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: 



Dashboard Confessional and The All-American Reject’s amazing co-headlining summer tour kicks off today in California!

We’ve all been anxiously awaiting new music from DC, whose last record was their 2009 Alter The Ending. Last year, we got the beautiful track “May,” but DC have been teasing new material on the road for some time now! Lead singer Chris Carrabba has been flirting with various outlets, taunting the fact that there is no “shortage of songs,” with a near 40 available to pick from for a new record.. on the other hand, Carrabba has said he’s still writing and intends to as long as inspiration still surrounds him! 

Sounds like Dashboard is gearing up for their best release yet. You can check out their 2016 track “May” down below. 

As for The All-American Rejects… who could miss the band’s return with their 10-minute short film premiering “Sweat” and “Close Your Eyes.” TWO of the six rumored brand new tracks. Who else is excited to sing along to the new taste of AAR? Who else can’t wait for the show and the chance to hear unreleased material from both bands?

Be sure to catch DC and AAR as they make their way to a city near you. The bands will be touring with support from The Social Animals or The Maine in select cities. 

7/13 Costa Mesa, CA Pacific Amphiheatre
7/14 San Francisco, CA Masonic Auditorium w/ Social Animals
7/15 Las Vegas, NV The Pearl Concert Theater w/ Social Animals
7/17 Boise, ID Idaho Botanical Garden w/ Social Animals
7/18 Sandy, UT Sandy City Amphitheater w/ Social Animals
7/21 St. Paul, MN Myth w/ Social Animals
7/22 Council Bluffs, IA Stir Cove at Harrah’s Casino w/ Social Animals
7/23 St. Louis, MO The Pageant w/ Social Animals

7/25 Columbus, OH Express Live! w/ The Maine
7/26 Detroit, MI Fillmore Detroit w/ The Maine
7/29 Big Flats, NY Tag’s Summer Soundstage w/ The Maine
7/30 Bethlehem, PA Sands Bethlehem Event Center w/ The Maine
8/3 New York, NY Central Park Summer Stage w/ The Maine
8/4 Mashantucket, CT Foxwoods Resort Casino – Grand Theater w/ The Maine
8/5 Gilford, NH Bank of New Hampshire Pavillion w/ The Maine
8/6 Boston, MA Blue Hills Bank Pavilion w/ The Maine
8/8 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE w/ The Maine
8/9 Philadelphia, PA Festival Pier w/ The Maine
8/10 Vienna, VA Wolf Trap w/ The Maine
8/12 Nashville, TN Ascend Amphitheater w/ The Maine
8/13 Charlotte, NC Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre w/ The Maine
8/15 Highland Park, IL Ravinia Festival

Switchfoot and Relient K return as they continue Looking For America Pt 2

It has been quite some time since we’ve experience a performance so passion-driven, so full of love, hope, inspiration. Jon Foreman’s own guitar is studded with the quote — HOPE IS THE ANTHEM — The show is slowly winding down, but you wouldn’t know it from the pure elation on the faces of both the band and those attending. The band wraps up the evening with “The Sound” as the heavy bass riffs vibrate through the structure and “Where I Belong.”

At a time when we undeniably need it the most — hope, love, passion… these forces surround those inside the historic Catalyst Club in Santa Cruz, California. Fans gather in a line that wraps around the blocks of the illuminated town, amidst the rain. Excitement is buzzing for the show tonight: San Diego’s very own Switchfoot, with the support of Relient K. Each band has nearly twenty years since their beginning… and tonight they are here with one purpose: Looking for America. 

The digital clock stage left shows the time; 7:59 PM. As the seconds count down the hour, the crowd counts down with it. 5, 4…3, 2…1! The stage is dimly lit in magentas and violet hues, a beautiful white ornate piano sits in the center. Without much delay, Nashville natives, Relient K shuffle onto the stage. They begin the night straight into one of their older tracks, “High of 75” which immediately gets the crowd moving. There is no pause between this 2004 hit, right to the first track off their latest release titled “Bummin’” off of the album, Air For Free. Lead singer, Matt Thiessen jokes about having a case of the hiccups, but you wouldn’t know it with how he takes a seat behind the stunning piano, his hands dancing in a frenzy to play the upbeat “Who I Am Hates Who I’ve Been” in a teeter-tottering back and forth between the old and the new on their setlist. 

It has been some time since we’ve had the pleasure of witnessing a band on stage that is smiling every second of it. This is definitely the case for Relient K, who are so clearly feeding off the positive energy from the won over crowd. Laughter echoes through the venue as Thiessen introduces the next song, labeling it as his favorite from Air For Free and warning the fans who haven’t heard the track, “it’s a little weird.” The band performs “Elephant Parade,” and the song ends with Thiessen’s hips shaking wildly as he stands up from his seat in front of the piano, grinning from ear to ear as he moves to hit the final note with guitarist, Matthew Hoopes. 

“Are you guys excited for Switchfoot? We are too — but first, we have a lot more songs.” 

Thiessen teases the crowd, mid-set list. The band performs “Forget And Not Slow Down” which bleeds directly into “Sahara,” a personal favorite track which features the sounds of a metal Easton baseball bat, which is carefully secured to Jake’s keyboard setup. 

After working the crowd up with high tempo tracks (both “Sahara” followed by “I Need You”), things are slowed down significantly as the lights dim, the venue pitch black. A single spotlight shines over the piano for an acoustic introduction to the track titled, “God.” This beautiful song needs no introduction — the lyrics emphasizing the belief in life, love, in peace and fear and in God himself. 

“I think that so far was my favorite experience performing that song… it’s like you cared.” 

Matt half jokes, half praises to a crowd yelling thank you’s and various compliments to the band performing on stage. They kick off to their title track, “Air For Free” before riling up the crowd with arguably one of their best known tracks, “I Must Have Done Something Right.” 

With a little back story, Matt explains how the band went about their day: being from Nashville, Thiessen says he hasn’t seen much of the sun in over two weeks. Imagine his excitement to see the start of the tour set in California…only to arrive in the middle of one of the biggest storms we’ve seen in quite some time. Though, they didn’t let this hold him back. Thiessen shares a story of his time spent with an old, native Santa Cruz gentleman who said he loved the rain and explained how much California needs it now… after the enlightening talk, Matt jokes he took a trip down to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk (which he playfully labeled as ‘crappy’ and excused it due to it being in transition and the promise that he’d return when it’s all fixed up to retract his statement), saw a bunch of sea lions, the waves, Switchfoot’s own Chad Butler surfing the waves… he paints this whole story to emphasize that there was so much to be done, albeit the lack of sun, there was still a day to be had where he wasn’t staring at his phone… 

…the perfect preface for their track titled “Look On Up” which echoes the lyric: ‘It’s time I put down my devices and I start to live my life.’ 

There is appraisal for the good vibes at the Catalyst. Relient K jokes with the crowd, Matt Hoopes sharing that there are places where they do not feel at home but how tonight, in Santa Cruz, it definitely is not one of those places. The band wraps up their set list with more tracks off of their latest release: “Mountaintop,” “Empty House,” perfectly placed between their older hits, “Sadie Hawkins Dance,” “Don’t Blink,” and of course, “Be My Escape.” 

Their set list ends in blinding blue lights, a ballad which stars off with just the piano. The band performs their 2007 track, “Deathbed,” complete with Jon Foreman of Switchfoot who recorded vocals for the song off of their album, “Five Score And Seven Years Ago.” This ten minute track was anything but dragged out, as Thiessen’s hands criss and cross over themselves, dancing along the keys of the piano. The band hit the middle-point, a mid-break in the song where it picks up, showing pure ecstasy of their performance. Thiessen’s tongue sticks out in a playful manner before singing the song again. Jon Foreman takes the stage, dashing towards the piano to play the notes alongside his friend, helping finishing off the song and their set with absolutely astonishing positive energy and pure joy. 


After a short intermission, the curtain beyond the stage drops… Switchfoot. It’s the moment the crowd has been waiting for. The lights are off. Darkness sweeps over The Catalyst as a woman’s voice can be heard — “We are looking for America…and here you are.” — the announcement is cut and Switchfoot takes the stage, kicking things off with “Holy Water” their introduction track off of latest album, “Where The Light Shines Through,” their popular 2003 hit, “Meant To Live” and “Oh! Gravity.”

It doesn’t take lead singer Jon Foreman very long at all to become comfortable with his surroundings… after the first song, he is gushing about the honor to be on the stage with his brothers (including one biological, bass player Tim Foreman) and the high energy is obvious as the band performs a heavy-bass driven track off of their latest release, titled “Bull In A China Shop” which Foreman climbs from off stage — straight into the crowd, surfing above excited fans as he makes his way through the venue and back around, only to reach up to the rafters, the pipelines just below the balcony. His energy is undeniable as Jon pulls himself from the crowd below, up to address the ones high up in the balcony section, walking along the rickety lighting structure as he sings and dance and connects with each fan for such a remarkable experience. 

“This is one of my favorite places on the planet!” 

Foreman praises our historic venue as he takes a moment to speak to the crowd, addressing us like friends rather than fans. He explains, “…this is a weird time to be in America.” He touches base on how there is so much hate and it drives him crazy, it sucks him in…until he realizes, “…My hope was never in Washington DC. It was never in New York. It is in our souls, the unconditional love we share…” he labels the next a song of solace as the band performs “I Won’t Let You Go.” 

The high energy never falters as fans dance and jump, the crowd moving in waves. Blue lights wash over the stage as they take a moment, Jon Foreman introducing each of his bandmates… Jerome Fontamillas comes from the back of the stage, an accordion in hand. Chad Butler brings his snare drum from his kit and the brothers band in front of a single microphone. As San Diego natives, Jon Foreman expresses he knows how desperately California needs this rain, but he teases, ‘it’s been feeling a bit like a hurricane.’ He explains that the next track is from an album created and inspired by their own personal storms and how they realized that those personal obstacles may not always be something you can control, but what can be controlled is your outlook and handle of the situation. 

The band perform an acoustic version of “Hello, Hurricane” around the single microphone, singing with their arms wrapped around each other, smiling and laughing for one of the more intimate moments I have ever seen shared on a stage. The positivity is overwhelming as the crowd chimes in, voices echoing through the old walls, as if a church sermon singing up to the heavens above. 

There is never a moment where the connection between the band and fans cannot be felt. Foreman shares his experiences with the crowd as though we’re old friends gathered. He shares intimate memories which fueled the next song, “If The House Burns Down Tonight” and the firefighters who saved their studio from turning to ashes. Foreman shares how he realizes, in those moments, nothing matters but those you are walking away unscathed beside. That those souls matter. That it is apparent as he looks around to the crowd, in all our infinite youth.

It has been quite some time since we’ve experience a performance so passion-driven, so full of love, hope, inspiration. Jon Foreman’s own guitar is studded with the quote — HOPE IS THE ANTHEM — The show is slowly winding down, but you wouldn’t know it from the pure elation on the faces of both the band and those attending. The band wraps up the evening with “The Sound” as the heavy bass riffs vibrate through the structure and “Where I Belong.” 

Fans beg for just a taste more…and Switchfoot doesn’t hold out for long before returning to stage for their encore. As they perform “Float,” the venue is filled with bubbles, in a playful, exciting exchange. “Live It Well” and “Dare You To Move” follows, with an explosion of red, white and blue confetti celebrating the night, life, love, hope… and of course, America. 

It cannot be emphasized enough, just the sheer passion that emulates from both bands. Each took the time to explain the organization they have on the road with them — CURE International — which is a non-profit that focuses on serving children in poverty, providing them with surgeries for conditions Americans would count as ‘mild’ or ‘simple surgeries’ but are life changing for those CURE treat. Matt Thiessen proudly shared that from the donations on the Part 1 of their tour, 100 surgeries were made possible… 100 lives changed for the better. If you cannot make it out to a show, at the very least check out CURE’s official website, here: 

And if that’s not enough for you — to be able to even begin to imagine the euphoric state of hopefulness and compassion that those leaving the Catalyst felt on Sunday night, take it from Jon Foreman himself. In a blog released the following day, about the first day of tour (which was Saturday, three hours away in Fresno, California)… he said: 

Tonight we will sing our songs in an old theater in Fresno. And before we play a note, you’ll find me praying for strength. Strength to live out a life of love and service. Strength to sing these songs of hope. Because our world is splintered with fear and hatred and pain. Because one individual does not define a nation, we the people do. Because the cynic is just a dreamer with a broken heart. Because love tells a better story than my fears do. Because hope deserves an anthem.

Words by Jon Foreman, read his full post here

What better anthem than the inspiring lyrics peppered throughout each and every Switchfoot track? This show was one for the books and we will never forget it. 

Check out our full photo gallery here



Holy Water

Meant To Live


Bull In A China Shop

Where The Light Shines

Won’t Let You Go

Worth The Fight

Hello, Hurricane

House Burns Down

The Sound

Where I Belong



Live It Well

Dare You To Move