Vans Warped Tour
PNC Music Pavilion
July 28, 2014
The annual rite-of-passage music festival known as the Vans Warped Tour brought dozens of bands to Charlotte's PNC Music Pavilion on Monday for a long, hot day full of music. Here are the biggest takeaways from this year's event:
* One of the best bands I saw all day was California punk rockers Plague Vendor. Singer Brandon Blaine commands attention as he danced, gyrated and bounced his thin shirtless frame around the stage like the best combination of Iggy Pop and Nick Cave. Of the nearly 30 bands I saw, Plague Vendor is at the top of my list to see again.
* Second on that list? Bad Rabbits. The Boston rock 'n' soul outfit brought a completely different kind of laid-back energy to the usually hardcore festival.
* Worst band of the day honors go to Atilla. It's the worst possible combination of hip-hop and hardcore you can imagine. Actually, it's probably worse than that. You can thank them for creating the phrase, "Suck My Fuck," too. Keep it classy, kids.
* Most improved performance goes to Echosmith who was notches better than their weak side-stage performance last year. While the band still needs to break out of it's "we've only got three moves" style of stage presence, sonically it was solid.
* Warped Tour is known for its array of bad tattoos and overdone piercings, but this year's can-do-without accessory? Leg scars. There's nothing to joke about with cutting, and I was absolutely floored by the number of girls I saw with numerous red marks scarring their legs. Thanks to the current "look how short my shorts are" fashion, they were impossible to miss. Please, ladies, there are better ways to cope with pain and frustration. There is even a massive tent set up each year at Warped Tour to help battle it thanks to To Write Love on Her Arms.
Without further ado, here's a look at some of the nearly 30 acts I caught during the Charlotte tour stop: