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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Larry and his Flask Interview August 13, 2011

By Angela Blasi

I had a few minutes to catch up with Ian Cook and Jesse Marshall of Larry and his Flask Vans Warped Tour in Oceanport, NJ.  Check out their new album All That We Know that just came out on Tuesday 8/9/11.

Ang:  How was your performance today and the turnout?

Ian:  It was cool, we’re kind of one of those bands; we’ll start out with a small gathering of people and by the end, people walk by and they’re like “what?”  They see this guy jumping around with this huge standup bass, and there are banjos and mandolins, so they stop and want to watch.

Jesse:  Today a lot of parents came up to us and said “Thank you so much, I hate all the music on this tour, I’m in pain being here.”

Ang:  How long have you guys been together?

Ian:  It’s kind of a weird story.  We’ve been together for seven years and started out as just a straight up electric punk rock band and it kind of evolved.  In the last three and a half years, we’ve been playing more traditional instruments, more like a full gear sound.

Ang:  How’s New Jersey been treatin’ ya?

Jesse:  The Saint in Asbury Park was awesome and we played The Wellmont Theatre in Montclair with Dropkick Murphys; it was really great.

Ang:  Are there any bands your fond of touring with?  Any bands here you’ve hit it off with?

Ian:  Foxy Shazam.  They’re off the tour now and left at the Montreal date.  They were amazing.  We made really great friends with them, nicest guys.

Jesse:  We bonded immediately.  Our van broke down in Michigan and they let us ride in their tour bus, they’re great guys. Also, the Aggrolites are awesome.  We’re definitely going to be playing with them in the future.  We’ll be touring with Lionize in the fall.

Ang:  For someone who’s not familiar with your music/stage show, what is something the new-comers can expect?

Ian:  I would just say come prepared to have a party.

Jesse:  It’s an explosion of energy.

Ian:  We just try to play at every show like it’s the last one we’re going to play; give it everything and see if we get anything back.  If we get twenty percent back from what we’re giving out, then we’re happy.

Ang:  As far as your music and song writing goes, is that something done collectively as a band?

Ian:  It’s different from time to time.  Most often one person will bring the song to the table and it’ll change drastically once we get it into the practice space and start hashing out things.

Jesse:  There are also things we’ve written completely collectively, the lyrics and the music, but a lot of times one person will write the lyrics, bare-bone skeleton of the song and then we’ll all go in and add.  Maybe a horn pop would be cool here.

Ian:  Kind of throw it around.

Ang:  Do you guys have a method in getting together and writing, or do you find that your influences have any sort of bearing when you get together and write?

Ian:  Yeah, definitely.  Me personally, I write a lot of songs by myself just with my acoustic guitar and definitely my influences have an effect.

Ang:  Same for you Jesse, is there a particular kind of music that brings out a flare to the music?

Jesse:  I don’t know, punk rock and gypsy music; a lot jazz.

Ian:  We listen to a lot of music.  We’re huge fans of music in general from metal to hip-hop to jazz.

Ang:  Are you on for the entire duration of the Warped Tour?

Jesse:  The tour ends in Portland, which is like two hours from my house.

Ang:  Aren’t you guys from Oregon?  That worked out well.

Jesse:  Yeah.  Everybody else is like ‘I have to drive back to New Jersey.’  Luckily, we go home, do a couple of shows and a couple of festivals.  We do a festival in Seattle called Soundfest, a couple of home-town shows, then we go to play Riot Fest in Philly and Chicago and FEST 10 in Florida.  Finally, we do a full US/Canada tour, go home for a little bit, then we go to Hawaii

Ang:  Sounds like you’re always touring, how are you physically enduring all the traveling?

Ian:  It’s how we all grew up.  We started touring while still in high school and we got used to it more and more.  The first time we went out, we were out for two weeks and played like four shows.  Then it got bigger and bigger and we got used to living on the road.

Jesse:  Luckily we’re all younger, our twenties and stuff.  None of us have any kids.

Ian:  None of us have any ties at home other than girlfriends.  We kind of built our lives around the band.

Ang:  What’s your favorite area to play?

Ian:  I like Florida a lot.

Jesse:  I really like Colorado and it’s always fun to go to the city- New York or San Francisco.

Ang:  It seems like you guys have been everywhere.

Jesse:  Yeah, we’ve played in 44 states.  We haven’t done North Dakota, Alabama, Hawaii or Alaska.  We are playing Hawaii and Alaska coming up soon.

Ang:  Anything else you’d like our readers to know?

Ian:  We just released a brand new album.  It’s called All That We Know.  It’s available digitally now on Amazon and iTunes and released in stores on 8/9/11.

Ang:  Finally, what is your definition of a poser?

Ian:  Somebody that’s lost in any sort of false idea of what should be true.  Somebody who should be following their heart and they’re not.

Jesse:  Kind of just pretentious, trying too hard to fit in I suppose.