Warped Tour, featuring The Devil Wears Prada, Gym Class Heroes, SHARKS, Yelawolf, and more
Cal State Dominguez Hills
Warped Tour is the longest running touring festival in the United States, older than the now dead Ozzfest and the immobile Lollapalooza. Throughout its sixteen years, Warped has managed to keep true to its roots but at the same time evolve. This year's installment featured Warped veterans like Less Than Jake, Gym Class Heroes, and Sum 41, and also newer acts like metalcore heavy hitters The Devil Wears Prada and U.K.'s SHARKS.
Although not their first time here, this seemed to be The Devil Wears Prada's year. They played in the early afternoon, but the crowd was big enough for a late night headliner. Anxious fans stretched far beyond the soundboard, screaming every time a tech came out to check a mic. Realizing that this was not going to be just an ordinary afternoon set, security called in for back-up, a bright yellow, polo'ed army ready to catch the onslaught of crowd surfers.
The band came to the stage still half asleep and smiling at the sea of screaming kids. Before long, however, they went into breakdown after breakdown, with Daniel Williams' double pedal chugging along to keep time. Most groups ask the crowd to participate — to jump up and down, clap, hit the pit or whatever. Not TDWP, as lead singer Mike Hranica never had to ask. The crowd responded to the energy they saw on stage and the music they heard, which was excellent.
The set in general was well done. Less talking and more playing is always a recipe for a great set — especially at Warped, where sets are short.
SHARKS review below.
Fresh off the boat from Royal Leamington Spa U.K., SHARKS played their first Los Angeles area show ever. In fact, this tour has been their first trip to the U.S.; considering that they killed it — and they're already booked to play this year's AP Tour — we'll be seeing them again.
The crowd was small, but passionate. Most people probably had no idea who these pale, skinny, leather jacket wearing lads were. But, for those that did, they most likely only knew songs from the group's Rise Records debut The Joys of Living 2008-2010. SHARKS are a mix of old-school U.K. punk (think The Clash), and blue collar American Rock; think Bruce Springsteen or The Gaslight Anthem. The guys had a tough slot — playing at the same time as the very popular metalcore act (and their label mates) Attack! Attack! — but they pushed through.
Critical Bias: Every year Warped Tour makes me feel nostalgic. It was like a punk rock Christmas for me when I was younger.
Random Notebook Dump: Eminem got his start on Warped Tour. Yelawolf just signed to Shady Aftermath and killed it at Warped yesterday. A rapper who can take charge of 14-year-old punks, goths, and metal heads? That's what's up.
Set Band List:
A whole mess of Warped GIFs below.