Reviews

Warped Tour 2013: The Best of the Rest

While letlive. surely stand as a prime example of why Warped Tour is still a place where you’d want to spend a hot, sweaty summer day rocking out, they’re not the only ones worth mentioning on this year’s tour.

Warped Tour 2013

City: Cincinnati, OH
Venue: Riverbend Music Center
Date: 2013-07-30

So yesterday, we got a little bit excited about letlive. – but with good reason. While letlive. surely stand as a prime example of why Warped Tour is still a place where you’d want to spend a hot, sweaty summer day rocking out, they’re not the only ones worth mentioning on this year’s tour. The lineup for the 2013 Warped Tour was as diverse and talent-filled as ever, leaving little reason for fans to stay in the comfort of their homes as the tour rolled through the States this summer.

Hands Like Houses

Hailing from Canberra, Australia, Hands Like Houses have made quite the splash since releasing their debut album Ground Dweller last year and spent the summer rocking the #Domo Stage on their first Warped Tour. The band’s brand of melodic and experimental post-hardcore now appears to be fully realized with the release of their new album Unimagine, a focused work that is separating the band from the pack and is one of the year’s best releases thus far. Top it all off with an insane live show with pitch perfect vocals from Trenton Woodley, and Hands Like Houses appear ready to be the scene’s next big breakout band.


blessthefall

After their stint on the Monster Energy Stage last year, blessthefall have made the leap to the main stage and are drawing bigger crowds than ever before. Nearing the release of their highly anticipated new album Hollow Bodies, the band’s live performance has improved drastically and had the Cincinnati crowd reaching a fever pitch. Guitarist Eric Lambert can absolutely shred and vocalist Beau Bokan has transformed into a monster on stage, commanding the crowd with ease. If Hollow Bodies can expand upon the ferocity shown on 2009’s Witness (and it sounds like it will), blessthefall could become the leaders of the metalcore pack.


Go Radio

One of the most criminally underrated albums of 2012 was Go Radio’s Close the Distance - a nearly perfectly crafted pop rock album. The band took the main stage for the Cincinnati date, playing tracks from Distance as well as Lucky Street and their 2010 EP Do Overs and Second Chances. Although they’ve nearly shed the pop-punk label the band had at their onset, vocalist/guitarist Jason Lancaster can still rock and proved as much during an impassioned set. Proving true to their namesake, the band’s sound is perfectly primed for radio and, with the right single, could make a big splash in the mainstream.


The Early November

The Early November’s 2011 reunion did more than please their old fans – in won over a lot of new ones. Last year’s In Currents was a diamond in the rough; a pop-punk/indie rock hybrid that managed to snag a lot of new listeners. The band’s mid-day set on the #Domo Stage may not have attracted the largest audience of the day, but it certainly proved to be one of the best sing-along sets of the day. Vocalist/guitarist Ace Enders spent the summer pulling double duty, performing with The Early November as well as displaying a fantastic solo set in the Acoustic Basement, performing as I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business.


Motion City Soundtrack

Having Motion City Soundtrack back in the Warped lineup just feels right. Once staples of the tour, Motion City haven’t appeared in the lineup since 2009. After the release of last year’s fantastically crafted Go, Justin Pierre and company took the main stage to play a plethora of the band’s hits, spanning the course of their five albums, even taking time to share a new song that’s going to appear on their upcoming release. The band’s catalogue speaks to their talent as musicians, spanning multiple genres and attracting an extremely diverse and devoted fan base. Motion City Soundrack’s inclusion on this year’s tour not only gives old fans a chance to relive the nostalgia of early days, but gives newer listeners a chance to experience a truly talented and respected band.


Bring Me the Horizon

It wasn’t long ago that Bring Me the Horizon were brushed off as white noise in a convoluted scene. That was before the band transformed into one of the most innovative metalcore bands around, capped off by this year’s Sempiternal - a truly welcome progression that is without a doubt the band’s best album to date. While it’s fun to hear past tracks like “Chelsea Smile” for old time’s sake, it’s the newer tracks like “Shadow Moses” and “Go to Hell for Heaven’s Sake” that bring the house down and display what Bring Me the Horizon are capable of. They're worthy of their main stage slot and are primed to continue their ascent for the foreseeable future.


Issues

Born from the ashes of Woe is Me's fallout last year, Issues have become much better than their predecessor, and in a quicker time frame than anyone could have imagined. Sure, they attract a fairly large number of girls to their crowd who swoon over clean vocalist Tyler Carter’s croon, but the band is more than just a pretty face (and voice). Blending nu metal into their post-hardcore sound, Issues feature a dynamic back and forth between Carter and screamer Michael Bohn and the not-as-out-of-place-as-you’d-think scratching and synth of Tyler Acord. Their Kevin Says Stage set drew a crowd worthy of a larger stage, which they’ll likely be performing on in the coming years of Warped.


The Wonder Years

The Wonder Years are one of the primary reasons that Warped Tour is once again flourishing. They are simply the best pop-punk band currently making music and have one of the best live performances you’ll see. Their new release The Greatest Generation is even better than 2011’s heralded Suburbia, I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing and the new songs sound absolutely perfect during their live performance. The Cincinnati crowd was rabid and shouting along to every song as vocalist Dan “Soupy” Campbell led the choir. The Wonder Years’ main stage set is well deserved and has been earned from the blood, sweat, and tears that have gone into their past three albums and their climb to the top of the pop-punk landscape.

Other must see acts: The Used, Chiodos, William Beckett, August Burns Red, For the Foxes, Man Overboard, Hawthorne Heights, Charlie Simpson, Reel Big Fish.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

In the wake of Malcolm Young's passing, Jesse Fink, author of The Youngs: The Brothers Who Built AC/DC, offers up his top 10 AC/DC songs, each seasoned with a dash of backstory.

Keep reading... Show less

Pauline Black may be called the Queen of Ska by some, but she insists she's not the only one, as Two-Tone legends the Selecter celebrate another stellar album in a career full of them.

Being commonly hailed as the "Queen" of a genre of music is no mean feat, but for Pauline Black, singer/songwriter of Two-Tone legends the Selecter and universally recognised "Queen of Ska", it is something she seems to take in her stride. "People can call you whatever they like," she tells PopMatters, "so I suppose it's better that they call you something really good!"

Keep reading... Show less

Morrison's prose is so engaging and welcoming that it's easy to miss the irreconcilable ambiguities that are set forth in her prose as ineluctable convictions.

It's a common enough gambit in science fiction. Humans come across a race of aliens that appear to be entirely alike and yet one group of said aliens subordinates the other, visiting violence upon their persons, denigrating them openly and without social or legal consequence, humiliating them at every turn. The humans inquire why certain of the aliens are subjected to such degradation when there are no discernible differences among the entire race of aliens, at least from the human point of view. The aliens then explain that the subordinated group all share some minor trait (say the left nostril is oh-so-slightly larger than the right while the "superior" group all have slightly enlarged right nostrils)—something thatm from the human vantage pointm is utterly ridiculous. This minor difference not only explains but, for the alien understanding, justifies the inequitable treatment, even the enslavement of the subordinate group. And there you have the quandary of Otherness in a nutshell.

Keep reading... Show less
3

A 1996 classic, Shawn Colvin's album of mature pop is also one of best break-up albums, comparable lyrically and musically to Joni Mitchell's Hejira and Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks.

When pop-folksinger Shawn Colvin released A Few Small Repairs in 1996, the music world was ripe for an album of sharp, catchy songs by a female singer-songwriter. Lilith Fair, the tour for women in the music, would gross $16 million in 1997. Colvin would be a main stage artist in all three years of the tour, playing alongside Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, Sheryl Crow, Sarah McLachlan, Meshell Ndegeocello, Joan Osborne, Lisa Loeb, Erykah Badu, and many others. Strong female artists were not only making great music (when were they not?) but also having bold success. Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill preceded Colvin's fourth recording by just 16 months.

Keep reading... Show less
9

Frank Miller locates our tragedy and warps it into his own brutal beauty.

In terms of continuity, the so-called promotion of this entry as Miller's “third" in the series is deceptively cryptic. Miller's mid-'80s limited series The Dark Knight Returns (or DKR) is a “Top 5 All-Time" graphic novel, if not easily “Top 3". His intertextual and metatextual themes resonated then as they do now, a reason this source material was “go to" for Christopher Nolan when he resurrected the franchise for Warner Bros. in the mid-00s. The sheer iconicity of DKR posits a seminal work in the artist's canon, which shares company with the likes of Sin City, 300, and an influential run on Daredevil, to name a few.

Keep reading... Show less
8
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.

rating-image