Visiting Warped Tour isn't a new activity for me at all. I've been a bunch in the past, whenever my schedule allows and there are bands I want to see. But that last bit is key - bands I want to see. Generally I'll put together a schedule of acts I'm interested in, and hangout in some shade when there's nothing I care about going on.
A couple of years back, however, I caught some new acts that eventually became some standards in my musical rotation, like Moose Blood.
So I figured this year I would make a point of checking out some new acts. Sure, I was all about seeing GWAR, Anti-Flag, and Candiria, but with 70+ acts playing throughout the day, I knew I'd be able to find some new ones too.
I chose in a couple different ways. For a few bands I looked for holes in my schedule and artists that happened to be on at that time. For some others I just waited until something caught my eye (or ear) as I was wandering around.
The results were pretty mixed.
This act caught my attention as I was wandering around after shooting The Ataris. There was this shirtless dad-bod dude with a bad braid and farmer's tan on the Fullsail Stage, and I had to see what he was up to. Turns out, this guy was Thee Trash Wizard, hypeman/DJ for rapper Feeki.
This set was pretty hilarious, from the mullets to the eagle-emblazoned guitar. But there were also some pretty impressive rapping skills from a guy in Pit Viper sunglasses. Basically, Feeki was this year's version of MC Lars or Riff Raff. And it was great. A+ to this dude, and I'll definitely be listening to his tunes on my own time.
This was an act that I added to my list based on timing. The name was familiar, but I had no clue what type of music they'd be playing. I got to the stage a few minutes before their set started, and the fans seemed super stoked, with a pretty impressive crowd gathered, especially considering the early set time.
Turns out, they're the type of band I probably would have gone nuts for as a thirteen year old, but didn't quite do it for me these days. The vibe was Evanescence-y, some female-fronted, gothic-themed, pop-metal type stuff. They played well, and put on a good performance, with the crowd going nuts for them.
Nothing really wrong with anything they did, just not my bag so much. Made for cool photos, even if they won't be added to my iTunes anytime soon.
Creeper was on around mid-day, and I made a point to schedule them in after seeing their posters all over the place. The font combined with the name had me hoping they were some sort of psychobilly outfit, which is 110% a thing I'm into. So I was actually pretty excited for this one.
Unfortunately, there was some false advertising/misplaced hopefulness going on with this one, and I wasn't in fact going to see any psychobilly that day.
Instead, I was met with one of the emo bands of today, which might have interested a younger me, but still probably not.
Writing this a few days after the fact, there isn't much about the music or the set that really stands out for me, aside from the fans. They were all about this group, with one girl on the barricade tearfully yelling "I love you [name - Matt, maybe?] at the stage.
I put on one of their Youtube videos to remind me what this band's all about, and that hasn't done anything to change my opinion. If it weren't for the black clothes, pale skin, and dark lipstick, these guys seem to be an average angsty pop-rock group. Nothing wrong with that of course, just nothing that really speaks to me.
This was another act that I stumbled across accidentally. Again, I had seen their posters around throughout the day, but never eally made plans to see them. But eventually my wanders brought me near their set, and the small but enthusiastic crowd, mixed with some exciting stage antics, drew me in.
Frontwoman Isis Queen was supporting herself on the hands of her listeners while wailing some punkrock lyrics into her microphone. The rest of the band was flailing around on stage like some tubemen, and everyone seemed to having a blast.
I could dig the style of the entire band, and the music was fun in it's grungy simplicity. Looking them up once I got home, I learned they're a Greek outfit who have been playing tunes for about seven years. Their recordings remind me of short-lived London, Ontario outfit Anti-Hero, which has brought back all sorts of fond memories of my teenage years.
So yeah, I was digging this one too and will be making a point to give their music a sold chance.
Warped Tour was a fun day, but the amount of times that I referenced being a teenager in this post is making me think that I'm getting too old for it. But where else am I going to catch Alestorm, Hatebreed, and Bad Cop/Bad Cop at the same time? Plus, it's a great way to find new artists to enjoy!