“Playing acoustic guitar music in a white suit at a punk festival is, ironically, pretty … punk,” said Josh Tillman, aka Father John Misty, the hipster purveyor of modern, ‘70s-tinged soft rock during his head-scratching Riot Fest set. “Don’t f--- with me.” Indeed, Tillman made it impossible for anyone to mess with or deny his evening set that came just before headliner Run the Jewels. He played it loud the entire time. Oh, both Incubus AND Bad Religion were playing close by? COULDN’T HEAR THEM AT ALL! Opening number “Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings” shook the field as the band — rounded out with a small string and horn section — built upon layers of noise while cloaked in red light before picking back up again in the form of “Mr. Tillman.” Drums cracked and guitar poured from the speakers, and it felt unexpectedly grandiose. Even acoustic-driven, soft listens like “Real Love Baby” took on a livelier edge as Tillman shimmied and strutted his way across the stage. Say what you will about him (there’s plenty to dig into), but the live Father John Misty experience will catch you off-guard — in a good way. [Chicago Tribune]

Riot Fest 2018 wrapped up in Chicago's Douglas Park on Sunday (9/16) after kicking off on Friday (which saw Weezer covering blink-182, who had to cancel their headlining set) and continuing on Saturday (which saw Beck covering Gary Numan with Gary Numan). Though blink-182 were out, Chicago-area punks Alkaline Trio (whose Matt Skiba is currently in blink-182) played Sunday, and the day was closed out by headliners Run the Jewels, who were one of the last-minute additions after blink dropped off. Sunday also included classic punk albums performed in full by Bad Religion, Suicidal Tendencies, and Fear (Suffer, Suicidal Tendencies, and The Record, respectively), and Chicago's own Spitafield reunited to play their early '00s emo-pop LP Remember Right Now. Early in the day, the crowd was treated to new punk supergroup Beach Rats (fronted by Lifetime's Ari Katz), and later in the day, Beach Rats' Pete Steinkopf and Brian Kienlen played with their band The Bouncing Souls, while Brian Baker played with the aforementioned Bad Religion. The final day of Riot Fest also included the legendary Blondie, Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr, a rare Dillinger Four set, and Kevin Devine, Clutch, Superchunk, The Wonder Years, Father John Misty, Incubus, and more. Pictures are in the gallery above.

In case you missed it, check out day one pics and day two pics.

--

photos by James Richards IV