Monday, April 18, 2011

AP Tour Review

There is no "I" in tour - meaning that it's impossible for one band to singlehandedly save an entire tour. Such is true for the AP Tour, which for yet another year in a row has managed to throw together a lackluster lineup of bands. The result? A forgettable show that's simply not worth your money.

Perhaps the biggest draw to this year's tour are D.R.U.G.S., the Craig Owens fronted supergroup that had a cult-like following before they even released their first record. But even Owens' charisma and showmanship just isn't enough to save this tour.

The lineup, in addition to D.R.U.G.S., which consists of Black Veil Brides, I See Stars, VersaEmerge and Conditions looks more like something thrown together from a random search of bands on MySpace than a well thought out tour put together by the heads of Alternative Press.

You've got your goth-infused glam-metal element, a poor man's Paramore and an electro-metal outfit that look like they belong on a college campus rather than a stage. Add to that the I See Stars' lead singer referring to last week's New Haven, Connecticut crowd as "New York" numerous times and it's clear this grouping of misfits might not be ready to conquer the road just yet.

But the real problem with the 2011 AP Tour is the lack of consistency. This tour is full of club dates, not outdoor festivals. While this eclectic lineup of bands might work on Warped Tour, it's just too choppy for indoor shows. There's too much of a stretch, musically, to go from the pop sounds of VersaEmerge to the screamo post-hardcore brutality of I See Stars over a 20-minute set change.

It seems that Alternative Press haven't been able to put together a solid grouping of bands since the first AP Tour back in the Spring of 2007. Rather than selecting bands that would stand as a concrete look into the alternative scene, the AP bigwigs just keep grabbing for whatever band names will make them a quick buck.

You can't really blame them, though. With the print magazine industry dying faster than Donald Trump's chance of becoming president, it's no wonder AP executives have decided on setting aside musical integrity in exchange for a wide assortment of bands that will sell tickets to the trend-hungry youth of America that are armed with, and ready to spend, their parents' money.

Take this as a warning. If you're planning on spending your own money for a ticket, or don't feel like bringing your mother to the show with you, then skip the AP Tour this Spring. There's no real music on this tour, just industry. And let's face it, anything that's industry just isn't punk.

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