Once everyone made their way to Douglas Park and tackled the security, the 2017 Riot Fest kicked off without a hitch. With a great temperature and music buzzing through the air,each stage filled up fast with various fans of various bands getting the perfect spot for the show. Unlike other music festivals, Riot Fest had the perfect mixture of music and fun that would keep any patron - fan of the music or not- satisfied for days.
Working to keep the name of Riot Fest the same, the first band I saw for the day was Canadian pop punkers, Seaway. Dressed to the nines in their striped shirts they took the stage in a timely manner and immediately began their set. Playing some of their hard hitting tracks like, “Shy Guys” and “ Stubborn Love” the most notable part of their set was the tracks that came off their brand new album ‘Vacation’. With a tight and clean set, it did take the band a few songs to get into a rhythm, but nevertheless they did a great job of getting the crowd going.
Four Year Strong, now they were a band that didn't need any introduction. Hitting the stage and ripping straight into the first song, the crowd went from quiet and ready to alive and roaring in a matter of a few seconds. With people damn near poring over the barrier - shout out the security guards keeping their cool and catching everyone- and the stereotypical moshing and circle pits, the band wanted more. Playing fan favorites, new material, and whatever the band wanted Four Year Strong was one of the few bands I saw that stayed true to they wanted their set to be.
State Champs, now here is where I was disappointed. Normally a band with a great stage presence and an ever better live performance, their Riot Fest performance, was lacking a lot. With the technical aspects of their set a disaster the band themselves seemed to have forgotten they were performing. With each member running in their own direction with each song, was almost unbearable to watch. The 13 song setlist felt like forever and once they left the stage, I was hoping they fix whatever was obviously going on there.
Mayday Parade, the band that turned the night around. Playing their album ‘A Lesson in Romantics’ in its entirety, the band made their set worth talking about. Well timed and smooth, the whole band hammered through each song as it was the last songs they’d ever play together. The energy and stage presence presented by every member of the band gave their set a little flare. Mayday Parade has 10+ years of experience under their belt and I can surely see 10+ more coming too.