Dennis column: One Warped lineup

This week I turned 24, which really isn’t even that old. In fact, my car-insurance rate still sucks hardcore and I still get called a baby just about every time I go to the liquor store by the clerk.

So I’m still pretty young right? Then why do I look at this year’s Warped Tour lineup and feel as though I was cryogenically frozen for 10 years?

Last year’s lineup was not the most amazing thing, but it also wasn’t the worst. I could still identify with a couple veteran acts, like The Devil Wears Prada, Yellowcard, Every Time I Die and Less Than Jake. I even enjoyed some newcomers, like Beartooth and Volumes.

But this year, upon looking at the lineup, I recognized two bands I grew up listening to: Matchbook Romance and Family Force 5. Then there was a bunch of other bands I’ve never heard of, which made me feel unnecessarily old.

So, I gave every artist a fair listen. I didn’t hate everything I heard — I found this awesome Japanese hardcore band, Crossfaith, that had a very unique sound, as well as pop-punk group, Trophy Eyes, that had just enough of an old-school punk sound to intrigue me.

But then, I noticed two alarming trends for the majority of the remaining artists: electronic music and generic-sounding hardcore groups.

The electronic “bands” irk me the most. Sure, it’s an industry where music is dominated by laptops, but I don’t see why electronic acts were billed on the Warped Tour, which is known as a punk-rock show. It seems that brining in these acts is based on a desire to stay relevant — which means, in the process losing its roots.

I love hardcore music — the kind that offers a unique and distinguishable sound, or at least a sound that brings something different to the table. As for this year’s bands in that genre, they bring nothing unique.

I get that music will naturally evolve and that the Warped Tour bands will always change, but I am still shocked by the lack of familiar names and the general lack of a punk-rock sound, which is what makes the Warped Tour’s atmosphere.

The lineup is still subject to change. Each week, the tour is slated to announce five new bands that will be on the tour, but at this point, if the next couple weeks don’t see serious improvement, I’ll skip this year’s Denver show.

Maybe they’re just saving all the best for last? Maybe they’ll announce on April 1 that this lineup is all a hoax and announce a real lineup that’s much better? One can hope.

Caleb Dennis writes “The Scene” for Colorado Daily every Thursday. Follow him:

blog comments powered by Disqus