6 Bands I Def Would Have Seen Had I Attended Warped Tour

I missed Vans Warped Tour, and I regret it entirely. This is the second straight year that I wanted to go but couldn’t get myself to purchase the tickets. My first two Warped experiences were extremely memorable and enjoyable, and I honestly wish I went this year to relive the fun moments and catch some of my favorite bands.

Did I miss getting nasty tan-lines from the scorching sun or extreme thirst that even the coldest of waters couldn’t quench? Nope, but I missed jamming to my favorite bands singing some of my favorite songs.

Here are some of the bands that made me regret not going to Vans Warped Tour this year.

Dance Gavin Dance

Discovering this band a few months before their sixth studio album Instant Gratification in 2015 was the best moment of my life. They quickly became my favorite band (or at least top three since my favorite often changes between them and two other choices), and I’ve been obsessed with them ever since. I saw them for the first time back in March of this year, and it was the most wild concert I’ve attended, which is odd since they aren’t a heavy act at all. They blend post-hardcore with progressive rock, doused heavily in funk. I simply cannot get enough of their jolly, infectious sound.

Sylar

I had always been aware of this young band, but I didn’t fall in love with them until they dropped Help! in the summer of last year. Trading in their blistering metalcore for some polished nu-metal, Sylar instantly became one of the hottest acts around. Shifting from more or less a generic sound to something innovative and fresh was the band’s great accomplishment to this point, and the future is theirs for the taking.

Attila

I was watching these guys at Warped long before I became a fan, and I remember thinking, “Damn, these guys can throw a show.” I’ve been raging to their stuff ever since. Easily one of the most controversial bands out there, Attila never fails to be on the minds of others. Whether you listen because you love it or listen because you hate it, you listen to it nonetheless because Attila is just that different. Their boisterous, vulgar party death metal brand chock full of rapped lyrics and deathly breakdowns is unique to them, and they own it. Led by one of the most well-known vocalists Fronz, the band continues to ascend higher and higher, picking up more fans and haters along the way.

Sworn In

I just recently became infatuated with this band, and seeing them live would have made me die. Sworn In is vicious, dark, and dreary—in other words, they’re amazing. Their unique chaotic style of deathcore is game-changing. Although they catch a ton of hate, they truly are exceptional when you give them a chance. Their latest album is a contender for the best album of 2017, and I don’t say they lightly.

The White Noise

This band is punk af. Yet they do it extremely well because they weave metalcore into it. The White Noise is a new band with only an EP and freshly released album to their name. However, with their growth in a relatively short period, I know for a fact that this band will grow monumentally. They are what Crown the Empire could have been had they not decided to drop Retrograde. In other words, The White Noise is just better now, and I couldn’t get to see them be better.

Emmure

Along the same vein of Attila, Emmure gets a lot of hate. I believe it is because they followed a simple formula and did it extremely well. Yet with a overhaul of the band lineup and more focused approach to music, Emmure dropped one of the best projects 2017 with Look At Yourself. Destroying eardrums with their raucous deathcore, Emmure keeps it real and raw at all times. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to witness them live, and I spend many moments self-loathing because of it.

 

 

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Calvin Harris – Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1

If anyone was going to drop the album of summer ’17, it would be Calvin Harris. With three wavy singles that caught fire immediately, Calvin Harris had listeners feeling the summer before it even arrived. “Slide” and “Feels” are ruling the airwaves while “Rollin” has been more quiet, but still banging. But like all artists who drop a bevy of exceptional singles, does Calvin Harris succeed in dropping the summer album of the year or is it a forgettable record with simply the singles to play over and over?

For me, Calvin Harris succeeds in delivering an exceptional album in Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1. The masterful recruitment of all-star features takes the album to another level. However, at the base of the song is the funky electronic production that is top-notch and extremely unique to Calvin Harris’ previous work. I’m more impressed by his ability to make the funk- and disco-flavored EDM work perfectly with each featured artist than the featured artists dominating their respective beats. The album is fresh, cohesive, and truly wavy. The title of the album is no ruse; it’s the real thing.

Calvin Harris succeeded in bringing together all-star talent on a record destined to rule the summer unlike DJ Khaled with his Grateful. DJ Khaled’s album was too drawn out with 23 tracks while Harris’ album was concise with 10 tracks. DJ Khaled’s album ended up being 90 percent filler, while Calvin Harris’ album has bangers throughout. In this case, Calvin Harris’ album felt more thought out and intentional, and as a result it exceeds expectations.

Tracks like “Slide”, “Cash Out”, and “Prayers Up” are phenomenal and stand out the most. “Slide” features Frank Ocean and Migos, and it shouldn’t work but it works extremely well. ScHoolboy Q dominates “Cash Out”, flowing smoothly through the verses like a complete boss. PARTYNEXTDOOR and D.R.A.M. ensure that the song is even more catchy. “Prayers Up” is included in some of my favorites because I didn’t expect Travis Scott to kill the track. The track goes and Travis Scott is a big part in why.

Only two songs fell flat for me. “Skrt On Me” is the dancehall track that features Nicki Minaj drenched in autotune. The song isn’t terrible; in fact, I enjoy it. What I don’t enjoy is Nicki Minaj’s voice being buttered up with autotune. As far as I’m concerned, she cannot sing and simply raps. Therefore, I wish Harris’ had recruited someone else for the verses and chorus and let Nicki Minaj simply handle the rapping on the bridge. Literally anyone who could sing without autotune could have carried that track more than Nicki. The second track that I just don’t like at all is the final track “Hard to Love”. It features Jessie Reyez, who I have never heard of before and will not hear more of in the future. The song itself is forgettable and Reyez doesn’t do anything outstanding for the track which is actually has dull production compared to the rest of the album.

Overall, the record is great and will be the soundtrack of the summer. It’s concise, cohesive, and catchy, and showcases Calvin’s forward approach to EDM and the potential of collaborations being done right. Calvin Harris understands that the only way to move EDM forward is to blend it with other influences such as the 80s and modern rap and pop. Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1 is funky, wavy, bouncy, and will be on repeat throughout the summer.

Top vybes: “Slide”, “Cash Out”, “Rollin”, “Prayers Up”

Not vybes: “Hard to Love”

For those who vybe to: anything on Top 40 radio