Every week, we will feature a band performing at Riot Fest 2011, which will be in Philadelphia on September 24 and Chicago on October 5. This week, we focus on punk legends, Descendents.

The punk world exploded in a joyous, worldwide chorus of “HOLY SHIT!” when news hit that the Descendents were playing shows again. The band released the “Cool to Be You” album in 2004 but hasn’t played any shows since 2002 and hasn’t done any extensive touring since 1997. This year, the band will be playing in both the Chicago and Philadelphia Riot Fest events -- finally, all the punks who came of age in the 2000s would get a chance to see them and the old timers would get to relive some of the glory.

The Reunion

However, it took some terrible news for this latest reunion to come around. Drummer Bill Stevenson recently revealed in an interview with that he had been afflicted with a grapefruit-sized tumor on his brain, which led to further health complications.

At the peak of his ill health Stevenson weighed 400 lbs., was forced onto oxygen and ended up passing a pulmonary embolism that was “Johnsonville bratwurst-sized.” As his medical bills began to pile up, lifelong friend Milo Aukerman offered his help, which led to the first Descendents shows in almost a decade.

Now that the tumor scare has subsided and Bill is back in good health the Descendents are more active than they’ve been in 15 years. Fans in Chicago and Philadelphia as well as across the world will get a chance to see them as part of Riot Fest 2011.

Riot Fest East and the latest music news can be found over at

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