit tricky, be sure to wear layers of clothing that can be taken on and off and be packed away easily! 

Wear comfortable shoes – duh! No need to elaborate here. As much as we all secretly love the comfort of Crocs, try to avoid them (they were included on the prohbited list of Irvine Meadows and may not be the best idea to try and wear inside StubHub’s center). 

Withdrawal cash in advance – but not too much! Nothing is worse than losing a ton of money (or valuables) at an event. Similarly, no one wants to wait in long lines at the ATM (or bathrooms, or concessions), so to try and eliminate that, prepare ahead!

GRAB SUNSCREEN! It seems like a no-brainer, but trust us. You’ll want to pack the SPF 80 and lots of it! Take it from a regular-festival-goer. We attended the iHeartradio Daytime Village in Vegas last year, continuously applied sunscreen and STILL headed home with massive burns across our arms, legs AND back! It was the exact opposite of fun. So be sure to pack sunscreen (in lotion form, since many venues prohibit the spray-on kind) and remember to keep applying! 

Baby wipes – you’ll thank us. In addition to a small container of hand sanitizer, we love packing a few baby wipes in a zip-lock bag… because festivals can be messy. Be ready to tackle anything. 

Phone charger – not a necessity, but they’re nice to have. Don’t have one? Don’t worry! StubHub center has charging lockers – but we’re willing to bet that’ll be an added line you’ll have to wait in to juice up. 

Stay hydrated – especially if you’re planning to drink alcohol! Nothing sucks more than being in the California sun and feeling feeble and dehydrated. And no one wants to spend their Weenie Roast in the First Aide center, missing out on all the fun! 

 

Most importantly? Be prepared to have fun. We know it sounds silly, and even a bit cliche, but KROQ’s Weenie Roast y Fiesta is one of the year’s first Summer Festival… and what better way to kick off the festival season than this unforgettable line-up in Los Angeles? 

MIXTAPE MONDAYS: Waiting For Warped

Check out this playlist featuring a number of Warped Tour fan favorites: Blink 182, Simple Plan, We The Kings, Anti-Flag, Falling In Reverse, Motion City Soundtrack and more! Also included are a bunch of veterans and bands that will be playing this staple to the music industry this year, including: Hawthorne Heights, Never Shout Never, Goldfinger, The Ataris, Movements, Trophy Eyes and so much more. 

With all these festival announcements — and all the news buzzing about arguably one of the biggest and best summer festivals of all, WARPED TOUR! We’ve decided to compile one epic playlist featuring a number of artists who have all shared one of the iconic Warped Tour stages. Whether they were rocking out on the Ernie Ball stage for the first time, making a name for themselves (bands such as Paramore, All Time Low, Pvris, and even Katy Perry owe a lot to Warped Tour for their success) or playing to the masses on Warped’s main stage… enjoy this playlist as we countdown until the festival!

Among the artists, you’ll notice bands such as My Chemical Romance (rip) who played back-to-back years in 2004 and 2005. Eminem made an appearance as he promoted his Slim Shady LP back in 1999. Katy Perry rocked out back in 2008… while veterans such as All Time Low have been on the tour four years (the last being 2012), New Years Day have been on the line-up five times. Simple Plan have played an impressive ELEVEN years (they played faithfully from 1999 to 2003 and then didn’t return til 2010!). NOFX were once (and always) considered “kings” of the tour with their SEVEN years of appearances. Less Than Jake has racked up an impressive NINE years. G-Eazy played back in 2012, Kid Rock played back in 1998, Machine Gun Kelly played back in 2012…proving that Warped Tour is really a festival for music lovers of any genre. 

Check out this playlist below with some fan favorites: Blink 182, Simple Plan, We The Kings, Anti-Flag, Falling In Reverse, Motion City Soundtrack and more! Also included are a bunch of veterans and bands that will be playing this staple to the music industry this year, including: Hawthorne Heights, Never Shout Never, Goldfinger, The Ataris, Movements, Trophy Eyes and so much more.