Category Archives: Music

Guess Who’s Going to Warped Tour?

This guy!… plus hundreds of thousands of angsty teenagers. Pretty sweet, no? In all seriousness this is the first time I’ll be able to make it to warped tour in 6 years and I’m absolutely stoked about it. There’s nothing I like better than seeing punk music live and Warped Tour is an opportunity to see a lot of it in one day, which means a lot when you don’t get out that often. Sure, all of the sets are ridiculously short (the headliner of the day played 45 minutes last time I was there, which is completely ridiculous), but the 30 minutes or so I’ll see of each band are sure to be magic.

I’ve been to a few other more traditional festivals – Lollapalooza, Pitchfork Music Festival, and Outside Lands – but there’s one thing I’ve found special about Warped. It’s pretty much exclusively punk music which you pretty much can’t see anywhere else (although I guess I did see Manchester Orchestra at Lolla). I’m a huge punk fan, particularly live, because of the raw energy in the performance and the crowd. I love all types of music but in college I started to get increasingly bored at more “shoe-gazy” shows – even for bands I truly enjoy listening to such as the Shins, Sigur Ros, and Wilco. Particularly if the even is seated it just loses all of its allure for me. At that time I got increasingly more into electronic, dance-driven, downright poppy music and in particular punk and that’s only continued to be the case through the years.

The best news about being able to attend this year’s Warped Tour is the line-up is great. As a huge Early November fan who’s never seen them live I’m really pumped to see both them and Ace Enders doing his thing as I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business. I haven’t see Motion City Soundtrack since the first Warped Tour I went to in high school so seeing them again should be a trip. Last time I tried to see Chiodos with Craig Owens in the band my plans were thwarted so seeing them reunited is going to be great. Woe, Is Me should be a good time even with all of their drama among the band members and I See Stars I think is going to be a ton of fun live. Definitely looking forward to Like Moths to Flames, Hands Like Houses, VersaEmerge, We Came As Romans and Sleeping with Sirens. Should be fun seeing my old high school-mates blessthefall again.

NeverShoutNever should be a trip. Some of his music is truly great, some of it kind of sucks and lot of it is so sappy and poppy you can’t help but love it. Will be interesting to see the mix he chooses to play and what his stage presence is like. In videos he seems like a giant tool but I do love a lot of his music. I’m really looking forward to Memphis May Fire and Bring Me the Horizon. I’m hoping their performances will be intense and aggressive. I’m sure there are more who unannounced who will be great too.

Overall I have to say this is the most excited I’ve been for a show in years. Can’t wait for July 22nd where I’ll be one of 17 people at the Mountain View Warped Tour old enough to purchase beer. Fuck yeah!

blessthefall w/ the Cover-Up, the Word Alive, Lower Definition, and Before You Fled

Last night was the big blessthefall show at the Marquee. Featuring two bands to kick out singer Craig Mabbit, one very recently, a lot of what the show was about was to prove to fans that without Mabbit, they’re still good. Overall, they did just that: now, the play by play.

I showed up late and thus missed Before You Fled but I won’t lie, I’m not too broken up about it. Perhaps once I check out their myspace I will be but thusfar I don’t care. I did get a chance to catch all of Lower Definition’s set. I’d listened to them on while jumping around their recommendations one day and thought they sucked. Upon further reconsideration after seeing them live, I’m now 100% certain that they do suck. However, it was partially the sound guy’s fault last night as the levels made their collective sound muddy.

The Word Alive were next on the bill, fresh from kicking out Mabbit. This is their second or third show without him and with their new singer, Telle Smith, formerly of Greeley Estates. Telle has a surprisingly good voice. I’m not sure it’s as good as Mabbit’s for the band but he does a good job filling in. The band’s new songs with Smith are alright but not as good as the few originals from their myspace. They only played 5 or 6 songs but they got the crowd going and everyone including myself seemed to generally enjoy it.

The Cover-Up were crazy intense as always. They’re really pretty good but hard to take seriously given how it’s the genre is led almost entirely by kids even younger than me. The Cover-Up look like a bunch of late twenty- early thirty-somethings. Last night rocking glasses the lead singer looked even older than usual. It was a pretty good set but didn’t get the crowd going as much as the Word Alive.

Finally, blessthefall took the stage opening with a new song that hasn’t even been put on their myspace yet. Smart move given that everyone was so excited for them to take the stage they didn’t care that they couldn’t sing along. Their new singer is really much better than Mabbit but isn’t really a screamer. Jared fills in pretty well screaming but he’s not as good. Overall, they might be better off without Mabbit but we’ll see. They mainly played oldies but played a couple more new ones as well including To Hell and Back, probably the highlight of the show. However, playing maybe only 8 songs they were somewhat of a lame headliner.

The show was fun and pretty good to get good and beer-drunk to, although it’s likely that I was one of only 40 or so people in the crowd of age to get drunk and only have of us were likely not hardcore Christian / straight-edge. The crowd was pretty nice sized but not as big as I thought it’d be with the top three bands on the bill being from Phoenix. That said, the Marquee is huge and many people using its size to spread out and make what was the largest, most open mosh pit I’ve ever seen.

Overall, it was a good show, and it will be interesting to see how it compares to the Mabbit-led Escape the Fate which will be at the Marquee early next month. Who will bring the bigger crowd? Only time will tell.