Written by: Julie Vega
Riot Fest holds a special place in my heart. It was my first festival ( and concert ! ) back in 2014. Last year, I attended all three days in hopes to see Blink-182. Sadly, Blink-182 pulled out and was replaced by Weezer. When I found that Blink-182 was going to be at Riot Fest this year, I KNEW I had to go. I only went on Friday to Riot Fest and in all honesty, this was the best day for me.
My uncle joined me to Riot Fest and we got there pretty early. We wanted to see some bands before waiting for Blink-182, so we walked over to see Anti-Flag. They’re a punk rock group known for their political influenced songs such as, Die For Your Government and 1 Trillion Dollars. The audience was much older, but they still had a lot of energy. Waves of mohawks and spiked jackets filled the crowd. I only stayed for a bit for Anti-Flag, but if you ever get the chance to see them: take it and thank me later. Afterwards, we walked around the festival to get a good feel for it. We finally decided to head to the stage where Blink-182 will be playing to save our spots.
Before Blink-182 went on, Neck Deep was about to go on stage. I was really pumped to see Neck Deep as I missed so many opportunities to see them. Right when Neck Deep walked on stage, Mark Hoppus joined with them. The entire crowd roared. We were expecting Neck Deep to perform December with Hoppus, but it didn’t happen. Neck Deep played a lot of their popular songs and new songs as well. They performed their new song, She’s A God and even their cover of Torn. They knew exactly how to capture their audience by providing a thunderous, mesmerizing show. I felt a wave of sadness hit me after their set ended, but I knew Blink was coming on soon so no fear to be sad. Shortly after, Dashboard Confessional went on. They performed their album, The Place You Have Come To Fear The Most in its entirety. The crowd was much older and a lot of the fans were definitely reliving their emo scene. They performed their well-known single, Vindicated.
After almost four hours, it was finally here. Blink-182 was about to go on stage and perform Enema of the State. The crowd was screaming once Blink-182 appeared on stage. My uncle and I were not expecting the crowd to be as rowdy. Once Aliens Exist played, the fans rushed to the front. It was the most exhilarating moment of my life. Feeling my body lose control while singing my heart out, it was a rush. Blink-182 performed songs off California and their new album, Darkside. Blink-182 ended the show with Dammit. Again, the crowd was going crazy and soaking it all in. I realized this is it. I captured every second of the show and felt myself tear up. This was the moment I have been waiting for so long and it’s now over. Blink-182 said their goodbyes and walked off stage. The crowd dispersed among the once grass floor, now dirt. My uncle and I walked towards the train station expressing our joy seeing one of our favorite groups.
Riot Fest...thank you. This was a moment I’ll never forget. Until next year, we meet again.