Slam Dunk Festival North and South, taking over Leeds and Hatfield in late May have added a slew of new bands to the bill! Mainstage headliner While She Sleeps, with Code Orange, This Wild Life, Doll Skin, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!, Spunge, A, Popes Of Chillitown, Me First & The Gimme Gimmes, The Suicide Machines have joined the sick lineup that already includes headliners like Sum 41, Don Broco, NOFX, Billy Talent, The Used, Pennywise and many more! VIP tickets are all sold out but general passes are on sale at the link below. Slam Dunk Festival North takes place Saturday 23rd May at Leeds, Temple Newsam and Slam Dunk Festival South takes place Sunday 24th May at Hatfield, Hatfield Park. Continue reading
Riot Fest 2019 has announced its lineup for its 15th-anniversary event this fall in Chicago, in Douglas Park, September 13th -15th. Slayer (final Chicago & Milwaukee show), Against Me!, Flaming Lips, Glassjaw, Senses Fail, Taking Back Sunday, Testament, Avail, Dashboard Confessional, Bloc Party, Ween, H2O, Blink-182, Bikini Kill, The Raconteurs, Jawbreaker, Ween (performing The Mollusk), Bloc Party (performing Silent Alarm), Die Antwoord, Patti Smith And Her Band, Rancid, Violent Femmes, Descendents, Manchester Orchestra, The B-52s, and dozens more are booked to play. Tickets on sale now at the link below. Continue reading
It’s the final cross-country voyage of the Vans Warped Tour. Since 1995, the unofficial punk rock summer camp has introduced us all to iconic acts from Bad Religion to Katy Perry. Continue reading
Within the lineup of each year’s Vans Warped Tour, there is often a hidden gem amongst the crowd of names who perform amongst their multiple stages. On the Full Sail University Acoustic Basement tent each day, Canadian artist Braden Barrie’s one man act SayWeCanFly is getting heard each day in front of curious fans. He is enjoying his time playing for new fans and has had this moment as a goal of his since his teenage years.
“Literally Warped Tour’s been my dream for a long time. Since I’ve been doing this more and more, I try to think past that and set higher goals, but it’s cool that I’m finally meeting a goal I’ve had forever. I’m so excited just to be there and be in that world,” he says, thinking about the opportunity on the tour.
Much of this year has been a growing process for Barrie, as he spent time touring with Metro Station across North America, promoting his album Between The Roses, as well as reaching fans on his various social media pages through a variety of YouTube videos and fans discovering his recordings on Bandcamp. This was all done by himself and without the assistance of a record label or distribution companies.
He talked about some of his favorite artists who helped shape his sound. “My first album I ever bought was by Relient K, which is kind of a Christian band. I grew up listening to a lot of Christian music, kind of like rock stuff. I think the first album that caused me to start writing was Awake by Second Hand Serenade, which was the first acoustic artist I got into.”
“After I found him I started listening to a lot of indie acoustic artists that literally play with their acoustic and sing. So that was just seeing that other people had done it and was possible to have a good song with just your voice and a guitar.”
“For some reason acoustic guitar has been my favorite sound. I feel so free when I play it. Just seeing other people do it inspired me to start writing it and realized it was possible.”
Actually this is his second time on the Warped Tour, following his brief stint appearing on one date in Toronto, ON on a prior year. “I’ve had a small, small taste. The first year I did the Acoustic Basement Tent and the second year I did the Ernie Ball Stage, which was a little bigger. It will be cool doing the tent the whole entire summer.”
So what was it that attracted him towards doing the Warped Tour? ”It was amazing because a lot of my fans end up going. A lot of times they can’t go to my shows on school nights but I know they always go to Warped Tour. I get to meet most of them.”
“I got to see most of the excitement. When the doors open, it’s a stampede of kids. It’s crazy how much passion is in the air. It’s really, really cool.”
Unlike many of his fellow tour mates, Barrie originates from a small town in the Ontario province in Canada. He talked about where he is from and how that affected his work ethics towards getting his music heard.
“I grew up in a place called Lindsay, Ontario. I didn’t realize how out in the middle of nowhere it was until I drove there from Pennsylvania. It was a 13 hour car drive and seeing how much distance it actually takes to get there. I think there’s like 25,000 people there. It’s actually really a nice little town. They have everything that you need. It always looks really nice. At first it was really hard to think past it and realize there’s more to the world. That was what drove me. I just wanted to get out of here. Everyone around me has this small town mindset and they’re going to stay there their whole lives. That didn’t feel ok to me.”
“I’m thankful to have grown up in such a small place. Everything I’ve experienced outside of that is amazing.”
Unlike many acoustic acts that perform on the live circuit, Barrie has mostly performed solo and without a backing band. He has devised a strategy on how to craft his music without the assistance of a backing band and has won over fans on each stop of a tour.
“I’ve jammed with my friends for fun, but Saywecanfly has always been me. When I record albums, I’ll have people come in and play. I had a guy come in and play cello and electric guitars. The live shows have always been me.”
The idea of a backing band has crossed his mind at times, as this scenario has been presented before. But he has reiterated that it may be a possibility at a later time, once he feels ready to do so.
“I’ve thought about the whole band thing but I want to get as good as I can on my own before I do that and before I take that step. I have a long way to go with that still. I feel like I want to get as amazing at playing solo so I feel super comfortable. It’s a process. I used to be super shy. I had a hard time playing for ten people. Every show I learn to be a little more comfortable, so I want to get way better at that.”
While his sound leans upon the singer-songwriter side, being around the Warped Tour has attracted him to some heavier sounds as well. But finding him in the mosh pit may not happen right away. “I love hardcore music. Underoath is my favorite band. No I wasn’t scared of mosh pits. I tried it once and got injured so bad. So I always stuck to the acoustic side. “
“When I started playing guitar, I started on electric guitar and I learned a lot of blues. I was listening to Stevie Ray Vaughn, BB King and stuff like that. So that was before I started singing. So I had those roots too.”
Lastly, he shared some of the artists on the Warped Tour he is excited to see while on the tour. “Definitely Pierce The Veil. I love Pierce The Veil. I love them because they incorporate so many different instruments in their songs. Their songs are so complex. This band called This Wild Life – these two dudes who play acoustic music. I’ve been listening to them a lot lately. A band called Pvris. They just put out an album. They’re kind of like Paramore and Lights. The girl who sings for them is super talented. Never Shout Never is one of my influences way back in the day. It will be cool to hang with him too. I’m excited to hang with everyone. I don’t listen to a whole lot of music, which is weird, so I don’t know a whole lot of the bands playing. But it will be cool to discover a lot of the bands playing and make friends.”
Another year has arrived for the Vans Warped Tour full of anticipation and excitement to hit the summertime across North America. This year’s edition maintains their tradition of youth oriented angst filled music (or whatever the kids call it these days) and carving a path for the next batch of rising stars on the scene. Thanks to photographer Kevin Estrada for shooting these two dates of Warped tour for Ghost Cult!
The main stages (Shark and Unicorn) showcased the main attractions on the tour, ranging from the pop punk acts (The Wonder Years) to the screamo/emo (Pierce The Veil, Blessthefall) to the crossover half melodic and half aggro (We Came As Romans) to the harder sounding (August Burns Red) managed to keep the kids bouncing around in the crowd and rarely laying low.
Tour veterans Motion City Soundtrack made their brief California run appearance, showing the crowd how things are done on this tour. Metro Station (featuring Trace Cyrus, son of country performer Billy Ray Cyrus), melodic punk act Man Overboard, and hardcore outfit Fit For A King all set the pace for the day with their respective sounds while keeping the crowd engaged.
The main acts on these stages won over the crowd throughout the day. Memphis May Fire got the crowd into a high with their half heavy yet melodic styling that struck a nerve with them; Attila, led by their enigmatic frontman Chris “Fronz” Fronzak and his guitar crunching yet Eninem-esque “meth” suit bouncing along with the crowd; Black Veil Brides and their legions of die hard fan base singing along to every word; and Miss May I and their modern metallic sound that got the crowd worked up later on in the day.
While the main stage had their moments going on, there were a number of side stage acts making noise of their own. The Monster Stage housed their own brand of chaos throughout the day, as Senses Fail, Being As An Ocean, Beartooth, Mallory Knox and The Amity Affliction all got the pit crew throwing down alongside each band and rarely letting down. The harder driving acts such as hardcore outfit Hundredth had the pit kids going in effect, while veteran Canadian post hardcore act Silverstein had their mix of longtime fans as well as newbies who both showed their appreciation for the band. Australian metallic hardcore outfit I Killed The Prom Queen appeared to be bass player less, but that didn’t stop them from bringing out their At The Gates meets hardcore stomp to these fans. British metalcore act While She Sleeps briefly were down a singer (ie visa problems kept frontman Lawrence Taylor making a late start on the tour) but friends pitched in to lend a helping hand and fans didn’t even notice. Plus Escape The Fate closed out the evening with their eclectic brand of punk meets screamo meets modern metal that got the late comers their last bit of a sweat.
On the other stages, indie hip hop acts MC Lars gave a lesson in nerdcore with rhymes about video games and Game of Thrones (ie his latest single “Dragon Blood), while Kosha Dillz brought out his East Coast blend of Spanish, English and Hebrew rhymes; and electro-DJ-performance duo mystery men Drama Club put on an interesting performance that combined part Blue Man Group-esque percussive moments with part electronica meets EDM moments and spontaneous bursts of energy that kept the interested crowd on its feet.
The Journeys Stages found Juliette Sims and Night Riots wowing the crowd with their high energy sets, while hotly tipped electro pop outfit PVRIS became one of the much talked about acts on the tour and their set did not disappoint. Hip hop act Riff Raff put on quite the entertaining show on this stage, with his colorful summertime dress and animated raps to get the crowd bouncing along.
New York alternative rockers The Karma Killers stood out amongst the vast number of acts performing on the Ernie Ball Stage, with their fresh take on classic pop-punk, rock, and alternative rock with an energetic stage show. While they are newly signed to Island/Def Jam and new to the scene, they showed that they could one day end up on one of the larger stages in the new future.
The Acoustic Basement easily became an area largely for shade against the sun, but while most of the acts attracted stragglers throughout the day, Canadian singer-songwriter Saywecanfly and Brian Marquis were two of the acts who attracted a decent sized crowd throughout the day. Saywecanfly attracted a packed tent and entertained the audience with his emotion filled lyrics that got his largely female audience awaiting with anticipation.
Overall, this year’s edition featured a good mix of repeat acts moving up to larger stages, as well as a number of fresh faces to the scene. It is a positive sign to see new acts on the rise at a time when the music industry is struggling to attract new acts to the public. Hopefully someone is paying attention to this tour to see that there is a new generation of artists on the rise.
WORDS BY REI NISHIMOTO
PHOTOS BY KEVIN ESTRADA
The Vans Warped Tour announced eight more artists at the kickoff party at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, CA this past Tuesday, April 7, 2015. The acts confirmed include:
Miss May I
The Bunny The Bear (07/26-08/08)
Kaya Stewart (07/15-08/08)
Macy Kate (07/02-07/04, 07/06)
They joined previously confirmed acts:
Black Veil Brides
August Burns Red
Memphis May Fire
We Came As Romans
I Killed The Prom Queen
Sirens And Sailors (07/14-08/08)
The Amity Affliction
Fit For A King
Escape The Fate
Being As An Ocean
False Puppet (07/23-08/08)
A+ Dropouts (06/19-07/03)
Carousel Kings (07/14-08/08)
New Years Day
Set It Off
The Ascot Royals (07/01-07/08)
Rivers Monroe (07/04-07/21)
The Karma Killers
Youth In Revolt
Koo Koo Kanga Roo
Never Shout Never
Night Argent (06/20-06/28, 08/01-08/08)
Motion City Soundtrack (06/19-06/21)
While She Sleeps
Hands Like Houses
Le Castle Vania
Our Last Night
New Beat Fund
This Wild Life
The Dirty Nil
The Wonder Years
Icon For Hire
Matchbook Romance (06/19-07/11)
The Relapse Symphony (06/19-07/12)
As It Is
Alive Like Me
Family Force 5
Lee Corey Oswald
‘Acoustic Basement Stage‘:
Aaron West and The Roaring Twenties
PVRIS (dates TBD)
Speak Low If You Speak Love (07/09-07/14)
Beth Stelling (06/19-06/26)
Chase Bernstein (06/27-07/12)
Dave Ross (07/01-07/12)
Eric Schwartz (07/26-08/08)
Sammy Obeid (06/19-06/28)
Sandy Danto (07/26-08/08)
Mar 31: The Met – Pawtucket, RI (w/ New Found Glory, Turnstile, This Wild Life)
Apr 02: The Fillmore – Silver Spring, MD (w/ New Found Glory, Turnstile, This Wild Life)
Apr 03: Cat’s Cradle – Carrboro, NC (w/ New Found Glory, Turnstile, This Wild Life)
Apr 06: The Beacham – Orlando, FL (w/ New Found Glory, Turnstile, This Wild Life)
Apr 07: Music Farm – Charleston, SC (w/ New Found Glory, Turnstile, This Wild Life)
Apr 09: Mercy Lounge – Nashville, TN (w/ New Found Glory, Turnstile, This Wild Life)
Apr 10: Juanita’s Cafe and Bar – Little Rock, AR (w/ New Found Glory, Turnstile)
Apr 11: Tiptina’s Uptown – New Orleans, LA (w/ New Found Glory, Turnstile)
Apr 12: Fitzgerald’s Upstairs – Houston, TX (w/ New Found Glory, Turnstile)
May 27: The Barbary – Philadelphia, PA (w/ Fireworks, Sorority Noise)
May 28: Amityville Music Hall – Amityville, NY (w/ Fireworks, Sorority Noise)
May 29: The Studio at Webster Hall – New York, NY (w/ Fireworks, Sorority Noise)
May 30: The Middle East Upstairs – Cambridge, MA (w/ Fireworks, Sorority Noise)
May 31: Gorham Brothers Music – Syracuse, NY (w/ Fireworks, Sorority Noise)
Jun 02: Ritual – Ottawa, ON (w/ Fireworks, Sorority Noise)
Jun 03: Hard Luck Bar – Toronto, ON (w/ Fireworks, Sorority Noise)
Jun 04: The Waiting Room – Buffalo, NY (w/ Fireworks, Sorority Noise)
Jun 05: Mahall’s 20 Lanes – Lakeland, OH (w/ Fireworks, Sorority Noise)
Jun 06: Beat Kitchen – Chicago, IL (w/ Fireworks, Sorority Noise)
Jun 07: The Shelter – Detroit, MI (w/ Fireworks, Sorority Noise)