Second day of Toronto Riot Fest lighter and drier
Riot Fest part two took place the next day, on Sunday, Sept. 7, and by this time, the sun had shone enough to dry up a little bit of the mud. The Sunday schedule had a little bit less to offer than the Saturday ticket, but some great names still graced the stages – although, more Canadian bands would’ve been nice for the Toronto stop.
As always, it’s impossible to cover everything, but here’s a roundup of the second day bands that Martyr had the chance to shoot and review for our readers.
THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERSAfter 15 years of indie rock hailing from Vancouver, The New Pornographers have long made their mark in the Canadian rock scene. Furthermore, like some other bands on the Riot Fest bill, they’re garnering a stronger than ever fanbase in their latter years.
The eight-man supergroup rocked out on the stage back and forth between their slew of guitar players, both acoustic and electric, which really provides a lot of ambiance and dramatic undertones to their music. It’s not complicated to make a full sound when you have that many instrumentalists, but to do it as well as they do is difficult. My hats off to them for pulling it off.
The group had a colourful backdrop in the theme and support of their new album Brill Bruisers – their sixth studio effort since their debut release in 2000.DIE ANTWOORD The hip-hop collective from South Africa named Die Antwoord – which actually translates into “The Answer,” have a lot of stage energy and charisma – even if it is a little angry on the surface. Their image involves a counterculture movement called “zef” and the influence of photographer Roger Ballen – which explains their prison-esque get-ups.
Die Antwoord went on just before Dropkick Murphys, and they definitely won the battle for crowd supremacy against Dropkick.
Out with their newest release Donker Mag on their own label Zef Records – an effort they formed after leaving Interscope Records – The dynamic duo of Ninja and Yo-Landi Vi$$er. Ninja is no stranger to the African hip-hop culture, having fronted many groups before Die Antwoord, but he’s been quoting as saying that ‘everything before Die Antwoord to me was just experimenting.”
Die Antwoord is the real deal. Although their lyrical imagery is a little hyperbolic, the deeper meaning and values they hold true resonate strongly in their music. The crowd at Riot Fest was definitely feeling it.SOCIAL DISTORTIONThe boys of Social Distortion need no introduction. They’ve been living the punk-rock lifestyle since the eighties, and prove to the world that punk is far from dead. These guys regularly visit Toronto, and have expressed a great liking in the past for the crowds they play for here.
With the way they were received at Riot Fest, this is just another chapter in their Toronto show log. People went nuts when they played their staple hit “Story of my Life,” among many other great tunes like “Ball and Chain,” and my personal favourite “Drug Train.”
Mike Ness took it to the next level when he introduced “Mommy’s Little Monster,” which to their cult following, is probably one of their best and most memorable songs from their debut in 1983, titled the same. They wavered in 1985 when they broke up, but they’ve stood the test of time, and they’ll always get a good crowd going no matter when and where they play.THE BUZZCOCKSIf you’ve never heard of the Buzzcocks, no one could blame you. Unless you were into the British punk-rock wave of the late 70s to early 80s, then you wouldn’t have a clue. Not to mention they broke up for the entirety of the mid-80s. But with that being said, it’s awesome to see these old guys still rocking like it’s 1989 and they just reformed.
They played closely with the Sex Pistols, and reflected their values back in the day. Their name is born of Brisith slang from a review they once read. They chose the name “Buzzcocks” after reading the headline, “It’s the buzz, cocks!” in a review of the TV series Rock Follies in Time Out magazine. The “buzz” is the excitement of playing on stage; “cock” is Manchester slang meaning “mate.” They thought it captured the excitement of the Sex Pistols and birthed punk scene.
They hadn’t released a studio album since 2006, which was Flat-Pack Philosophy – so needless to say, their new album The Way has been highly anticipated by their cult following, and gave fans something to really look forward to in seeing the Buzzcocks on this day.
Story by Devin Size, Photos by Ftfphotography