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Warped Tour 2011 | July 2, 2011

The Vans Warped Tour descended on the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View for the annual celebration of all things alternative.  For those that have been through of these before, the main stage had a certain dose of predictability with veteran Warped Tour acts 3OH!3Attack Attack!The Devil Wears Prada and Less Than Jake … all quality acts that have earned their respective slots … busting out their best for short but sweet sets. And while many bands on the Warped Tour may like to think of themselves as the odd-band-out, the cliche of side-swipety hair and crab-core poses of the screamo bands littered the periphery of the festival.

The great thing about the Warped Tour, however, is that with seven stages and a caravan full of bands, there’s guaranteed to be something cool that you’ve never heard of before. Of course the down-side of that setup is that you’re also guaranteed to miss something that you should not have. And while I could go on about how Mike Hranica from The Devil Wears Pradaa nearly screamed out a lung or how Less Than Jake’s Chris Demake declared that there weren’t enough mohawks at this years Warped Tour (true statement) before pulling someone out of the crowd for an on-stage haircut, I won’t. And while by no means did I catch all the bands, I do have a few tips for the folks that want to check out what I would consider to be some of the must-see acts …

Larry And His Flask: I first caught these guys back in May at Punk Rock Bowling in Las Vegas and made it a point not to miss them on this years Warped Tour. A bunch of guys from Portland that look like they’re about to bust out some bluegrass, delivered one of the most energetic and unique genre-bending performances of the day. Folk punk? Something like that.

Foxy Shazam:  Normally I would have passed on this band solely based on the name but I was tipped off by a reader that they would be worth it.   I don’t even know how to put into words what they do and their sound certainly defies a label, but I can tell you that it was awesome as all get-out.   And from the size of the crowd watching from backstage, the word of their quirky antics had already spread within the touring folks.  Foxy Shazam is now on my “do no miss” list.

Black Veil Brides: It takes a lot of balls for six guys to get on stage dressed like Too Fast For Love-era Motley Crue and proclaim their love for all things glam.  Silly?  Maybe, but guess what?  Love them or hate them, they put on a great live show and the girls dig them (single guys take note).

New Years Day: This one was a random find for me.  A sassy black-haired front-woman that knew how to work the stage with a pop punk sound that a few years ago may have been considered ho-hum but is now refreshing amongst the heavy.

It Starts With Alaska: What I thought was going to be yet another metal-core band surprised me with two lively singers backed by a band of somewhat goofy musicians that somehow flunked out of “how to be a rockstar” school before getting through their image make-over class.  They came across as genuine guys that played played genuine music.  I hope they stay that way.

And be sure to keep and eye out for the “Bring It Back” Stage (which was actually a tent, not a stage) where I spied none other than Angelo of Fishbone fame laying down the funk as one of many acts performing that weren’t listed on the big board.  The big miss this year, however, was the removal of the Old School (aka Legends of Punk) Stage.  Such great line-ups the last few years that were sorely missed.

See below for a full list of bands that we photographed.

© 2011 Alan Snodgrass | www.digitaldiversion.net. Please do not use without express permission (contact). If you like what you see, leave a comment below and subscribe so you can be notified of new posts. You can also become a fan on Facebook for access to exclusive photos.

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