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Why Warped Tour 2015 May Dictate The Future Of Heavy Music

Beartooth, While She Sleeps, The Amity Affliction and more have been bringing the heavy to the Mecca of pop punk.

'Toasty’ doesn’t even cover it this morning. As the already-blistering sun threatens to turn the concrete under Hammer’s feet into a grey, bubbling sludge, a rabid horde of black-clad teens descend onto Camden, New Jersey’s Susquehanna Bank Center, sprawling across the site like a nailbomb going off in slow motion. Warped is in town, and it’s taking no prisoners, but we’re not here to soak in the ambience and crack open a few $13 beers – we’re here to observe a war. On one side: Warped’s proud and long-standing tradition as a punk rock Mecca. On the other: the rise 21st century metal, and the invasion its frontline warriors have inflicted upon the festival. Oh, and then there’s the not-so-insignificant backdrop of Warped co-founder and Warlord-In-Chief Kevin Lyman’s recent comments about the major metal fests around the world being flooded with “grey, fat and bald” bands. Shots have been fired. Lines have been drawn. It’s time to get heavy. “Are you fucking ready?!” screams While She Sleeps’ Loz Taylor as he greets the fans flocking to the Monster Energy Stage to soak in their first riffs of the day. What starts off as a smattering of eager devotees soon becomes a couple of hundred hyperactive moshers, who are treated to a loud, frenetic and fucking sweaty 20-minute showing from one of the UK’s very best bands. It’s a heartwarming sight to behold, but there’s no time to bask in the moment now. We’ve got some investigating to do...

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