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Be the Riottt! Storms Thru SF

Rug-cutting hip kids and skater-types alike converged upon San Francisco’s Be the Riottt! Fest, a 12-hour minor league Coachella featuring art galleries, street fashion collections, and a diverse array of bands. Jam punks the RX Bandits cranked up the energy generators early before Texas-based Explosions in the Sky brought tears to a fair amount of cheeks with their emotional, thrashy set.

It was no surprise the Rapture and the Presets created the biggest dance riots of the night, as their electric boogie rhythms brought every toe-tapper to the floor to test the strength of front-row barricades. And Greg Gillis (aka mash-up maestro Girl Talk) provided one of the event’s highlights, as he failed to crowd surf, drenched the stage in confetti, and surrounded himself with a quarter of the audience to dance onstage.

Be the Riottt! wasn’t just about the buzz bands, though, as hip-hop artists had a formidable presence. In an awesomely bizarre collaboration, jabber-mouthed MC Busdriver came onstage with Deerhoof. Other underground hip-hop heroes, like local favorites Zion-I and Living Legends, provided energetic performances, and Sage Francis proved his weight in intensity, demolishing his set with b-boy antics and politically conscious lyrics. The Clipse closed out the hip-hop stage with a performance that had everyone anticipating their much-delayed sophomore album even more. AUSTIN PLUMB

WE ASKED: What was so rad about Be the Riottt!? COMMENT