‘Tis the Warped Tour season once more, where alternative acts from all across the world converge and kids wear all black in 90-degree weather. As always, the lineup is massive, and it includes bands from as far as the UK and Australia to as close as right here in Philadelphia.
For those of you who are new to Warped Tour, you might have no clue who to make time to see. Don’t worry! We’ve compiled a list of standout performers that will be at the Philly-area stop this year this Friday. And even if you’re a seasoned Warped Tour-goer, you might want to pay attention – you don’t want to miss these artists.
They’re heading over from the UK for the first time… so show them some love! Moose Blood delivers a distinct British twist on 90’s emo. Just last year, they released their debut LP I’ll Keep You in Mind, From Time to Time. Driven by the personal narratives and voice of Eddy Brewerton, the album’s summer-into-fall songs about relationships, family, and coffee drinking will be stuck in your head for days.
Being as an Ocean
Hailing from Alpine, California, Being as an Ocean spans hills and valleys with their sonic and lyrical palette. Vocalist Joel Quartuccio’s unique style can shift from elegant, aching spoken word to outbursts of anguish and sorrow. His vocals are a sharp contrast to the band’s drifting, ambient instrumentation, providing a multi-faceted, sometimes meditative outlook. For their second album, How We Both Wondrously Perish, guitarist Michael McGough joined the band, adding soaring clean vocals that compliment Quartuccio’s growls.
Baltimore’s Have Mercy are experts on tackling the struggles of the everyman. Guitarist/vocalist Brian Swindle’s gritty voice dismantles the faults of others piece by piece until he finds some truth. Their debut The Earth Pushed Back has quickly become an indie rock staple, exploring the more raw side of the genre. Last year’s A Place of Our Own proved Have Mercy can still manage to bottle in their huge range of influences and push boundaries simultaneously.
Andrew Shiraki, better known by his stagename Koji, burst out of Harrisburg, amassing a stellar collection of music over the last five years. An eclectic singer-songwriter, he’s released several EPs and a 2013 full-length, Crooked in My Mind. He’s also spread his music to new ears by performing with area artists that contrast his sound, including Code Orange Kids, Title Fight, Balance and Composure, The Wonder Years and Geoff Rickly.
When you first start a band, all you want to do is thrash around in a garage, where making noise and having fun are the only things that matter. That attitude never left Toronto, Ontario’s PUP – they just took it to the stage. They’re loud, snarky, and aggressive. Sometimes, they can be just a little poppy. But most importantly, their hooks will just plain melt your face off. And that’s rock n’ roll.
Punk never dies! The Kenneths channel all your original favorite English punk bands and spit it out into something new. The Kinks and The Sex Pistols might need to move over so The Kenneths can rewrite the punk rock rulebook. The Kenneths just released their new EP, E, full of all those blistering fast, anthemic songs that you thought were gone by the start of the 1990s.
Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties
Lansdale, PA’s The Wonder Years are headlining Warped this year. And along with them, lead vocalist Dan “Soupy” Campbell is bringing Aaron West. Aaron is an in-depth character study as performed by Campbell, and on his debut release We Don’t Have Each Other, he narrates the worst year of his life. Aaron West’s music is far from that of the Wonder Years, diving into much folkier, softer, and melancholy territory.
The Republic of Wolves
Since 2009, The Republic of Wolves have used the amazing power of the Internet to gain a steady following. They’ve released two critically acclaimed albums, and have performed alongside acts such as Good Old War, KOJI, HRVRD, and The Devil Wears Prada. Their sound is a dynamic mix of post-hardcore, indie, and folk-rock, with vast, layered song structures.
Wright’s DIY ethic can be traced back to her roots in Hawaii, where she stood out in its culturally diverse and destitute landscapes. She moved to New York City and started jamming with any bands she could find – from metal and hardcore to indie and folk. You could compare her music to several other female acts that rule the scene these days, but Wright has a sound that’s all her own. She has worked relentlessly to build a name as an artist with something to give back to her city, her craft, and her conscience.
Somewhere between the hushed sensibilities of Elliott Smith and the delicate, confessional nature of Into It Over It’s earlier work, there’s Grey Gordon. While known for his acoustic recordings, he released a full-band debut album, Forget I Brought It Up, in September of last year. The Fort Wayne, IN singer-songwriter joined No Sleep Records and built a proper fanbase with his smart songs and personality.
Warped Tour comes to the Susquehanna Bank Center this Friday, February 10th. Tickets and more information can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.
Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties, Being as an ocean, grey gordon, have mercy, kenneths, Koji, Meghann Wright, Moose Blood, PUP, the republic of wolves, Vans Warped Tour, Warped Tour