RIOT FEST at Downsview Park (35 Carl Hall), Saturday (September 6), gates 11 am. Single day pass, $95-$150; two-day pass $180-$290. TF, riotfest.org
When Riot Fest debuted in 2005, the Chicago festival was all about punk rock, featuring the Misfits, the Germs and the Dead Kennedys. As it's grown and evolved, it's become a multi-city affair, hitting Toronto and Denver as well as the Windy City and incorporating less aggressive big-name alt-rockers. Nevertheless, a few legendary punk pioneers have been squeezed onto the bill - well worth heading out early to catch.
While less famous than their 70s UK competitors the Sex Pistols and the Clash, the Buzzcocks' influence on pop-punk can't be overstated. Bratty humour and buzz-saw bubblegum hooks. Sunday (September 7).
Long before alt-country was a word, California's Social Distortion were marrying twang with power chords and drawing lines between the outlaw appeal of Johnny Cash and the punk scene. Sunday (September 7).
The melodic hardcore of Bob Mould's 80s band Hüsker Dü not only inspired the Pixies but was also one of Nirvana's key influences. Their 1984 release, Zen Arcade, tested the idea of a punk rock concept album long before Fucked Up's David Comes To Life. Sunday (September 7).