First it was Denver, then it was Chicago. This weekend, it was Toronto’s turn to host Riot Fest, and it was a time. A good one, specifically.
Rock acts dominated Saturday, and we checked out intense sets from Coheed and Cambria and All Time Low. We also saw Weezer play their early, great 1996 album Pinkerton in its entirety (then played The Blue Album on Sunday), and GWAR didn’t get further than the first song of their set before they had to cut it short: the rain didn’t cooperate with their amps, which became dangerously sparky.
Triumphantly, Alexisonfire announced that their current stint of reunion shows was more than that, saying, “Thank you for believing in this band when we couldn’t even believe in this band. Thank you for sticking with us. We promise to never leave you again. No more sentimental shit. Alexisonfire is officially back.”
Sunday, meanwhile, belonged to hip-hop, showing that the historically punk-flavored festival can adapt and expand its brand. Legends and legends-to-be including Doomtree, Tyler, The Creator, Atmosphere and Wu-Tang Clan got crowds amped, while non-rap acts like Andrew W.K. and Bleachers drew substantial and excited audiences of their own.
We got a bunch of photos we’re proud to show you, so check out our gallery below. You may notice a disturbing lack of Wu-Tang photos here, but we have a good reason for that: During their set, we were enjoying a stimulating and wide-ranging conversation with our friend Andrew W.K. That interview will be available exclusively on Nerdist soon, so stay tuned.
UPDATE: Read our conversation with Andrew W.K. here.