Riot Fest Denver 2013: Best acts to show up early for - Reverb

Riot Fest Denver 2013: Best acts to show up early for

With all the big names later on Riot Fest Denver schedule, it’s easy to overlook the bands that have the misfortune of playing in the early afternoon. These lesser known bands are the road warriors who are tasked with opening both days of the festival. It is a thankless task, but to miss them would be a crime. Here are five bands worth showing up early for:

5) Peelander Z

2:20 p.m. Sunday, Riot Stage

This New York-based act could put on the most memorable set of the weekend. Peelander Z dresses as what can only be described as punk rock Power Rangers. Need more proof? They’re listed on the Riot Fest website as a “Japanese Action Comic Punk Band.”

4) Off With Their Heads

12:50 p.m. Saturday, Roots Stage

Minneapolis-based punk rock group Off With Their Heads has been growing its fan base thanks to several high-profile tours. You may have seen the band in Denver earlier this year when it opened for Alkaline Trio.

3) This Will Destroy You

2 p.m. Saturday, Roots Stage

There are few bands that are talented enough to engage an audience without lyrics. This Texas-based quartet is one of them. It will be interesting to see how This Will Destroy You‘s dark, yet melodic songs will play out in the middle of the afternoon.

2) Chuck Ragan

1:45 p.m. Sunday, Roots Stage

You probably know Chuck Ragan as the frontman of Hot Water Music, but his solo live set brings an intensity that few can match. It’s easy to see that he still loves performing and puts everything he has into his music — even after nearly 20 years of traversing the globe and playing his songs. Chuck’s intensity and sincerity will easily rival any band on the bill — and he’ll be playing an acoustic guitar.

1) Touche Amore.

1:25 p.m. Saturday, Riot Stage

This L.A.-based hardcore band perfectly blends the emotion of late ‘90s emo with the intensity of hardcore punk. The band is a breath of fresh air in hardcore, focusing on the music and leaving the worries of image to other bands. Touche Amore is a relentless touring machine, honing its live show by playing nearly 200 dates last year alone. Their set should whip the circle pit up a notch and get the first real pile-on sing-alongs of the weekend going. Don’t miss it.

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Seth A. McConnell is a staff photographer for the YourHub section of the Denver Post and is a regular contributor to Reverb.