Thursday, January 18, 2018
Music News, Concert Reviews

Of 90 Vans Warped Tour acts, don't miss these

If you're going to this year's Vans Warped Tour, leave the mohawk and studded leather jacket at home.

Yes, this year's tour, which stops in St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park on Friday, has plenty of thrashy metal and punk bands on the bill, but you're also just as likely to spot a DJ, rapper, folkie or pop singer — remember, it wasn't so long ago that Katy Perry did a summer on Warped.

With more than 90 artists on nine stages, it can be tough to know who are the must-sees — especially since performance times for each date aren't announced until that morning. But whether you like your Warped old-school or new-school, we've got a few picks you won't want to miss.

Love it loud?

The Used is one of the few emo-metal groups that even Top 40 fans can name, thanks to crossover hits like All That I've Got and Blue and Yellow (it also didn't hurt that lead singer Bert McCracken used to date Kelly Osbourne). Ska veterans Reel Big Fish (Sell Out) have been playing Warped Tours since the mid '90s. Minnesota's Motion City Soundtrack is on its eighth Warped Tour and still one of the top pop-punk bands on the scene, whipping around infectious hooks on songs like Everything Is Alright and True Romance.

The fiery Chiodos were Warped favorites years ago, before splitting with heartthrob singer Craig Owens. But Owens and the band reunited last year, and this trek is the first chance many fans will have to see their old magic. English metalcore outfit Bring Me the Horizon is both adored and critically respected worldwide for complex technical precision and wild live sets. One of this year's breakout metal acts is Orlando-bred, Michigan-based Sleeping With Sirens, whose new album Feel debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200, thanks in no small part to Kellin Quinn's dynamic voice. And you may recognize Andy Biersack, the singer of popular glam-metal outfit Black Veil Brides as the boyfriend of Tampa Bay native Juliet Simms (see next page). They've been peppering a cover of Billy Idol's Rebel Yell into their sets, if you need an incentive to check 'em out.

Finally, don't miss Tampa Bay's own Set It Off, one of the biggest local bands to break nationally in the past few years. Since signing to Equal Vision Records, the emo-punk quintet has released an ambitious and musically adventurous debut album, Cinematics, and is spending this entire summer on Warped. An expanded reissue of Cinematics came out in June, proving they aren't planning on going away anytime soon.

Want to party?

Start with a pair of heinie-kickin' women: Juliet Simms and Gin Wigmore. Simms, who was raised in Clearwater, found national fame by finishing second on Season 2 of The Voice. She's a veteran of several Warped Tours — some with her band Automatic Loveletter — and her seasoned wail will be worth catching here. New Zealand's Wigmore plays rootsy blues with a high-octane rockabilly bent. She's already played the Tonight Show, and Slate said her single Black Sheep "sounds like a freight train coming straight at you."

Party pop is well represented, too. Wallpaper., the nom de pop of Californian Ricky Reed, produces unabashedly clubby dance singles that toe the line between satire and shameless fun, not unlike Ke$ha or Kreayshawn. Outasight actually scored decent radio airplay with his 2011 single Tonight Is The Night; he performed at Tampa's 93.3-FLZ Jingle Ball in 2011. Boston boy-girl duo Young London brings rave-ready electro jams like Let Me Go and Infinite Love. Virginia's RDGLDGRN fuse rock, hip-hop and funk that's so catchy it caught the ears of Dave Grohl and Pharrell Williams, who both contributed to their Red Gold Green EP.

Love EDM and rap?

DJ Crizzly, who played Tampa's Sunset Music Festival in May, will drop an array of deep, skeleton-rattling dubstep and hip-hop jams. Nashville's Five Knives are about as far from country as you can get, delivering dark electro-pop in the vein of former tourmates Die Antwoord. And for all the dark makeup and deathly references at Warped, nerdcore rapper MC Lars may be the only artist there who's actually recorded an album in tribute to Edgar Allan Poe. Flow Like Poe should be required downloading for poetry teachers.

     
Comments
SoundBytes: Black Angels, Black Lips, Carbon Leaf, Ripe and more

SoundBytes: Black Angels, Black Lips, Carbon Leaf, Ripe and more

— Psych-rockers the Black Angels, above, and Black Lips are teaming up for a spring tour that'll hit the State Theatre on April 18. Click here for details.— Nathaniel Rateliff and the  Night Sweats are coming to Jannus Live on May 5 ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Steve Martin, Martin Short talk about building their two-man show, surprising each other on stage and more

Steve Martin, Martin Short talk about building their two-man show, surprising each other on stage and more

It's barely been a year since Steve Martin and Martin Short last brought their roadshow to town. But there was never a doubt in their minds they'd be back."We thought — and I seriously mean this — we've got to play Florida more....
Published: 01/17/18
Dave Matthews Band coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

Dave Matthews Band coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

Just like that, the Dave Matthews Band is returning to Tampa, and all is right with the world.After a rare year off from touring, Dave and company are gearing up to get back on their regular summer road schedule, including a late-July stop at Tampa's...
Published: 01/17/18
Kid Rock to perform during NHL All-Star Game in Tampa

Kid Rock to perform during NHL All-Star Game in Tampa

The NHL has announced its first in-game performer for this month's NHL All-Star Game in Tampa, and it's a guy whose heart bleeds Red Wings red: Kid Rock.The Detroit rocker will perform during the second and third periods of the game on Jan. 28 at Ama...
Published: 01/17/18
Steve Martin and Martin Short talk touring together and ‘newfangled old-fashioned’ variety show

Steve Martin and Martin Short talk touring together and ‘newfangled old-fashioned’ variety show

It’s barely been a year since Steve Martin and Martin Short last brought their roadshow to town. But there was never a doubt in their minds they’d be back."We thought — and I seriously mean this — we’ve got to play Florida more." Martin said in a pho...
Published: 01/17/18
R.I.P. to the Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan, a voice that roared from the ’90s to now

R.I.P. to the Cranberries’ Dolores O’Riordan, a voice that roared from the ’90s to now

Dolores O'Riordan had one of those voices. It was a lilt with a vicious edge, a warble with a snarl – it was a switch, and when it flicked, the room lit from faint emerald mist to the bloodiest of reds and right back.There is no replicating a v...
Published: 01/15/18
Photos: Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Subatomic Sound System go deep on dub at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg

Photos: Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Subatomic Sound System go deep on dub at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg

When it comes to Lee "Scratch" Perry, the past and future have always been intertwined.So it goes without saying that the 81-year-old dub reggae icon's concert Sunday at the State Theatre included a little bit of both."We're gonna go back and forth, ...
Published: 01/15/18
Photos: The Moody Blues bring Hall of Fame history to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

Photos: The Moody Blues bring Hall of Fame history to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater

How beloved are the Moody Blues? Beloved enough to get a standing ovation 10 minutes before walking on stage.Just before taking the stage at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, the group flashed images on the stage of founding flautist Ray Thomas, who di...
Published: 01/13/18
Updated: 01/14/18
SoundBytes: The Struts, Big Freedia, Riff Raff, Bad Bunny and more

SoundBytes: The Struts, Big Freedia, Riff Raff, Bad Bunny and more

— British glam-rockers the Struts will open for the Foo Fighters at Tampa's MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre on April 25, according to the venue. The show's sold out, but just FYI if you're going.— The queen of New Orleans bounce, Big...
Published: 01/12/18
Mint Condition’s Stokley Williams talks Prince, his career ‘change of scenery’ and more

Mint Condition’s Stokley Williams talks Prince, his career ‘change of scenery’ and more

Stokely Williams is a well-known industry vet. The Grammy-nominated singer of Minnesota R&B act Mint Condition, he's performed and toured with the likes of Elton John and Prince.So when coming up with a title for his first solo project, he chose R...
Published: 01/12/18