Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Warped Tour Must Die

I wish I knew about the Warped Tour earlier in my adolescence. I didn't go to many concerts until maybe my senior year of high school. By the time I realized that going to a concert was one of the better ways to spend my nights, the Warped Tour was already past its prime. However, for the few years that I was into a lot of the bands in the scene, I really looked forward to the Warped Tour.
  • It was cheap (around $20 for 12 hours of music)
  • Saw a ton of bands that I loved & there was always someone worthwhile playing
  • Checked out new bands that I started to hear buzz about
  • Bought a lot of cheap merch
  • Had the opportunity to meet a lot of great bands
Being in Los Angeles, I was also spoiled because the tour would start in Pomona in June and end in August in Los Angeles. I would go once in the beginning of the summer and once at the end, normally with some different bands playing since most artists could no longer afford to dedicate the whole summer to the relatively low paying tour.

However, starting last summer, I couldn't justify going to Warped Tour. There were a few bands that I would have loved to see (Say Anything, Against Me!, Motion City Soundtrack, Rise Against, Set Your Goals), but it wasn't worth dealing with the annoying crowd that Warped now attracts just to wait around all day to see a few great bands play 30 minute sets.

I was hoping that Warped would get back on track this year and I could enjoy another day of sun and music. When the line-up was announced, I realized that I would never go to Warped again.

While there are a few good bands playing again this summer, I would find sitting through sets of 90% of the bands on the bill torturous. Just one glance at my iPod will show you that my tastes have changed somewhat drastically over the past year or two. Since my iPod can only hold 80 gbs, I am constantly taking off punk/scene music and replacing it with "indie"/Stereogum/Pitchfork music (it pains me to use labels).

While I admit that I've just been outgrowing a lot of the music, I believe that there still some bands making great music that belong to that scene. Thrice, Brand New, Moneen, The Gaslight Anthem, Weatherbox, Lydia, and Straylight Run all come to mind.

The scene, however, I believe is pretty poisoned at the moment and only getting worse. Instead of going on a rant, I will just mention a few bands that are on this year's Warped Tour, the famed "punk rock" traveling festival.

1. Millionaires

This band was actually featured and recommended by Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman in May. Three dumb, talentless girls from Huntington Beach released their EP "Just Got Paid, Let's Get Laid" after Gabe Saporta of Cobra Starship (more on him later) recommended them to Pete Wentz. They have no musical talent, terrible lyrics, an atrocious message, and I for one do not find anything entertaining about two underage sisters (yes, they are sisters) humping each other (about a minute into this video

Lyrics from "I like Money:"
"Cigarettes, 80 proof
Take my picture, I'm so damn cute!
Fake ID's, lots of cash
Race that Benz, we go real fast
2 a.m. and I'm still goin'
Pour my drink, it's overflowin'!
Take me home, rough me up
No one's here so lets just fuck!"

See them scramble as their CD skips while they lipsync on Warped.

2. BrokeNCYDE
Screamo Crunk - Enough said

The members and their official musical duties:
Se7en (scream vocals, rap vocals)
Mikl (clean vocals, autotune vocals)
Phat J (synths, backup vocals, backup screams and growls)
Antz (fog machine and lights)

3. Jeffree Star
Video at the Pomona stop of Warped Tour last week:

4. 3OH!3

I first heard 3OH!3's hit single "Don't Trust Me" when I accidently didn't put in a CD fast enough when I got into the car and heard this song playing on KROQ. When I heard the following lyrics, I thought it just had to be a terrible song made by jokester KROQ DJs Kevin and Bean.

"Don't trust a ho.
never trust a ho.
won't trust a ho.
cause the ho won't trust me.

Shush girl, shut your lips,
do the helen keller and talk with your hips.
i said shush girl, shut your lips."

When I was at a party and this song played back to back with the equally horrible Metro Station's "Shake It," a little part of me died inside and I knew I was at the wrong party.

5. Aiden

I had to sit through this band opening at a show a few years ago. Now I do my research and make sure that the opening bands are not going to sound like Aiden. And yes, that is Jeffree Star in the video.

I could go on, but just finding videos for these songs are making me a little depressed. When even talented musicians like Gabe Saporta, who created the amazing album Forget What You Know with the band Midtown, release songs liks this under the name Cobra Starship and they become more popular than anything he's done before, it makes me glad that I've been moving away from this scene and discovering great new bands. At least I can rest assured knowing that The National or Bon Iver won't ever be playing Warped, therefore making me choose between sitting through terrible bands to see them or missing the only opportunity of the summer to see them. Thankfully there are still bands (and fans) out there that care more about the music than the image.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

wow, that shit was terrible. especially "millionaires."