It’s that time of year again. Warped Tour, the traveling juggernaut of an annual music festival, is making it’s way to Cincinnati this July 30th, setting up shop at Riverbend Music Center. It’s going to be heavy, it’s going to be loud, and it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun.
Since 1995, Van’s Warped Tour has played host to a strange mix of DIYers and those hip to current pop culture, accessibility juxtaposed with an obvious, overt Punk Rock Ethos. As the tour has evolved – from a few stages to a rotating, ever-expanding portable complex – so has the amount and types of bands showcased. Ranging, to this day, from esoteric and controversial Hip Hop (I once saw Eminem and Ice T perform, guys) to chuggingly heavy Hardcore and Metalcore, and everything in between, the all-day music festival is a celebration of Music (note the capital ‘M’) in all its various forms and functions.
This year, well-known and respected acts like August Burns Red, Bring Me The Horizon, Motion City Soundtrack, Silverstein, The Used, and The Wonder Years are front and center, with smaller, up-and-coming acts like letlive., Defeater, and Citizen given a chance to show the crowds what they can do. That, though, is one of the great things about Warped Tour – it not only gives you the chance to see some of your favorite bands, but also allows you the opportunity to find new favorites along the way. For those looking for the local incentive, Cincinnati’s own Mixtapes recently joined the traveling tour and will be playing our fair city, along with Dayton’s own Hawthorne Heights. Also, recently added as a result of a battle of the bands type of contest, BoyMeetsWorld will be joining the tour for it’s Cincinnati stop.
For those that want to check out some bands off the beaten path, this writer highly recommends stopping whatever you’re doing and finding out where The Chariot is holding court, then catching Laptop Rapper MC Lars to cleanse the palate.
Doing it’s part to promote environmental awareness and, putting it’s money where it’s mouth is, Warped Tour created the Kevin Says Stage, an entire stage with a solar-powered sound system, and offers daily, eco-friendly and conscious catering for all of the bands and touring staff. This, to me, highlights on of the best facets of Warped Tour – it’s socially conscious, yet accessible, and always within the (admittedly flexible) Punk Rock Lifestyle.
I don’t want to call myself a veteran of the scene, but let’s face it - I’m probably closer in age to the parents of most of Warped Tour’s attendees than I am to the attendees themselves. This year’s Warped Tour, for me, is a logical amalgamation of the past 10 or so years in Punk and Hardcore (and Metalcore, and Hip Hop, and Indie, and Folk…), so it’s a bit more alluring than one might think. Especially for an old fuddy duddy like yours truly.
Riverbend Music Center
Tuesday July 30th