While they’ve been around for more than a decade, things have definitely been different for Turnstile lately. After releasing GLOW ON in 2021, they went from being reliable punk rock workhorses to one of the biggest alternative bands in the world, earning Grammy nominations and touring arenas with heavy hitters like My Chemical Romance and the freshly-reunited classic lineup of Blink-182. In 2019, you could catch them on the Roots Stage at 1:55 pm. These days, they’re filming Tiny Desk Concerts, hanging out with Nardwuar and performing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
While their sound was always evolving on records like Nonstop Feeling and Time & Space, it was the melodic strength and bold creativity of GLOW ON that broke Turnstile through to a mainstream audience. Their greatest strength is a willingness to experiment, incorporating sounds and influences that feel lightyears away from hardcore. Whether it’s collaborating with Blood Orange or this summer’s New Heart Designs EP with indie jazz band BADBADNOTGOOD, they keep an open mind and the results speak for themselves.
So, if you’re coming to Riot Fest for Turnstile, we’ve got some other artists you need to check out. See you in Douglass Park!
LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST ON
If you love the soaring, anthemic choruses of songs like “ENDLESS” and “DON’T PLAY,” you can’t miss AFI. Frontman Davey Havok has incredible stage presence and can belt it out with the best of them. But, while he can scream or launch into a full-blown Danzig wail, there’s also the undeniable influence of ‘80s alternative icons like Morrissey and Robert Smith of The Cure that keeps the songs beautiful.
One of the most important hardcore bands of all time, New York’s Gorilla Biscuits, create music that’s heavy as hell but still positive. If you’ve never seen them live, this year’s Riot Fest set might be the perfect place to start. They’ll be performing their classic 1989 album Start Today in its entirety, one of three album plays from Walter Schreifels’ bands that weekend!
They may be from the opposite coast, but punk lifers Pennywise helped pave the way for bands like Turnstile. Their positive energy, powerful sound and bold political stances were a welcome contrast to some of the era’s less-thoughtful bands. Just listen to albums like Unknown Road, About Time and their self-titled debut, and you’ll understand why their classic Epitaph Records era is held up as some of the genre’s most important work.
We’re taking it back to the East Coast with H2O, another band that’s responsible for the type of uplifting hardcore that has become an essential part of Turnstile’s sound. Drawing influence from bands like Minor Threat, Gorilla Biscuits and Descendents, their urgent, energetic sound made them fixtures at CBGB during the legendary club’s final years.
From John Waters to the Wham City collective, Baltimore has given us a ridiculous number of great artists. Up-and-coming band Pinkshift is the latest, grabbing the punk world’s attention with last year’s incredible debut, Love Me Forever. If you pick up on some sonic similarities to Turnstile, you’re not imagining things. They worked with the band’s frequent collaborator Will Yip and cited their energy and sense of melody as an influence in an interview with BrooklynVegan.
The Santa Cruz hardcore group delivers catchiness while maintaining a distinct sense of chaos and energy. From their debut EP Over Thinking in 2016 to their latest release LIVING PROOF this year, they’ve got lots of tracks for you to check out.
Riot Fest 2023 Tickets + Lineup
Single day tickets are available now to see Turnstile with Foo Fighters, Quicksand, Pinkshift and more on Friday, September 15. Get ‘em while they last!
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