Written By Braddon S. Williams aka “The Concert Critic”
On this date in history, 9/18/2021, we entered day 3 of our Riot Fest adventure with the realization that we needed to slow down our pace somewhat in order to save some energy for the final day. Even with a more laid back approach, we managed to catch several killer acts.
First on the list was the ever entertaining GWAR, performing their landmark Scumdogs Of The Universe album. After nearly being crushed to death during GWAR’s 2019 appearance, we decided to hang further back this time around. Oddly enough, this year’s crowd was far less violent, but the stage violence was dependably GWARiffic, and I love the fact that GWAR are a Riot Fest institution. My wife was eager for me to see Gogol Bordello, and we secured a spot in the front row to wait for their set. While we waited, we could hear a really great sounding band called Best Coast.
This female fronted band from Los Angeles had great energy and strong vocals with a nice power pop style. The same can’t be said for the band playing prior to Gogol Bordello. They were called Les Savy Fav. I want to accentuate the positive stuff about Riot Fest, so I’m just going to say that Les Savy Fav was not going to include me in any new fan lists. But I digress…Gogol Bordello did convert me as a huge new fan. Their style of music is a frenetic blend of gypsy punk, Latin, polka, folk, Romani, dub…just maximum high energy FUN.
The six members of the band who appeared on the Roots Stage (two others were unable to perform due to COVID-19) never stopped moving, and neither did the audience.
Everyone was jumping up and down, stomping, and grinning throughout the band’s super entertaining one hour set. Band members are from all over the globe, but based in New York City. I highly recommend Gogol Bordello, undoubtedly my favorite discovery of the entire festival.
We stuck around for several songs from Rancid, the venerable and well loved California punk band. They were awesome, but we decided to cut out early and skip Saturday’s headliners in order to recharge our batteries for the final day, which promised some really amazing acts…to be concluded soooooon!