Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

76°F

Portland

Partly Cloudy

Humidity: 58%

Wind: 13 mph

  • 27 Aug 2014

    Clear 88°F 61°F

  • 28 Aug 2014

    Partly Cloudy 84°F 60°F


Rippin' into the Warped Tour

90 acts are ready to rattle the Expo Center in June 16 show


by: PHOTOS COURTESY OF VANS WARPED TOUR - Scott McDougallScott McDougall plans to tear apart the Vans Warped Tour audience limb by limb.

“You learn right off from the start to separate your limbs,” he adds.

That’s right, McDougall uses all his limbs in his one-man act, which employs various combinations of kick drum, high hat, guitar, banjo and harmonica as he sings.

“I try not to think about it,” he says of coordinating his legs, arms and mouth as he belts out one rootsy tune after another. “It’s become kind of a muscle memory.”

McDougall hopes to become part of the collective memory of thousands of music fans set to pound energy drinks, mosh in the sun and descend on the Portland Expo Center Parking Plaza Sunday, June 16, for this year’s Warped Tour.

McDougall will represent Portland for this particular Warped show, which will feature 90 bands, including Action Item, Alvarez Kings, Crown the Empire, Echosmith, Goldfinger, MC Lars, Mighty Mongo, Reel Big Fish, Run DMT, The Black Dahlia Murder, The Summer Set and We Came As Romans.

Although the tour is normally associated with skater punk, ska and hardcore bands, in reality the Warped Tour in recent years has featured a relatively musically diverse group of acts, including pop rockers, electronic dance music acts and alterna-folkies, so McDougall figures he’s got a pretty good shot at winning over the crowd.

“It’ll be interesting to see,” he says, pondering if the generally teenage to 20-something crowd will like his sound. “I’ve seen a lot of younger acoustic bands popping up.”

For one thing, he says, in these rather challenging economic times, it’s a lot cheaper for traveling musicians to play acoustic music like he does, in a one-man band, or in duos and trios, than to slog around tons of gear from town to town. The times are ripe for songs about struggle and sustenance, he adds. “A lot of people are simplifying things. A lot of people want things that are more sincere.”

Having released six albums in six years, McDougall says he test-drives songs for a bit before deciding which ones to release.

“I try to play the songs live a lot before I record them so I get response from the audience and see how it plays in a live situation.”

To learn more about McDougall, visit his Facebook page under his name or http://www.reverbnation.com/4mcdougall.

In addition to McDougall, the Warped show will feature a wide variety of acts. Here’s a preview of a few of them:

by: COURTESY OF VANS WARPED TOUR - The quirky fellows from The Aquabats are part of the large and stellar lineup for the Vans Warped Tour, which comes to Portland June 16.Alvarez Kings — Hailing from Yorkshire in the UK, Alvarez Kings features Simon Thompson on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, Paul Thompson on bass and vocals, Sean Parkin on guitar and vocals and Rich Walker on drums. Their Motown-meets-Britpop single “Cold Conscience Official” exemplifies this eminently danceable band’s joyous approach to its self-described “progressive pop.” Touted as one of the best live bands to invade our shores in awhile, Alvarez Kings could be considered one of this year’s Warped must-sees.

Run DMT — This Austin, Texas cat is one of the fasting rising producers in electronic dance music and appeals to fans of dubstep, downtempo and more. In only two years, his original productions and remixes have been used by Bassnectar to MSTRKRFT, and he’s even done remixes for The Who, of all acts.

by: PHOTOS COURTESY OF VANS WARPED TOUR - Mighty MongoMighty Mongo — This No-Doubt-sounding band likes its punchy pop rock served up with silly vocals, along with healthy doses of reggae and punk. Don’t be fooled by their goofy partying atmosphere, they actually can play the heck out of their instruments, and have a real shot at becoming one of the all-time great live bands if they don’t get in their own way.

Echosmith — Featuring Sydney on lead vocals, Jamie on guitars and vocals, Noah on bass and vocals and Graham on drums (yes, they are one of those groups that hates surnames), this group of siblings look like the youngest outfit on this tour, but they evidence a polished pop sound and their “Summer Sampler” featuring “Come Together” is certainly catchy enough.

William Beckett — Formerly of The Academy Is, the emo-power-popster heartthrob Beckett is growing into a mature, competent songwriter not afraid to take chances and mix genres, even throwing in a little bit of early jazz and encroaching on Prince’s pop territory and Beck’s stylings from time to time.

Reel Big Fish — Frontman-guitarist Aaron Barrett has been the only consistent member of this well-known California ska band, which has combined humor, excellent jazzy musicianship and great live presence for almost two decades. If you want to learn a thing or two about really puttin’ on a show, you could do a lot worse than checking these guys out, who know how to dress, skank and play tight.

The Black Dahlia Murder — At one time, parents were afraid to let their kids listen to heavy metal because bands like Black Dahlia Murder loved to address such topics as “fetid worms,” “harrowed graves” and “nether realms.” However, given that such phrases now describe how a lot of people feel about bankers and politicians, such bands don’t seem so much threatening anymore as prophetic. BDM’s melodic death metal has earned them legions of doomed fans eternally discontent to have been born in a time when one’s only succor from the nightmare of Walmart wages and Big Gulp bans is machine-gun drumbeats, guttural vocals and guitars tuned in open D — for Destruction!!!

MC Lars — The self-proclaimed originator of “post-punk laptop rap,” Lars is also credited for coining the term “iGeneration,” referring to people born from 1982-2000. A clever fellow indeed, Lars has numerous videos on YouTube that appeal to the smart, culturally savvy listener, as exemplified by “Flow like (Edgar Allan) Poe,” which every English teacher in America should’ve shared with her or his students.

The Summer Set — Fronted by a guy who kinda looks like Elvis meets Justin Bieber, this Arizona band is one of the more poppy of the pop rock bands and should go over well with the tweens, though be warned, they choose to drop the occasional “F” bomb, although probably not as often as those Dahlia fellows. You have to like a band that writes a song placing loneliness in the context of watching “How I Met Your Mother” alone (“Legendary”) since that actually may be closer to a lot of folks’ reality than getting drunk in a pub ... where you’re watching “How I Met Your Mother” on the bar TV as the slot machines ring around you.

Crossfaith — This Osaka, Japan, metalcore outfit is melodramatic with a dash of gusto. Together since 2006, they favor synthesizer-laden metal a little more than a lot of similarly minded bands, and probably will be found backstage hanging out with the Dahlia fellows as they scheme to spike the drinks of all the other bands.