Look alive, alt-metal fans. Time to polish the wallet chain, spray some Febreze on the ol’ cargo shorts, and dye your goatee purple for maximum extremeness: festival season is nearly upon us! This summer offers an embarrassment of riches for the connoisseur of fine live entertainment.
Doesn’t that misspelling make it seem all Soviet and dangerous? Golly, it’s almost as if the “revolution” had begun with the name itself! Founded in 2002 by rap-rock hitmakers Linkin Park (ooh, there’s another one!), Projekt Revolution is known for bringing A-list hip-hop acts together with the nation’s most stimulating rock groups for an unprekedented melding of diverse musiks.
The trick, I think, has been this: by featuring pantywaist teenweep twerpgroups like the Used, Taking Back Sunday, and My Chemical Romance, organizers could scare off the “urbans” in the audience and let skittish young suburbanites enjoy a Ghostface Killah show without all the terrifying ethnic menace. This year’s line-up, however, looks to be a tad lacking in the Revolution department. With a roster consisting entirely of rock and post-hardcore groups, the 2008 tour seems to have ditched the multi-ethnic angle in favor of juxtaposing the distinct genres of godawful tween MySpace shit (Armor for Sleep, Hawthorne Heights, Atreyu) and shit that I’m not sure anyone actually listens to (the Bravery, solo Chris Cornell).
Rockstar Mayhem Fest
Warning: any festival that asks us to choose between the “Jägermeister Stage” and the “Hot Topic Stage” is in real danger of sinking under a massive overabundance of quality. Evidence: featured acts include Dragonforce, whose blistering riffs have provided the soundtrack to a million elves leveling up, and Disturbed, who are so insecure in their ability to project their image of dangerous craziness that they had to name their fucking band “Disturbed.” At least they weren’t desperate enough to fall back on the “ooh, scary masks” method, like festival headliners Slipknot.
Vans Warped Tour
If there’s anything that redeems this bullshit traveling merch booth, maybe it’s that it gives kids something easy to grow out of. That might seem like a snide remark, but I’m halfway serious. My generation had to struggle into adulthood nursing a diverse set of freshman shames ranging from Bel Biv Devoe to that Bryan Adams song from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Just think if all the ridiculous shit we listened to before we knew any better could have been tied up in one neat little superdense bundle of ass, ready to be cast aside at the threshold of adulthood?
It’s kind of beautiful, really: the point at which a modern teen stops giving a shit about the Warped Tour represents a glorious coming of age. Maybe I’m giving the kids too much credit, but I’m hoping that by 17 or so, they’ll stop mulling over whether the Warped Tour is too commercial to represent punk and start noticing that it’s probably a little too commercial to represent shoes.
Yeah, so maybe not, but c’mon. I’m a pretty negative guy, and I think I’ve almost found a silver lining here, so just let me have this one.