Vans Warped Tour user guide
05:00 AM, Jul 03, 2013
Vans Warped Tour
When: 11 a.m. Saturday at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, 9993 Alleghany Road, Darien Center.
Tickets: $23.50-$37.50, available at livenation.com
After every music festival announces its lineup for the year, there’s the usual grousing of “There’s not as many good bands as last year” or “There’s no clear headliner like there was in 2010.” In short, festival organizers, you are competing with the hazy memories of many summers passed and it is a debate you are not likely to win.
The idea of a Vans Warped Tour, this year or any year, is to find some new bands you really like and a shady spot in which to enjoy them. This is by no means a complete list, but it is an unbelievable roster of bands you should look out for at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center.
1 Any band whose members have the pluck to name themselves after an unsolved mutilation have got brutality and a sense of the occasion on their side. But Black Dahlia Murder have much more. In nearly every interview, when vocalist Trevor Strnad is asked to describe their sound, he says it’s melodic death metal but that just means the growls mean so much more because they’re more sporadic.
2Reel Big Fish. Everyone will be curious to see if the grand old men of this year’s Warped Festival (they zoomed past the 20-year mark this year) have still got it and still know what to do with it. Frontman Aaron Barrett is the only surviving member from the days when ska was a mainstream fancy.
3BlesstheFall. Since 2003 with “His Last Walk,” this Christian band’s pray-dar has been strong and true but even a line like “How many times have you watched me fall, just to smile?” could strike one as either a benevolent heavenly father or a sadistic satanic underboss.
4Back Veil Brides. They were glam metal when glam metal stopped being cool because old glam metal icons KISS who originally made glam metal cool started wearing face paint and dressing in black and silver again. Which means they stand to make it cool again because they’re, uhh, young and hungry and ready to “Set the World on Fire,” to quote the title song of their second album.
5Chiodos. In 2009, they let go of drummer Derrick Frost over some disagreements with singer Craig Owens, who was also let go several months later. By the spring of 2012, Owens and Frost would both be back in the fold, and by fall, lead guitarist Jason Hale would quit because he had “more important things to do.”
6Architects. All the way from Brighton, England, Architects formed in 2004 and have shifted the paradigm on how we think of fans vs. critics. In what could be a metalcore first, the critics loved their 2011 The Here And Now, which showed them stepping in a more melodic “clean-cut post-hardcore” direction, while the kids hated it. And we know critics don’t buy anything, so Architects quasi-returned to their pre-clean-cut-post-hardcore sound, applying the lessons learned the last time out on the new Daybreaker.
7The Chariot. Musicians are fond of saying they record things live in the studio but these Douglasville, Georgia rockers put their money where their mouths are, recording their first album all in one take, mistakes and all. The subsequent albums have taken slightly longer, probably because it’s harder to punch in the correct bits on a song with wildly changing time signatures. But with the Chariot, the live show is really the calling card with singer Josh Scogin expending energy as fast as he can summon it and the Chariot ending a set by piling their instruments and stage gear center stage and scraping their guitar strings across the clutter.
8Upon a Burning Body. This San Antonio foursome took a unique precaution in order to avoid the sophomore jinx. They named every song after the title of a movie Robert Rodriguez directed. And maybe that’s because their debut album utilized Al Pacino films as song titles. Of course they did Scarface do you think a deathcore band this brutal would balk at that opportunity?
9Bring Me the Horizon. From the mining town of Sheffield, England, that gave us Joe Cocker comes the metalcore of Bring Me the Horizon, named after a line Captain Jack Sparrow uttered in “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pear.” While they call RCA Records home the world over, in America it is Epitaph who distributes their recordings. This must have been a great honor for the blood-boiling foursome who derive a lot of influence from American metalcore bands.
10While She Sleeps. From the mining town of Sheffield, England, that gave us Joe Cocker and Bring Me the Horizon comes the metalcore of While She Sleeps. Last year, after the release of their first full-length This Is the Six, they won best British newcomer at the Kerrang! Awards.