Nevermind The Posers

See ya in the pit.

Vans Warped Tour 2011 Review September 8, 2011

Sick of Sarah

On July 23, 2011 I said screw the heat wave and headed to Nassau Collisuem in NY for my 9th Vans Warped Tour.  Complaining about the tortuous temperature was not bring relief, however, huddling in the shadows of merch tents and chilling on the air-conditioned Monster Energy truck did.  The first band I checked out was Sick of Sarah.  I am not usually a fan of female rock bands, but these chicks can play.  I enjoyed the live set more than their recorded tracks for the fact that there was more energy and less harmony.  The songs I recommend are “Bittersweet” and “Not Listening.”

Next I headed over to the Nintendo 3DS stage to check out Moving Mountains.  Before their set started, I caught the last couple of songs from Simple Plan.  I was slightly shocked to see them on the tour, but their new album is not too shabby.  Lyrically, the band grew up.  I really enjoy their single “When I’m Gone.”  They ended with crowd pleaser “I’d Do Anything”.  Oh high school, oh reminiscing.

Moving Mountains

I’m happy to now cross Moving Mountains off my list of bands to see.  When previewing the band, I was reminded of The Get Up Kids (think On A Wire) with a touch of Brand New, which is extremely rare.  The band owned the stage and their performance was nothing less than phenomenal.  “The Cascade,” “With One’s Heart In One’s Mouth” and “Where Two Bodies Lie” are my favorite tracks.  I can’t wait to check out their albums.  Emo music used to be good back in the day when it first became a popular, yet it is still a misunderstood and undefined genre.  This band reminds me of that; like when ‘emo’ wasn’t such a shameful word.  I deem this band mandatory to check out.

The Narrative


The Narrative was up next at Kia/Kevin Says stage.  Local natives to Long Island, NY, the crowd filled rather fast, and more were gathering as each note played.  I loved “Fade” and “The Moment That It Stops”.  Their voices (Suzie Zeldin and Jesse Gabriel) are just so pleasant to hear with melodic hooks and lyrics.  When I take my next train ride, I know “Trains” will be on my iPod.  The music paints a great picture of the best train ride you’ll ever take; like you’re 5 years old and it’s your first time on one.  I get Tim Burton vibes from this song, but that’s probably just me.  The band may not have been something I would expect on the tour, but hey, the times they are a changin’.  We’re All Warped.

Finally.

A break between bands to check out the sites and find some shade.

I love the cloths from Sooshi Clothing Company.  They have these adorable plush wasabi/ginger duo and sashimi.  Sadly, they’re only up for raffle, so I opted for a shirt, this oneSkull Candy was selling head phones for $10 on top of throwing some free pairs into the crowd.  There were giant drinking water trucks with “durkin water” to fill up your water bottles and misting tents to cool down.  The Monster Energy truck was on site providing air-conditioned seating and free Monster drinks.  I love the Absolutely Zero; it’s energy without the guilt.  Oh, and of course I couldn’t forget to catch some skaters!

Middle Class Rut

I have to admit, I had no idea Middle Class Rut consisted of only two members Zack Lopez (vocals/guitar) & Sean Stockham (vocals/drums).  Before there set, I had only heard their single “New Low,” which I love.  I wish I could say the same about their other tracks, but didn’t care for them.  Was it lacking something?  It still felt like a full sound on stage, but it got repetitive after a while, and this coming from a gal who loves her jam bands.  I didn’t stick around for the full set and of course, “New Low” was played last.  I heard it half way across the venue and thought to myself “Fuck,” but sang along to the chorus anyway.

Lucero

When I was checking the lineup of the tour this year, I knew I had to make a stop and hear Lucero.  Again, a sound I thought I’d never experience on Warped Tour.  This alternative/country/punk band from Memphis had just enough punk rock in their veins to spark my interest.  I’m picking up Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bruce Springsteen and at times and Gaslight Anthem.  It’s something that everyone can enjoy and I appreciate them being on the tour.  “The Devil and Maggie Chascarillo” is a must hear.  Listen here.

Roger Manganelli, Less Than Jake

The highlight of the day was watching Less Than Jake perform while standing on stage left.  Taking pictures in a photo pit is awesome, but stage shots just rock harder.  Less Than Jake takes to the stage like a fish to water (or the smell of weed at The Expendables’ set); they are natural performs and there was never a dull moment on stage.  They were fast to point out some visions of Long Island; Chris Demakes told a young girl who flashed her tits to “Put them away!”  Rightfully so, good move Demakes.

Less Than Jake

Another issue/concern they pointed out was the haircut choices of the crowd; lots were sporting the Justin Beiber do and that was not going to fly.  The band pulled up on stage one of the look-a-likes and made it a point that this had to change.  JR revealed the mohawk strip and buzzer.  The original kid chickened out, thus proving the wimpy look and demeanor the Beiber cut holds, and a true punk rocker was selected.  He let JR and Buddy shave his head into a mohawk.  Not over yet, the band pulls a girl from the audience for the freshly mohawk rebel to make out with on stage.  Only downfall to the onstage mohawk was my location and the direction the wind.   Thank God for giant speakers to duck behind to dodge the hair.  “Mr. Personality” from their new EP Greetings From… was a big hit, as were all the classics.  They deliver so many songs in one set it feels like they covered everything I wanted to hear.  I was happy to hear three tracks from TV/EP released back in October 2010, the theme songs to Animaniacs, Spongebob Squarepants and i-Carly.  Before I knew it, we were asked to leave the stage and the band was performing their last song.  What a great experience!  Coming soon, NVMP’s interview w/ JR!

Big D

Big D & The Kids Table was up next, another Warped veteran on bill.  I wasn’t able to catch their entire set, but still had a great time.  They played some tracks off of their new album that dropped on 7/5/11, The Damned, The Dumb and The Delirious.  Ska music is getting scarce these days, so you have to appreciate the classics.  Sure, there are new bands coming out w/ brass sections trying to keep Ska alive, but remember your roots;  both LTJ and Big D have been around since the 90s.  Ska is a genre of music.  If you don’t like it, then you don’t have to listen.  Fact is, the sound has never changed; ska music is known for having a horn section to tie together the elements of a rock/punk band.  Ska music will always have a place on my iPod.

Go Radio

Another new band I’m happy to have discovered this year is Go Radio on Fearless Records.  Hailing from Tallahassee, Florida, these rockers have some dangerously addicting songs that had me practically paralyzed at the stage.  The lyrics are catchy and the hooks are strong enough for me to have just used the word “paralyzed”.  This is Jason Lancaster’s band since leaving Mayday Parade.  I got a good taste of this band to make me definitely dig deeper into their music.  “Goodnight Moon” was #8 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart and sold more than 15,000 copies in 2010 off of Do Overs And Second Chances.  “Any Other Heart” was great live; lots of passion and energy, and definitely a song that drags you in and leaves you wanting more.

The Expendables

Blacklist Royals

No strangers to the tour, up next were The Expendables.  Ryan DeMars made a quick statement before their set, something to the tune of ‘light ‘em if you got ‘em.’  A minute later, the audience smelled fantastic and the mood mellowed out.  I love reggae.  I love punk.  I love The Expendables.  “Down Down Down” and “Sinsemilla” are my favorite tracks.

Another new band to check out was Blacklist Royals.  I hear Rancid and the Ramones with a taste of Gaslight Anthem, which means it grabbed my attention immediately and deserves a fair listen.   Their stage presence was pure energy and they knew how to keep the attention of the crowd.  Great set and will definitely be checking out more of their music. 
“American Hearts” and “Sick of Sin” are great tracks to start with.

illscarlett


The last band I was able to catch was illscarlett.  These boys are certainly no stranger to VWT, and this year, Lyman selected them to play the entire tour.  You’ve come a long way illscarlett, from playing your music at the gates of Warped Tour to rocking out on the whole festival!  Dub rock is a type of music that is extremely hard to hate, or at least that’s how I feel.  Yet again, their live set was able to get the crowd to unite and puff, puff pass.

All in all, it was another successful year at the Vans Warped Tour.  I can’t help but to feel that the theme this year was fusion bands.  With acts like Larry and his Flask, Lucero, Lionize, Peelander-Z, MC Lars and Weerd Science, River City Extension, all combining different elements of various genres, it lets us hear music we might have never listened to.  IE- I’m not a fan of country, but Lucero is pretty damn sweet.  In River City Extention there are eight members and that alone is enough of a fusion to create a unique sound.  We’re all warped, see you there next year!   Thanks for everything.

Here is a slide show of the best pictures I took at Warped this year, enjoy!

Review and Pictures by Tina Nicole Teresi

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A Walk Through Warped Tour- 7/18/10 @ Monmouth Park Racetrack August 13, 2010

Review by TNT

Bands I saw: AM Taxi, Face to Face, Left Alone, Anarbor, The Sparring, The Casualties, All American Rejects, Sum 41, The Mighty Regis, and Alkaline Trio
Bands I wish I saw: Reel Big Fish, Andrew W.K., The Flatliners, Tomorrows Bad Seeds, Middle Finger Salute, and Riverboat Gamblers

It doesn’t feel like summer until the Vans Warped Tour rolls into town.  I’ve gone consecutively since 2003 and before I journey to the tour, I’m always convinced it’s Christmas morning.  Well, at least that’s what it feels like to me.  I describe it as one of the most exciting feelings in the world…knowing you’re going to see a festival that lasts all day with some of the greatest punk and rock n’ roll bands around (from legends to up and coming artists), knowing that you’re going to discover loads of new music, and meet some cool people who actually enjoy the same music as you.  Now, I know there has been an increase in posers at the Warped Tour, but if you think about it like that, you’re not going to experience the same overwhelming excitement-filled feeling.  There are posers everywhere, let’s face the fact that there isn’t much we can do about it other than try to set them on the right path (and perhaps introduce them to this website).

I’d also like to note that Kevin Lyman, creator of the Warped Tour, does not pick the bands based on what YOU listen to.  When you create your own US/Canada tour, you can choose whoever you want to play.  If the bands were the same every single year or there was a limited variety of genres or if unsigned bands weren’t given a chance, I think it would get pretty boring and repetitive.  I also understand that if he didn’t go somewhat of the corporate route (mainly finding such huge sponsors in addition to Vans), this tour would not be able to go so far.  If you have beef with the tour because you think it “went corporate” or “sold out” then you obviously don’t know how expensive it is to financially support a tour of this size.  I would also like to thank Lyman for keeping the price of a ticket as low as possible and getting the tour to think and act green.

With all that being said, I did have a couple of gripes with the tour this year.  First of all, the NJ/NY dates were gypped out of seeing practically all the worth-while headliners: Anti-Flag, Big D and the Kid’s Table, The Dickies, Dropkick Murphys, Everclear, Street Sweeper Social Club, Streetlight Manifesto (they’re from NJ!) and The Bouncing Souls (also from the NJ/NYC area) were NOT in attendance.  What the fuck?  Without these acts, I feel like our ticket prices should have been cut in half.  Big freakin’ whoop; All American Rejects and Sum 41 don’t even compare to the bands I just listed.  I’m hoping some of them have upcoming concerts in the area, at least that would justify why they skipped NJ.  Secondly, due to an immense amount of traffic (half was from tour congestion and the other half was shore traffic), I was unable to see two of the greatest acts to play the NJ date.  Andrew W.K. and Reel Big Fish were the first acts to play.  I know I’m the only one to blame for this, since the acts are randomly picked for time slots on said day throughout the tour, but it still grinds my gears.  At least we snagged an interview with Andrew W.K. (will be posted soon).

Trying not to let the NJ line up bother me, my hungry ears and I were on the hunt for some new music.  The first band I stumbled upon was AM Taxi, a punk rock band from Chicago.  Let me explain filing AM Taxi under the punk rock category…they have both elements, in their natural form.  Punk lyrics are noted with simple chords and the guitar riffs are pure rock n’ roll, with driving drums beats that bring it all together.  There is also somewhat of a modern pop hook here, an edge that pulls you in.  I was impressed, especially with their lyrics and energy.  “The Mistake” is extremely well written with lyrics that stun you, (much like Brand New did for me back in the day) and the keys really bring this song together.  It’s hard to say punk music has a heart, but AM Taxi does, their music just hits home.  Right after their set, I made a personal note to pick up their latest album We Don’t Stand A Chance.

Coming back from an ever-changing line up and a long hiatus, Face to Face was the next band I sought out.  What a performance!  It’s been way too long and I was so excited to see them play.  I file Face to Face as one of the original Warped Tour bands, also included are Bad Religion, Anti-Flag, NOFX, and The Casualties.  Face to Face is fucking back and they’re releasing a new album this fall entitled Laugh Now, Laugh Later.  It was great to hear them play again and I pray they’re on the tour in 2011.  SoCal punk rock (F2F since 1991) will never die.

Left Alone was up next.  They remind me of Rancid so much; people look at me like I’m crazy when I say this, but that’s what I hear!  I guess Tim Armstrong and I have similar ears because after hearing Lonely Starts and Broken Hearts in 2004, he signed this band to his label, Hellcat Records.  Straight up, Left Alone is fast punk music with three chords and ska influences.  “Out of Tune Melody” made for a perfect circle pit.  I think I relate with Left Alone so well because they are a true DIY band.  Frontman Elvis Cortez started off as a roadie on the 2003 Warped Tour and when Lyman heard some music from the band, he appointed the band as the official Warped Tour BBQ band in 2004 and 2005.  I’m happy to see their hard work has paid off, as they officially played the tour this year.  See?  Sometimes all you need is good music and the rest will follow.

After Left Alone, I decided to check out what the hype was about with the band Anarbor.  Until today, I never gave the band a fair chance, but I’m glad I caught some songs.  I loved “You and I”; I feel that majority of pop rock bands would make this way more whiny and annoying.  Kudos.  I loved the lyrics in “Always Dirty, Never Clean” – ‘I’ve got bruises on my hands and knees/And a list of failures in between/Always dirty, I am never clean/Music is what you hear, and not what you see.’  When I get older and start doing needle-points and other old lady shit, I’m going to stitch this on a pillow.  “Gypsy Woman” has a great beat that makes it hard to stand still, but its not my favorite song.  I just hear Cage the Elephant and nothing else.  Anarbor released their first full length album on Hopeless records, 4/20/2010.

As I was getting read for Warped Tour this year, pre-listening to the bands, I came across The Sparring (Old Shoe Records) and knew they could not be missed.  Lead singer Joel Bourne cleared a space for himself to perform in front of the stage, stopping festival goers to stay for some music and pouring Monster Energy Drink on fans waiting in line for some meet n’ greet.  He stated that you can’t enjoy live music if you’re waiting in line for an autograph.  I say right on brother!  Borne had much to say, screaming his sarcastic punk lyrics.  This trio is powerful and I predict a solid future for them in the DIY punk rock community.  I recommend catching a live show soon.  Fair warning, the pit will be dangerous so be sure to bring it!

Being crunched for time, I was only able to catch one song from The Casualties.  Watching from the side of the stage, I felt like I was experiencing The Casualties (and the tour) for the first time all over again.

All American Rejects and Sum 41 performances left me with one question: Why?  I love the singles by All American Rejects, but never listened to the rest of their music.  Their big hits were of course covered; “Dirty Little Secrets,” “Swing, Swing,” and “Gives You Hell” were all played.  It was a good performance, but I felt like the members were distant, didn’t feel a connection.  It wasn’t an absent of energy, that was there, it just felt a little forced.  Perhaps the weight of touring has gotten the best of them on this particular date.  Lead Singer Tyson Ritter was promoting the campaign “Don’t Hate on Haiti”, spray painted on his white suit, with a clear mission statement being that if you forget about this disaster, its hatred.  He stated that he was touring to help raise money to build clean water wells for the people of Haiti.  Very noble.

With Sum 41, it felt like they were trying to relive their glory days with hits like “Fat Lip,” “All To Blame” and “The Hell Song”.  Their latest album, All the Good Shit: 14 Solid Gold Hits 2000-2008, was released in November 2008 and rumors of a new album in 2011 are buzzing around too.  Honestly, I miss Dave Baksh.  He brought a heavier punk sound to the group with his guitar style and it is missed.  I was less than thrilled with Sum 41.  I do wish Deryck Whibley a speedy recover though.  In Japan, where the band was set to play the Summer Sonic Rock Festival, Whibley was attacked on 8/6/10 in a bar by three men (and police) and aggravated a slipped disk injury in his back from 2007.

I wanted to like The Mighty Regis, but I just couldn’t.  They had a great performance, but for me it felt too much like they were impersonating Flogging Molly.  Both bands have seven members (6 male, 1 female), play the same instruments, and are both Celtic punk rock bands from Los Angeles.  It’s similar to the great debate of The Grateful Dead vs. Phish.  I was never able to get into Phish because I’m a deadhead and never saw (or heard) the point of getting into practically the same band.

Finally!  It was time to check out Alkaline Trio!  What a stellar performance, as usual!  I was happy to hear “Armageddon” and “Private Eye”, as From Here to Infirmary is an all-time favorite album of mine.  Personally, I haven’t seen Alkaline Trio live in some time, so every song was amazing to me; tons of energy, guts and love.  Also, the crowd was huge.  On their speakers, they stenciled on “Free the WM3″ and “WM3.org”.  I am so touched that bands today are still supporting the West Memphis Three but furious that they’re still in jail.  Please visit WM3.org to find out what you can do to support and free the WM3.

In final summation, here are my thoughts on the tour this year:  Although I missed the majority of the bands I was excited to see, I made the most of the day.  I understand that set times are randomly selected every day of the tour, but it still stinks that I missed out on a few great acts.  Oh well, there’s always next year.  I discovered a lot of new music and look forward to checking out more music by said bands.  Nevermind the Posers has attended Vans Warped Tour since 2003 and we’re looking forward to the lineup in 2011.

Don’t forget, to check out the bands mentioned in this review simply click on their names; they are linked to their MySpace pages.

 

 
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