RIFF Fest 2019 had an amazing line-up which definitely made everyone okay with being outside in the 90-degree heat and sun all day, practically melting. Broken Hands, a band from the UK, who also happens to be on tour with Shinedown, kick off the show on the parking lot stage. They were followed up by Dinosaur Pile-Up, also from the UK and touring with Shinedown. I hadn’t heard of either of these bands before and was really glad that I got there early enough to shoot their sets. They were both great! 3rd to take the stage was Diamante. Between everything from Diamante’s hair to the guitars, and logo on the drums, being color coordinated (turquoise), and just their energy, it was one of the best sets I’d heard and seen in a while. Last to take the parking lot stage was New Year’s Day. I’ve seen them multiple times before and they never fail to put on a great show, especially with their cover of Pantera’s “Fucking Hostile”.
The first band playing the main stage at DTE Energy Music Theater was Detroit’s very own Wilson. Between their catchy songs, “Like A Baller” always gets stuck in my head after I hear it on the radio, and super high energy, they always put on a great show. It also happened to be guitarist Kyle Landry’s last show with the band. What better of a way to be sent off than to get to play DTE?! Following Wilson was Badflower. I’m amazed that frontman Josh can do a pretty good backbend while playing guitar because it doesn’t look easy! Next up was another Michigan band, Pop Evil. Not sure what was different, but this was by far the best Pop Evil show that I have seen! Seether was up next. Being that they were one of the main bands that got me into music, I was really excited to finally get to shoot their set, especially being that they played before dark because they’re known for not having much light at all. After I finished shooting their set I ran to my seat and glad I did. The best sounding show of theirs I have seen could be the mixing or just because DTE has great acoustics.
By the time Shinedown came out on stage, seats and the lawn were packed, and everyone was ready to rock. Then the curtain drops. They opened up with “DEVIL”, before playing “Diamond Eyes” and then “Enemies”. I can’t explain in words how great they are to see live so definitely check out the photos and hopefully, you’ll be able to feel the same kind of energy as being there. Also, want to say how insanely hot it is when the pyro goes off! I knew it was coming but it feels like your inside of an oven for a couple of seconds when it does go off, and you can feel it from quite a ways away! If you haven’t seen Shinedown live before, you are seriously missing out, same goes for all the other bands as well. I felt like I was melting being there all day, but all these bands made it worth it.
All photos by Cheyenne Comerford