The Warped Tour has changed a little since the last time it was in Australia. No longer is it strictly reserved for those with a taste for punk rock, patches and safety pins.
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Take groups like Aversions Crown for example. They kicked off the day playing a style more akin to Suicide Silence, and dished out more breakdowns than RACQ deals with on any given weekend. Vocalist Colin Jeffs was equally chaotic – his ear-splitting screams sounded like a demon erupting from the gates of hell. But Aversions Crown failed to match their efforts energetically, because besides the occasional windmill, they played a colourless set.
But Aversions Crown's vice was Reel Big Fish’s virtue – from vocalist Aaron Barrett's Elvis-like chops to the band's booming brass melodies, everything about them was vibrant. They blitzed through '90s ska punk classics like 'Boyfriend' and 'Beer', with the crowd lapping up the group's tongue-in-cheek humour.
Then We Came As Romans stepped things up a notch. WCAR roared through their electro-fused repertoire of double-barrelled distortion, maniacal screams and Coldplay-like sing-alongs. One minute they pummelled away at their instruments as if they were valueless; the next it was as if the band fired up a teleporting device en route to Ibiza. Moshers flailed their limbs regardless.
Next up were Warped Tour veterans Millencolin, and the band wasted no time blasting out high-octane assaults of pop punk. They screamed through their set – all three guitarists uniting to sing some of the catchiest hooks imaginable.
Finally it was time for the headliners – the Metallica of punk rock, The Offspring. They assembled onstage; fans cheered gleefully. The Offspring blazed through stadium punk numbers like ‘The Meaning Of Life' and 'The Kids Aren't Alright'. But what was most impressive was their longevity. Their vigour was relentless right until they wrapped things up with 'Self Esteem'.
By: David Miso
The long, hot day at RNA Showgrounds featured a string of phenomenal acts over three stages, which made the sunburn and hangovers well worth it. Capping the list of A+ performances was The Used who played on the main stage. Even with perfectly executed circle pits and a wall of death, the highlight of the set – and maybe even the highlight of the entire day – was the band opening their song ‘Box Full Of Sharp Objects’ to the tune of ’Smells Like Teen Spirit’ by Nirvana.
There was no time for rest when Warped AU veterans, New Found Glory, played after The Used. NFG played their 2002 release ‘Sticks And Stones’ in full and guitarist Chad Gilbert stole the show when he crowd surfed for an entire song in a sea of diehard fans.
In the spirit of an early 2000s throwback, Simple Plan played their hit emo-pop songs like ’Shut Up’ and ’I’d Do Anything’ in between their sex jokes and long-winded discussions about good-looking Aussie girls. The guys played well, but the in-between-song chitchat would have been much more fitting at a 15 year old boy’s birthday party.
Sydney pop-punkers Tonight Alive marked their place in the Australian punk music hierarchy with their set on the main stage being the most diverse showcase of talent of the day. Playing early in the day, Tonight Alive pulled a massive crowd which gave festival headliners a run for their money.
By: Nik Wylie
To view photos from the Brisbane leg of Soundwave visit scenstr.com.au