Setting up shop in Montreal halfway through the tour, the live music extravaganza could have opted for a better location than the awkwardly laid out portion of Parc Jean-Drapeau no one ever really uses (it escapes me why VWT wouldn’t want to make use of the same space other major festivals like Osheaga do, as it is on the same island, after all, but more conveniant and strategically organized), but once you got used to the running around from stage to stage, it wasn’t really all that bad. And, I suppose, if the stages were any closer together, no one would have the full benefit of any band as they would just overlap into a giant musical mess.
When this year’s Vans Warped Tour came through Montreal, there was one band in particular at the top of my ‘Must See’ list. Sure, their music isn’t the punk/rock you’d traditionally expect from VWT, but it is always stick-in-your-head-for-the-rest-of-your-days catchy and the band in question always has a good sense of humor when it comes to making music. It also didn’t hurt that, as it turns out, they put on a stellar high-energy live show.
For years I have been hearing complaints about the commercialism of the Vans Warped Tour and this year, I got to see it for myself. Having been to the very first Warped Tour here in Montreal, I initially found it very difficult to believe what people were saying; the Warped Tour I went to as a kid was all about skateboarding, good music and, of course, Vans showing off its products, which people barely knew about at the time, but there was nothing overt or pushy about it. If you liked something they had in stock, you could buy it, but no one was forcing anything down your throat.
It may have been about 400 degrees outside (okay, maybe it was closer to 40, but who’s keeping track?) and Parc Jean-Drapeau isn’t exactly the shadiest of places, but that didn’t stop a flood of fans from continuously piling into the festival site throughout the day to catch a sliver, if not all, of the 69 bands on the bill.
Don’t you just love summer? Bars open up their patios, the weather is wonderful and, perhaps most excitingly, music festivals are in full force. We’ll of course be covering everything from NXNE to Vans Warped Tour, Osheaga and Heavy MTL, but I thought we’d kick off this pre-season with a spotlight on an international festival – HELLFEST.
Who’s ever heard of a Cinderella story in metal? Well, one band out of the East Coast of Canada, Halifax to be specific, has truly proved that the underdog can wear the metal horns, and represent a contingent of metal fans and musicians from back home.
It all began when Last Call Chernobyl entered the 2010 Battle of the Bands, sponsored by Nova Scotia Music and Vans Warped Tour. LCC entered the battle among many other East Coast metal bands, but by winning over the unfamiliar crowds and judges their destiny was written in stone.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
PUNK PIONEERS PENNYWISE READY FOR CANADIAN STINT
TOUR BEGINS SEPTEMBER 3 IN QUEBEC AND WRAPS UP SEPTEMBER 17 IN VANCOUVER
BAND IS REINTRODUCING ITSELF WITH NEW LEAD SINGER ZOLI TEGLAS
August 24, 2010—California South Bay punk stalwarts Pennywise, a main stage standout on this summer’s Vans Warped Tour, with Zoli Teglas of Orange County’s Ignite as the band’s new and permanent vocalist, will be taking its act across the Great White North during a brief Canadian tour kicking off September 3 in Quebec and wrapping up on September 17 in Vancouver.
The Vans Warped Tour has become known for being able to bring together some of the best acts from across the punk, rock, and metal spectra – think Andrew W.K. and The Dillinger Escape Plan (who we recently covered) – slap them all onto one bill, and create an unforgettable (and mad) full-day live music extravaganza. But perhaps what’s even greater is all of the up-and-coming bands it introduces attendees to. Case in point, if it wasn’t for VWT 2010, I would have never stumbled across the following two bands, and my iPod’s repertoire would have been a lot less rockin’. The two standout gems of this year’s Warped Tour, which I discovered at the festival’s Montreal stop, are (drumroll, please): After Midnight Project and Riverboat Gamblers.
Longevity is never without its ups and down however and DEP has certainly experienced its fair share; from numerous lineup changes to, most recently, label drama. But thanks to their ever-evolving nature and standout extremism, the band has proven that they really are unstoppable. March saw the release of their fourth full-length studio album, Option Paralysis, which is (arguably, I suppose) their best record to date.
In June, DEP hit the road as part of this year’s Vans Warped Tour and, following their Montreal date, singer Greg Puciato took time to talk about his personal attachment to Option Paralysis, on-stage injuries, and oh so much more.
Q: You’re currently on the Warped Tour, how’s it been treating you so far?
A: It’s been great. Anyone that complains on any tour when they make their living playing rock n’ roll is an asshole, so the only acceptable answer to this question EVER is “great.”
“Rockstars” have never been known for their humility. Rather, the trend has always appeared to be that the more fame an artist achieves, the less accommodating they become. Especially if they’re truly talented and musically gifted. Apparently Andrew W.K. never got that memo.
I caught up with the ultimate spokesman for partying hard when the Vans Warped Tour stopped in Montreal and was immediately surprised by the organization and smoothness of all things related to Andrew W.K. As most musicians “forgot” about their interview times, Andrew showed up only about a minute late to his 1:30 p.m. press time and immediately launched into interviews, before heading off to a three hour meet-and-greet extravaganza with his fans. The multi-instrumentalist, who can rock a piano as if he were Beethoven’s prodigy, is not only know for his solid music, but also for his live shows, which are packed with unrivaled energy and good times.