So I'm deaf in my left ear because I spent my first day of vacation at the Warped Tour in San Francisco. Unlike last year, I only had two or three bands that I *had* to see. I missed one (Silverstein) but hit the others (Avenged Sevenfold and No Use For A Name).
Of course, that left plenty of time to discover new (to me) bands. Highlights this year included Thrice, Strike Anywhere, and Underoath.
Thrice is the kind of hit squad that knees you in the balls, steals your lunch money, and then buys you a Dr. Pepper (only to shake it up and spray it in your face). Most of the mod-punk movement relies on screaming and singing (see Taking Back Sunday). And most of these bands have a screamer and a singer. Not Thrice. One dude has the pipes to scream and sing AND play guitar.
Strike Anywhere reminded me of Rise Against with Bad Religion lyrics. Never mind that the lead singer looks like Phil Collins with dreadlocks. This only distracted me for one or two songs. What sucked me in was the infectious hooks, the gratuitious F-Bush stanzas and couplets, and the persistent circle pit. Talk about old skool.
Underoath gives a nod to The Man upstairs. They hit hard and hit often, like an amped-up version of The Used. Plus they have a guy that alternates between playing the keyboard, banging his head, and lip-synching lyrics to his own songs. Right on.
I'll admit it. I'm at least a half-decade outside of the target audience. And I feel older every year. But there's a reason why the Warped Tour is the longest running summer music festival. And there's a reason why I'll continue to go.