See also: The Warped Tour in review
Judging by the horde at Gexa Energy Pavilion on Tuesday, the local economy is doing just fine. Out of the nearly 100 bands that performed at this year's fest, I've whittled it down to the 10 best that I literally stumbled across. As usual, I found the bands early in the day to be better than the actual headliners.
10. Yellowcard - punk rock with a violin player? Nice touch, even though it was hard to pick up in this Los Angeles band's intense roar.
9. Streetlight Manifesto - Ska/punk done up right with a killer horn section.
8. Transit - Mixing the traditional emo drone with pop/punk, this five-piece was certainly a lot more original than its name.
7. I Am the Avalanche - Good, old school hardcore from Brooklyn.
6. Little Big Horn - These local boys' sludgy metal was a nice change of pace.
5. Mod Sun - Derek Smith, aka Mod Sun, created some of the smoothest hip-hop of the festival.
4. Chelsea Grin - Deathcore from Salt Lake City? Damn right. And damn good.
3. Every Time I Die - These guys have been doing their thing since 1998. Technically impressive and sonically delicious.
2. Chicharones - This hip-hop duo from Portland played an unofficial set in a cramped little corner of the festival grounds. Augmented by a tight four-piece band (not to mention a dancing minion in a pig mask), the "songs" were original and bursting with oddball humor.
1. Impending Doom - Just 'cause these Californians call what they do Christian rock doesn't mean they still won't blow your face off with omnipotent glee. And that's exactly what Brook Reeves and the rest of these guys did the entire set. Some guy in the back held up a sign that read, "If you walk away from Impending Doom, you are fucking stupid."