Toronto’s Warped tour was a wet one, but that didn’t stop the bands from kicking drums, ripping guitars and dropping mics (and maybe the bass). Some of those bands did said things fantastically and with great ease, some tried too hard, and some just sucked. So here’s my personal opinion on who you should definitely see this year to see said things done right, in no particular order (or rather, the order that I saw them in).
Brian Swindle ’s overly raspy, growly, cigarette-y voice is what makes Have Mercy who they are. Fortunately enough, that voice seems to come out of his easily and naturally, which means that everything you expect to see and hear from this band will probably happen. They emit all the emotion you’d want from the stage, and while they’re at it, they’ll crack some jokes. They love Toronto, but hate Just*n Beib*r. Surprise surprise.
We’re Canadian, so we had to check out some Canadian talent. We’re happy to say that the guys from Seaway made their home and native land proud. Adam Shoji, the bassist, sprained his ankle before they showed up to Toronto, but he still took on the stage along with band, so kudos to him. Their songs are catchy, their presence is felt, and their energy is contagious. Though they’re commonly on the battle of the bands (for some weird reason), they play like they’ve been at it for a while. If you’re an American reading this, then please let some Canadians show you how it’s done.
Memphis May Fire
The dudes of MMF simply put on a good show. Their music is catchy, they mean what they sing, and they just love you, for some reason. Good ol’ metalcore done well, done with meaning, and done with showmanship. There honestly isn’t much to say about these guys because, well, most people already know that these guys have almost always been good at jamming. Go see them, ‘nuff said.
I always knew that the guys in these band were crazy in some way, shape or form, and so I was curious as to how much of that would bleed into their live show. I’m extremely glad to say that, I swear, almost all of it did. They seriously let it all go on stage, and the crowd in Toronto was with them all the way through it. Then again, getting the crowd going must be second nature to these guys. They already play their sets really well, so it’s a very, very, VERY nice bonus that they let loose.
August Burns Red
On a scale of one to Michael Jackson, the tightness of this band is probably Thriller level. They play like they’ve been playing for decades, and it almost feels like they should be put into the rock n’ roll hall of fame because of that. Their breakdowns are monstrous, and when they’re not breaking down, they’re shredding up. Jake Luhrs is one of the few screamers in the genre whose voice has not rotted over the years, and, if anything, has gotten better. His lows are disastrous. Almost every other member of the band is considered a pretty big name in the genre for their respective instruments, so I think it goes without saying that when you got see ABR, you’re going to see a well-rehearsed, entertaining, and crazy show. Have at it.
So, that’s just my humble opinion. There are probably other great bands to see, and I just haven’t seen them. I could tell you some other bands you probably shouldn’t see, but I’ll be nice this time around.