Live Review: Warped Tour: Breathe Carolina, New Found Glory, Matt Toka, T. Mills, Falling In Reverse, Hyro Da Hero – Pomona, CA
Tue, 26 Jun 2012 12:33:48
So what does punk rock look like in 2012?
Once again, the Vans Warped Tour paints the perfect pastiche of the genre—and more.
When the annual roving festival rolled through the Pomona Fairplex on Friday, Southern California fans descended upon the circus by the thousands. The thing about modern punk is even though the sounds are different, the attitude remains the same. As evinced by Breathe Carolina's scorching set of hardcore infused electro dance, you can shake your ass in the summer sun just as well here as Electric Daisy Carnival. The Denver duo of David Schmitt and Kyle Even put on one of the day's most memorable performances seamlessly sliding from hardcore screams on "Wooly" to the massive groove of their hit single "Blackout". "Last Night (Vegas)" proved bigger than anything off Born This Way, while "Hit and Run" smashed at all the right moments. Breathe Carolina stand primed to start a punk dance revolution.
Donning black is ballsy on a 90-degree day, and Falling in Reverse had no problem rocking right through the heat. Merging an Appetite for Destruction-style gutter bravado and modern metallic violence, the band ripped through "Sink or Swim" and "The Drug in Me Is You" with enough attitude to resurrect the '80s and smear it to hell in black mascara. There's nothing more punk than playing tight metal in the blistering heat.
New Found Glory took on the role of season elder statesmen, and "All Downhill From Here" was as catchy as any Green Day classic. It also mustered up a sing-a-long worthy of the San Francisco punk royalty. T. Mills smoothly riffed through a bouncy set punctuated by the aptly titled "Vans On". It's still one of the best choruses out there right now, and Mills is an infectious, incisive new talent that deserves the spotlight.
Speaking of new talent, Matt Toka remains a leader of the pack. He assaulted the stage with an explosive energy that wouldn't be out of place on OZZfest and punky pop grenades like "666" and "Ode To My Family". Toka finds a middle ground between punk message on "Ode", where he runs through family tragedy with a shit-eating grin, and the party in hell bombast of "Say 10". Like a wiry green-mohawked Travis Bickle, Toka is about to blast a hole through everything in his path.
Then, there was Hyro Da Hero. He's the baddest punk muthafucka out there. From the fret-burning rapid fire riffing of "Sleeping Giants" and "Ghetto Ambiance" to the "Hyro Hug" of the crowd, this kid remains the most alive artist in either rock or hip hop. Think of the first time you heard Nas on Illmatic or Rage Against the Machine or Korn on their debuts. It's the same feeling watching Hyro set off a stage. If the class of 2012 had a valedictorian, it'd be him…
The Vans Warped Tour is still The Shape of Punk to Come.
Were you there?