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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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The Sights & Sounds of Warped Tour 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010

Warped Tour is always one of my favorite events of the year. Yes, it’s almost always hot - this year it reached 93 degrees, and that’s before taking into account the fact that the date I cover is held in the parking lot of Nassau Coliseum, so we get even more heat coming up off the concrete - but it’s a day of musical enjoyment and discovery. I always see a few bands I know, and find a few more that I become a fan of. This year I managed to see parts of nine sets and interview four artists. Here are some of the highlights.

New Favorite Band - Eyes Set To Kill: Every year I go to Warped Tour I come across at least one artist that really wows me, and although I never thought I’d be into a band that’s been given the screamo designation, the originality of Eyes Set To Kill, and the distinct sound they have with both a male screamer (pictured above) and a female vocalist, has drawn me in and made me a fan. I first became familiar with Eyes Set To Kill last year when their second album, The World Outside, was released. Seeing the group, and their new male screamer, Cisko Miranda, live, however, and getting to know them during our interview at the show, really put them over the top for me. They have the perfect combination of male and female qualities that, when bounced off of each other, show why, in the end, men and women really are symbiotic. Their new album, Broken Frames, is fantastic, and I would love to see them perform in NY and CT more often.

A funny aside, during Eyes Set To Kill’s set I was kicked in the head by a wayward crowd surfer. Most crowd surfers who made their way to the front row, where there was a five foot gap for the photo pit, were carefully pulled down by security, and then directed back to the crowd. This guy was tossed a little too strongly by the crowd, though, and since I happened to be in the photo pit, I caught a foot right to the back of the head. Now, I don’t know if you’ve seen Eyes Set To Kill, but the two ladies in the group are gorgeous, and my lone (very male) thought when I felt that whack was “don’t turn around. Just keep shooting pictures. Whatever you do, don’t even give the slightest hint that it fazed you. Don’t look like a pussy!” Score one for my male ego!

Best Repeat Viewing - Kelsey and the Chaos: I saw Kelsey and the Chaos last year at Warped Tour and dug their set. They had a lot of fun on stage and really seemed to enjoy themselves. It was an enjoyment that was infectious. This year they had an early set time and were the first band I went to see. Still equipped with that infectious enjoyment factor, Kelsey and the Chaos had a killer set which included a rocked out cover of a song that they admitted was stupid, but too catchy to ignore, Ke$ha’s “Your Love Is My Drug.” Kelsey and the Chaos is a band that’s overflowing with personality. Musically they’re kind of like Paramore, but with more of an edge. I’m looking forward to seeing them again soon.

Biggest Disappointment - Mike Posner: One of my buddies referred to Posner as “Justin Timber-fake” and it’s quite the fitting description. Posner has all of Timberlake’s non-dance moves, right down to his facial expressions, down pat. His confidence level also seems to be in line with a young Timberlake. His vocals, however, just aren’t there. In fact, I’m not even entirely sure they’re his. Posner performed a solo set, only accompanied by his computer, and while I understand that he had to keep going back to it to put the next beat on, it also seemed as though the computer might have been having an affect on the sound of his voice. His ego, however, was the real killer for me. I know he was putting on a show, but at times he seemed to leap from confidence to arrogance and it was very unbecoming.

Person I’ll Buy Pants For - Taylor Momsen: After the first week of Warped Tour a bunch of upskirt pictures of 17 year old (well, she'll be 17 on the 26th) Gossip Girl actress and The Pretty Reckless lead singer Taylor Momsen started showing up on the web. Rather than, oh, I don’t know, putting on some pants, Momsen decided to go another route - she banned the press and photogs from the photo pit area. It’s sad to see Momsen, at 17, already becoming a caricature of a teen star, especially since after listening to The Pretty Reckless’ set I have to say she’s not that bad. Her image, however, is so awful right now that I commented “I might like The Pretty Reckless more if Taylor Momsen wasn’t Taylor Momsen.” I took a fake paparazzi pic of her before her set as my way of protesting out being booted from our area.

Favorite Inappropriate Pic - The All-American Rejects: Tyson Ritter is quite the performer, and when he was doing an intro for “Dirty Little Secret” he said how he wanted to “get dirty” (not an ODB reference). At one point during this intro he put the microphone in a very suggestive place and did something strange with his tongue. It looked a little something like this.

Weirdest Cover - Reel Big Fish’s version of “Enter Sandman”: With all due resect to Reel Big Fish, who are a great band, their cover of the Metallica classic “Enter Sandman” only worked to remind me of the Pat Boone version.

The Hot New Fad - Girls with overhangs wearing shirts that show their bellies dating emaciated boys: One thing I came away with from seeing the crowd at Warped Tour is that our nation’s gym classes are failing miserably. I saw more teenage girls with small, but bulging, guts, and more boys who looked like twigs, than should be allowed by law. Even weirder - they all seemed to be coupled off.

Totally Awesome Partner In Crime - Natty S.: Seriously big shout out to my homegirl, photog extraordinaire, Natty S., for not just coming with and taking a bazillion pics, but also for effectively dodging a tuna fish sandwich, and networking her way into the next Warped Tour date! Also, big shout outs to B-Listers Warren Britt and The MC Faceman, who we managed to run into thanks to the wonders of text messaging.

For 50+ of my pics from the show, and a few of me that Natty S. took, check out my Warped Tour album on Facebook.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 8:00 AM  
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