Last Wednesday, seven more acts were announced to be playing this coming summer’s installment of Warped Tour. However, with this week providing a large variation of bands playing select dates, will this week live up to the hype of the last three weeks?
Band: Funeral Party (All Dates)
Check Out: “Giant” from The Golden Age of Knowhere
Similar To: Phoenix, The Vaccines, Neon Trees
My Reaction: As a tour that continues to show its diversity, Warped has further exemplified this week that they are attempting to hit up as many genres as possible to play this summer. This week in bands, the tour has shown its love for those who may read SPIN instead of Alternative Press by booking Funeral Party, the four piece indie-rock group hailing from Whittier, California. After putting out their first EP entitled Bootleg under long-time Warped affiliates Fearless Records, and soon after signing to RCA, the quartet are quick to establish their name in the music scene, currently promoting their latest record The Golden Age of Knowhere. The new record really showcases the best attributes of the band; especially lead singer Chad Elliot’s mature, passionate vocals that I’m sure will transfer well to their live set.
Would I Recommend Seeing Them?: Even though Warped kind of let me down last week by giving a full run on the tour to Stepdad, whose music, to me, sort of came off as mundane and uninteresting, the tour has really stepped up their game this week with Funeral Party, whose set I’m sure will be just as energetic and infectious as their latest release. And, while I tend to go for more of the pop-punk acts that play Warped Tour, I believe that I may have to stop by and check out Funeral Party’s set, which from what I can tell, will be one to remember.
Band: Hyro Da Hero (6/16-7/8)
Check Out: “Fuck You (Say It To Your Face)” from Birth, School, Work, Death
Similar To: Rage Against The Machine, P.O.S., Beastie Boys
My Reaction: In a world where there seems to be thousands of hip-hop stars trying to make a name for themselves, so few tend to stand out in the crowd and dare to be edgy. Enter Hyro Da Hero, who ever since the mid-2000’s has been coming out with some of the most daring lyrics the genre has provided. Native from his hometown of Houston, Texas, HDH is no stranger to putting on an incredible live show or producing lyrics that are sure to turn heads (“I don’t like John Mayer, he don’t like black women/And fuck Mel Gibson ‘cause he think we rape bitches”). Not only this, but HDH’s vocal style is unlike most of his contemporaries, falling somewhere along the lines between Chiddy Bang’s Chidera Anamege and Rage Against The Machine’s Zack de la Rocha. With all of these factors, it’s hard to find a reason why you WOULDN’T want to see such a promising and entertaining young star.
Would I Recommend Seeing Him?: Absolutely. I’ve heard from multiple sources that Hyro Da Hero, not to mention his backing band, put 110% into their live show and, as a result, have toured with everyone from 3OH!3 and Hollywood Undead, to Hatebreed and 50 Cent. I feel that during the act’s two week run on the west coast, they’ll be sure to find new found fans and will satisfy those who’ve been lucky enough to have already discovered him.
Band: Living With Lions (6/16-7/3)
Check Out: “Regret Song” from Holy Shit
Similar To: Polar Bear Club, Make Do & Mend, Crucial Dudes
My Reaction: Living With Lions’ road to fandom has been long and winding. Since the Vancouver, British Columbia quintet first formed in 2007, Living with Lions has been making a name for themselves in the pop-punk scene by putting their hard-hitting lyrics and riveting riffs before the disputes that have proved to be nothing but turmoil for success. In the past four years, they’ve lost both their original lead singer and bassist, as well as found problems producing their records after taking criticism for their latest release Holy Shit from the Canadian Heritage minister James Moore, whose committee helped publically fund the record. However, with Holy Shit getting praise from fans all across the nation, LWL are set for their two week stint on Warped, ready to make more and more fans in the process.
Would I Recommend Seeing Them?: Absolutely. Not only did LWL put out easily the best record of their career, which showcases new lead singer Stuart Ross’ rich punk vocals, but they are also fresh off of a successful Kickstarter campaign that really rejuvenated my faith in this band to really show they have the ability to stand up for what they believe in, no matter how large the odds are stacked up against them. Oh yeah, and after seeing their fantastic set at Bled Fest last year, it totally would have sealed it for me. I encourage all to go see Living with Lions, or you may just end up kicking yourself.
Band: Lost In Society (7/5-7/18)
Check Out: “Everybody’s Gone” from Eastern Empire
Similar To: The Bouncing Souls, Alkaline Trio, Far From Finished
My Reaction: Let’s face it: every band tends to have a band that came before them from which they’ve taken a great amount of influence. However, in today’s fast moving society, very few bands ever get the chance to actually meet those idols. Well, for Asbury, New Jersey trio Lost in Society, it’s a very different story. Within the eight years the band has been together, they’ve been lucky enough to play shows with punk staples such as The Bouncing Souls, Strike Anywhere and The Misfits. Not only that, but their upcoming split with American Pinup will be produced by none other than The Bouncing Souls’ own Pete Steinkopf. With all of this buzz and assistance being given from such large names in the punk industry, it seems that Lost in Society may be difficult to ignore if they’re what you’re looking for.
Would I Recommend Seeing Them?: I’m kind of on the fence. While I am a fan of the bands they’ve taken influence from, I’m still unsure of their ability to put on a riveting set without all the assistance from their predecessors. However, I did notice on their Facebook account that under their description, they noted they “have a stage presence that will give any veteran concert-goer the chills”. That’s a pretty big pedestal to put yourself on, but for now, I’ll trust their judgment.
Band: Rise To Remain (All Dates)
Check Out: “Nothing Left” from City of Vultures
Similar To: Bullet For My Valentine, Papa Roach, Falling In Reverse
My Reaction: When looking at the last couple years, there has been a common theme that’s been gracing the tour: metal bands from across the pond that use Warped as a way of breaking out in America. In 2010 we had Bring Me The Horizon, last year was Asking Alexandria, and now this year, Rise To Remain could potentially be that band…provided that Enter Shikari doesn’t end up playing Main Stage…*crosses fingers*. However, with Rise To Remain’s latest release City of Vultures just getting put out on EMI/Century Media, RTR does show potential to, at the very least, scoop up some fans on their full run.
Would I Recommend Seeing Them?: No, I don’t think so. I know there are those out there that will be immediately attracted to the overall ethos their music provides, but I am far from one of those people. If you’re into one of the bands in either the “Similar To” section and/or the overall re-coming of the British Invasion for the Warped scene, you’ll want to pay attention to Rise To Remain, but to all others, I’d just go to a different stage.
Band: Title Fight (6/16-7/18, 7/24-8/5)
Check Out: “Symmetry” from The Last Thing You Forget
Similar To: Death Is Not Glamorous, Lifetime, Kid Dynamite
My Reaction: Bands in the scene with false intentions be damned: Title Fight is here to show the poignancy that the new wave of hardcore/punk can provide. Coming from Kingston, Pennsylvania, the quartet has made its presence in the scene clear with both its stellar 2009 Run For Cover release The Last Thing You Forget and its latest SideOneDummy release Shed, which is currently getting massive amounts of critical acceptance for its very personal lyric content, as well as the well-executed dual vocal handoff between Jamie Rhoden and Ned Russin. Not only this, but with the exception of a few east coast dates, Title Fight will be able to spread the hope and angst the band has provided to so many listeners all across the nation. With all of this sudden frenzy being brought on by Title Fight’s music, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the band ends up having a long, thoughtful career making the music that inspires so many today.
Would I Recommend Seeing Them?: Right now, I’m still in the process of diving into Title Fight’s back catalogue of music. While I’ve heard many things about both their live performance, mostly from their stint of opening up for Four Year Strong and Gallows on last Fall’s AP Tour, I still kind of have a mixed opinion of Jamie Rhoden’s vocal style. While I appreciate his passion that he displays both on record and during live shows, it tends to rub me the wrong way, especially on Shed, an album that’s been a tough sell on me. However, around this time last year, I was just discovering bands like The Wonder Years and La Dispute, bands who I had similar opinions of. Now I consider them to be bands I respect and deeply enjoy. So, for the time being, I’m going to assume that I’ll eventually warm up to Title Fight and give them a…
Band: T. Mills (All Dates)
Check Out: “Couldn’t Do You” from Ready, Fire, Aim!
Similar To: Mac Miller, Stephen Jerzak, Vonnegutt
My Reaction: Boasting a sensibility similar to Mac Miller, as well as lyrics and production from Uprising Records, T. Mills has really made a dent in developing a large number of fans in small demographics. However, the 22-year-old Californian has taken it upon himself to dive into expanding his horizons to hip-hop stardom with a full stint on Warped Tour this summer. With guest appearances on his latest album Ready, Fire, Aim! from Kyle Lucas of Vonnegutt to Dev, better known for her assistance to Far East Movement’s smash single “Like A G6”, it certainly seems that T. Mills has connections in all the right places.
Would I Recommend Seeing Him?: Everything about T. Mills as an artist points to the fact that I should dislike him. Now, don’t get me wrong; whenever I listen to an artist, I attempt to fully form an opinion about their music AND character…not just the latter. But honestly, even with keeping an open mind with T. Mills’ releases, there just isn’t a whole lot that can be enjoyed about it. The production has its moments, but some of his lyrics are so frustratingly mediocre that it totally turns off a lot of the enjoyment. Not to mention, with Warped Tour already possessing it’s fair share of hip-hop and electronic acts (seek Hyro Da Hero for your hip-hop needs), the only mark he seems to be hitting is the Brokencyde–Millionaires–Blood on the Dance Floor demographic. So, unfortunately, I’ll be heading to another artist to fulfill my love for hip-hop.
Overall, this week was kind of a disappointment; especially since there really aren’t any acts worth altering my Top 5 this week (Hyro and LWL aren’t playing Detroit). However, let’s just hope for the best when next Wednesday rolls around.