My Reaction: Phoenix, Arizona’s own Anarbor are set to groove on Warped Tour this summer with their own brand of psychedelic pop. After spending the summer on the AP/Tilly’s stage in 2010, they are set to release their sophomore LP on previous label affiliates Hopeless Records sometime this coming summer. Though the band has been relatively inactive since this run – with the loss of their guitarist – it seems as if they are ready to get back into the swing of things and become a much more driving force for pop fans everywhere.
Would I Recommend Seeing Them?: I’d say so. Even though it’s been nearly three years since I last saw Anarbor play a live set, I have all the faith in the world that they’ll be able to deliver this summer on Warped. In 2010 their set was extremely energetic, especially for being plagued with an 8:15 set time following Sum 41. Seeing the band play material off of their exceptional debut The Words You Don’t Swallow, as well as their new record, will be a nice treat in a day of Warped Tour.
Band: The Black Dahlia Murder (All Dates)
Check Out: “Funeral Thirst” from Nocturnal (Metal Blade)
Similar To: Whitechapel, Job for a Cowboy, Chelsea Grin
My Reaction: Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, The Black Dahlia’s presence on the Vans Warped Tour in 2013 came as a pretty huge shock to me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not as if I don’t like or respect the band – quite the opposite, actually. However, the band’s name really hasn’t come up very often in the scene that Warped Tour usually caters to. For over a decade, The Black Dahlia Murder has been serving up some of the deathiest of death metal that the genre has to offer. Recently in support of their Metal Blade release Ritual, the group is pretty much all set up to grace the tour in 2013.
Would I Recommend Seeing Them?: Being a Michigander myself, it’s really cool to see a band like The Black Dahlia Murder gain such a huge amount of momentum over their 12-year career in the field of death metal. Even though I am probably the last person you’d expect to see at a death metal concert, I really admire the band and their history in their genre. To fans of the genre, I’d absolutely recommend that the band is worth your time, but to all others, it’s nothing that you’ll want to take time out of your day for. Simple as that.
Band: Hands Like Houses (All Dates)
Check Out: “Antarctica” from Ground Dweller (Rise)
Similar To: Emarosa, D.R.U.G.S., Sleeping With Sirens
My Reaction: Canberra, Australia’s own Hands Like Houses are prime candidates for a set this year on the Warped Tour in 2013. After signing to Rise Records earlier this year, the Aussie gents released their freshman LP Ground Dweller, which struck a sound similar to those offered by American counterparts such as Emarosa and Sleeping with Sirens. After spending last summer in the states on the Scream It Like You Mean It Tour with headliners Attack Attack!, We Came as Romans and The Acacia Strain, it looks like all is set for Hands Like Houses to take over this summer in style.
Would I Recommend Seeing Them?: When looking at Rise’s roster of acts, it’s equally impressive, as well as disappointing, to see how huge of a domination they have on the music scene as a whole. While the label has a few gems like Transit, Make Do & Mend and The Early November, there is an overabundance on sub-par metalcore acts that make them both a driving force and annoyance in their scene, depending on your preference. However, when looking at Hands Like Houses from a musical aspect, I’d definitely say that they are a step above a lot of the other bands in their genre, even if they’re using the same cookie-cutter progression that everyone else is. Therefore, I’d feel comfortable recommending the act to fans of the genre, as well as those who’re looking for a cool act to check out.
Band: Hawthorne Heights (All Dates)
Check Out: “New Winter” from Hope EP (Cardboard Empire)
Similar To: From First to Last, Silverstein, The Used
My Reaction: In the budding days of the emo-punk music scene, Hawthorne Heights were in their prime. Acts like them, The Used and Silverstein were unstoppable trains of popularity in their scene, drawing in massive crowds and blowing away expectations of what a band of their genre could accomplish. However, as the years went on, the Dayton, Ohio quartet were handed their share of struggles that they had to overcome. With the death of their screamed vocalist Casey Calvert, a falling out with longtime label affiliates Victory Records and an underwhelming series of records to come, it seemed that the box was closed on Hawthorne Heights. However, as the group continues to rebuild their reputation, it seems as if a summer on Warped could do the band, the tour and their fans a lot of good.
Would I Recommend Seeing Them?: From what I can see, Hawthorne Heights’ intentions on restoring their somewhat tarnished name seem legitimate. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a band go through as much as they have, still trying to dig out of such a seemingly inescapable hole. With a new LP on the way, and what I’m guessing, a set that will feature everything from old favorites to new gems, I can’t imagine the band not having a great time this summer.
Band: letlive. (All Dates)
Check Out: “Renegade ‘86” from Fake History (Epitaph)
Similar To: Glassjaw, Every Time I Die, Touché Amore
My Reaction: Nothing you do can adequately prepare you for letlive.’s live set on Warped Tour this summer. After signing to Epitaph Records sometime in 2011, the California-based quartet put out their debut record Fake History and have been touring with it ever since. Because of the band’s versatility between music genres and a live set that absolutely decimates venues all over the world, they’ve been able to tour with bands from all over the scene, from Every Time I Die to Pierce the Veil. Now that the band has some momentum going, all they need is some sort of huge festival appearance to jettison them into massive popularity. Now where, oh where, could they find a festival of this degree?
Would I Recommend Seeing Them?: letlive. might just be the best band to be announced on the festival so far. In this day and age, it’s always extremely difficult to find a band that has all of the basic star-making attributes that are necessary for huge success. But this band’s got it all. Melodic, yet devastating hardcore? Check. A solid work ethic? Check. An incredible live show? You betcha. All of the cards seem to be in letlive.’s favor…now all that’s left to do is just watch them all unfold.
Band: Stick to Your Guns (All Dates)
Check Out: “Amber” from The Hope Division (Sumerian)
Similar To: The Ghost Inside, Dead & Divine, For the Fallen Dreams
My Reaction: Melodic hardcore quintet Stick to Your Guns may originate from Orange County, California, but their almost decade-long history as a band speaks volumes about their previous experiences outside of the Sunshine state. Fresh off their fifth LP, Diamond, for longtime label Sumerian Records, the band are set to dominate whatever stage they’re placed on, as they will be gracing the Vans Warped Tour with their second run after spending their summer in 2008 on the festival. With over 180,000 dedicated fans on Facebook, the band will undoubtedly draw large crowds for their sets.
Would I Recommend Seeing Them?: Being a Warped-goer who hasn’t already been pre-disposed to Stick to Your Guns’ music, I must say, they’ve brought a lot to the table for their genre. After multiple listens to their 2010 release, The Hope Division, it’s easy to see their passion in music-making, as well as their commitment to their fans and their genre. Even though the band aren’t really breaking any barriers with their sound, it’s admirable to see a band so excited to give their fans such an emphatic listening experience. For fans of the genre, Stick to Your Guns gets a pass from me.
Band: Wallpaper (All Dates)
Check Out: “FUCKING BEST SONG EVERRR” from Single (Epic)
Similar To: Calvin Harris, Mike Posner, Mod Sun
My Reaction: In this week’s edition of “up-and-coming electronic-based hip-hop artist,” we have Oakland, California’s own Wallpaper, whose presence is sure to shake things up on Warped this summer. Combining equal elements of hip-hop, pop, Latin and funk, Wallpaper could potentially be the breakout act of 2013. In 2008, it was Katy Perry. In 2010, it was Mike Posner. For years the tour has had a history of helping to showcase acts with shining futures for the mainstream markets, and Wallpaper has the pizzazz needed to possibly break out.
Would I Recommend Seeing Them?: It looks like it. Like I said, nearly half a decade ago, the tour was showcasing an artist who now is selling out stadiums and amphitheaters all over the world. Given that, wouldn’t you love to see an act that has the possibility to get to that level? Sure, with song titles like “#STUPiDFACED” and “FUCKING BEST SONG EVERRR,” it would be easy to write Wallpaper off as a flash-in-the-pan act, but when looking at the excitement and thoroughly enjoyable nature of his music, it’s easy to forgive him for making music that’d otherwise be disposable in the “yolo generation.” Having said that, Wallpaper is worth checking out if you have a little time to spare in your day.