Riot Fest Denver, 2013 – Live Blogging from the Ashtray Floors

Riot Fest Denver, 2013 – Live Blogging from the Ashtray Floors

September 21, 2013 Off By Billy Thieme

Keep checking back – we’re going to be live blogging this bitch all day – and maybe all night – from the ashtray floors, covering all the filthy jokes -and the music too!

If you’re here in May Farms, hook up! Hashtag #DenverThreadRiot to get your pics, vines, notes, loves, hates and everything onto the DenverThread site!

See you in the mess!


Sunday, 10 AM

Writing this from the dusty haze of morning in the mini-disaster that is the Riot Fest camp – and everything still looks better after a bit of sleep.

Yesterday’s lineup mostly bred headaches (unless the cotton candy variety of punk is your bag), and the dust of May Farms felt – and looked – like all of us would leave with some sort of hacking cough. But the kids sure did seem to enjoy it.

Highlights included Bob Pollard’s Guided By Voices – uncharacteristically sober – playing a solid, tight set, San Diego’s Rocket From the Crypt playing and equally tight – but strangely insignificant – set and AFI swaddling achy-hearted emos with a typical barrage.

The real crowns, as you might expect, go to Iggy & the Stooges, and the mighty Replacements.

Iggy & the Stooges showed off for a good hour – and still looked 20 (well, not on the face or in the body, maybe, but definitely in action). At one point he invited the audience up onto the stage – some 25 people took the invitation – and danced in front of the rest. No stage dives, though – maybe they don’t do that in the desert?

A bonus that we can only hope all the youngsters recognized was the addition of the legendary Mike Watt on bass – a prize in itself worth the price of admission. Watt wielded his thunder stick mercilessly, matching the Stooges’ thrust and adding even more prowess to an already impressive noise.

And the there were The Replacements.

To be sure, had there not been the level of love and excitement (at least for me) invested in this act, the following may have been a bit different. But – maybe there’s something to sucking live for so long your band is a legendary mess, if you can reclaim that reputation with a solid, tight hour of rock ‘n roll.

Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson led this new Replacements through a set of just about whatever you’d want to hear from their history. And, while a bit staid, perhaps, they delivered that set with more skill (and less sloppy drunkenness) than any of the shows I’ve always heard of.

Sure, it may have come across as a “cleaned up” session, maybe even over-rehearsed and boring for a little bit.

But seeing them on the stage, happy -elated, even – having so much unadulterated fun, complete with pink skirts, was ultimately satisfying – even pleasing.

Like I told a friend: watching the ‘Mats – and watching so many bright-eyed kids watching them for the first time – was like introducing your child or niece to your favorite movie of all time. And finding out that she likes it, too.

Sunday 15:30

Wovenhand is hard. Hard, and satisfying, and – lest you troll to the gutter – satisfying in the Pentecostal sense. David Eugene Edwards infuses the sound with an urgency that feels like vespers. With explosive chords…



  • Billy Thieme

    Aging punk rocker with a deep of all things musical and artistic, enough to remain constantly young and perpetually mystified. Billy has journalistic dreams, but of a decidedly pastoral, Scottish nature.