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From Ska to EDM, Matt Knows Where It’s At: 5 Warped Tour Picks 

click to enlarge Hawthorne Heights - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Hawthorne Heights

This Saturday, a horde of skate kids, metalcore-heads, dub-step diehards and sweaty punks will launch their perennial takeover of the AT&T Center grounds for a day of slam-dancing, dub-dangling and nose blunts off anything with a rail, better known as the Vans Warped Tour. In recent years, the tour—founded in 1995 as a showcase for punk, pop punk and third wave ska—has taken on a more eclectic feel, as many of the bands and the Warped crowd have accepted the influence of pop-dub. So, as your brain’s being pounded by the August heat, teen angst and unknown decibels of every genre of “core” there is, let these words guide your Warped experience. Also, become besties with the attendants at the free water stations or suffer the sunburned, heatstroked consequences.

Big D and the Kids Table
These ska stalwarts recall the sound of Warped’s earlier years—a pop-punk collision with white-boy ska. High-energy and with a full horn section, Big D and the Kids Table will play from their new release, the Kickstarter-funded Stomp and Stroll.

Architects
From the lovely shores of Brighton, U.K., this vegan post-hardcore outfit packs a violent, mathy low-end guitar squelch under the howling vocals of singer Sam Carter. No Queen’s English here.

Five Knives
From their clothing—black, ripped, studded leather—to their abrasive brand of electro-pop, Five Knives nails the post-apocalyptic hip aesthetic. Fronted by the bleached-blonde tempest Anna Worstell (think an EDM Karen O), this Nashville outfit plays a unique electro aesthetic informed by punk, pop and the pervasive bass of dub.

Hawthorne Heights
These pop-punkers from Dayton, Ohio, offered the millennial generation an introduction to emo: “Ohio is for Lovers”? Middle school jam right there.

Run DMT
Instead of a guitar and heavy ink, he brought a laptop, headphones and an extra dose of bass, representing the new generation of EDM Warped acts.

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April 8, 2020

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