I Predict a ‘Riot’

One of the things my boyfriend Ryan and I share is a love of music. He’s better at learning about new stuff, I’m better about talking about old stuff (e.g. 80% of this blog). I like to over-analyze lyrics, while he patiently listens; he likes to build spreadsheets of his ‘dream’ music-festival lineup, which I review in quiet bemusement and admiration.

This summer, we’re headed to three music festivals.  Lollapalooza (Day One only, where I hope to see Interpol, AFI, and six minutes of Eminem); LouFest (in my hometown, where we’ll hopefully see Arctic Monkeys, Matt & Kim, Cake, and/or Outkast); and Riot Fest.


Now, both of our musical tastes tend toward the ‘alternative’ side — whatever that means anymore — but his is more on the ‘folk’ end of the spectrum (Mumford & Sons, Lumineers) while I’m on the ‘punk’ side of things (Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday, the aforementioned AFI).  All of the scare quotes are being employed, by the way, because none of these designations mean anything these days anyway. Only one thing is certain — Rihanna will always be terrible.

ANYWAY. Riot Fest really tends toward the ‘punk’ side of things. It’s also geared toward folks who graduated high school between, say, 1985 and 1990, so the crowd is a touch older than me and therefore [a touch + six years] older than Ryan. But it’s in beautiful Humboldt Park, in mid-September, and the lineup includes not only The Cure, Jane’s Addiction, and Cheap Trick, but also Slayer (!), GWAR (!) and Pussy Riot, so I’m thinking we’ll have to go to at least two of the three days.

Although it’s more than three months from now, we are already strategizing. One night, we sat down and plotted our ‘must sees’ versus our ‘Ehhhhhhh … might be fun to sees.’ Columns one and columns two, respectively.  ‘Should we rank both lists?’ Ryan asks. ‘No, just the first one, I think,’ I reply. And this is what we were left with.

Here is Ryan’s:

Ryan's Riot Fest Wants

Here is mine:

Beth's Riot Fest Wants

One, I realize another thing we have in common is atrocious handwriting (and mine’s worse, which is really unforgivable, considering I’m of the fairer sex).  Two, he has but one band on his ‘must’ list … I have 11 (with all apologies to the Might Might Bosstones, who apparently got downgraded).  At least one of my 11 is Weezer!  And this is basically a reversal of our LouFest lists, where I really only care about Cake, and he has taken to calling it ‘RyanFest,’ because he’s so excited about what it’s offering.

Well, we are learning from each other. He’s teaching me about The 1975 and Wild Cub, and perhaps I will introduce him to Thurston Moore and Cheap Trick.  Win win?