I hate summer. None of my friends live where I live, there’s never anything for me to do, and I hate the heat and humidity. That said, there is one thing that I do anticipate at each onset of my least favorite season: Warped Tour. This Friday, the tour will kick off its 17th year, and this will be my sixth year in attendance, and seventh time attending overall. Though the lineup isn’t quite as enticing as it has been in years past, there is still a group of bands that I’m really excited to see and are worth the $35 ticket. The songs for this week’s feature come from the three bands that I’m most excited to see for the first time at this year’s Pittsburgh date.
1. “The Only Thing You Talk About” – Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows
Although some might not have been very satisfied with the heavy pop (emphasis on “pop”) sound on D.R.U.G.S.’ debut, I found it to be a great release. Though the lyrics aren’t always his best, Craig Owens displays his mastery in writing catchy melodies and his vocals are top-notch. The instrumentation provides a well-fitting dark atmosphere for the songs, and the album as a whole is one of my favorites so far this year. Although I’ve already seen Owens and guitarist Nick Martin in an acoustic setting, I’m anxious to see how they perform in a heavier context, most notably “The Only Thing You Talk About.” Though the song originally started as the Chiodos demo “Thermacare” and Owens’ old band released their own version, titled “Stratovolcano Mouth,” this is the one that I’ve favored since first hearing it. From the awesome breakdown at the beginning to the massive singalong chorus, there’s not a second of this song that I don’t love. I really can’t wait to mosh to the breakdown following where the music cuts out and Owens says what he knew. While I can’t wait to see/hear other tracks from their album, this is the one that I’m really anticipating, and should be one of my high points for Warped Tour this year.
2. “Any Other Heart” – Go Radio
Go Radio has quickly become one of my favorite bands. Their EPs were both great, and their debut full-length is currently my favorite album so far this year. As a result, they’re easily my most anticipated band for this summer’s Warped Tour. Though my favorite track on the LP is the incredible slow-tempo ballad “Why I’m Home,” I’m most looking forward to hearing their upbeat material, including single “Any Other Heart.” The track does a great job of building up to the chorus, and I can already picture everyone clapping along when the “‘Cause you’re leaving something short of innocent” part comes in. The track features some of the band’s best instrumentation, and the lyrics are incredibly personal and emotional without being depressing or about the stereotypical topics that usually come from the pop-punk world. Though I’m sure that they’ll be scheduled at the same time as one of my other “must-see” bands (that’s just how Warped Tour works), Go Radio is definitely the band holding the trump card for me this year.
3. “Settle Down” – The Dangerous Summer
Sometimes, I need to listen to a band more than a few times before I start hating on them, because I always feel bad when I really like them later. The Dangerous Summer is one of those bands. For some reason, I never understood any of the hype surrounding them until I fell in love with Reach For The Sun late last year. An Acoustic Performance Of Reach For The Sun really sealed the deal for me, and now I’m really anticipating the release of their new album a few days before the Pittsburgh Warped Tour date. That said, I’m more excited to hear songs from the album that made me like them, primarily the upbeat “Settle Down,” which comes out hard and doesn’t relent. The lyrics are top-notch and are some of my favorite from the band, perhaps behind only “Symmetry” and “Never Feel Alone.” I might not like the summer, but I’m eagerly anticipating The Dangerous Summer next month.