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Volume 69, Issue 148, Thursday, June 24, 2004

Arts & Entertainment

Houston gets Warped Friday

Tour celebrates 10 years of punk rock with rising artists,
strong headliners

By Jason Gagnon
The Daily Cougar

To mark the 10-year anniversary of punk rock's only summer festival, the organizers of the Vans Warped Tour have brought back the usual strong lineup of headliners including Bad Religion, Alkaline Trio and Flogging Molly. But don't spend all your time watching those bands, because there is plenty to check out on the side stages where the younger, rising bands will surely please fans this Friday when the tour kicks off at Reliant Park.

Dynamite Boy, Austin's own pop-punk heroes, are on the tour once again, just after the release of their new eponymous album. Dynamite Boy doesn't fall into typical pop-punk clichés, but improves upon them with a live show that will leave you physically exhausted.

Bad Religion will once again play co-headliner to the summer's annual punk rock fest, the Warped Tour.

Photo courtesy of Epitaph Records

Hazen Street has a line up that includes members of H20, Madball and the Cro-Mags and that may lead someone to expect a brutal and intense hardcore side project, but that person would be wrong. While those influences are still present on Hazen Street's debut album (on the Good Charlotte-owned DC Flag label) the record is certainly more on the pop level, yet it's still deceptively strong because of some great lyrics. In case anyone is thinking of hurling water bottles or heckling the band, be warned: They're part of the long-standing New York D.M.S. crew. 

If new wave is actually going to make a serious comeback into pop music, then we should all hope the bands that follow are half as fun as the quirky Ima Robot. If you think the Briefs are a little odd, you'll probably consider these guys lunatics. The group boasts former members of Beck's band in addition to some of the best yelping vocals to make their way onto disc in a long time.

You know people are going to check out Juliette and the Licks, whose centerpiece is actress Juliette Lewis. It's pretty much the same reason why they listened to 30 Seconds to Mars, or Dogstar. Music fans love to see famous people fail miserably at their new endeavors. The streak of thespians stepping into rock 'n' roll territory with horrible results will probably continue with Lewis' performance, but it should be fun to watch that train wreck.

Die Hunns is the best and most authentic punk rock band on the tour, so skip hacks like the Casualties to witness the legendary Duane Peters tear up the stage l980s style. For the unfamiliar, Peters is a renowned skater who thrashed hard in pools long before the X Games hit the airwaves. He's also been into punk since its inception and fronted the now-defunct U.S. Bombs. This band represents everything that the Warped Tour should be about.

Check out As I Lay Dying, Underoath and the Bled if you're in the mood for some hardcore. Unfortunately, these three bands are the only hardcore bands on the tour aside from 18 Visions. Most of them are more focused on fashion than the music but Underoath stands out among the rest with a bit more sincerity.

There you have it, kiddies. Go forth and rock in 100-plus-degree heat.

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