Vans Warped Tour 2016

Stop! Before you bash this post or roll your eyes, this is not another review of the Vans Warped Tour. I’m not going to explain the sets of each band I saw or the meet and greets that I went to. I’m going to tell you why, in my opinion, the Vans Warped Tour is the greatest tour to date.

In case you don’t know what it is, Vans Warped Tour is a touring festival of 50+ bands that play shows all over the country. It is home to the best bands in the alternative rock/punk/hardcore music around. The bands play 30 minute sets on assigned stages and some of them do meet and greets or signings or other special workshops at various tents. Non profit organizations as well as other businesses that support the tour set up their tents to spread the word while on the road.

Now, this is why I feel Warped Tour is the greatest tour to happen. Ever since I was a freshman in high school, I’ve been attending the tour in Milwaukee. Whether it was a good lineup or a bad one, I went because of the experience I had while there. Yes, you get to see your favorite bands live and you can meet them during a M&G or a signing, but that is not what makes Warped so great.

It is more than just the music. Its a place where everyone is accepted. Walking up to the gates the feeling that you are going to get judged washes away. There is not “dress code” or certain physical standard that you have to hold up to. There is no one that you need to impress, and there is no one style of music that you have to listen to in order to go to Warped.

No one cares what you look like, as long as you came out to support music, and you don’t act like a dick, we love you. No one cares what or who you listen to. There is this misconception that only “scene music” lovers can come to warped. Wrong. Yes, if you are a country lover you might not know or like any of the bands playing because they are more rock/punk based bands, but pop acts and rap acts have played warped and have received a great response.

Warped doesn’t care about your sexual orientation, gender, skin color, religion, etc. It doesn’t care what you do with your life or who you do it with. All it cares about is that you love music and you love having a good time. A lot of bands touch on that during their sets as well. Its all about love and music. Theres no room for hate at warped tour.

You don’t have to like the music to come to warped. Why? Because it is more than just music. There are just as many non-profit organizations that come to warped and set up their tents everyday to educate people about their cause. Groups like PETA, Keep a Breast, Hope for The Day, and HeadCount all come out to tell their mission and cause and hope that you take a second to hear them out. Every single one of these groups are trying to make a difference in the world, trying to shine a light in times of darkness and I think it is an amazing thing to have them on the tour.

Something that made this Warped stand out than the rest, and made it a little bit more special to me, was the line up. It was this weird but amazing juxtaposition of new aged warped and old warped. You had bands just breaking out onto the scene, like Against The Current and The Heirs, and then you had bands who have been around for 10+ years and have played warped just as many times. Bands like Good Charlotte, New Found Glory, Sum 41, and Yellowcard.

It was something that to me felt really special to experience. I grew up listening to all those bands. I remember putting their posters all over the walls in my bedroom and wishing that I would see them live one day. Then when I finally get a chance and see them live they go on a hiatus and drift to the back of my mind. Now they come out with new music and are back touring again and I feel like I’m 12 years old. It was a surreal experience.

Watching Good Charlotte was one of my favorite moments of the day. You know how you have that one band or artist that you feel very protective over because you’ve been listening to them for most of your life and they mean so much to you that you just kind of claim them as “yours”? GC is that to me. I’ve been listening to them for nearly 13 years now and I got the opportunity to see them 6 years ago in concert. That was the last time they played in Milwaukee on the last tour they did before their hiatus. Now they are back out with an album and going on tour again and I got to see them return to Milwaukee, return to Warped Tour, and it was amazing. I’m sure if you ask Cherry she will say that I had a smile on my face for the whole set.

One last thing I want to touch on before I end this post. Yellowcard. If you are a fan of pop-punk, and early 2000s pop-punk, then you know of Yellowcard. They recently announce that after this next album cycle they are going to be calling it quits. This broke me a little. They are another one of those bands that I like to claim as my own little treasure. They mean so much to me and have shaped my musical tastes in so many ways that its almost like losing a best friend or family. I knew that Warped would probably be the last time I saw them perform live and I’m glad that I saw their set. Nearly lost my shit during “Only One” and during “Ocean Avenue” but I held it together and then cried an ocean in my pillow that night. *not really but you get it*

Overall, I feel that Warped tour is an experience that any music lover should experience. Like I said, you don’t have to like the music being played (although it does help) because there is so much else do and groups to support that it makes it worth while. Its just a big party for music fans to come out and show their support, educate themselves on the workings of different organizations, and feel accepted.

So to end this post, here is a list of bands that I did see perform:
Tonight Alive
The Heirs
Set It Off
Real Friends
Against The Current
New Found Glory
Issues
Good Charlotte
The Maine
Yellowcard
Mayday Parade
Sum 41
Sleeping With Sirens

Bands that I met:
The Maine
Real Friends
Against The Current

Stay Warped,
Stefanie

May Music Obsessions

The month of May has been one of great music for me. There was been some new songs and albums that were released this month as well as songs that I’ve just discovered on my own that I have been obsessing over and, like always, I’m here to tell you all about them!

The first song would be “Bored To Death” by Blink 182. This is off of Blink 182’s new album, and although the song was released in April, I’ve been listening to it non-stop for the entire month of May. Its one of those songs that are hard to explain, its just a classic Blink song that just gets you up and singing. Its got a nice beat and melody that stays in your head all day. I suggest that if you are a pop-punk fan or an alternative music fan, you should listen to this song, even if you are not a Blink fan. Its just a great song; song of the summer for me!

The next song is by an artist who is completely new to me. I was listening to the coffee shop soundtrack station on sirius xm and heard this song. I loved the mellow vibe that was linked to a classic story; Peter Pan. The song is called “Lost Boy” and its by Ruth B. Her voice, the melody, the key, and the simple piano accompaniment is a perfect blend. For some reason, when I listen to this song I feel like I’m a child again and I imagine myself as Wendy, waiting for Peter Pan to come to my window. If you are into indie music, or that coffee shop sound, I suggest you listen to this song or at least look up Ruth B because all of her songs are amazing!

Finally, I’ve been listening to Against The Current’s new album “In Our Bones” for the past week, ever since its release. The album, in my opinion, is pure gold! You are your darker sounding songs like “Chasing Ghosts” and “Blood Like Gasoline” that have an edgy, ominous vibe. But then you have your more upbeat songs like “In Our Bones” and “Runaway” that you bob your head to, smile, dance and just feel good while singing. My favorite songs off the album would be “Chasing Ghosts,” “In Our Bones,” and “Demons.” If you like bands like PVRIS or other female vocalist bands, you should definitely check out Against The Current because I see big things for their future; they’re gonna rock it!

Those are just a few songs and albums that I’ve been loving this month. If you want to know about more what I’ve been listening to, I’ve created a playlist on Spotify that highlights all the songs that I’ve been listening to during this spring/summer season! I generally update it every week, so there are quite a few songs already on the list and many more to come!

Stay rad!
Stefanie

A Week Of Releases

There has been an explosion of music releases the past week. Every time I opened the internet there was some new artist dropping a new music video or single. And, being the music junkie that I am, I of course listened to every single song and watched all the music videos (generally speaking).

So here is a tiny review of each one, my first impression and thoughts…

PVRIS – You and I

Probably the biggest buzz going on in the Alternative world would be the release of PVRIS’ new song “You and I” (February 22) and the music video to go with it. Lynn’s voice is undeniably unique and during the chorus, the raspiness of it sends shivers down my spine. The song is beautiful and eerie and so is the black and white music video.

Although I have nothing bad to say about the song or the video, because I love them both, I just feel like I am ready for something new from them. And by that I mean a new album. “White Noise” was released in 2014 and now they are re-releasing it as a deluxe version with the single “You and I” on it in April of 2016? Why not just wait and release the new song on a new album or EP? Of course, I am not part of the band or their team so I do not know the reasoning behind it all, but I feel like its just time for something else.

Demi Lovato – Stone Cold

Demi released her new music video for “Stone Cold” this week (February 23) and although I’m not a huge Demi fan, I heard that this song was a big one. I am on the fence with this one. I think this song, lyrically and instrumentally, is amazing. The emotion and pain that the song writer wrote down is real and you feel it when listening to the song. The instrumentation supports this emotion beautifully with simple half note chords.

But, unfortunately, I did not care for Demi’s voice on this song. It almost felt like she was putting too much emotion and pain into it that the true talent of her voice got lost a times. No doubt about it she has a strong voice, I just felt that this song, vocally, was not her best. But the music video was simplistic and easy to follow. Not an outstanding video, but with the contents of the song, it complimented it well.

Troye Sivan – Youth

Troye Sivan is quickly becoming one of my favorite breakthrough artists this year! I’ve been a viewer of Troye’s videos on Youtube for a while now, and got moderately excited when he started writing and recording music. My initial thoughts were “great another youtuber that is trying to become a musician” but boy was I wrong…in more ways than one. I found out later that Troye was already a musician and had tiny singing gigs throughout Australia. But I never really listened to his music until this past week. I briefly heard song of his song “Youth” but it wasn’t until the music video was released this week (February 24) that I really listened to it.

This is the catchiest damn song ever. Troye has this sweet, smooth, innocence to his voice that is just aesthetically pleasing to me. I also like how most of the instrumental is in the verses and the chorus just has the beat and his vocal. It really catches your attention and brings the focus to the chorus in a way most songs don’t do. The video fits well with the song as well, teenagers or youth hanging out and being themselves. Its very indie, its very “hipster” but I love it.

The 1975 – The Sound

The 1975 are a quirky bunch, as I would like to express it. I am a fan of their music, loved their debut album, loved their live show, and I was excited for their new music. So far they have released three singles off their upcoming album which are “Love Me,” “UGH!” and now the newest one “The Sound” (February 25). All three songs I like, musically, and the music videos got me feeling a different way for each one. “Love Me” I didn’t care for, just not my taste, “UGH!” was fun to watch and reminded me of their previous videos, and now “The Sound.” I think out of all this one is my favorite.

The song itself is definitely The 1975, they have this sound that when you hear it you just know its them. It also has this killer guitar solo in it as well, which you don’t hear much of anymore. The video is my favorite as well, the use of their signature lights and the hues of pink and white resembled a bit of the new 1975 as well as the previous album. But I also liked how the band incorporated, what I assume to be, negative reviews of their band in the music video. The band is trapped in a box and there are “critics” outside the box and every now and again the video cuts to a negative comment. But in true 1975 fashion, the band is un-phased and at the end the band is outside the box and the critics are inside. Symbolism.

Against The Current – Runaway

Already have this song memorized…oops! This is the new single off of their HIGHLY anticipated (for me anyways) debut album called “In Our Bones” and its a tune! They released their first single “Running With The Wild Things” earlier this month and it has a great rock and angsty feeling to it. But “Runaway” has a different vibe and I think that it was a smart move to release two different vibe songs to give their fans an idea of whats to come. This song is a great love song that has a bit of a pop feeling, which is why when you listen to it you wont help but put it on repeat or at least sing it in your head the rest of the day. I’ve already listened to this song a million times and it just got released last night (February 25).

 

There you have it! Practically a new song for every day of the week this week. I certainly had my ears full trying to catch up!