FRI AUG 7
Vans Warped Tour w/RiFF RAFF, the Dirty Nil, Simple Plan, Attila, Lee Corey Oswald, and more; Expo Center, 2060 N Marine
The Vans Warped Tour's disinterred corpse will get dragged to the Expo Center once again for the Portland edition of this annual, pitiable puppet show. Spoiler alert: It's gonna suck. I took a "glass half full" approach to my preview of last year's fest (and no, I did not accept a bribe from the violinist in Yellowcard), but there's only so long you can pretend there's any silver lining to this veritable fart cloud. There aren't even any notable mainstays playing this year's Portland date, and the aseptic, Hot Topic prom-punk of bands like Transit and Man Overboard are the final nail in the coffin for Warped Tour's—and pop-punk's—cultural credibility.
I suppose it's worth name-checking the modicum of good acts on this year's bill. The Dirty Nil rule (seriously, the group's Cinnamon 7-inch sounds like the Gallagher brothers if they were punk), Koji is cute, and Portland's very own, terrific Lee Corey Oswald are out there fighting the good fight, man, making a noble attempt at promulgating radical philosophy, much to the chagrin of metal-core poseurs/shameless misogynists Attila and their snake-bitten cohorts. (This beef is real and unsettling—check both bands' Twitter feeds from last month). But it's still the fucking Warped Tour—a laughably corporate, embarrassingly irrelevant nostalgia junket at best, and unapologetic perpetuation of bad music and its accompanying toxic culture at worst.
When RiFF RAFF is playing your festival, you know you're doing something that's the opposite of right.