The Garden State’s Own Impressed At There Hometown Gig
The Garden State has always been an unsung musical haven. From our Asbury clubs to our New Brunswick Basements (even those stationed to the North that reside across the river from Manhattan and decide to jump ship for the Big Apple at the first inkling of success in chase of greener pastures) New Jersey has spawned some of the greatest outfits to ever grace the stage…and some of them were on display this past Friday, while Warped Tour also provided a glimpse at perhaps the next class homegrown talent.
Despite a swift 35-minute set, Streetlight Manifesto induced swirling skank pits for the duration of its eight-song jaunt (an impressive feat in itself given the performance length) and hinted at what’s to come by performing a new, yet to be titled, two-minute rage-tune featuring a poetically preached at break neck speeds verse and explosive brass accompaniment sandwiched between a pair of shout-along choruses. As the New Brunswick-based collective ventures into its fifth year since the release of Somewhere In The Between, fans can expect a new LP of original music sooner than later, as is accustom for Tomas K and the crew’s work schedule.
Asbury’s own Lost In Society, a group that continued its national surge on the Kevin Says stage by providing an assault on the senses with both visually pleasing stage antics and a catalogue of shrapnel-laced Punk-Rock salvos with explosive Pop refrains at their backbones, shared those same planks with Justina, a high energy Hip-Hop fire spitter from Passaic and self-described “pit bull sparring with a shitzu (below),” who delivered a much needed adrenaline shot to the heart of a tiring midday festival patronage attempting to get over the hump of this lengthy event.
Ridgewood’s Senses Fail was banished to the Amphitheater, a venue where many talented groups had there sound distorted for the worst throughout the day due to a lack of capacity, however, the Jersey juggernaut packed the concrete palace and offered one of the best showcases of the festival as Buddy Nielsen coupled with the band’s beloved compositions an elongated monologue about the Garden State, its school system, and Chris Christie’s circumference, while launching himself off 20-foot amplifier stacks.
…and let’s talk about that set destroying amphitheater:
The Tilly’s And House Of Marley Stages…The Black Hole Of Indie-Rock
The most appealing aspect of a festival is its undercard, catching the supporting cast of burgeoning outfits placed on smaller side stages that will someday comeback to headline events of this sort. And unfortunately, many of those collectives, mostly Indie-Rock outfits that may not have fit perfectly into the Emo, Punk, and Hardcore-Metal paradigm developed by the Warped Tour over its 18-year existence, found themselves drowned in sound inside PNC’s Amphitheater (which saw its planks split in half to house both The Tilly’s and House Of Marley Stages). Anticipated sets by the likes of Chicago’s Chip-tune Pop-Rockers I Fight Dragons, L.A.’s Dance-Punk four-piece and Omar Rodgriguez-Lopez favorite Funeral Party, and the Michigan-based, Chris Zane-produced, Electronic Synth-Rock group Stepdad, were smothered in reverb as beats and instrumentals bounced back off the concrete roofing. Very unfortunate.
Kudos To The Assemblage For Protecting And Policing Itself
When you combine oppressive heat with large crowds in a confined area one of two things tend to result: Injury and fisticuffs. Warped Tour saw several cases of both, but thanks to a level headed majority that was calm, cool, and collected under pressure, there were no serious ailments to report. When a young female patron took an elbow to the nose at The Receiving End Of Sirens main stage set she was accompanied to the paramedics station by a pair of shirtless pit bosses. When another young female caught up in Yellowcard’s massive congregation gave way to dehydration, the passed out patron was again hoisted and rushed to safety by another pair of bystanders while other concerned festival goers sacrificed their $3 waters to pour over her face in an attempt to revitalize…their ventures eventually proved succesful. Well done everybody. And for the duration of this Summer festival circuit, remember to take care of each other.
How Does The Used Still Have A Fan Base?
People wanna love The Used, or at least a prime time slot on the Warped Tour’s main stage and sea of spectators clad in black on a 90-degree day slam dancing in a pit of destruction to the group’s tunes acts as evidence to that statement…so why the arrogance toward and total lack of respect for your adoring patronage? After tearing through an opening number that saw a crowd lose its collective shit, the band’s front-man Bert McCracken showed total disregard for those sweating it out at his expense, thanking himself for being at this show, his favorite band “The Used” for being on the tour, announcing how he’d like to “fuck” everyone in the audience, all before collecting a pile of mucous in the back of his throat and spitting it out all over his people. If that’s a thing…maybe it shouldn’t be.
Anti-Flag, Marrying Anarchy With Peace Signs Since 1989
Anti-Flag performed one of the most entertaining sets of the Warped Tour’s Holmdel stint, calling for, and receiving, the largest circle pit of the day (at least 300 feet in diameter), damning police brutality with its with its classic cut from 1996 while delivering such Pop-laden cuts as the on only quality composition on the NHL 07′ soundtrack “This Is The End For You My Friend)” and “The Press Corps.” However, what stuck most was Justin Sane and Chris #2′s pairing of anarchic actions and peace signs, at one moment in particular pointing out how those in the VIP section weren’t giving enough energy, eventually suggesting to its congregation how proper retribution would be to tear down the protective fence surrounding those people of prominence. Sane and Chris #2 proceeded to hoist up peace signs. A bit confusing, no? However, it’s all in good fun I suppose…until a collection of heat stricken hot heads crosses the point of no return.