Sep 272014


Even though Saturday was all sunshine and blue skies, Henry and I mustered up enough Smarts to make an early morning run back to Target to buy boots. Good call! Because while it never rained again that weekend, it also never warmed up enough for the mud to dry. There were sludgy, thick pits of mud all around the stages and I got great pleasure out of purposely stomping my way through them because I HAVE BOOTS NOW, MUD-BITCHES.

The mud was so dangerous in some spots that there was an actual struggle to unstuck my foot, and I wondered if Henry would cry for me like Atreyu for Artax if the mud ultimately enveloped my entire person.

Anyway, enough about the mud. Let’s talk about THE BANDS.

frnkiero & the Cellabration


  • Just like the previous day, the goddamn gates didn’t open on time so we barely made it to the Rock Stage in time for frnkiero. This was one of the first of many mile-runs Henry and I made that day.
  • If you’re up on your current music events, you might know that Frank Iero was in My Chemical Romance (RIP) and the Cellabration is his current project.
  • There were three guys standing next to me. One was standing slightly in front of the others, and the other two were like FUCK YES THIS IS GREAT WOO!!! And then one of them leaned forward and yelled to their friend, “GOOD CALL ON THIS ONE, MAN!” And that guy smiled and nodded, as if to say, “Yeah, I know, right” and it made me smile to witness this beautiful example of one friend introducing his other friends to glorious new music. But just as quickly as I felt happy, I BECAME ENRAGED and thought aboutall of the times HENRY HAS NEVER THANKED ME FOR DOING SUCH THINGS.
    • And before you think smugly to yourself, “HAHA that’s because you don’t have any good music to share” LET ME STOP YOU RIGHT THERE because there have many occasions when I have been like HERE LISTEN TO THIS to one of my poor friends and then they’re like “Wow, hey. That’s actually good” and I’m like “I KNOW, BECAUSE THAT’S NOT ME SINGING.”
      • Needless to say, Henry was not exactlywow’d by Frank’scellabrating.
        • Though, he DID like My Chemical Romance back in the day.
  • You guys, while I really enjoyed this set and talked at length to Henry about how that was such a great way to start the day, I found something out today that, had I known this prior to 11:30AM that morning, would have changed everything: one of the other bands playing at the same time asFrankIero, was a band that I honestly didn’t even give a second thought and for some reason was one of the few bands I hadn’t heard of that I didn’t bother researching. And that band is the Pizza Underground, a parody band of the Velvet Underground that changesall of the lyricsto be pizza-related. Which OK, that in and of itself is pretty fucking fantastic, because pizza. And one of the members even drums on an empty pizza box. But guys,MACAULEYCAULKIN is in this band and I had no fucking idea until this morning and now I feel like I failed at Riot Fest.


The sky was so goddamn beautiful on Saturday. Even Henry was like, “Yeah” when I said, “THE SKY IS SO BEAUTIFUL!”


  • Somehow, I have managed to never see the Rx Bandits a single time in their 18 years of existence. I know. Henry was thankful that they played on the same stage as frnkiero, so after that set, we had about 30 minutes to causally mill about the area. I think maybe we got beer. It was noon by then, so it was OK.
  • Made it back before they started and got a good spot in the front, but a little over to the side, which is my favorite place to be because you just never know what kind of crazy motherfuckers are going to be in the pit. I mean, my paranoia is off the charts when I’m in a crowd of people, and yours should be too. PEOPLE BE CRAZY.
  • There were a lot of older people gathered around for Rx Bandits, so I thought that would make Henry unclench a little, but he was still frowning every time I turned around. So…
    • One of those older people was a man standing next to me, who was telling one of the security guys his idea for a zombie movie about zombies on crystal meth and then to me, he turned and screamed, “ISN’T THAT A GOOD IDEA?!” and I was like “Wow. I’m sure you don’t have any experience at all with crystal meth.”
  • Rx Bandits were pretty dreamy, you guys. Why can’t Henry be like them.
    • The Sound of Animals Fighting ismore or less Rx Bandits and Anthony Green, so Anthony potentially could have performed THREE TIMES that weekend. JUST SAYING, RIOT FEST.
      • God, I might have died if that had happened though.


  • Of course my favorite part though was when one of the Riot Fest staff delivered pizza to the line of security and then they all stood around, having a casual pizza party while Rx Bandits provided the soundtrack. I couldn’t stop laughing to myself about this and then later, Henry mentioned something about it and I was like “I KNOW I TOTALLY TOOK A PICTURE!” and he was like, “Yeah, I figured.”




  • Another band I’ve never seen live. Riot Fest, I’m having your babies.
  • Their set started at 2:15 and this was one of the last times the main stage was this sparsely populated.
  • To entice Henry, I said, “MAYBE THEY WILL PLAY THE VERONICA MARS SONG” because these are the termsin which you need to put music to get Henry mildly interested.
    • Of course they played THE VERONICA MARS SONG, but Henry just smirked.
    • Please check out the video at the end of this post for a peek at two tutu’d guys trying to get people to play fetch with them while THE VERONICA MARS SONG plays in the background.


By the afternoon, it was THIS CROWDED ^^^.


Can you imagine if the Wacky Worm had been there? The Wacky Worm + three days of amazing music might actually be the closest I’ll come to being raptured. Oh well.


  • Here is where the scheduling started to get dicey. I wanted to see Television and City & Colour, but they were almost playing on top of each other. Television won out, because hello—Television. Pretty legendary band. Unfortunately, by the time we waded through the exponentially-thickening crowd, we got to enjoy* two entire songs before I looked at the time and realized we had approx. 15 minutes to make our way from the Rise Stage to the Rock Stage, and if you read my “Riot Feast” post, you might remember that I mentioned that these two stages are a good mile a part. Which is whatever, if you’re strolling along a path in the middle of the mountains. But when you’re trying to part an ocean of human bodies swimming upstream, that mile feels like for-ev-er.
    • *And by “enjoy,” I mean that I only vaguely remember standing there and looking at a group of grizzled Brits on a stage because my anxiety was still through the roof from all of the STRANGER DANGER I had after a thousand people touched me when I was pushing my way to the Rise Stage.
  • I hope I get a Television do-over someday. :(
  • “Marquee Moon” though:



  • But you guys: Saosin.
  • Halfway to the Rock Stage, I checked the time on my phone and literally screamed, “FUCKKKK!!!!” and then I dropped my dead weight (i.e. Henry) and ran the rest of the way.
    • Henry claims he “wasn’t concerned” because I was wearing a bright orange Epitaph backpack so he always knew where I was in the crowd.
  • Got a great leg workout as soon as I reached the sludge-like mud-pit making up the perimeter of the Rock Stage. I can only imagine how graceful I looked.
  • Can we talk about Saosin for a second? Great. So this was my first encounter with Anthony Green, back in 2004. I never got to see them live though, because shortly after I started listening to them, Anthony left the band and went back home to form Circa Survive. Saosin went on to get a new singer (Cove Reber; I was “meh” about new Saosin) but then they kind of stagnated since 2010. ANYWAY, 2014 is the 10th anniversary of their EP with Anthony Green, and so they reunited to do a handful of shows last spring (NONE OF WHICH CAME TO PITTSBURGH). When I saw that they were playing Riot Fest, I gave Henry the most incredibly pathetic dog eyes I could muster, lower lip practically usurping my chin that’s how far down it hung. And that’s the thing about Henry, you guys. He might not like this shit, but he knows when things are A Big Deal.
  • While waiting for them to come out, I made friends with the most delightful gay boy whose name I never asked for because who cares. I’m going to go ahead and guess that he was 20? 21? He was super adorable and his Aztec cardigan looked so nice and warm and he was drinking some sugary cocktail from a bright pink plastic cup and we expressed mutual sentiments about Anthony Green’s beautiful face even though I was mostly there because I love the music but PEER PRESSURE.
  • And thenSaosin came out and everyone just went fucking nuts because whoever would have thought that Anthony would ever be on a stage with them again? There was nomudding this time around, but he did antagonize the FUCK out of the crowd which had security so goddamn pissed off. “I’ll give $3,000 to anyone who can make it up on stage. These guys are BORED down here,” Anthony said, waving his arm toward security. so there were bodies flying over the barricade left and right and one of the older security guys looked like he was about to ‘roid rage.
    • My favorite part was when some kid was pulled over the barricade and directed to go off to the side, but then he turned around real quick and faked like he was going to try and make a run for it but then started laughing and held up his hands in surrender. All of the security bros were cracking up, but their leader, the older one, looked like his head was going to pop off his shoulders. And then one of the other guys pointed at him and called him a pussy and I honestly thought they were all going to get fired right there. That security guy was PISSED.
    • Toward the end of the set, Anthony upped the ante to $10,000 to anyone who made it on stage and hugged him.
  • “I WANT HIM TO SIT ON MY FACE!” my little gay friend turned around and screamed at me and I was all like “YEAH ME TOO I HOPE YOU WON’T STOP TALKING TO ME IF YOU FIND OUT I’M AN OLD LADY!”
  • I was just a little to the right of whoever recorded this:

  • The crowd EXPLODED during “Seven Years” and I was 25 again.
    • Taking on seven years
      the holy ghost had left alone
      Test my arms, kick like crazy
      I’ve been trying way too long — AHHHHHH!!!!!!!
  • I was so fucking pumped during this set, that I was actually trembling by the time it was over and I was excited to find Henry so I could squeal in his. “OMFG WASN’T IT AMAZING!?!??!?!” I cried when I found him standing a million yards away where there zero threat of anyone contaminating him with sonic euphoria. He was like, “I don’t know. No.” And then, “Anthony is a psychopath.”
  • If you’re a Saosin fan, some kind gentleman recorded their whole set and it’s on YouTube. I’ve already watched it 3 times. (I know, such a low number for an obsessive bitch!)


  • Right after Saosin’s set, we had to run over to the Roots Stage for Afghan Whigs, which is adjacent to the main Riot Stage, where Die Antwoord was still playing. I was happy that we got to hear the last two songs, because while I’m not OMG DIE ANTWOORD, I can definitely get behind their exceptionally weird appeal.
  • Die Antwoord is something that HENRY actually knew about before me. And he doesn’t even remember. But it was a few years ago and I can’t remember if I was coming home from work or what, but he was like YOU HAVE TO WATCH THIS VIDEO!! and it was for Enter the Ninja. We thought it was some kind of joke, so years later, when I found out that they had become something of an international sensation, at first I was like “WTF?” but then “Yeah…I can see that.”
  • The aforementioned “Enter the Ninja” was their closing song and everyone was just going nuts. I’m glad we got to be there for that. Afterward, as everyone left the stage, you could still hear Yolandi making these weird video-game sound effects. And while that was still wafting away into the ether, a verrrrrry different band was starting their set on the Roots Stage in front of us….


  • I was really stoked to see the Afghan Whigs. I’m not a super fan by any means, but their Gentleman album definitely got played a lot by me during a certain time in my life. They also bring back fond memories of trading mixtapes with my pen pals in the 90s, which is how I heard of them in the first place.
  • Even with the sun shining so brightly on Humboldt Park, Greg Dulli made the atmosphere feel decidedly dark and tense. I loved it.
  • What I didn’t lovewasthethreemiddle aged people reliving their youth and racking up nostalgia points in front of me. It was clear that at one point in their lives, maybe when they were in college in the late 80s, they were allFUCKYESAFGHANWHIGS. But on this day in 2014, they were more interested in mildly rocking back and forth and volleying banal conversation between them.Theoneladyhadlongclearly-dyed red hair which she kept whipping into my face every time she turned with force to tell her bitch-friend something definitely un-Afghan Whigs related. BITCH GO HOME AND WATCH THE VIEW.
    • I absolutely can’t stand people who go to shows and then talk through the whole thing. Like, why. Stay home and listen to them on your fucking Bose speakers BECAUSE I KNOW YOU HAVE THOSE.
  • They’re actually playing here tonight in Pittsburgh but I sadly already have tickets to a different show. Otherwise, I would totally go see them again.
  • I just asked Henry what he thought of the Afghan Whigs and he mumbled “I don’t know.”
  • Fun fact: About 10 years ago, I had a huge fight with Christina because she lives in Cincinnati and that’s where the Afghan Whigs are from but she was like, “I don’t know who that is” so I screamed, “THEN YOU’RE A FUCKING RETARD.” And then she cried and probably wrote a poem about it, which, now that I think about it, pretty much sums up our friendship.
    • Say Anything got sacrificed for this band, but I think I might be seeing them in December, so I don’t feel too guilty. I’M SORRY MAX BEMIS, UGH.




  • On the way to Chicago, I had on the Riot Fest playlist on Spotify and there was one song that came on that made me feel like it was 1999 and I was a faux-goth all over again. I looked at my phone with a quickness and saw that it was Nostalghia. Then I quickly checked out the lineup and said, “Sorry Wu-Tang, I never liked you anyway” and that is how we ended up at one of the smaller stages, having some creepy bare-footed broad singing her strange blend of gypsy goth at us.
  • I liked it when she screamed.
  • This was one of the few times Henry said he liked something. Nostalghia booty shorts it is, then.


This is where I let Henry sit down for 10 minutes.



  • This band. This fucking band.Ican be doing so well and then I will hear “Blue and Yellow” or “I Caught Fire” or any fucking song by The Used and my heart feels like it’s bleeding literal tears. So my brain was like, “Erin, check the schedule. Find another band to see at that time.” And maybe I should have. I’ve seen The Used a shit ton of times, dating all the way back to the days when Bert stillpuked on stage. (And Henry hated them.)
    • I think this was the first band (among MANY) that Henry hated when we first got together, but this was also the first band that, years later, he admitted to finally liking. Sometimes the Henrys of the world can be swayed, you guys. It does happen.
  • But, like a sucker, I trudged through the mud back to the Rock Stage, where Henry ditched me for quite some time because “the lines were long” for the porta potties which clearly means Henry was “shitting in the porta potty.” I was really mad that he left me all alone in the middle of a big scary crowd because these motherfuckers were ANNOYING AS FUCK. Seriously, we somehow picked the worst people in the world to stand near, but I couldn’t move until Henry came back because I was purposely standing right under a big flag-thing so he would be able to find his way back to me after giving his bowels the ol’ expunging.
  • As soon as they started, it was like a foot to the gut. It was like my heart was the mom’s head from “Heavenly Creatures” and two dumb cunts (2005-era Erin and Christina) were murdering it with a brick. It was just like that.
  • At one point, I turned around and planted my face in Henry’s stomach. “It hurts,” I said. “I know,” he answered and gave mesome kind of awkward “there there” head pat. But…I guess that’sto be expected when you lose your girl-virginity to The Used’s music.
    • It probably wouldn’t have hurt so bad if that Bandaid hadn’t recently been ripped off on my birthday with one innocent, well-meaning phone call. So fucking stupid.

  • This will never be a good idea.
  • There these dumb bitchesnexttousfor awhile who stood with their backs toward the stage and scream-talked the entire time,exceptwhenever Bert would yell, “WHERE ARE ALL THE HARDCORE USED FANS?!” they would all turn around and scream with their fists in the air. Henry was like, “Well, sometimes they were singing too, so they at least knew the words” and I was like “Oh, you WOULD defend them!” Fuck.
    • But then we moved to another open pocket within the huge crowd and the rest of the show was a much better experience, except of course for the fact that my heart was slowly breaking in two.
  • Aside from the sadness, the only complaint I have is that Bert spent entirely too much time talking and trying to start sometype of a revolution.
    • But then they played “Box Full of Sharp Objects” and I was content.
  • Afterward, I started to wonder: Do Bert and Gerard Way still hate each other? And if they do, does that mean the rest of the My Chemical Romance guys hate Bert? Did Bert and Frank Iero see each other at all that day, and if so, was it OK? And then the obvious parallels were drawn and I made myself stop thinking about broken, failed friendships. Because I didn’t come to Riot Fest to be sad, motherfuckers.



  • No, I apparently came to Riot Fest to be COLD. By the time Taking Back Sunday came on at 8:45pm, my toes were so cold that they hurt. I kept trying to get Henry to put his arms around me so I could warm up but he is pretty much the worst at knowing how to transform into a coat. God, how I hate him.
  • We were standing way off to the side for TBS and there were zero assholes around us, so it was a nice way to end the second night. They played all the songs I wanted to hear and I was close enough that I could still see Adam Lazarra swinging his mic, which has become a pretty iconic image over the years. He’s so goddamn good.
  • Flaming Lips were playing at the same time, and from what I could tell afterward from the pictures, not much has changed since the last time I saw them so I don’t think we missed much, other than the power going out on their stage. Yikes. But yeah, Wayne is still climbing into his giant hamster ball.

I took this at Coachella in 2004.

  • During their set, I started to think about how Riot Fest was like 6 Degrees ofEisley: Say Anything was there, and MaxBemisis married to SherriDuPree, but then New Found Glory was also there and Chad Gilbert was ALSO married to Sherri for a minute but now he’s dating Hayley Williams, and Max and Chad have publicly bashed each otherandfor awhile there was a pretty big Team Sherri/Team Hayley divide until Sherri finally was like “OMG guys stop. We don’t hate each other.” And then Adam from Taking BackSundaywas engaged toCHAUNTELLEDuPree but left her for a waitress. (Who, to be fair, he wound up marrying and I believe they’re still together, and nowChauntelleis married to a nice man.)
      • I was clearly a little delirious at that point.
        • I tried to tell Henry about all of this, but he was like *snore.*
          • Which is probably what you are doing too, assuming you even made it this far.

    And now I will leave you with a little video recap of Day 2:


  One Response to “Riot Fest: Saturday”

  1. Best weekend ever? Yes, I think so. Even with heartbreak.

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