The End of An Era: Denver's Final Warped Tour Was Everything We Wanted

By: Nathan Sheppard

After 24 years, Warped Tour is ending with a bang. 

Warped Tour had all the feels this year. 

Warped Tour had all the feels this year. 

Warped Tour made its final stop in Denver recently, marking the end of an era. Many of us look forward to the one day of summer where our favorite bands play our favorite songs in a hot parking lot, and Denver showed up in full force to make the most of this bittersweet ending.

The day started off early with some of our favorite local bands- In The Whale and One Flew West- who both rocked the stage and made the Denver music scene proud. We also got our fix of new era of punk/pop-punk with State Champs, Movements, and Waterparks. Also to note- Australia was representing big time for this last Warped Tour- we caught amazing sets from In Hearts Wake, The Amity Affliction, and Tonight Alive.  

Every Time I Die.

Every Time I Die.

After seeing a few bands, we took a break to talk about something that is especially important in today's current entertainment industry: mental health. We caught up with one of our favorite non-profits, To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) for a little Q&A on the topic:

Tell us a little of what you guys do and how you got started.

We’re a mental health non-profit dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with things like addiction, depression, self-injury, and suicide. We started 12 years ago trying to help one of our friends enter treatment by designing a t-shirt and that has evolved into this movement helping hundreds of thousands of people.

What are the main things that you all do to help with mental health?

The biggest way we provide help is providing scholarships for counseling and treatment. Our profits from t-shirts we sell here go towards those scholarships.

What has your relationship with Warped Tour been like over the years?

We’ve been on Warped Tour for 12 years, ever since we started, and they’ve helped us grow and welcomed us to this wild family and we love it so much. It’s a group of people that has a special place in our heart, because every summer we see familiar faces and get to ask how they are, how they’ve been doing since last year, and see it evolve over the years.

With this being the last Warped Tour what are your plans going forward?

It’s bittersweet to see Warped Tour go, obviously, because a lot of us have grown with it, so it’ll be interesting to see what avenues are next. We’ve been getting into the EDM world a little bit; the yoga world which has been fun. There's just going to be some adapting [with] how to interact with these different groups that we’ll be learning about. But we’ll always have Warped to look back on foundly- thanks for the memories Warped!

What are some ways that people can get involved with TWLOHA?

There’s a “Get Involved” tab on our website that can give you a little more detail about bringing the message of hope and health. Whether that looks like bringing a speaker to your area or simply purchasing info cards online to post coffee shops, it’s the little things that really push and make people want to see change and get help. You can also donate directly on the website, and recently we’ve had people donating their birthdays on Facebook to TWLOHA which is an easy way to help us and also get the word out as well. You can find more info at TWLOHA’s website.

Don Bronco.

Don Bronco.

After our interview with TWLOHA, we got right back at it with some of our favorite hardcore bands Wage War and Every Time I Die, where the crowd surfers made security work overtime! Towards the end of the day, we were hit with a massive dose of nostalgia with our favorite old-school emo bands The Used and Mayday Parade. We knew that the day would have to end eventually, and it closed with Simple Plan. It was a “Perfect” way to end the fest, and many of us shed a tear or two.

Simple Plan.

Simple Plan.

For 24 years, Warped Tour has been a place for many of us to let go and forget about the worries of the world while listening to the music that means everything to us. This year’s tour had a little bit for everyone, from new up and comers to the classic bands that we all love. It also had all of our favorite non-profits- communities that we have learned about and grown with over the years of Warped, and people that we can always count on and call home. We will always remember all the great times we had at Warped Tour. We can only hope that they bring this fest back to live on in some capacity, even if that’s another Warped Rewind at Sea or having the festival in a single location where we can relive the glory days of summer. What will Warped Tour become as it burns out and shines on? We can’t wait to find out.

See our full gallery from Warped Tour here

-Nathan

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Fans Left Their Voice With Senses Fail At Their Recent Denver Show

By: Nathan Sheppard

Summit Music Hall turned back the clock to the early 2000’s last weekend as Senses Fail brought the noise. Touring in support of their newest album If There Is Light, It Will Find You, Senses Fail brought along Reggie And The Full Effect, Have Mercy, and Household.

Senses Fail.

Senses Fail.

An enthusiastic Denver crowd showed up early to support the opening acts, starting with Household, who pointed out that this was the most people they had performed for this whole tour. The Minnesota band played their hearts out for Summit and paved way for Have Mercy, who rocked the stage just as hard.

Reggie And The Full Effect, the solo project of James Dewees, keyboardist for The Get Up Kids, started up the night’s throwback vibes with their signature pop-punk/synth tunes. Their set was filled with some old fan favorites like “Karate School” and “Maggie,” and a couple from their latest album 41. They capped off their set with “Get Well Soon,” which had the building bobbing their heads and singing along to the catchy chorus.

Senses Fail was up next, but while the crew was setting up, the crowd enjoyed a mini Emo Nite with a plethora of 2000’s punk songs from Sum 41, Underoath, The Used, and more. The security team even had to work overtime, as the were a couple of crowd surfers during the intermission.

After the sing-along had concluded, lead singer Buddy Nielsen and crew took the stage and turned up the intensity. The place went nuts after the first notes of “Family Tradition,” and a mosh pit opened up and seemed to then last the whole show. Buddy matched the energy by jumping all over the stage and throwing in a cartwheel as well. In between songs, he shared stories about many of his past struggles and how he overcame them, encouraging others to do the same. This openness is what makes Buddy one of the best frontmen there is. The night concluded with a three-song encore of “187,” “Rum Is For Drinking,” and “Bite To Break Skin,” sending everyone home either drenched in sweat or with no voice from singing along.

Senses Fail have gone through almost a complete lineup change (minus Buddy and guitarist Gavin Casewell) since their last album Pull The Thorns From Your Heart, but seem to have hit their stride again after their newest album. If There Is Light, It Will Find You is a throwback to old-school Senses Fail and has had great reception since its release, which was evident at the show as fans sang along to the new songs and the old. There are still a handful of dates left on the band’s current tour. Check out their new album so you can sing along too here.

-Nathan

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artists featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

Throwback Punk Music Meets The Chainsmokers For Emo Nite Day Music Festival

By: Benjamin Tillis

On December 3rd, BolderBeat geared up in all black to attend Emo Nite Day, a three year anniversary celebration of the increasingly popular Emo Nite party, which consists of events held all around the country geared towards lovers of “emo music” from the late 90s and early 2000s. The multi-staged festival held at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles featured some big names performances, including The Used and Machine Gun Kelly, and From First To Last, the band that Sonny Moore played in before he garnered worldwide fame as Skrillex, and which he has recently rejoined. Sadly, Skrillex did not join the group on stage at Emo Nite Day, but he has made surprise appearances at other Emo Nite events. There were other unexpected surprises, though, as the night ended with a one song performance from Demi Lovato and an hour-long set by The Chainsmokers.

The most memorable act was The Used’s acoustic set, performed by the band’s lead singer Bert McCracken and guitarist Justin Shekoski. Taking in all of the appreciation from the crowd, it was clear the duo were as happy to be there as the rest of the attendees. The climax of their show was when they played fan-favorite “The Taste of Ink,” a song recognizable to even those who don’t necessarily have a nostalgia for this type of music. And like many other performers throughout the night, Bert dedicated his last song to the great musicians we have lost throughout the past couple of years. They ended with the song “It’s Hard to Say,” a track about mentor David Bowie.

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Although Emo Nite Day honors overly emotional hardcore punk music, it seemed to also be a celebration of millennials. The “DJ sets” may have merely been members of bands you hadn’t heard about in years “pressing play” on songs that weren’t necessarily theirs, and often repeating songs other groups had already played (Jimmy Eat World’s “The Sweetness” played three times in two hours). But having these band members playing these angry oldies was exactly what the early 20 to late 30-year-olds in the crowd wanted, as each song inspired a new mosh pit and singing at the top of each concert goer's lungs.  

The peak of this millennialism occurred when The Chainsmokers joined pop-trio Captain Cuts for the final performance of the night. Each song followed the same pattern, and one that would leave any one of our parents incredibly confused. It began with a Yellowcard, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Blink 182 chorus, followed by an extremely hard-hitting dubstep drop. This meant the crowd went from jumping up and down singing the words to these classics to instantly getting into Vegas club mode and grinding on anyone near. At one point, The Chainsmokers even put together a pretty creative mix of Dashboard Confessional’s “Hands Down” and DJ Snake/AlunaGeorge’s “You Know You Like It.” Right before the EDM breakdown when AlunaGeorge repeats the lyric “down,” The Chainsmokers threw in the beginning lyric of Dashboard’s famous verse with the word “hands,” combining the songs to create a millennial medley. It was truly a party by the end of the night.

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Be sure to check out other Emo Nite events going around the country here. Even their smaller events are filled with the same high energy and special guests! It’s something you should do at least once if you have a soft spot for depressing love ballads and the bands that made many of our teenage years so darn emotional.

-Benjamin

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the festival featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.

A Night With Nine Inch Nail's Ilan Rubin & His Current Project, The New Regime

By: Jura Daubenspeck

He may be known for his role as drummer for bands like Nine Inch Nails, Angels and Airwaves, and Paramore, but Ilan Rubin has reached impressive heights with his solo project The New Regime. The group just toured with Juliette Lewis last month, and is about to tour with The Cult, as well as Alice In Chains later this year.

Ilan Rubin.

Ilan Rubin.

When it comes to alternative music, The New Regime does it different. What you hear on the album is purely Rubin’s work. But on tour, his music is translated to fit a three-piece band, which includes Danny Rubin (bass) and Hayden Scott (drums), taking live performances to a whole other level.

Last week, I had the chance to see The New Regime play at Larimer Lounge. The night opened up with Denver’s wilderness rock group Open to the Hound and indie natives Roommates, both of whom brought the energy up for the headlining group. The New Regime took to the stage, playing some of the music off Rubin’s recently-released EPs, 'Exhibit A' and 'Exhibit B'.

The New Regime.

The New Regime.

Watching The New Regime, it was clear that all three band members are seasoned musicians, playing their fine-tuned instruments with ease and clarity. They had the ability to take a heavier tune and bring it down to an oozy blues feel, only to bring it back up for a powerful finish. You can tell that there has been an immense amount of sweat put into the hand-crafted intricacy of each song. Their explosive sound permeated through the lounge’s walls as Rubin shredded out some fan favorites including “We Rise, We Fall”, and also took it back a few decades, covering Jimi Hendrix’s “Spanish Castle Magic”.

I also got the chance to sit down with Rubin before his performance. During our casual curbside conversation, I got to hear about his current nationwide tour, the importance of classical music, and what it’s like playing with heavy hitters such as Muse, The Killers, and The Used. Here’s a bit of what Rubin and I chatted about:

Is this your first time playing at Larimer Lounge?

Yes, but we’re about to start touring with The Cult in a few days. The tour starts in New Hampshire, and being from San Diego, we thought we would book some shows along the way for fun. We’ve been here quite a few times with a few other bands. We’ve played in Denver possibly more times than any other city in the country, which is weird. But it’s a lot of fun. We’re playing here, then in Chicago, and soon we’re going to be touring with The Cult and Alice In Chains.

Sounds like you guys have some exciting months ahead of you.

Yes, and every time we come back to one of these cities, it’s as if we’re playing there for the first time. Because none of the audiences overlap. Before, we were here with The Joy Formidable at Ogden Theatre, and then [we were] at Bluebird Theater with The Used. And 2-3 other shows aside from that. Each band is so different that it’s a different audience. So it’s exciting to think about who from those shows may come out tonight.

Watch the new music video for The New Regime’s “We Rise, We Fall”:

So you are the frontman for all the music that you play. Are you playing with a band tonight?

There will be a band. So on the albums I write, play, and sing everything. Every note, harmony, and vocal you hear, I do in the studio. But I can only do so much while playing live. So it’s presented as a band. I play guitar and piano, and I have a bass player and drummer. My brother Danny is on bass, and the incredibly talented Hayden Scott is on drums. And what’s extra fun about it being a three-piece is that it’s as raw as can be, and portrays the same songs on the album, but in a different way.

Rubin.

Rubin.

How did you get into music?

I first started off playing drums. Drums come second nature. I’ve played them more than I haven’t played them in my life. I started when I was 7 or 8 years old, and now I’m 28. I have two older brothers in music, and they urged me to get into it too. I realized every instrument has its forte. Drums [are the] greatest instrument at keeping rhythm and driving force, but [have] no melody or harmony. Guitar has harmony, melody, structure of song, but no bottom end. Bass has all bottom end, but nothing on top. Piano is the greatest instrument there is. It has all the musical range, and you can always find ways to play four parts or more with two hands. You can play the greatest amount of music on it with just one person. Classical music that has stuck around for so many years.

Can you elaborate on that?

I got into classical music when I was around 15. I have more classical music on my phone than anything else. You may find it odd that I like classical music most, but to me, as an art form and as a style of music, I think it does the best at covering all grounds, from emotion, [to] technicality, [to] virtuosity… It covers those grounds better than any other type of music.

Do you channel the stuff you’ve learned in classical music into your music now?

Absolutely. I’m self-taught, and music is all I do and it’s all I’ve ever done. I’m fairly disciplined. And for us tonight, aside from the show and the city, it’s going to be different for us because we’ll have the piano out. I haven’t played in a long time, so that will be a new element.

So when you play the piano tonight, will it be classical style piano, or will you add any extra effects to it?

Very good question. The majority of it will be piano; maybe [with] some echo on it, because I love the sound of echo. I use that a lot in the song “Enjoy The Bitterness”. That’s just one important sonic element of the song. But there are only three of us, so we’ll have to find out how to make the most amount of noise and sound as possible. Fortunately, with the keyboard and stage piano, I can blend in two sounds at once. So the top will be your standard piano, but beneath will be a very heavy sub bass. And that’s my intention. Technology helps you do the parts of three all at once.

Will you be playing some new music tonight?

I’ll be playing the most recent stuff that I’ve released. I have new music that I’ve been recording that we will not be performing. But we’ll be doing a bit of everything that I’ve already released, with an emphasis on the last two EPs.

Are you still involved with other bands, such as Paramore, Angels and Airwaves, or Nine Inch Nails?

Paramore gets mentioned often, understandably so. And the extent to that was that I played drums on the last album, and I did some touring with them. But that was pretty much it. I had to stop working with Paramore because Nine Inch Nails was getting back together. It was a transitional thing. Originally, I was just supposed to play drums on the [Paramore] album, but we got along so well and they had tour dates and needed a drummer. So they asked me, and I was flattered and really enjoyed it. They were great people and have been great friend since. But I’ve been with NIN since 2009, so when it was time to get that up and running again, around 2013, I joined back in.

I’ve noticed that you guys have a lot of exciting collaborations in the past few months, like Juliette Lewis.

So there’s no confusion, you say collaborations, but it’s just touring. But yes, all incredible opportunities. I toured with Juliette Lewis a few weeks ago, and that was so much fun. We’re going out with The Cult in a few days, and then we’re joining back up with Alice In Chains. And I say ‘going back’ because we did three shows with them in the Northwest (Portland, Seattle, Spokane), and they invited us back out, which was extremely flattering. So between all these shows, we’ll be out for about a month.

That’s awesome. What’s it like playing with these big name bands?

We’ve played with so many different kinds of bands. We’ve played some shows with Muse in Europe, which were phenomenal. We were invited to play some shows with them in Mexico City [too]. We also played with The Killers in San Diego, and were with The Used for about three months. And they’ve all been fantastic opportunities. We’ve been able to play as much as we want to play, and we’re just happy to do it and hope that things keep lining up the way they have been.

What’s been your favorite band to play with so far?  

I feel the best fit musically has been with Muse. When we played those shows, I thought, ‘Okay, their fan base will gets it’. And it was awesome. There are times when there are bands who have those diehard fans, and they don’t care who is opening, or don’t want to hear anything that sounds different in any way to that band. But Muse’s audience seemed to be up for anything. And because it was a great musical fit, it went off very well, which was really pleasing to me. You can get great opportunities to tour, but when you play for somebody else’s fan base, you never know. And when it goes great, there’s nothing better. But there are few things worse than when you know that someone’s fans do not care, and would prefer we weren’t even there because they came for this certain band. But it’s understandable.

For every experience like that, I’m sure there are other experiences that are so positive where you feel even more alive and fulfilled.

Exactly. You can have a great show followed by a horrible show. I’m always confident we’re going to play well. We put a lot of work and time into it, and know the material. We’re great performers and we play well. But there are so many other factors. It could be the show, it could be the people, who knows. It could be a language barrier. We’re always grateful for the opportunities, but you have to have an iron will of sorts. Because if you don’t have the mindset, you could be easily discouraged. Things have been far more positive than negative for us. But, you have those moments.

Any other big announcements?

I’m constantly working, either always on tour, or always writing when I’m home. We were home for two and a half weeks between the Juliette Lewis show and tonight’s show. And I wrote and recorded three songs that I’m very happy with. It’s a matter of making the most of each day.

That it is. Keep up with both Ilan Rubin, and The New Regime here.

-Jura

All photos, videos, and embedded tracks per the artist featured and those credited. This feature was edited for brevity and clarity by BolderBeat.