15 Warped Tour artists to watch, including Grieves, The Devil Wears Prada and Blood On The Dance Floor
The 2011 Vans Warped Tour, with A Day To Remember, Gym Class Heroes, Less Than Jake and more than 60 other bands, is Sunday at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. Tickets are $33.43; click here for the full Warped Tour lineup for St. Petersburg.
Performance times generally are not set until the morning of each show, but here are 15 acts we know we’ll be watching come Sunday.
Against Me! If Bruce Springsteen recorded a punk album, it might sound like 2010’s White Crosses, the latest from these grinding Gainesville punks. Tom Gabel’s searing growl remains inimitable.
The Aggrolites: A handful of reggae bands are part of this year’s tour, but none are better than this SoCal quintet, who deliver hypnotic, old-school rocksteady, pure and simple. They are to Sublime what Sharon Jones is to Ke$ha.
Bad Rabbits: These trippy funksters will have you sifting through your parents’ vinyl collection for old Funkadelic records. The Kansas City Star raved about Bad Rabbits during a recent Warped stop, calling them “what it might sound like if Cee-Lo Green sat in with MGMT, or Prince guested on a Flaming Lips gig.”
Blood On The Dance Floor (above): When a Christian news group calls you “the most vile music band in human history,” you know you’re making an impact. Their glammed-up electro-metal tries a little too hard to be shocking — it’s like Owl City covering Marilyn Manson — but as with all great train wrecks, we find it difficult to look away.
The Devil Wears Prada: The day’s biggest mosh session might break out during the set by this Ohio band, one of the most popular young metalcore groups around. Mike Hranica’s volcanic vocals create a primal urge to get all smashy-smashy in the pit.
The Dangerous Summer: This Maryland rock group simmered with intense emotion on their 2009 debut, Reach For The Sun. Their just-released follow-up, War Paint, should appeal to fans of Jimmy Eat World and Kings of Leon.
D.R.U.G.S.: Singer Craig Owens was a Warped heartthrob with his old band, Chiodos. With D.R.U.G.S. (Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows), he delivers even more blistering energy, reminiscent of My Chemical Romance.
Enter Shikari: Relentlessly heavy with a futuristic, electronic vibe, the ever-so-British Enter Shikari play sci-fi-soaked prog with operatic touches, not unlike a surlier, thuggier Muse.
Foxy Shazam: Shamelessly channeling Queen’s Freddie Mercury, frontman Eric Sean Nally brings a welcome theatrical flair to the stage. There hasn’t been a Warped performer this unafraid to let his freak flag fly since Andrew W.K.
Go Radio: Led by former Mayday Parade singer Jason Lancaster, Tallahassee’s Go Radio are an ambitious bunch, reaching for bigger and bigger hooks on their anthemic new album Lucky Street. Alternative Press picked Lancaster as one of the cover boys for their 2011 Warped issue.
Grieves with Budo: White rappers are everywhere these days. Among the most hyped: Seattle’s Grieves, whose debut album Together/Apart is packed with confessional lyrics and trippy, jazzy beats, courtesy of producer and collaborator Budo. The Washington Post called Grieves a “future breakout star.”
Lucero: Memphis is known for the blues, and alt-country garage punks Lucero know it. Their chest-thumping tunes reek of drunken twang, especially when bolstered by Stax-style gospel, pianos and horns.
Moving Mountains: Beneath rumbling thunderclouds of heavy grunge guitars, New York’s Moving Mountains deliver evocative post-rock soundscapes drenched in dreamy melody. Good for anyone who wishes Explosions In the Sky had a singer.
Relient K: Hey, what are these decent young gentlemen doing at the Warped Tour? One of the most popular Christian pop-punk bands of the past 15 years, Relient K can also deliver easygoing pop-rock ditties in the vein of Train or Jack’s Mannequin.
Yelawolf: Signed to Eminem’s Shady Records, this tattooed Alabama MC isn’t afraid to get dark with intense lyrics that appeal to outcast types. In March, he performed at a party for the Skatepark of Tampa; after that, he toured with Lil Wayne.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*