Thursday, June 28, 2012

GIRLS ROCK VANS WARPED TOUR - IRVINE

We Are The In Crowd's Taylor Jardine
We Are The In Crowd's Taylor Jardine
photo by picksysticks

Siouxsie Medley of Dead Sara
Siouxsie Medley of Dead Sara
by Jeff Pegg

Vans Warped Tour. The annual apocalypse for the music world has once again arrived! It's hundreds of live bands down pouring across America. It’s been happening every year, seasonal, summer time, since 1994. But, this is the good apocalypse, the storm to destroys old barriers and walls in order to bring forth the new and to refresh the old.  The whirlwind to revolutionize, rejuvenate, and create new music genres in the industry. 

“Music Makes The World New” is the theme for this 2012 Vans Warped Tour. It’s not just about music making the world new, but new music breaking habits and yet finding its place into the world, into the world of the next generation of youth, the next generation of sound, and the next generation of culture. Music is the influence and inspiration that makes the world new.

Female fronted bands abound this year to kick-up the music scene. Each wields their own unique weapons of mayhem. Each band having their own style of attack, but their mission is the same, to explode the mold of the old and to forge forth a new sound.

Dead Sara's Emily Armstrong
Dead Sara's Emily Armstrong.
photos by picksysticks
At Vans Warped Tour, location Irvine, the frontline of female attack starts early, slightly before noon, with Dead Sara. The rising heat begins to sweat the valley as Emily Armstrong, Siouxsie Medley, and the rest of the band descends upon the stage.  

There's nothing like rock from future past to begin the barrage. They are the new sound of classic rock. The dead has risen, but with furious vengeance. Armstrong’s vocals invigorates with vintage soul of a Janis Joplin, but with amped vigor and faster rhythm, especially with her seeming sidekick guitarist, Medley, leading the burn. Dead Sara has the inner hunger of the ‘60’s meets the Lita Ford energy hair band of the ‘80’s, and forth comes this new force of female rock.       


Young London's Matt Rhodes and Sarah Graziani
Young London's Matt Rhodes and Sarah Graziani.
photograph by picksysticks
Neo Geo's Rainy Terrell and Jesse SuaveNext, a glimpse of music future that is to come with Young London. They perform on a stage of a silent dream, visuals without audio, dancing to an unheard beat, the show raving, but on mute. That is how it appears from the outsiders looking in at those on the dance floor wearing headphones at this Silent Disco. Slip on the wireless headphones provided and the scene blares alive as if diving into a pool of sound. The feet begin to disco, as the silent scene is suddenly understood.  Sarah leads with cover vocals backed by her DJ remixing pop dance, dubstep, electro, along with a few originals of their own. 

This is Silent Disco’s first year on Warped, and from those viewing outside the barriers it looks too revolutionary, afraid of different until it accepted by the masses. More people seem to watch than to want to experience.               

Then new earth, or rather Neo Geo. This is not the video game system. Rainy Terrell leads with an enchanting operatic voice like that of Evanescence. Goth rock, of sorts, but with electro dance guitars like that of Shiny Toy Guns. Instead of electro-punk, Neo Geo leans more towards electro-Goth metal. It's a music high-energy fusion of genres, yet with dark quality, which adds depth. Music for the darkness that likes to release in dance, rather than screamo and rage with aggression.


Taylor Jardine of We Are The In CrowdWe Are the In Crowd's Taylor Jardine
We Are The In Crowd
We Are The In Crowd performs on the Tilly's Stage at Warped Tour, Irvine
photo by picksysticks
Nevertheless, there is comfort in finding a new friend among the chaos. We Are The In Crowd feels like the rescue team among the rubble, among the bombardment of bands that attempt to attack and pierce the ears. Front woman, Taylor Jardine, comes off genuine and real in her performance. This is happy positive pop rock for maturing young adults with lyrics to lean on when one needs an emotional lift or when feelings of love get confusing. 

Krysta Cameron of iwrestledabearonce
They are not from the big city of New York bad asses, but rather happily expresses hometown in Poughkeepsie, New York, where girls like Jardine loves broccoli. It’s hard to say Poughkeepsie without the tickling in the throat and breaking a tiny smile. We Are The In Crowd has that same effect amplified. On this year’s Warped Tour, a special appearance may occur, Alex Gaskarth of All Time Low, siding vocals with Jardine in the song, “Kiss Me Again.”

As all things feel right with the ending of the world, the dust begins to settle, new friendly sounds are forged, and rummaging through ashes finds a mix of familiar genres that gives new comfort, but there is silence. Soon there falls a distant whistle from not sure where. The whistle turns into a screaming nuke bomb from the sky. It has something painted on it. It doesn’t say Fat Man or Little Boy. It says iwrestledabearonce. Boom! Their performance is nothing less than a chain reaction of mushroom clouds that spreads throughout the crowd. Krysta Cameron is 95% demonic possession convulsing and 5% angelic soothing vocals. She sounds like Bjork trying to sing as metalcore beats the shit out of her. This band is not painted in black, but rather covered in pink dinosaur cartoon characters and other cuddly animals with smiles. She spits and tosses stuffed animals into the crowd that appear to be sacrifices, to be torn and shredded, but are instead adopted with delight as they are snatched from the air. IWABO vibes of Happy Tree Friends.

Tonight Alive's Jenna McDougall
Tonight Alive's Jenna McDougall from Australia.
photos by picksysticks
The sun began to sink into the red horizon. Darkness soon consumes upon the arrival of Tonight Alive. This final attack comes from down under, Australia. They are softer punk rock, but with a bold message of breaking barriers, ripping the emotional red tape, and standing strong. Jenna McDougall’s lyrics are a screaming ego in your fighting corner that will not let you get down, will not let you cower. The theme of their music is, “What are you so afraid of?” The music of Tonight Alive is like a pat on the shoulder and a big shove in the back. Go forth, proud warrior!

The day of Warped Tour apocalypse ends just after nightfall. Many stages are without lights, ending their sets in shadows and silhouettes. Crowds disperse, tents fall, and stages die one after another. Posters are torn, spillage, empty food trays, and flyers galore litter forgotten on the empty pavement. Only a few stages still play like an air raid in the distance while the tired head towards home. The battle of choosing a day of apocalyptic bands has come to an end.   


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We Are The In Crowd
Young London
Dead Sara's Emily Armstrong
We Are The In Crowd



Warped Tour photo gallery. 

CHECK OUT MORE PICS FROM WARPED TOUR ON OUR FLICKR PAGE HERE!

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