Editorials

Riot Fest 2014

RIOT FEST CHICAGO: The Good, The Bad, And The Totally Weird

Alternative music fans far and wide congregated in The Windy City Sept. 12-14 for the greatest punk rock show on Earth, Riot Fest Chicago. The weekend was imaginably filled with amazing sets, carnival rides, beer, and deep fried everything.

This year’s Riot Fest Chicago was comprised of hundreds of bands, 7 stages (8 on Friday night), and way too many attractions to even consider checking out. It’s madness beyond anyone’s wildest imagination — and that’s the bittersweet part of the event. It’s beautiful to see so many awesome things happening in one venue, but so difficult to attempt to make …

american idiot

EDITORIAL: Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ Still Changing America 10 Years Later

It’s September 2004. According to American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest, the top song in the nation is Ashlee Simpson’s “Pieces of Me.” Pitchfork’s favorite record is Arcade Fire’s Funeral. Hellboy is dominating the box office. The Boston Red Sox are gearing up to win its first World Series title in 86 years. President George W. Bush is hot on the campaign trail for what would be his re-election into a second term of Presidency. America is begging for a hard kick in the balls.

American Idiot strapped on its steel-toed boots and gave the U.S of A. a …

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LIVE REVIEW: Riot Fest Denver (Day 1)

I missed Riot Fest 2013, and to be honest I spent the first six months after it took place kicking myself for having not attended. When the 2014 installment was unveiled, I knew this would be the year I finally made the trek. Chicago was my first choice, but due to some family related issues that came up in August I ultimately settled on booking a flight, hotel, and car for one in order to enjoy Riot Fest from the parking lot of Mile High Stadium in Denver, CO.

My journey began as great adventures do, with a far too …

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Bowling For Soup’s ‘A Hangover You Don’t Deserve’ Turns Ten

When I moved schools in ’09, there was absolutely nothing that tied me to the music I listened to and the music of the people who then started to surround me. I found myself in a drastically different environment and I longed for someone to talk about something I could relate to. I wanted to be able to talk about anything music-related to anyone who spoke the slightest bit of the alternative music scene’s language.

There I was, a junior in a new school, so far from where I grew up, surrounded by girls who only wanted to listen to …

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FESTIVAL PREVIEW: 10 Cover Songs We Hope To Hear at Riot Fest Chicago

Nothing gets a festival crowd going like a good cover tune, so it’s no surprise that many of my favorite memories from Riot Fest 2013 involved covers. The festival opened on Friday afternoon with Hatebreed paying tribute to fallen Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman with their cover of “Ghosts of War,” during which Jamey Jasta made the proclamation that you should “never marry a woman who doesn’t like Slayer,” and it’s hard to argue with the man. The festival ended on a high note as well, with Sunday performers AFI offering their take on The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven” just before …

Riot Fest 2014

FESTIVAL PREVIEW: The 10 Must-See Acts At Riot Fest Chicago

Most decisions in life are hard. Where should I go to college? What should I eat for lunch? What career path should I take? How should I cut my hair? Do I like Dumbledore or Gandalf better? Deep dish or thin crust?

The most pressing question bothering us over the last week is which Riot Fest Chicago acts can we absolutely not miss. By absolutely, we mean getting there if it means passing up every other band on the bill — even if, by some miracle, the festival curators talk Led Zeppelin into finally not being a bunch of …

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FESTIVAL PREVIEW: Riot Fest Chicago’s Best ‘Under The Radar’ Acts

Part of the beauty of going to a music festival is finding your next favorite band. You know, the next act that is going to truly change your life. This could happen to many who attend Riot Fest Chicago. Sure, the main stages are packed with fimilar and unforgettable names like Taking Back Sunday, The Cure, The Used, Rise Against, Slayer, Die Antwoord, and many, many more. But what about those bands playing earlier in the afternoon or on the smaller stages? Don’t those acts deserve some credit? They certainly do. And we’ve created the guide for you to …

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Kind Of Like A Body Bag: 10 Years Of Underminded’s ‘Hail Unamerican’

After twenty-seven years on this planet I am convinced of two things being true without exception: Popcorn is always best when it’s freshly popped and every single person will stumble across a collection of albums in their life that change the way they view the world around them. This editorial is about the latter.

In the fall of 2008 I was attending college at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. My days were mostly made of class, naps, and countless hours spent updating my music blog. I thought I had heard every great record the alternative/Warped Tour scene had …

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Senses Fail’s ‘Let It Enfold You,’ A Decade Later

I grew up in a small town, with the closest decent music venue being nearly an hour away from me. It wasn’t easy to find alternative music without a little bit of effort. I discovered new music through friends, MySpace, perusing the CDs at the local Walmart or picking up eye-catching albums at Hot Topic (which was about an hour away as well). Once upon a time MTV did show plenty of music videos, and so did Fuse. Those two stations aided in the development of my love for metal and passion for the genres I listen to now. Even …

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UTG’s Favorite Singles Of Summer 2014

The summer may have been a bummer for hollywood execs and people hoping to see Outkast perform anywhere other than an overcrowded festival, but those who love discovering new music have had plenty to celebrate. Whether you like pop, rock, folk, country, EDM, or any combination of the five there were a slew of new names vying for attention in recent months. Some got the attention they deserved, but most did not. That is as much our fault in some cases as it is far larger publications, but today we are going to right those wrongs by giving them another …

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Sounds Of The (Down) Underground Vol. 2: Five More Australian Acts You Should Be Listening To

Australia has a proud history of punching above its weight, musically speaking. This is particularly true when it comes to acts operating in the heavier music spectrum. With the seemingly endless advances in streaming and social media technologies making the ears of the world more accessible than ever, the Australian independent scene is thriving. The result is an influx of bands across a variety of genres making a considerable impact on the music scene globally.

As a UTG contributor and proud Australian who resides deep within the nation’s undisputed punk rock heart of Melbourne, it gives me great pleasure to …

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Ten Years Later, We Still Give A Fuck: A Decade of Lamb of God’s ‘Ashes of the Wake’

In the early 2000s, the heavy metal community was in shambles. Pantera had imploded, and we’d later tragically lose Dimebag Darrell all together. Slayer was on cruise control. Metallica released St. Anger, and Machine Head’s Robb Flynn put on a shiny track suit and tried to rap. Our world needed a hero — and sorry, Dave Mustaine, but Megadeth had already taken one too many Risks to earn back our collective trust.

There’s a good chance this isn’t the only Ashes of the Wake retrospective you’ll read this week, but there’s an even better chance this is the …