Although every year I know less of the bands at Warped Tour, the bands I do enjoy always kill. Yesterday, I attended the Dallas stop of Warped tour.
The band I was most excited to see was of course Every Time I Die, and my luck, they were one of the first bands to perform on the main stage. ETID played the perfect mix of old classics ("Floater") and new killers ("The Marvelous Slut"). Having never seen these guys live before, the show blew me away. Keith Buckley sounded amazing, better than on the records, and screamed his lungs out the whole time. Williams and Buckley also slayed on guitar, as well as Leger on drums. Every Time I Die is a machine, one of my favorite bands, and they sure put on a pristine, flawless show. ETID stole the entire show, as I couldn't get them off my mind all day. Yeah, they were that good.
Interested in how Jerry Roush (ex-Sky Eats Airplane) would sound, I caught the end of Of Mice and Men's set after ETID, and wow, was I pleasantly. Admittedly, I did enjoy their debut self-titled record. After seeing them live, it's clear that they are actually quite talented - Roush was a perfect fit for the band and sounded fantastic. The guitars, drums, and Bourget's clean vocals sounded great as well. Bourget is one of the best clean vocalist in that genre, hands down.
After OM&M, I thankfully caught the end of I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody's Business' set. Ace Enders sounded beautiful, and he ended playing one of my favorite TEN song, "Ever So Sweet." Packed with pure emotion and perfect vocals, the song was simply haunting. After I Can Make a Mess, however, one of my friends wanted to stick around to catch nevershoutnever! to my dismay. As there was no one else playing I wanted to see at the time, I decided to tag along to see what all the girls loved so much about this guy was about. Ugh, it was hard to sit through. I mean I'd read all of the trash about Christofer Drew on this site before, but after seeing the kid live, I've found every word to be true. Sure, Drew has lively stage presence; there's no denying that. But he's just obnoxious. From the constant bopping around to trying to scream weirdly in some of his songs to his arrogance, he's just annoying. I will give him one more positive though: he is entertaining and although his nasely voice is not for me, he can actually sing pretty well live. With his persona, I can sort of understand why all the girls adore him so much, but for most, he's just simply obnoxious.
After his set, I decided to check out In Fear and Faith to see how they sounded live; I did actually enjoy their debut record, Your World on Fire, for what it was, although I have yet to check out their latest, Imperial. Screamer Cody Anderson sounded surprisingly good live; however, clean vocalist Scott Barnes did not. His voice was very awkwardly high and almost unbearable to listen to. Honeslty, he made the entire set hard to listen to. Despite this, guitarist Ramin Niroomand and drummer Mehdi Niroomand sounded great and are quite talented. Anderson can sure scream his lungs out, making Barnes the only real hindrance to the band's live show.
After leaving IFAF's set early due to not being able to withstand Barnes' vocals anymore, I caught The Rocket Summer's set. Being a huge fan of Bryce Avary, I was very excited to see him. The man sounded great, kicking off with the infectious hit "Do You Feel." Avary sounded better live with his pure fervor than he does on the record. Period. Able to play every instrument, Avary is very multifaceted, making his live show great. The guy made up a song during the set, playing drums, piano, and guitar. I was unsure how TRS would sound live, since they were originally a one man band and are on records, but the guys sounded great. Avary's vocals are simply wonderful live, full of emotion, showing his love for music.
After The Rocket Summer's superb show, I headed to see Set Your Goals, interested in how these guys would sound live, because they're one of the best bands in their genre hands down. The band sounded really great, playing more songs of TWBTDOU than Mutiny, a good or bad thing depending on preference. Guitarists Aire and Flores played wonderfully, and Jordan Brown sang his lungs out. However, the other vocalist, Matt Wilson just did not compare to Brown on vocals; he sounded weaker, but maybe it was just a bad day for him. This did make the overall vocals unbalanced, but still, it was a solid show.
Directly after SYG was Massachusetts' Four Year Strong, in my opinion the best "hardcore influenced pop-punk" act in the genre. They completely outshined Set Your Goals. Kicking off with "It Must Really Suck to be Four Year Strong Right Now, vocalists Dan O'Connor and Alan Day packed so much energy and excitement into the show. They sounded phenomenal. The crowd roared throughout the entire set, as Four Year Strong played favorites off Rise or Die Trying as well as Enemy of the World. Their live show is absolutely insane and energetic. It was the second best show of the day behind ETID. If you think these guys rock on their records, their live performance is twice that.
And then it began to pour down rain as Pierce the Veilwere getting set up after FYS. Rain sure didn't stop them, they were full of energy, starting right into new found favorite "Caraphernelia." Vocalist Vic Fuentes sounded great as he wailed "what's so good about picking up the pieces" over lively guitarist Tony Perry screaming. Fuentes sounded great throughout the entire show, even playing a quick cover of Drake's "Find Your Love," which actually didn't sound half bad. Surprisingly, bassist Jaime Preciado was fantastic; he sounded great playing and had great stage presence. PTV were incredibly entertaining to watch, as they stood on tall boxes and played while Vic wailed his lungs out standing on the crowd in pouring rain. It was an awesome show, making me happy I skipped out on one of my most anticipated bands, Emarosa, to see Pierce instead.
The last band of the day for me was UK's You Me At Six. Now let's get on thing straight, their latest record Hold Me Down did nothing for me, in fact I found it boring and generic; however, their debut Take Off Your Colours is a favorite of mine, making me curious to check them out. I was not disappointed in the least. Vocalist Josh Franceschi sounded great and was the driving force of YMAS' live set. Even tracks I didn't like much on HMD ("Trophy Eyes" and "Stay With Me") were worlds better than on the album due to Franceschi's energy in his vocals. "Stay With Me" was one of the best of their set, while older "Save It For the Bedroom" sounded awesome as the crowd chanted "save it, save it for the bedroom" with Franceschi. Overall, it was a great way to end Warped Tour 2010.