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Noizze Goes Stateside: Warped Tour 2017

August 22, 2017

Photo Credit: Kate Harrison

 

This year Noizze was fortunate enough to be able to visit the iconic US summer festival Warped Tour, in Mountain View California. Spanning from May to August, the festival is both notoriously strenuous and hectic for musicians who decide to endure the entirety of the tour. Nonetheless, compared to festivals back home in the UK, Warped Tour has a completely different atmosphere, which is largely due to the totally varied punters who often travel hundreds of miles to attend the show (in the case of some fans, they will follow the entire West Coast touring schedule). Furthermore, the fans in the US are super friendly, and will often just start chatting to you about which bands you are excited to see. What was notably strange, was the fact that lineups changed every date of the tour, and fans have to wait until entering the arena to plan for the day's events. Hands down though, the biggest difference is the weather. UK festival veterans are used to rain, mud and more rain- however the sweltering heat of the West Coast was often at times unbearable. It is testament to our friends across the pond that are quite simply able to cope with a day of mosh-pits in temperatures that reached 37 degrees! Shoutout to the bands who made cute looking custom fans to keep us cool! 2017 was a particularly interesting year for Warped due to its sheer variety of genres- scoping pop, goth-rock, metalcore and deathcore to name but a few, ensured that the diversity of bands was impressive and fans packed our each date. 

 

 

Starting the day of with a coating of sugar was upcoming female vocalist tiLLie. Playing a variety of catchy pop-rock tunes, favourites included 'Save Yourself' and a cover of Cyndie Lauper's 'Girls Just Want To Have Fun'. Although playing a relatively short set, it was evident that, with time, tiLLie is a name that will be ushered by music fans across the globe. Definitely give this talented lady a listen! [9]

 

Photo Credit: Kate Harrison 

 

Next up was NYHC legends Sick of It All. Playing inside an amphitheater that was packed out with seating (often used for stadium level shows in the US), it was quite bizarre to see a hardcore band play to a small crowd crushed at the front of the seating. Forming in 1986, the guys played a high-energy set which spanned their career and demonstrated why they are icons and inspirations within the hardcore scene. With Lou Keller leading the assault on vocals, highlights came within 'Injustice System', which featured Linh Le from Bad Cop/ Bad Cop, 'Clobberin' Time' and 'Scratch the Surface'. The band proved why they are masters of their craft, and left older and newer fans screaming for an encore. [8]

 

Photo Credit: Kate Harrison 

 

 

Arguably the heaviest and most intense band to play 2017's Warped Tour, was The Acacia Strain. With 8th album Gravebloom being released during the tour, it was awesome to see fans giving the new material such a positive reception. Vocalist Vincent Bennett displayed some absolutely killer vocals, and was able to call for the largest mosh-pits of the day. Opening with the brutality of 'The Hills Have Eyes' straight into the pure ferociousness of 'The Holy Walls of the Vatican' set the pace for the band's set. With a set that illustrated The Acacia Strain's musicianship and tightness live, it will be phenomenal to see the band lip venues apart in the UK. [9]

 

Photo Credit: Kate Harrison 

 

 

Creeper are a band that have managed to exert their name on the UK music scene at an alarmingly quick pace, so to see them play to US fans was always going to be an interesting feat. What can be taken from Creeper's set is that US fans are just as passionate, and enthusiastic about the concept of the 'Creeper Cult'. The band played a set packed with punch and had some of the largest fan sing-alongs of the day. Playing a set that primarily covered songs from their stunning debut album Eternity, In Your Arms such as 'Suzanne', 'Hiding with Boys' and 'Misery', Creeper also snuck in a belting cover of AFI's 'Sacrifice Theory'. Creeper's performance cemented the band as an upcoming talent, who have only just started their exciting journey in the USA. [10]

 

 

Photo Credit: Kate Harrison 

 

 

Jurassic Park X Creeper mashup?

Photo Credit: Kate Harrison 

 

 

 

 

Icons of hardcore-metal, Hatebreed played a valiant set that would even make sceptics of the band head-bang. Vocalist Jamey Jasta had the crowd in the palm of his hand from the opening of 'To the Threshold', all the way to set-closer 'I Will Be Heard'. It is fair to say that Hatebreed's fans are some of the most dedicated in the metal scene, and there was not one moment where the crowd wasn't screaming the lyrics back to the band. Guitar duo Wayne Lozinak and Frank Novinec put on an absolutely solid performance, and their musicianship should not be overlooked. Pits tore the Shoreline Ampitheatre apart for 'Perseverance' and 'This is Now'. Hatebreed's resilience, passion for their craft and sheer energy has ensured the band will continue to play to packed out crowds for years to come. [9]

 

 

Photo Credit: Kate Harrison 

 

The brutality continued with Kentucky hardcore outfit Knocked Loose taking absolutely zero prisoners during their set. For pure aggression, look no further than Knocked Loose, as their set recreated the force of a punch in the face from Mike Tyson (to be fair a few people probably did get punched in the face). Playing tracks 'Billy No Mates', 'All My Friends' and 'Blood Will Have Blood', the band's assault was rampant, with not one fan standing still in the moshpit. With enough crowdsurfers to keep security busy, the band shot into 'Counting Worms' straight into 'Deadringer' to close the set. Knocked Loose demonstrated during their run on Warped Tour why they are one of the hottest upcoming talents in the hardcore scene. [8]

 

Photo Credit: Kate Harrison 

 

 The final performance of the day came from Orange County boys Stick To Your Guns. The band played an absolutely flawless set, which saw a huge crowd of fans flocking to see the hardcore outfit. STYG are well known for their high-octave performances and although two months into Warped Tour, the band saw no signs of faltering. Opening with 'Nobody', the precedent was set with 'No Tolerance', 'Universal Language' and 'We Still Believe' all being received by fans extremely positively. Between songs vocalist Jesse Barnett influentially chatted to the crowd about the importance of the alternative music scene, and its impact on the band itself. Highlights within the set came within 'Amber' and 'Against Them All', where the crowd turned into absolute hysteria. Arguably STYG's set suggested that although they are extremely popular in the UK, the US is where their most die-hard fans exist. [9.5]

 

 

 

 What can be taken from Noizze's experience at Warped Tour, is that it is such a unique event that all alternative music fans should seek to attend at least once in their lifetime. The people are friendly, the atmosphere is buzzing, and the bands really enjoy their time on the tour.

Hopefully the warm faces of Creeper, who had spent two months on the road by this point sum up the excitement! 

 

 

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