By Daynan Lepore / Concert Reviews September 19-20 2015 Downsview Park Toronto Ont for Riot Fest And Exposition

Riotfest 2015 This year, walking into Riotfest, you instantly felt the vibe of the festival, even though it was only 11 am you could tell how happy everyone was to be there. There were all sort of people at the festival, I saw people with foot-high mohawks and others dressed up in costumes. After walking around a fair bit it was easy to see how much work went into the festival. Everything was taken care of and there wasn’t a time of day I couldn’t find something to do. There was this giant tent set-up where we heard some crazy guy yelling to come watch this show(turns out he was part of the show), so we went and saw what it was all about. The first show didn’t have a lot of people in it but wow what a great show, from a firebreather to a coat sword swallower and they even had a guy with no legs doing pushups. After the freak show all I could hear was the crowd cheering coming from the riot stage, I ran over and saw this the guitarist from The OBGMS laying on the ground jamming out with his guitar until the event managers finally cut the sound on them and made them get off the stage, he then continued to run into the crowd and mosh for a bit. By then it was just past lunch time so after looking around for a bite to eat and judging what we wanted by the lineup size we decided on burgers and fries. Although it was almost $10 the food was pretty good. I didn’t hear about anyone complain about the catering other than that it was overpriced. I was only a little disappointed to see how much a 355ml can of Bud cost($7) and then see how many were littered on the floor in the stage areas. Just as we finished eating we noticed the clouds rolling in, they didn’t look very nice either. Black and grey storm clouds began to swoop over us, but no rain yet. No it didn’t start raining until minutes before one of the most anticipated bands was coming out to play, GWAR. They were scheduled to play at 3:15pm, but it was pouring rain by that time so they ended up coming out and apologizing for them not being able to play, saying that some of their equipment actually broke because of all the rain. 2 of the guys actually came and sprayed the fans out there waiting still while the majority of the fans stayed and chanted for almost 10 minutes for GWAR to play anyways. Did I mention one of the band members was wearing a little wolf jockstrap when they came out? Trying to walk around after the rain was treacherous with the amount of mud that spawner rather quickly. Although event staff were frantic to put down sand and plywood boards over the problem the mud still ruined my favourite shoes! I think our next stop was Cancer Bats after seeing people walking out the pit with bloody noses and ripped clothes we figured it was a good band. They did not disappoint. There wasn’t anyone who really stood out to me to write about for the next 2 hours, until All Time Low came out and invited people up onto the stage with them to sing and dance, and they actually let a random fan stage dive which was really neat. For a band I haven’t heard much about they sure drew a massive crowd. One of the biggest ones of the evening. The evening wasn’t planned as well as I thought it was going to be. They had Weezer and Motorhead playing at the same time and then as soon as they finished Alexisonfire started which gave people no time to get over and see them, or at least get a decent place to stand to watch the headliner. Although Weezer played their Pinkerton album Saturday night it still drew a massive crowd even though the next night they were playing their better, Blue Album(1994) . But by 8:30pm Saturday evening all 3 stages were completely packed. I stayed and watched Weezer which was primarily packed with the 25+ who attended. As everyone else was over watching Motorhead or trying to get a good spot for Alexisonfire. Alexisonfire opened up their performance only after the crowd chanted their name for all of 20 minutes. They came out with a massive plume of smoke and with the stage lights going crazy. Then they continued to blow out eardrums all night. We arrived the 2nd day right on time to find that the majority of the mud had been sanded over and plenty of plywood sheets were covering the rest of it. I was really impressed when I walked in, instantly someone was playing and they sounded awesome! It was Nova Rockafeller playing, a female rapper, and a good one too. She was so interactive with the little crowd she had there, being the first act and all. After her show she came out and walked around and enjoyed the rest of the festival. Sunny skies all day and a nice breeze what else could I ask for? By just noon I could tell everyone was having a way better day than they did Saturday. All the rain was such a bummer, nonetheless I still watched a few poor souls slip in the mud on the second day and completely cover themselves. Just after 1pm this group, Andrew W.K.came out. 3 guys with long hair and one bald guy plus the one on drums. It was one of those bands they looked like they were gonna be really mediocre but they were the complete opposite. They were headbanging the entire time and screaming at the crowd. They looked like they were having more fun on stage than the rest of us and that seemed to make more people jam out even harder. These guys also played again at 6:00pm in the Stubhub Tent they had set-up. The stage wasn’t enough for one of the performers Sunday when rapper Jazz Cartier came out and started spewing insults at the event coordinators before he climbed up on the side of the stage and threw water all over the crowd. He wasn’t bad but definitely not my type of music. The most anticipated person for me to see was definitely Tyler the Creator who came out with Jasper the Dolphin surprisingly. This was the first performance of the day people were really looking forward to, and they showed it. There were so many crowd surfers. Tyler was super interactive with his fans though, he stopped singing halfway through his first song and told his fans that they need to scream louder for him, so they did. I didn’t think I was going to need to say anything negative here but when we heard everyone talking about the 5:30pm show, Atmosphere I was excited to see what all the buzz was about. Personally I thought he was really boring and didn’t really do much on stage. It was only him up there and he wasn’t doing anything worth watching. The final performance I saw was Wu-Tang Clan. Instantly walking over to see them you had to pass into the cloud of dank as everyone was lighting up for the notorious group. If you looked over the hands of everyone making the Wu-Tang sign in the air you were able to actually watch the concert, but from where I managed to stand I could hardly even see any of the action! I would say overall Riotfest 2015 was a huge success and well managed by the festival staff, it was a killer lineup that varied over popular genres. I’ll be happy to attend next year as well. Photos By Dwight & Daynan 
Click here for Saturdays  photo’s Riot Fest
Click here for sundays photo’s Riot Fest

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