Nevermind The Posers

See ya in the pit.

Vans Warped Tour Review at Monmouth Park Raceway in Oceanport, NJ September 20, 2011

Review by Angela Blasi

The 2011 Vans Warped Tour made its annual summer rounds and I was fortunate enough to have the chance to check it out.  I found myself one gray morning making my way to Monmouth Park Raceway ready to see the likes of A Day to Remember, Big D and the Kids Table, Less Than Jake, Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds and a whole host of others.

It would be next to impossible, or just a painfully long read, for me to sit here and list every single thing about each band that I liked and disliked.  I will tell you however, that I had the opportunity to catch the set of all but one band I was able to interview and that each group successfully stood and delivered both on and off stage.  With that, I’ll delve into some of the highlights of my experience at this years’ Vans Warped Tour.

Upon arrival and waiting in line to enter the venue, the crowd found the one and only MC Lars walking along the massed youth promoting his set.  I had no idea who he was yet, but I liked his DIY approach.  In just a few short hours I found myself sitting face to face with him and Josh of Weerd Science (formerly in Coheed and Cambria) as the two would be performing together as part of the tour.  In interview, Lars was quiet and thoughtful while Josh was the more animated of the two, energetically expressing his love and enthusiasm for music.  However, when it came time to catch the actual live performance, MC Lars seemingly crawled out of his shell and was absolutely spectacular.  Both performers gelled well together on stage, each with his own musical prowess.  It became clear quickly that the two were by no means all talk; they did in fact love every second of performing and creating music.  It was refreshing to see the happiness and passion still very much alive in artists who are no strangers to the music industry.

I ran into Patrick Salmon from Tomorrows Bad Seeds in the crowd and had a few minutes to catch up since I spoke to him last and his band mates the previous year.  Casually, we talked and he is still just as cool as he was last year and he brought me up to speed with the last 365 days and their continuing success.  I was able to catch their set and I’m pleased to report that they’re doing great.  Their live performance and sound quality coupled with the energy that is so unique to the band has not fizzled out despite rigorous touring and overall momentum.

The rest of the day consisted of back and forth from press to stage areas, interviewing bands I was familiar with and some I had never heard before.  I came out of this years Warped with a few new bands tucked away for further research and some of whom converted me to an instant fan.  From Sick of Sarah, who I might add are absolutely awesome, funny and badass on stage both in personality and musical styling, to the very theatrical and unique Venetia Fair, to one of my long time favorites Big D and the Kids Table, I was not disappointed with this year’s lineup.

Maybe it was just me, but I felt like this year’s show was more solid and musically diverse than last year’s event.  Did I mention Mr. Dee Snider of Twisted Sister himself paid a visit to this year’s event?  Yup, he did.  I have no idea why, but suddenly there he was surrounded by press conducting a group interview.

 

Venetia Fair at Warped Tour August 17, 2011

Filed under: Interviews,New Music,Vans Warped Tour — NVMP @ 7:36 AM
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I ran into Mike and Joe from Venetia Fair and talked about how things are going for them.

Mike:  My name is Mike; I play bass in the Venetia Fair.

Joe:  I’m Joe Brown; I play keys in the Venetia Fair.

Ang:  So how’s the tour treating you guys so far?

Mike:  Tough and awesome and hot and dirty.

Joe:  Definitely been dirty.  I’ve been wearing the same shirt for 32 days today.

Ang:  Is it lucky perhaps?

Joe:  No, more so that I have refused to acknowledge my body telling me that it needs to be washed and I’m ignoring any health signs more of a personal thing I have with myself.

Ang:  So tell me, what makes your music so different and great?

Mike:  A lot of people say our music has a burlesque kind of theme or a rag-timey feel.  The music is very intense, but it’s also very catchy.

Joe:  It’s definitely heavy and theatrical; cabaret-esque piano and waltzy parts that reminds you of a circus.

Ang:  Where do you draw your influences from?

Joe:  That’s an interesting question because none of us listen to the same thing.  I know when we used to do interviews we would always take people who would compose scores from movies and stuff.

Mike:  Like scores from Tim Burton films.  Any weird stuff that grabs people’s attention.

Ang:  Where are you from and how long have you been together as a band?

Joe:  Boston

Mike:  The band existed for about four years.  We started touring two years ago and this is our first year playing Warped.  It’s also the first time we’ve been on a tour that we’re playing everyday like a festival.

Ang:  What can we expect to see from your live show?

Joe:  Here’s what I tell people when they haven’t heard us: “I guarantee you our live show is the wildest set you’ve ever seen and we go crazier than any band.  If I’m wrong and you can honestly tell me that there’s a band that goes crazier, then I’ll just stand there and you can punch me in the head as many times as you want.  We pride ourselves on our live shows.

Ang:  How does that crazy energy translate into the crowd?  How do they respond?

Mike:  Our fans are awesome.  They’re the wildest people in the world, and we make sure they’re all wild too.

Ang:  Would you describe your music as high energy and up tempo?

Mike and Joe:  Yes!

Ang:  What type of message are you trying to convey to your listeners?

Joe:  Nothing matters.  Life is a toilet, deal with it.  Don’t be a baby, don’t let anything bother you.

Ang:  What is your definition of a poser?

Joe:  A lot of bands think that they want to be that band, so they’re posers.  I don’t think that’s true.  I think they just want to play music.  A poser would be someone who’s pretending to be someone that they’re not.

Mike:  I haven’t heard that term in a while.  I think it changed to hipsters.

Joe:  Poser used to have like a negative connotation to music in general.  You could just call someone a poser and they’d be like ‘fuck.’  I feel like now it’s actually turned into the word it’s supposed to be.

Ang:  What do we have to look forward to from Venetia Fair?

Joe:  We’ve got a couple of things we just put out.  A new EP, it’s called The Pits and we got it on iTunes, Amazon and on our Facebook.  We just put out a music video for “A Man Like Me.”  It’s on YouTube and all over the internet.

Mike:  We’re also putting out a whole bunch of tour dates soon.