The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Riot Fest DeJamz


Happy (belated) Riot Fest weekend, music lovers! The Chicago-based punk rock festival celebrated its 18th annual concert in Douglass Park this past weekend with headliners including The Cure, Foo Fighters and The Postal Service. To commemorate Riot Fest’s influence on the Chicago punk scene, this week’s DeJamz looks back on previous headliners and what we deem to be a few of their best hits. Without further ado, here are the headbanging, guitar-slamming, totally punk rock songs to highlight Riot Fest’s best.

“I Don’t Care” by Fall Out Boy: Claire

Oh, to be a Riot Fest attendee in 2013 when Fall Out Boy headlined. I may have been nine years old, but isn’t that the dream? This song is the epitome of my failed middle school emo phase, and I’m not ashamed to acknowledge it. Even now, I unapologetically scream-sing it when I’m in my apartment alone, likely to the dismay of my neighbors. The angsty lyrics, questionable outfits and incredibly bizarre music video are so 2008-coded that it’s basically a time capsule, and a great one at that. 

“Misery Business (Acoustic Version)” by Paramore: Claire

While Paramore was technically a supporting act during the 2017 Riot Fest for headliner Jawbreaker, I will forever be loyal to the pop-punk queen Hayley Williams. I am aware this is the most popular Paramore song, but the acoustic version is almost superior in out-of-this-world vibes. I am also acutely aware that an acoustic version is not very punk rock, especially with the addition of the tambourine. However, it highlights William’s vocal talent and, to quote the previously chosen song, “I don’t care what you think as long as it’s about me.”

“Don’t Blow It, Kage” by Tenacious D: Sam

Many know of movie star Jack Black, made famous for his physically animated persona and, in my opinion, making professional wrestling cool (Nacho for life). But far fewer know of his bodacious symphonies alongside musician Kyle Gass. Forming their comedy rock duo in 1994, Tenacious D has scoured the world for over three decades with concerts and shows alike, being a feature at Riot Fest back in 2015. Only four years later, the pair would release what I would say is the catchiest thing they have ever produced. Short and sweet, “Don’t Blow It, Kage” is two minutes of guitar strings, Kage playing at both his best and worst and most of all, Jack Black being Jack Black. As random of a song as Tenacious D is known to make, a quick listen will jumble your brain in the best of ways. Now, “get that corn outta my face.”

“She” by Elvis Costello: Claire

I am hijacking the Riot Fest DeJamz to introduce listeners to this classic Elvis Costello song featured in one of my all-time favorite rom-coms, “Notting Hill.” Elvis Costello headlined Riot Fest numerous times, but this fact is easily overshadowed by the emotional toll “Notting Hill” has on me every time I watch it. The last scene where Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts stare at each other longingly across a crowded room and “She” plays in the background, that’s cinema. Go watch that scene and tell me you don’t swoon just a little bit. I dare you. 

“Bring Da Ruckus” by Wu Tang Clan: Sam

Whenever I look back through history, there are only two time periods that seem to stick out: the bland and honestly unimportant space before the ruckus was brought and then everything that followed. In 2017, when the New York hip-hop sensation of the 90s Wu-Tang Clan rolled into the punk-rock pavilion of Riot Fest, choices were definitely made. Known for a widely different genre and style, the Clan had to prove something to an audience of spiky hairdos and black leather. As songs like “Bring Da Ruckus” showed how transcendent the group’s rhymes were to hip-hop culture and music fans at large, everyone now has the privilege to bask in the glory that is Wu-Tang.

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