Music

Still Lame: Vans Warped Tour Australia 2013

Back in a 1998 issue of Flipside Magazine (the punk one), the Warped Tour got a righteous lambasting in a column detailing the tour’s mall punk lineup, excessive prices of bottled water and the general lameness of the music festival routine. It was a terrific piece detailing a punk rocker’s bewildering and angry journey into a then bubbling underground; a soon to be mass produced factory-line punk rock show. At the time, the Warped Tour was in just its third year, and already its predictable transformation was seen as inevitable.

News has come to light that the Warped Tour will return to Australia for the first time since 2002 and people seem to be excited about it. But in what capacity does Australia need the Warped Tour? It doesn’t of course, but for co-organizers Kevin Lyman and Soundwave honcho AJ Maddah, this is just another clever, money printing venture meant to tap in to the already saturated, exhausted alternative music touring scene.

But you see, Lyman and Maddah are brilliant entrepreneurs. They saw a gaping hole in a scene bursting into the mainstream and filled it with their money-hungry, intelligently forward-thinking dongs. When Warped Tour pulled the plug on their Australian adventure in 2002, Maddah saw a perfect opening in the genre and grew what eventually became Soundwave in Perth from some extreme sports/music festival called Gravity Games. True to form, the first Soundwave in 2007 featured many of the same Warped bands- Thrice, MxPx, Unwritten Law etc- that became the staple of Lyman’s annual touring circus. And as the year went on and the festival grew, it very much became the Southern hemisphere’s alternative music festival.

You can say they’re “different” AJ, but they’re not.

So here we are, drenched in music festivals and broke because of $10 bottles of water and $100+ tickets, and we’re getting the Warped Tour in December, just 3 months before the annual Soundwave Festival. It is another preposterous money grab at the poor kids who love alternative music and can only seek refuge in the giant arms of Maddah and Lyman. And save your time from announcing the bands, I’m sure half of them will have been here on Soundwave. Same festival, same bands, paying for it all twice.

I am unsure who is the bigger villain here; Lyman and Maddah or all the people who bought in to all of this bullshit. Growth and success come with choice. With success comes the idea that you can still be at the top of your mountain while giving back to those who put you there. Perhaps alternating the years in which Warped and Soundwave tour? Maybe kids are just stupid enough to buy a ticket to the same festival twice.

There are pages and pages worth of bile reserved for all the music festivals currently on the Australian market. We are slowly seeing the market implode as the garbage festivals are weeded out of the pile. Imbecile promoters interested in the bottom line more than an artist is interested in the biggest paycheck out of a 30 minute performance. As festivals fall, we will find a balance in what music, and in certain cases punk rock specifically, is all about.

Queers frontman Joe Queer said it best;

You play music because there’s something inside of you that says you have to play music … The Warped Tour changed it. Fuck it. To me a punk gig is a small sweaty club with the audience right in your face knocking over the mic stand and boogying off the energy. 

Too bad there are not enough Joe Queers left in the world. And too bad not enough listeners of whatever the hell consists of punk music today know who Joe Queer is.

Both festivals and their promoters are no stranger to endless amounts of criticism and drama. Maddah being the most notorious with his trigger happy twitter account and his incessant need to pick fights with the likes of that Good Charlotte guy, Travis Barker and anyone who generally rubs him the wrong way. If only someone could add an extra “think before you hit send” button just for him. Just as if we could add a “think before you buy” one to everyone thinking about buying a ticket to Warped Tour Australia 2013. But if you are too stupid to do so, well, there’s nothing I can do about it except to tell you, like those in 1998, you are fucking lame.

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Videos

The Sword debut “Lawless Lands” video

Texas metal band The Sword continue their intergalactic conquest with the video for the track “Lawless Lands”. The space themed video is the latest from their new album Warp Rider, released this past August. Check out the video above.

The band recently announced the rescheduling of their United States tour after having to cancel the previous routing due to band member changes. The new dates kicked off yesterday and continue on through until mid December.

The Sword will then venture down to Australia next year as part of the Soundwave Festival.

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Music

The Amity Affliction, Millencolin, Coheed & Cambria added to Soundwave

Australia’s Soundwave lineup continues to get larger as a bevy of new bands have been added to the already packed slate of bands.

While the lineup boasts an unfortunate amount of painfully average bands/artists like Primus, Stone Sour, Slash, Avenged Sevenfold, Monster Magnet and Rob Zombie, it is also the first opportunity Australia will get to see Social Distortion (unless they cancel like they did last year). Perhaps, we can hope for just a Social Distortion sideshow.

The festival’s latest lineup addition includes The Amity Affliction, Millencolin, Bullet for My Valentine, Coheed & Cambria, Silverstein, Feeder, H20, One Day As A Lion, Bring Me the Horizon, Dimmu Borgir and We the Kings. All these bands will get a dressing room backstage that will surely be dwarfed by that of Iron Maiden’s which we hear will include it’s own ER, a bingo hall and a Denny’s.

The shows kick off late February 2011 and will circle around Australia before closing out the run March 7th in Perth.

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