Suicidal Tendencies @ Riot Fest, Chicago (US)

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SUICIDAL TENDENCIES @ 'Riot Fest 2018'

Date: 16th September, 2018
Venue: Douglas Park
Ticket:
$150/€130 (3-day pass) - $75/€65 (Sunday-pass)
Promoter: n/a


It’s known that ‘Riot Fest’ is not Metal friendly, hosting bands mainly from the Alternative Rock scene but there are quite a few editions with some impossible-to-miss performances. One of those cases was this year’s edition with SUICIDAL TENDENCIES on the schedule, although their set was scheduled a bit early. And being early, made kind of difficult to follow the always pedal to the Metal performances by the entire S/T family (band and fans) because the sun was beating hard upon us. However, if you want to see a Metal band live, you have to do it regardless... As a side note, I’d say that we would have loved to also see CLUTCH but for some bizarre reason their set was almost during the SUICIDAL TENDENCIES one, so the fest organizers made us choose.

Despite the merciless sun, I enjoyed the festival’s atmosphere and especially the wide variety of music fans who did not look to belong to a specific genre, however, the area in front of the stage SUICIDAL TENDENCIES would play, looked packed. Were all of them S/T fans? Naaah, but I am sure a good chunk of them certainly became because it is impossible to resist that energy surge once the Californian band hits the stage. Following a long-running tradition, one of the stage crew broke the onstage silence; “What’s up, ‘Riot Fest’? From Venice, California, please welcome SUICIDAL TENDENCIES were the only words we needed to forget for 45 minutes the blazing sun. Each and every time I see this band in action, I get goosebumps when watching all of them getting an imaginary adrenaline shot straight to the eye and act like caged animals seconds before kicking off the set... Oh my, “Suicide's An Alternative / You'll Be Sorry” exploded and saw a huge and quite dusty mosh-pit occupying a large area in front of the stage. And soon enough, bodies were flying all the way to the photo-pit, making it feel like a warzone, and right there, you realize that this would be another awesome SUICIDAL TENDENCIES experience. As always, Mike Muir was the tip of the moshing spearhead and I think he did the first miles of running during the two and a half minutes setlist opener. Despite the short time SUICIDAL TENDENCIES had in their disposal, Mike made sure to squeeze some words of wisdom; “this is “Two Side Politics”; one for them and nothing for me” and off we went into sweating our arses off like there was no tomorrow. This performance was part of the celebrations for the release of “Suicidal Tendencies” some 35 years ago, so the first part was a headfirst dive into the band’s history, highlighting the Hardcore / Punk roots that made SUICIDAL TENDENCIES so different and impossible to place into a single Metal (?) category. Really, it took a hell of a lot of time for the Metal scene to accept SUICIDAL TENDENCIES into its ranks, something that was solidified with “Light…Camera…Revolution”. Although, I am still sure some true metalheads are still having troubles swallowing the S/T pill...

Guitarist Ben Weinman is the last addition into the live lineup of the band and he quickly showed off his skill by running around and jumping from the amps without missing a bit from the insane riff-barrage all those oldies possess (pun intented)... Yeah, after the crazy “I Shot Reagan”, it was time to get “Possessed” before giving the finger to everyone who is against us with “Subliminal”. Ra was asking for more mosh-pitting and I am sure he got what he was looking for, as the cloud of dust slowly rising was a powerful indication. Onstage and off stage there was chaos, dust and gallons of sweat and this is the SUICIDAL TENDENCIES way of doing things. I think I have said this before but it doesn’t hurt at all repeating myself; Mike Muir is the uncle everyone wants to have. You know, the wise and experienced one who has the life-scars to back up all of his advices; “this is an old song but it’s still relevant.  Follow your dreams, don’t follow a leader, that’s the easy way, never fucking quit, make every day count”, said uncle Mike and I was so happy seeing all these young ears being exposed to these words because there is always a good chance they will be actually listening with their brains connected to ears. Ok, it was strange listening to these words of wisdom after the cynical “I Saw Your Mommy” but at the same time that song had captured everyone’s attention.

I am sure Mike knew the demographics of ‘Riot Fest’ and this is why he invited kids with their parents onstage right before “Institutionalized”, saying that sharing the SUICIDAL TENDENCIES experience with your family is a memory that will never fade away and may get you into the right music-listening path. Everyone who got onstage gathered around Dave Lombardo’s drum-kit who looked happy as a clam. Yeah, he must have been as happy as we are that he is part of the S/T family because his drumming has really lifted the band’s music, adding more craziness. Unfortunately, time was running out, and after the skating hymn “Possessed To Skate”, it was time for the S/T family to pledge allegiance with the namesake song. Once again, this one sent shivers down my spine seeing all the different types of people with a fist in the air shouting S/T. That’s right; music does unify and does not care about skin colors, races, genres or whatever all the nice people like to use to separate people into clans and boxes.

No much left to add here; S/T for life!

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES setlist:

01. "Suicide's An Alternative"
02. "You'll Be Sorry"
03. "Two Sided Politics"
04. "I Shot Reagan"
05. "Possessed"
06. "Subliminal"
07. "Won't Fall In Love Today"
08. "I Saw Your Mommy"
09. "Fascist Pig"
10. "I Want More"
11. "Memories Of Tomorrow"
12. "Suicidal Failure"
13. "Institutionalized"
14. "Possessed To Skate"
15. "Pledge Your Allegiance"

SUICIDAL TENDENCIES

Suicidal Tendencies @ Douglas Park, 'Riot Fest' (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Suicidal Tendencies @ Douglas Park, 'Riot Fest' (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Suicidal Tendencies @ Douglas Park, 'Riot Fest' (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Suicidal Tendencies @ Douglas Park, 'Riot Fest' (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Suicidal Tendencies @ Douglas Park, 'Riot Fest' (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)
Suicidal Tendencies @ Douglas Park, 'Riot Fest' (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Suicidal Tendencies @ Douglas Park, 'Riot Fest' (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Suicidal Tendencies @ Douglas Park, 'Riot Fest' (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Suicidal Tendencies @ Douglas Park, 'Riot Fest' (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Suicidal Tendencies @ Douglas Park, 'Riot Fest' (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)
Suicidal Tendencies @ Douglas Park, 'Riot Fest' (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Suicidal Tendencies @ Douglas Park, 'Riot Fest' (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Suicidal Tendencies @ Douglas Park, 'Riot Fest' (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Suicidal Tendencies @ Douglas Park, 'Riot Fest' (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos) Suicidal Tendencies @ Douglas Park, 'Riot Fest' (photos by Dimitris Kontogeorgakos)

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