Toronto’s Riot Fest & Expo is coming at us fast and furious on September 19 and 20 at Downsview Park. Weezer, The Prodigy, Bleachers, Cancer Bats, Courage My Love, and Ritual join a diverse array of bands previously announced. To top it off, Weezer will play both days of the festival, performing their eponymous debut (known as the Blue Album) one day and Pinkerton on the other. For fans a little tight on budget – Riot Fest brings back its layaway program, with the option to pay ticket costs in several installments during the lead up to the fest.
Here is the second of 10 Toronto’s Riot Fest & Expo Spotlight’s we talk Weezer and DOA.
Weezer is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1992 consisting of Rivers Cuomo (lead vocals, lead guitar), Patrick Wilson (drums), Brian Bell (rhythm guitar, backing vocals, keyboards), and Scott Shriner (bass, backing vocals). The line-up has changed three times since its formation in 1992. Weezer has sold 9.2 million albums in the US and over 17 million worldwide.
After signing to Geffen Records in 1993, Weezer released their debut self-titled album, also known as The Blue Album, in 1994. Backed by successful music videos for the singles “Buddy Holly”, “Undone – The Sweater Song” and “Say It Ain’t So”, The Blue Album became a triple-platinum success and received positive reviews. Weezer’s second album, Pinkerton (1996), featuring a darker, more abrasive sound, was a commercial failure and initially received mixed reviews, but went on to achieve cult status and critical acclaim years later. Both The Blue Album and Pinkerton are now frequently cited among the best albums of the 1990s. Following Pinkerton, bassist Matt Sharp left the band and Weezer went on hiatus.
In 2001, Weezer returned with another self-titled album, also known as The Green Album, with new bassist Mikey Welsh. Promoted by the singles “Hash Pipe” and “Island in the Sun”, The Green Album was a commercial success and received mostly positive reviews. After the album’s release, Welsh left the band and was replaced by current bassist Scott Shriner. Weezer’s fourth album, Maladroit, was released in May 2002 to mostly positive reviews, but did not match the sales of The Green Album.
Weezer’s fifth album, Make Believe, was released in May 2005; despite mixed reviews, its single “Beverly Hills” became Weezer’s first single to top the US Modern Rock Tracks chart and the first to reach the top ten on the Billboard Hot 100. In June 2008, Weezer’s third self-titled album, also known as The Red Album, featuring “TR-808s, synths, Southern rap, and baroque counterpoint”, was released to mild reviews. Its lead single, “Pork and Beans”, became the band’s third song to top the Modern Rock Tracks chart, backed by a successful YouTube music video.
Weezer’s seventh album, Raditude (2009) and eighth album Hurley (2010), featuring more “modern pop production” and songs co-written with other artists, achieved further mixed reviews and moderate sales. Their ninth album, Everything Will Be Alright in the End, was released in October 2014, and received Weezer’s most positive reviews since Pinkerton.
D.O.A. is a hard-core punk band from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. They are often referred to as the “founders” of hard-core punk, along with Black Flag, The Germs, Negative Trend, and Middle Class. Their second album Hard-core ’81 was thought by many to have been the first actual reference to the second wave of the American punk sound as hard-core. Singer/guitarist Joey “Shithead” Keithley is the only founding member to have stayed in the band throughout its entire history. However, original bassist Randy Rampage has been active in the band in recent years and has played on one of the band’s last three albums, although he is not in the current lineup. D.O.A. has often released music on Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles Records, and they have released an album with Jello Biafra titled Last Scream of the Missing Neighbors.
D.O.A. has always maintained an uncompromising leftist political stance. The band is known for its outspoken political opinions and has a history of performing for many causes and benefits. Its slogan is “Talk minus Action equals Zero.” The band has been active on many issues, including anti-racism, anti-globalization, freedom of speech, and the environment.
Founder Joe Keithley now spends a great deal of time working with his record company Sudden Death Records which has branched off into many areas of music.
Check out Weezer and DOA at Toronto’s Riot Fest & Expo!
In previous years, Riot Fest and their partners at Union Events have cultivated lineups that have featured reunions and rare appearances—and 2015 is no exception. Bands such as Drive Like Jehu and Thrice will be making reunion appearances at Riot Fest & Expo. Moreover, rare appearances by Alexisonfire, Echo & The Bunnymen and Motörhead give 2015’s edition its unique feel.
Outside of the announced bands, this year’s festival will also include a circus tent featuring the Hellzapoppin Circus Sideshow Revue, a miniature golf course, a video arcade hall, and a wide array of food and drink options.
Link to purchase Riot Fest & Expo Toronto tickets: