This is not a Warped Tour review.... technically. Let's face it, diarrhea can strike when you least expect it. Sometime around the end of the always loveable, always Irish, Flogging Molly, the rumblings began. I spent most of the Warped Tour in the bathroom. It didn't bother me too much. I didn't really plan to go in the first place, but my friend some tickets, and I wasn't able to scalp them for $100 in the parking lot
There was a time, however, where I was free to wander the Tweeter Center parking lot, absolved of all abdominal pain. I wandered into a dusty, dirt covered area lush with useless merch stands. I happened upon a side stage, far tucked away from all the other stages. The Bled was setting up onstage. I found two of my friends and we worked our way up towards the front of the stage. I think they opened with "Get Up You Son of a Bitch, Cause Mickey Loves Ya"; all I know is it was loud, heavy, and fast. Listening to the Bled is kind of like losing your virginity to the hottest slut in school. It's rough, it's so dirty, and it's over fast. I was an instantly converted fan of the Bled. They specialize in obscenely heavy breakdowns, which is the main reason I enjoy them so much. They played just about all their songs from "Pass The Flask". The Bled aren't extremely innovative for their genre -- the singer flails and screams in typical hardcore fashion, the guitarists throw their guitars around like maniacs while still playing pretty technical riffs -- but they are very good at the key aspects of hardcore.
The singer gave a shout out to the deceased Rick James by saying, "I don't know if you've heard, but Rick James has passed away. So I'm going to say a phrase, and you all are going to finish it, and it can be the last time that any of us ever say it again. I'm Rick James....."
Then the call of the crowd, "BITCH!"
When the song began he also added, "Cocaine is a hell of a drug!" There were times during their set when I made that face that you sometimes make when listening to heavy music -- you know the "this is so bad ASS" face. For instance, during "Red Wedding" the band entered a slow, deathmarch breakdown where the singer growled "You will pay the price, close your eyes and die!" while stomping across the stage. Sure those lyrics aren't creative or artsy, but god damn, it was so bad ass. Not one, but two pits formed in a relatively small space, kicking up the dust and dirt all over the ground into the air. It looked damn cool.
I stuck around for Underoath, because my one friend likes them a lot. Underoath brought out the very typical hardcore with a singer and a screamer, a la Alexisonfire, any other nu-hardcore band these days. They make very nice use of the effects and synthesizer, but I find it hard not to label them a gimmick band. The only thing that separates Underoath from all the other generic hardcore bands is that they use electronics in their songs. The coolest part of their entire set was when the synthesizer player cued a recording of a choir singing "I'm drowning in my sleep", and continued to play it as the band jammed over it. Underoath was not very memorable, but there is hope for them. They seem to have so much potential, if only they could get out of the generic hardcore. Underoath, please just use the electronics creatively with your sound, and craft songs that haven't already been written by every other band! You have the skills, you can do this!
I started getting sick again, so I bought a copy of "Pass the Flask" and we left the Warped Tour. Overall, the Bled and Underoath were definetly worth the five dollars I spent to see them. Yeah, I only spent five bucks on my ticket, because my friends paid me $20 to eat a worm. And now that I think about it, that worm is probably related to my intestinal distress. Oh well, go check out the Bled, and Underoath when they stop being so milk-and-water.