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Under the Radar at Riot Fest Denver

Yes, there are some pinnacle bands playing Riot Fest Denver, which comes to Denver for the first time in 2013 on September 21 and 22 at May Farms in Byers, Colorado, from the rock god Iggy Pop to The Replacements, which has influenced countless other bands since their inception many decades ago.

That being said, there are a number of reasons to arrive early enough to catch the acts that jumpstart Saturday’s and Sunday’s shows. The booking peeps at Riot Fest didn’t fill the roster with their neighbor’s nephew’s garage band that played a really cool set at the East High School 2012 prom. No way. No how.



Equipped with slide guitar, bombastic drums, accordion and other rock and roll accoutrements, KONGOS quickly conveys the origins of their moniker. Their sound is carnal, originating from deep within the caverns of the human condition. Tribal but not hippie-drum-circle, rowdy but not frat-boy-party, and even introspective without being sappy, this band of brothers (literally…not kidding…Johnny, Jesse, Dylan and Danny are all related) brings beats and rhythms to life in a penetrating way.

While KONGOS is actually their surname, the four-piece may have also plucked some percussion inspiration from time spent growing up in South Africa, and their rock roots from years in London, and even some of that introspection from the deserts of Phoenix, Arizona where they now call home.

Either way, prepare to have them catapult you into a day of mayhem. Go big or go home.



This Will Destroy You

Hailing from the Interstate 35 corridor in Texas, known to tourists as the cream filling between San Antonio and Austin, San Marcos 4-piece This Will Destroy You made quite a splash this past spring far, far from home, making fast fans and friends in China. But this is not the only international endeavor for TWDY, having released Live in Reykjavik, Iceland in August of this year, the third full-length since the band began in 2005. BBC interviews, gigs in Barcelona, other EP creations and soundtrack inclusions brings them to this point where they’ll play within the fields of May Farm Colorado.

Permeating the scenery in the earlier part of the day, the dark depths of sound woven by Jeremy Galindo, Chris Kind, Donovan Jones, and Alex Bhore will mostly likely permeate the soul and skins of the listeners. Drums crash against large coastal rocks during a storm, light twinkling chimes dance above a sorrowful guitar line, and electronic tones take on the form of a nature-laden symphony.



New Beat Fund

Guys just wanna have fuuu-un, oh guys just wanna haaaave fun! Just ask Cali guys New Beat Fund, who put the fun in…well, you know.

In contrast to some of the heavier bands during this year’s Van’s Warped Tour, the funk infused act brought their smiles and silliness to the stage from city to city.

While at the tour’s Denver stop they were stoked to announce their addition to the Riot Fest roster during and their opening tour spot with Blink 182 during an interview with Reverbnation. One of the band members also admitted to coming close to passing out during their slot in Las Vegas. Let’s hope either Jeff Laliberte, Shelby Archer, Paul Laliberte, or Michael Johnson adds an oxygen tank and coconut water to the New Beat Fund rider before they arrive in Byers, Colorado.




Fronted by vocalist Chloe Chaidez, LA-based Kitten looks to punk and new wave’s past for inspiration. The band is currently on tour in support of their LP Like A Stranger, with previously released Cut It Out, Sunday School, and inclusion in Please, Please, Please: A Tribute to The Smith compilation under their belt.

On their latest endeavor, “Like A Stranger” embraces the more emotive side of Kitten’s persona, while “Graffiti Soul” rides the early 80s subway rails of edge and grittiness. This is where the band shines, a side of them first scene on “Kitten With A Whip” from 2010’s Sunday School.

With a history of excelling as a gymnast in her earlier years, those whipping, flexible moves are expected to make their way to the Riot Fest stage.


For more details and set times for Saturday and Sunday, visit Riot Fest Denver.


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