After two days of rocking, the Riot Fest & Rodeo in Denver, Colo. came to a conclusion on Sunday; offering attendees one more opportunity to rage. The final act featured a promising and eclectic bill; one that did not disappoint.
Andrew W.K. really got the party going during the afternoon. Wearing perhaps the same exact white t-shirt he has donned throughout every other appearance in his career, he riled up the crowd for some raucous fun. Surprisingly adept on the piano, his set solely focused on one thing: Partying. He even brought out a pizza-shaped guitar for a moment, as every good party has something to munch on (what better than a tasty riff?). Every song he offered sounded pretty much the same, but that song was epic.
Returning for the second straight year, GZA then made his way to the stage, this time without the rest of the Wu-Tang Clan. He offered his critically-acclaimed solo album Liquid Swords, much to the delight of the gathered hip-hop aficionados.
Riot Fest then got a blast from the past, as the Lawrence Arms offered a little more straightforward punk to the masses. They are the one and only band from the festival’s inaugural lineup in 2005 that appeared on the bill for the 2015 Denver stop. For as hardcore as they may sound, they were surprisingly polite onstage; dedicating songs to Reverend Horton Heat, L7 and some guy in the crowd wearing a corn shirt.
Yelawolf and L7 both failed to impress. As did the Moth and the Flame, who sounded like a cheap rip-off of the Cure.
After that, the show headed into the meat of the lineup. Flogging Molly threw back a few Guinness and hit the stage. Their set was upbeat, turning the crowd into a bunch of hooligans, as they soaked in the band’s unique offering of Celtic punk.
Speaking of upbeat, the rock Gods (if only in their own minds) known as Tenacious D took to the stage next. Seamlessly, blending comedy and metal, the self-proclaimed “Barry White of rock” seduced the audience with timeless loves songs such as: “Low Hangin’ Fruit,” “Double Team” and their finale “F*ck Her Gently.”
Across the venue, the Prodigy then kicked things into high gear. The only electronic act of the weekend, they won over the audience with their infectious energy, frenetic playing and pulsating light show; rocking just as hard, if not harder than any band at Riot Fest.
For the festival’s final act, the incomparable Snoop Dogg took to the stage. He was scheduled to play his classic album Doggystyle in its entirety, a plan that was quickly abandoned. Though he did perform many of the LP’s cuts, he also mixed in a myriad of his other hits. The crowd didn’t seem to mind, as he had them all rapping, singing, dancing and screaming along the entire time. The fitting finale more than ensured that people ended their Riot Fest experience on a high note.