Out @ Warped Tour
Cobra Starship: Okay, okay, we all know that Gabe Saporta's a hottie, and the rest of the band isn't so hard to look at either. But if they grab you with their looks, they'll keep you moving on your feet with their particular flavor of indie dance-rock. [Read Out.com's interview with Saporta here.]
The Academy Is': Another Chicago export and Fueled By Ramen labelmate of Cobra, William Beckett and his crew rock their skinny, skinny jeans and the crowd in tandem.
Paramore: Riding on the success of their second album, Riot!, Hayley Williams and her boys bring the power-pop punk effect. With infectious, catchy hits like 'Crushcrushcrush' and 'Misery Business,' these kids have brought a fresh burst of energy to the scene.
Gym Class Heroes: If you like a side of hip hop with your punk, Gym Class Heroes offer a genre-melting blend of catchy hooks and screaming guitar riffs.
Jack's Mannequin: A 'side project' of Something Corporate's Andrew McMahon, Jack's Mannequin has carved out a niche of their own. McMahon's piano playing gives this outfit a unique sound on the tour, and his live shows offer a sense of intimacy and connection you may be hard pressed to find anywhere else.
Ones to Watch:
The Gaslight Anthem: Expect instant classic working-class anthems. You can hear these Jersey boys' debt to Bruce Springsteen in the bluesy storytelling vibe of their lyrics, but they bring a distinctly punk sensibility to the tales of everyday losses and triumphs. And now, a moment of shallowness: they're not hard to look at either.
Jeffree Star: We can't in good conscience actually recommend Jeffree's techno-lite music, but as the only out queer performer we know of to not only survive a Warped Tour but come back for more, we have to acknowledge he's got balls of (pink) steel. He's also likely to make out with any boy in a band he shares a stage with. [Read Popnography's review of his Bamboozle performance here.]
Anarbor: Cheerful and bouncy pop-punk-indie act hailing from Phoeniz. With the lovely and talented Slade Echeverri and Jessica Myers sharing vocal duties, Anarbor offers both smooth and catchy melodies and equal-opportunity eye candy. Fans of Cobra Starship and The Hush Sound will definitely find something to like here.
Say Anything: The brainchild of Max Bemis, Say Anything's self-titled debut was a wickedly funny concept album with unexpected depths, and his sophomore work In Defense of the Genre is no less ambitious in scope. Full of biting satire on fame, the music industry and human frailty, you can still bang your head to it -- no small achievement.
Beat Union: Hailing from the UK, this Birmingham quartet brings the neo-New Wave in a big way, forcibly reminding a nostalgic listener of The Police, and possibly also Tears for Fears. They make for an interesting change of pace in amongst the more traditional hardcore acts of Warped, and the other retro vibe of the MTV darlings. Recommended.