Meet the local bands on this year's Warped Tour stop in St. Petersburg
Every year, the Vans Warped Tour offers local artists a chance to duke it out for a spot on their Ernie Ball Stage. It's a nice feather in the cap for those who make it, as they can forever say: Hey, I played Warped back in the day!
This year we have five local bands performing at the Warped Tour on Friday in St. Pete. Let's intrudoce them!
In Reference to a Sinking Ship: They've got a clunky name, but this Palm Harbor hardcore quintet isn't messing around about their metal. Vocalist Johnny Crowder has a growl that's unmistakably brutal, yet not as gutteral as other death metal bands.
Manhattan Roar (above): A St. Pete indie-rock band with a stunningly polished indie-rock sound, a la Tokyo Police Club, Maritime or Stars. They've only posted a couple of songs online, but both are 100 percent worth a listen; you'll be convinced you're hearing a national band. Keep an eye on them.
MIghty Mongo: These Tampa reggae-rockers bring a polished, layered and, well, kinda sexy vibe to your standard Sublime-311 fare. Think more Matisyahu. They'll bring a nice level of diversity to this year's Warped Tour.
One Way!: This clearwater ska septet blends sloppy horns with a heavy, old-school skate-punk sound, a little like the Ataris or early Alkaline Trio or MXPX.
Finally, we would be remiss if we didn't mention the bands that won the Orlando Battle of the Band contest, because there are some familiar names on that bill, too. These bands will play at the Firestone Amphitheatre on Sunday: Dang We're On Fire, Forever & Always, The Starlight Getaway, Forever On High and New City Lions.
If you're going to Warped, buy their merch. They deserve it.
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*