Part of Aug 2011 by

The Best Bands on the 2011 Warped Tour

I have sung Kevin Lyman’s praises for years now but even successful geniuses completely blow it on occasion.  When this year’s Warped line up came out I thought it was a bit weak but I wanted to wait until I saw the actual festival in Denver because the kids know what they want to see and sometimes I am completely wrong.  But based on a crowd that to me appeared half of what it was last year, okay I will be generous – 40% less, I’m pretty sure the mediocrity has hit the fans.  Warped Tour has morphed from its punk origins into the festival for everyone.  One big rule of life is that anything that has the “something for everyone” vibe means that most people will be bored most of the time.  It’s like math or something.  I’m sure the economy, which everyone is trying to scrape off their shoe right now while holding their nose, will be blamed but my accusatory last two cents is on the shotgun style “lets hit all the genre targets at once!” booking strategy.  All that being said there were many many awesome bands on Warped tour that nobody saw and here are some of my faves from the smaller act camp.

The Brothers of Brazil, Supla and Joao, are REALLY brothers and REALLY from Brazil I know because that’s exactly how they told me about themselves at Warped.  These guys were given the key to the game show host personality well and drained the sucker dry which in their case it’s a very good thing.  So it is at this point that I tell you that they had a successful variety show on national Brazilian TV for years you will probably believe me.  They left the show to focus on their music which has no real description beyond bossa nova/samba punk with a Beatles chaser.  Yeah, check these guys out and if you don’t like the sounds just tell a weird friend about them before you move on.

This next band is totally rad and I don’t care if you don’t like that term because their band name is bang-your-shin-on-a-moving-subway-train worse:  The Wonder Years.  It’s like naming your band Punky Brewster but their music is so right on bullseye that when I first got their tunes I literally raised my arms up and did the whoohoo! thing.  The name of the newest album is Suburbia: I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing which gets it’s inspiration from the Allen Ginsberg poem America. Very rad.

Black Square is a band out of Honolulu who started out 9 years ago as a full on hardcore punk band and over time have developed into an incredible ska band.  I interviewed their singer Josh86 at Warped and he had the best attitude of the entire day.  Just a solid positive dude who loves what he does and supports everyone around him.  These guys have 4 CDs out including a shiny new self titled one that is awesome.

Of course their were other great bands on Warped but these were the ones I wanted to shout out.  One last note: Please Mr. Lyman take metal off of Warped and keep it on Mayhem where it should be.  And start an electronica tour.  Keep Warped Punk.


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