Monday, June 29, 2009

The Warped Tour Part 2

The Warped Tour 2009 (Part 2)

I experienced similar situations a couple more times but sometimes the bands would dictate how long I watched them. I watched Aiden for about 4 songs and they have quite a stage presence despite being the ugliest band on the festival and their lead singer is insane (12 foot stage dive off of a speaker). But I knew Gallows would be starting so I raced across the venue to the other stage and sprinted when I realized they were already playing.

Gallows gave the best performance of the tour hands down. Their lead singer Frank Carter has an intense, tough-guy stage presence that invokes a high-energy fervor in the crowd, especially among fans. He compliments his energy by coming down into the crowd and doing his vocals from the pit. He did this for most of the set and I personally gave him a shove and yelled into the mic, “Ventura is the reason!” a nice improv Frank added for their song “London Is the Reason” from their latest and greatest album Grey Britain (2009). Another highlight was when they had the crowd run around the sound booth (something they attempted at Warped ’06 but only a few ran including myself). This time the crowd was overwhelmingly excited and stampeded over people and trashcans, as the mosh pit whirled like a tornado. They played their last couple songs with all members except the drummer rocking out inside the mosh pit, I still wonder how those cords weren’t broken or unplugged.

As Gallows walked off the stage I ran towards the other main stage to catch the last half of The Ataris set. They sounded great live and their new material is much better than their last album, which was atrocious. They ended it with a revamped version of San Dimas that brought me back to my freshman year in highschool. I’ll be looking forward to listening to and reviewing their upcoming new album. Next I watched Scary Kids Scaring Kids who sound better live than on their albums, especially due to the raw talent of their lead vocalist Tyson Stevens (his screaming and singing was perfect). Finally, I checked out The Devil Wears Prada, a band that I don’t think gets enough credit, especially from the metal community. For some reason most metal fans shunned them and so they are tackling the hardcore scene, which I believe makes more sense for their style. They got a decent response from the fans in Ventura, although people were tired due to it being the end of the day. I think they won over some fans and they sounded excellent. Notably the crowd was digging the pounding breakdowns and the bands synced head banging was a good sight for the younger punks to be exposed to.

Anti-Flag and Bad Religion sounded good as usual and if you enjoy punk music and haven’t heard these classic bands, please check them out. The band that surprised me the most was A Day to Remember, whose interesting mix of pop-punk and mosh-core has garnered them widespread attention. They actually sound really good live and their breakdowns are worthy of a sizable mosh pit. They seemed to have a very devout fanbase for such a new band and everyone knew their lyrics. The other newcomer that I think deserve some attention is I Set My Friends On Fire who blend electronic beats with post-hardcore and pop-punk. These guys are still teenagers but put themselves on the map with their cover of Soulja Boy’s Crank Dat (its amazing!). I can see them going places and they definitely rocked the crowd at Warped.

Nasty Awards:

Best Performance: Gallows
Best Vocalist: Tyson Stevens from Scary Kids Scaring Kids
Best Drummer: Alex Rodriguez from Saosin
Best Screamer: Mike Hranica from The Devil Wears Prada
Best Old Band: NOFX
Best New Band: I Set My Friend On Fire
Biggest Surprise: A Day to Remember
Heaviest Band: Underoath
Funniest Band: NOFX
Ugliest Band: Aiden

Was it worth paying $35 to see 14 of my favorite bands in 1 afternoon?
Hell yes.

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