Warped Tour bands to watch: Never Shout Never, Mike Posner, Riverboat Gamblers and more
But just as important are the artists you don’t know. Every year, there’s an artist on the bill who no one knows, but who ends up making it big — i.e., Katy Perry, My Chemical Romance or Eminem. Here are five lesser-known artists with the potential to become household names.
Never Shout Never: Without much mainstream hype, Missouri singer-songwriter Christofer Drew Ingle (above) of Never Shout Never has become this year’s Hot Topic pinup du jour, blending emo style and sensitivity with an unabashedly upbeat pop vibe — think Jason Mraz covering Dashboard Confessional. An adoring audience of teenage girls will be front and center for this one.
Mike Posner: Posner’s blend of pop, electro and R&B seems more suited for the club than the pit, but no less an authority than Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman likes Posner’s chances for success. “If he can pull it off live I think by the end of the summer you’ll see that level of that groundswell that came in behind Katy Perry and a band like 3OH!3,” Lyman told Rolling Stone.
The Pretty Reckless: Taylor Momsen got her start as Cindy Lou Who in Ron Howard’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and she plays Jenny Humphrey on the teen soap Gossip Girl. But at only 16, Momsen is quickly becoming the latest poster child for girls going wild just a little too fast. As the singer of the darkly melodic punk band The Pretty Reckless, Momsen has been photographed smoking onstage, flashing her underwear and howling lyrics like “I’m just 16 if you know what I mean / Do you mind if I take off my dress?” It’s a little shock-rocky, but critics are starting to take her seriously. “That girl can actually rock,” Spin wrote last year.
Riverboat Gamblers: Based out of Austin, Riverboat Gamblers apply their own Texas twang to classic, fist-pumping classic punk, with influences ranging from The Clash to Bad Religion to the Kinks. They’ve been around since the ’90s, but they keep experimenting with their sound — maybe if we’re lucky, they’ll play their mod-meets-rockabilly cover of Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy. Fans of Florida’s own Against Me! will love it.
The Summer Set: Given their melodic style of tween-friendly power pop, it’s no surprise The Summer Set have been sucked into the Radio Disney universe. The band’s hit song Chelsea was written by singer Brian Dales for his girlfriend, Chelsea Staub, who co-stars with the Jonas Brothers on the Disney Channel show Jonas. “We’re definitely not trying to market ourselves a certain way; we’re just kind of going with it,” said drummer Jess Bowen. “We’re just saying, 'We’re a band, we love playing music, we love having fun, come check us out.’”
-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Photo: Getty Images.