Vans Warped Tour Diversity

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Vans Warped Tour has been apart of the music festival community for over twenty years. It is festival that has spread worldwide, but it began in the United States. Warped Tour is interesting in comparison to other music festivals because it chooses the artists based on a wide variety of music genres, ages, location, and even fan picks. The festival has been so successful over the years because it does not cater to one specific audience – each passing year, the festival caters to popular music at that time and what both new and old Warped Tour goers hope to see. They even survey fans every year to achieve such goals.

2016’s Warped Tour is one of the most diverse yet. It includes rock, pop rock, heavy metal, rap, indie, R&B, and more. The diversity continues to bring over 500,000 fans to the festival each year. With a variety of music comes a variety of fans, creating a widespread community of people. The music brings thousands of fans together where everyone is no doubt family for the day. Through crowd sing-alongs, dancing and mosh pits, crowd surfing and more, everyone respects and looks out for everyone.

Warped Tour is an all ages event, and the festival even caters to parents who otherwise may be dissatisfied with either the music, heat, or crowd, being that it is not really their scene. For this, many parents can attend the event for free and sit inside the air conditioned parent’s tent where they can take a break from the festival without imposing on their children. All in all, the event is safe; the only condition that can be dangerous to everyone is the heat, and so it is important to stay hydrated. The festival offers free water stations for this reason.

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Kevin Lyman, who is the founder of Vans Warped Tour, believes that for as long as the festival caters to diversity, it will continue to grow and be successful. Much of its success has to do with the fact that it is not financially driven. Lyman created the festival for the sole purpose of music enjoyment and bringing people together. While the festival began as a mostly punk rock event, it has evolved into what it is today through the fans and their hopes and desires. Both new and old bands are added to lineup each year, continuing to bring newcomers to the festival.

Warped Tour is full of life, and aside from the performances, it also seeks to educate the audience of on-going issues in the world, whether it be poverty, equality, or the environment. The festival will continue to be everything it is today for as long as we the fans support the cause. There are only a few dates left of the 2016 festival, and so if you have not attended yet, I urge you to follow Vans Warped Tour on any social media platform so that you may not only follow its progress, but to be aware of when the event will be near you. Attending this festival at least once in your lifetime is a must!

Why should genres say who we are?

I have always found it interesting how people can believe they know who you are based off of the music genre you listen to, or how they believe they know what genre you listen to based solely off your personality. Why would it make sense to assume someone only listens to one genre? Why do we have to fit into certain stereotypes?

I, for one, have a gentle voice and a quiet and sweet personality – so I have been told. With this in mind, many are shocked to find that my taste in music is very opposite of who I am viewed to be. While I listen to many genres, my favorites include rock, metal, indie, punk, and hardcore. Such genres may be deceptive to those whom have not given them a chance. It may appear as violent to some with its heavy riffs and screaming or deep vocals. Even an artist’s or fans appearance may seem off to those unaccepting or unaware.

If fans of my personally favorited genres are typically viewed as having low self-esteem, not hard working, not gentle, and not outgoing; why then would this outlook not be reflected upon me? Well, perhaps because I am an educated young woman with a gentle appearance. Many do not believe that I play into that scene, mainly because they have taken an opportunity to get to know me before learning of my musical interests.

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As with anything, people maintain certain viewpoints up until they are able to experience something first hand. When it comes to music, however, if it is not one’s preferred genre, one will not give it a chance. A scientific study suggests that people like music based on what they have been culturally exposed to. While I know many who can appreciate all art in music, I find that many older people are truly against it. They are open only to what they grew up with.

So I ask – what stereotype do people associate with you? Or, perhaps you keep your interests to yourself in fear that they will not be accepted; and so I challenge you to be unexpected. Show a colleague something about yourself that one would not otherwise guess about you. Educate acceptance.

Enter Shikari, Anti-Politics of England

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I am eager to share with you the musical creations of Enter Shikari. I have been following this band since 2007 when their album Take to the Skies was released and I have been hooked on them ever since. I have seen them live on three separate occasions – and hopefully many more to come! I still listen to them on a weekly basis and am always excited to see what they may come out with next.

Enter Shikari is a band from England. Their music contains a variety of genres such as post-hardcore, electronicore, alternative rock, experimental rock, etc. They are pleasing to the ear and play theatrical and visionary concerts. I highly recommend experiencing their live music! Unfortunately as the band resides in England, they do not travel to the US as often as their American fans would prefer; but you can catch them a music festivals more often than a headlining tour – so keep an eye out for future dates!

Aside from their musical talents, Enter Shikari offers an interesting outlook on the world around us, specifically in politics. Their wisely chosen lyrics contain messages that ask their audience to both think and take action. For example, take their song Gandhi Mate, Gandhi from their 2012 album titled A Flash Flood of Colour. The song begins with singer Rou Reynolds going on a rant about how things work in this world and our seemingly unjust way of life. The following lyrics is a small portion of the rant, but it will provide you with an idea of how strongly the group feels about the subject –

“Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t think the primary purpose of your life, of my life, and the entirety of the human race is just to blindly consume to support a failing economy and a faulty system for ever and ever until we run out of every resource and have to resort to blowing each other up to ensure our own survival.”

I find it interesting to pay attention to a group like this because they are informative and are actively seeking to better the future of our nations. They embrace the opportunity to reach out to fans regarding social, economic, and political policies and events. Enter Shikari’s music is influenced by the news or current events, but also what personally happens to each band member. Reynolds recently opened up about some personal issues such as insomnia and panic attacks, and explained that from his experience, the English NHS, like many other similar health programs, is underfunded. He hopes this changes in the future, and the band has the power to make a difference.

Enter Shikari fans rally together at every concert. They have similar mindsets, and they share a bond not found between fans at other shows. While their fans enjoy the music in itself, they understand and work together to educate themselves and alter the future for the better. Enter Shikari and their fans continue to be public about their anti-political feelings, and they will be heard.

Today, I ask you to listen to Enter Shikari and take note of their urges for our future. Truly listen to the lyrics and understand their message. Stand up for yourself and your neighbors, and work together to better our future!


Sounds of Politics


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The Republican National Convention was held over the course of this last week and it is evident that there is a great deal of conflict regarding the music played throughout the event. A number of artists are upset over the usage of their music as permission was not granted, some were unpaid, and many do not support Donald Trump’s campaign. Trump’s defense? He enjoys the music and it amps up the audience – It serves no political purpose. 

The biggest controversy of the Republican National Convention surrounded the Rolling Stones’ song titled You Can’t Always Get What You Want. The Rolling Stones has previously banned the Republican party from using their music in their campaign, specifically this song; however, Trump continues to play the song at the end of each of his speeches. The Rolling Stones has been quite public in their disagreements with Trump’s political campaign and their discontent with being involved in politics whatsoever.

Aside from the Rolling Stones, the surviving members of Queen has also announced their disapproval of Trump’s campaign using We Are The Champions. Similarly to the Rolling Stones, they also asked the Republican party to avoid using their music. Again, Trump disobeyed and many are displeased. While Trump and his campaign state that the music has been used for the sole purpose of entertainment, one truly has to wonder.

An artist creates a song with a message in mind, but in politics and to the general public, interpretations may always differ. What does Trump have in mind in playing specific songs such as You Can’t Always Get What You Want? Is he mocking those who do not support his campaign? Is it his way of celebrating his accomplishments thus far? Is he showing members of the Republican party that while the candidates they supported are out of the race, he is still in the running and is what the party needs? There are many possibilities, but I do not see one being simply for the joy of this music.

This has led me to wonder if an artist can take legal action against Trump in their defense of not providing permission nor support. Unfortunately, an artist has little legal action for the use of their music; it is only illegal to use music in a commercial  without permission for copyright legalities. I for one believe an artist should have a say in where their music belongs in politics as it may have a negative affect on them per the public’s response. All in all, it does affect the artist.

This prompts me to ask for your opinion on the matter. Should artists have a say on where their music belongs? Or should politicians be free to use music however they like? Please comment below so we may further the discussion.


Twenty One Pilots Live in Las Vegas

I recently attended the Twenty One Pilots concert in Las Vegas. The show was held at The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. This was my first time seeing them and while I did not know what to expect, I was aware that all of their concerts consistently sell out – apparently, for a very favorable reason!

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First, let me say that I was surprised to see a wide range of age groups and cliques. If I had to guess, I would say the ages ranged from thirteen to fifty. It is rare to see such an age gap at a concert since most bands appear to play to a specific audience or age group, but Twenty One Pilots is different. They do not have one specific audience nor a specific sound. They are described under multiple genres such as rock, hip-hip, indie, rap, and even electronic. Since their sound greatly varies, everyone can appreciate their music.

Twenty One Pilots played an extensive set of twenty-two songs including four fun cover songs such as Jump Around, Twist and Shout, Love Yourself, and My Heart Will Go On. The show as a whole was incredible. The duo, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun, were authentically impressive. A new wardrobe accompanied each song, Joseph used the entire venue as he climbed onto the surrounding pillars, and he even climbed into a large inflatable hamster ball and ran atop the crowd! To make the concert even more engaging, Dun brought out a platform held by the crowd with drums set-up on top. The crowd held him up as he played a creative solo and drenched those around him in water.

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While the music is a joy to listen to, it is important to understand the content of the lyrics and the goal of the band. Joseph and Dun compose the lyrics themsevles, and they speak of their own insecurties. Twenty One Pilots’ most recent album Blurryface relays a strong message to today’s youth dealing with emotions such as depression, fear, and anxiety. The album’s purpose is to help both the duo and their auidence defeat them all. It is to encouarge everyone to continue leaving. It tells them they are cared for and they are not alone. A “keep on pushing on” message, if you will.

The duo is inspiring and truly cares about their fanbase. If you are able, I plead you to check on Twenty One Pilots on their current tour – Emotional Roadshow.

Music of the Black Lives Matter Movement

Does music have the potential to ease conflict in our nation? As many of us are aware, in recent months, the Black Lives Matter movement has taken over mainstream media. While the movement is working toward specific goals to better the lives of African Americans in America against police brutality, the movement is having a negative affect on our communities. The media coverage has made the movement stronger, but in a negative fashion. Between shootings, protests, and riots, many Americans believe our nation is headed into another civil war and do not feel safe.

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Races are turning against each other, and there is even an opposing movement called All Lives Matter. The more the media continues their coverage, the more violent events appeaer to occur. You may be wondering if there is a way to keep protests peaceful and American citizens from turning on each other and our law enforcement.

Music is a healthy response to recent events and it gets the Black Lives Matter movement the right kind of attention. If you recall my first post on this blog, I discussed how music alone is able to ask people to put their differences aside and listen to its message as one. Many different messages can be heard via music, all it takes is the right song to emphasize a positive emotional response.

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Classical music was recently introduced to the Black Lives Matter movement for the first time, something many of us may not have expected. The reason? The musicians did not want anyone feeling isolated after recent events. While they “still tend to avoid confronting contemporary racial tensions,” the group seeks to ease this controversial time. While they are not political, they do believe Black Lives Matter should be bipartisan, meaning that while there may be opposing arguments, cooperation should be practiced – not violence. The music is celebrated, people can mourn about recent events, connect emotionally, and eventually plan for a better future together through the movement.

Before the classical music community began supporting the movement’s followers, it had mostly been members of the rap, folk, and pop musician communities. Musicians such as A$AP Rocky who is largely influential in the music community continues to support the All Lives Matter movement as he is against the discrimination and violence the Black Lives Matter movement brings. Those whom are educating themselves on recent events, especially musicians in the public eye, understand that something needs to be done to reunite our communities. How? By bring American citizens together through music.

I ask you to pay attention to this movement and what artists are doing to help resolve current issues. Listen to The Dream Unfinished. Follow their story. Support them. Support musicians trying to make a difference and reunite our nation.

Ghost. An Unruly Ensemble?

I am excited to discuss an unusual band I have discovered by the name of Ghost. They have been the center of a great deal of controversy in recent months due to their musical nature and apparent religious beliefs – or lack of. To provide you with some background information, Ghost is a heavy metal band from Sweden. While they began creating music in 2008, it was not until 2016 that they became a part of the public eye in the United States. Since then, they have won awards such as Best Heavy Metal Band and Best International Band.

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The reason why this band is controversial is that – and please stay with me on this – they are satanicDerek Welch wrote an interesting article about Ghost which provides us with a deeper look into who they are. Allow me to take a moment to note that while I am in no way a follower of Satan, I do find it interesting that a band such as Ghost has come so far while publicly practicing their beliefs. The band members’ identities are unknown and they are instead called Nameless Ghouls while the lead vocalist is known as Papa Emeritus, the anti-pope symbol. According to Welch, “the most noticeable thing about Ghost’s music is the blatant use of satanic lyrics infused with ideas of the devil, doomsday, blasphemy, sexuality, etc.”

I am posting about Ghost because I am interested in discovering your views about the band. Locally in Reno, NV, Ghost can be heard often on the radio. Some believe their satanic lyrics are too extreme to be played on air and should be banned. While this may be due to a listener’s personal religious beliefs, I for one have enjoying hearing their music played throughout the city because of the diversity. Again, while I am religious, I do appreciate the art of music in all forms. Ghost has a very interesting appearance and sounds unlike anything I have heard before. While I may not support all that they are about, I have to admit that they are intriguing.

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An interesting experience that I recently encountered was when I showed a group of friends one of Ghost’s popular videos. I will not post the video directly on this post in consideration for those of you whom wish to refrain from hearing or seeing their messages. At first, my friends were interested in their sound and the heavy metal riffs; however, the longer it played, the more upset they became. You see, two specific friends at our social gathering are deeply religious and they refused to let Ghost’s satanic music play in their home. So this prompts me to ask – should religious and unreligious folks reject the band all together, or are people looking into this too deeply?

I urge you to listen to Ghost and comment your opinions below. I am curious to see if, religion aside, we can find an appreciation for the art of music in a band as controversial as Ghost.