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Ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb

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Whenever the music ebbed you could actually hear the sizzling of the young flesh that piled into DarienLake for The Warped Tour. I chose to limit my choices to a handful of acts: Gym Class Heroes, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, AFI, NOFX, The Lordz Of Brooklyn, and Helmet.

Gym Class Heroes offer a vigorous hip-hop/rock cocktail. These guys call Geneva home, and they had a huge crowd of fans all singing along. Bands like this are gonna keep it fresh and interesting.

Again on the augmented hip-hop tip, The Lordz Of Brooklyn mix hardcore chants with rap rants all while sportin' keen fedoras. This is what The Beastie Boys wish they sounded like.

It's nice to see the grown-ups rock. NOFX brought the kind of old-school punk and wisdom that embodies what Warped is still about (more or less).

AFI (featuring Rochester-born vocalist Davey Havok) were a lot heavier and wilder than I remembered. Havok wreaked his surname all over the stage in quasi-death throes that lasted the whole set.

Joan Jett's band was as tight and mean as she looked. They took the stage casually and delivered a powerful set of classic three-chord pre-punk rock. In an itsy-bitsy black bikini top and leather pants, Jett hit all the hits including The Runaways' "Cherry Bomb." She's so cool.

Helmet closed out the night with some of the heaviest riffing I have ever seen live. They make most metal bands sound like foil bands. Just good old-fashioned headbangin' hardcore; unmatchable and unbeatable.

Stopped by briefly to see if Senses Fail were still as melody-less, balls-less, whiny, and boring as I remember. Yup. I'm generally suspicious if a band has a sentence fragment for a name anyway.

Coolest of all was meeting Ramones minister of propaganda Arturo Vega running The Ramones tent himself. I mean, this guy designed the crest.

Poised like something outtaFight Club, Low Ton celebrated the new CD Born From A Rainstorm by playing mostly on the floor of Monty's Krown this past Friday. Heavy as ever, the band has definitely gained some speed. But within the acceleration none of the weight has been shed. Corpulent and crushing.

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