The Warped Tour is fine, but it has a little filler. The Strhess Tour, on the other hand, boasts only five headliner-quality acts, and they're all hard and heavy. If you're just joining us, the tour is the brainchild of Cleveland-based rock artist Derek Hess, whose involvement dates back to the fliers he made to promote shows at the Euclid Tavern. Later he went on to work for Pearl Jam and Pink Floyd, using their major-label money to help keep punk growing in this city and beyond.
Topping the bill is Darkest Hour, the Victory Records metalcore band that has pretty much dropped any hardcore trappings on its latest, Undoing Ruin. Strapping Young Lad frontman Devin Townsend produced the smelting pot of Swedish-style, get-the-shred-out metal that's being hailed as an instant classic by journals of note from Alternative Press to Decibel. In addition to heavies like Bleeding Through, Misery Signals, and Fight Paris, the tour boasts Zao, new-school hardcore favorites who growl like demons but love Jesus, and who rubbed a few fans the wrong way with The Funeral of God, a concept album that imagines an angry God closing heaven and hell.