The Aftermath.....



I had enough of Riot Fest – I had put in three full days drinking, feasting, eating, rocking out and discovering new acts. I had experienced the rain, mist, mud, heat and had dealt with bee’s and crazy drunken metal heads. I put up with stinky port-jons, long lines and paid big bucks for street food, (I had a $12 dollar cheese steak). I had also felt the defeat and the shame of missing some of my beloved pop idols like Superchunk, Billy Bragg and Chumped. However, now I was willing to set all of that aside and call this tour an overall success and start heading for that big exit sign and say goodnight and so long to Riot Fest 2014.

I get to the front of the entrance and I don’t see any cabs anywhere. Instead I see a bunch of bicycle powered coolies. I pay the $30 fee and we race off into the night and head towards Wicker Park. Now the guy I get stuck with is Russian and can’t speak very good English. I know that I need to get to a bar or a coffee house so I can start to recharge my phone because somewhere during the Fest it ran out of juice. From there I need to call a friend to come and rescue me. This is where it gets interesting because I don’t know where the heck I am. That Wonder Beer really kicked in and I’m half deaf, I need a shower, a breath mint and a nice soft bed.

I get dropped off in front of a classic pizzeria. The sign in the window says BYOB and it has wall to wall sports on the giant LCD TV’s. I see an open table and an empty light socket and I know I am going to be okay. I grab a table and order up a wild slice and plug my phone into the wall. I grab a brew too and wait for the phone to get enough juice in it so I can call my ride.

I survived it. My shoes are trashed. They are caked with mud. My black pants are splattered with mud up to the knees. I look like I walked off the set of a Mad Max movie and survived.  In my heart, I’m smiling, I made it. Over the last three days I have seen 31 Alternative music acts. I feel like I have accomplished something historic and memorable.

The sights, sounds, smells, and sensations will last a lifetime….. and beyond.

Ted “TedRock” Cantu
Hot Metro Finds
Sept. 2014



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