Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Warped Tour 2002

Warped Tour, the most fun you can have in one day. I think that this year’s Warped Tour was the most fun I’ve had in quite a while. Pictures should be up in a week or so (if the camera didn’t get wrecked—I’ll explain later).

Two of my friends, Lisa and Kim, came with me to the show on Sunday. We left at about 9:00 am so we could get up there in time for the doors to open so we could see some of the first bands. We got there right before 11:00 am so we figured we’d be some of the first ones in. In actuality, we didn’t get into Harriet Island until 12:15 because there are only five gates for people to go through so they were trying to get thousands of people through five lines. Because of that, I had to miss two bands I really wanted to see—Thursday and Staring Back. As soon as we got in, we checked out who was playing when and devised a plan of attack. For the most part Lisa, Kim, and I stayed together and watched the same bands, but a few times we split up to see different bands.

We started by seeing Something Corporate. I am not the biggest fan of their single, “If You See Jordan” but I actually really enjoyed their set and will probably pick up their cd sometime. They had quite a crowd for being early in the day. After they were done some band I didn’t care to see was playing so we checked out all the merch tents and managed to pick up some cds. I got the Punk goes Pop and Punk goes Metal discs. I love both of them. Punk bands covering pop songs and hair metal—how can it get any better? I also decided I’d pick up an MXPX shirt later on in the day so I didn’t have to carry it, but I didn’t get to get it for reasons you will find out in a minute.

After we looked at all the merch we went back to the main stages to catch Trust Company. I absolutely love their cd and I’ve been listening to it all week, but I was disappointed by their set. Their sound just didn’t translate that well on stage. The vocals were great but the rest of the sound seemed off. They did play a new song that wasn’t on their album. This song was actually their best sounding song, in my opinion, and it should have been put on their cd. I’ll just have to search the internet for it, I guess.

Next band we saw were Alkaline Trio. I’ve listened to some of their music but it’s always seemed pretty basic to me and I felt the same way about their set. It just seemed like an average set by an average, every-day punk band. I enjoyed it but it wasn’t special.

The next band we were all stoked to see—Reel Big Fish. How can I describe these guys live? Spectacular, maybe, or just freakin’ awesome. They had such a huge crowd and everyone singing along that you couldn’t help but get down, do a little boogieing, and jump around to them. I really have to get their new cd after listening to some of the new songs they played. Any time you can see these guys, do it.

After Reel Big Fish, we took a water break so we could get back in time for MXPX. We got back in time to grab a spot way up in the front middle of the crowd for MXPX and I’m so glad we did. I absolutely love these guys (even if they seem to have sold out on their last couple of records) and they were one of the main bands I was looking forward to seeing because, amazingly enough, I had never seen them before. I missed them last year and couldn’t go to their show when they were last in the cities. They mostly played classic songs such as “Chick Magnet” and “Punk Rawk Show” along with a couple of more recent songs. The crowd knew every word to every song and were singing along the entire time. MXPX has some very dedicated fans (me being one of them). So far they were the highlight.

After MXPX, the girls went off to get some food or something so I went over and watched Anti-Flag. They’ve got some catchy music, but their attitude of f*ck everything just didn’t sit well with me. I enjoyed their music and got into it, but after every song they’d have to go on about how something was wrong with our world and that we should all scream “f*ck [whatever they were talking about] and sing along.” I think they are one of the few bands I’ve seen that uses the f-word so gratuitously. If it wasn’t for that, I would have loved every minute of their set.

Next band up was Lagwagon. I’ve always liked these guys and seeing a bunch of old punk rockers on stage was a lot of fun. These guys are honestly the oldest punks on the tour, I think. It didn’t change the fact that they put on a solid show, even though their crowd was smaller than most other main stage bands. While watching them, I ran into a mother with her two year old son. He was on her shoulders nodding along to the music, wearing some sweet yellow sunglasses and he had his hair spiked up in a small Mohawk and dyed blue. It was so cute so I got my picture taken with him. After Lagwagon finished up, I met back up with the girls for New Found Glory.

This is the third time I’d seen New Found Glory, and I have to say for as much as I love their cds, they just don’t translate it 100% in concert. Even though they had a huge following (mostly of all the 12 year old girls there) I didn’t think they were as good as many of the other bands there. They did play a nice mix of old, new, and cover songs. I just don’t know why they don’t come across very well to me in concert. After they finished their set, I split up from the girls again.
They stayed to watch Flogging Molly, who they said were spectacular. I’ll take their word for it. I was too busy catching some other bands I really wanted to see.

First, I checked out Finch’s set. Their cd is one of my favorites of the last year but in their set the singer unfortunately did way too much screaming and not enough singing. He has such a great voice that I hated to hear him constantly screaming, even screaming parts of songs that he would sing on the cd. Besides the over-use of screaming, I loved their set. They also had a guest vocalist come out for their last song, “What it is to Burn” but I don’t know who it was or what band he was from.

After Finch I wanted to catch Quarashi, but I had some time to kill so I watched Wanted Dead. They only had about 45 people watching them, and I could tell they were disappointed by the way they played. They just didn’t seem to care and the lead singer went through a six-pack of Busch Light while he was on stage. Even though, they still seemed to have a good straight up punk sound that I enjoyed. I might just pick up their disc if I find it.

As Wanted Dead was finishing their set it started to sprinkle a little and it looked like it might rain some more so a lot of people started heading for tents. I went over to watch Quarashi and I am so thankful that I did. They were, by far, the most energetic and fun band to watch the entire day. Their crowd was huge for being on a small stage and while they were playing, it wasn’t a mosh-pit they had going, it was a dance pit. Everyone was free-style dancing and grooving to their music. It was like a dance party in the rain and mud. By the time they ended their set, it was a full downpour out and everyone was soaked. They were the last ones to play on the smaller stages as they closed all the small stages. The only ones left open were the main two stages and a small stage outside in the rain.

On the stage that was in the rain, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones were playing an encore set. They had played earlier and I caught about 5 minutes of their set, only long enough to hear they were going to play over at this stage. There were about 30 people watching and the band was playing in the rain in their suits. I was standing in water halfway up to my knees and the rain kept pouring down. They were so great, playing on for us in the rain and having such a great time doing it. After they were done, I went and talked with the lead singer and he is such a nice guy. These guys are such a classy band and they really care about their fans. I highly recommend the Bosstones to anyone.

After the Bosstones, I headed back to the main stages hoping to catch Good Charlotte, NOFX, and Bad Religion, and meet back up with the girls. Unfortunately, it started lightning so they had to cancel the rest of the show. Well, we decided to play in the rain and mud for a while and then finally headed home.

A great day, and an event I will keep coming to every year, as will Lisa and Kim after going this year for their first time. I had so much fun that I can’t describe it anymore. Punk rock rules, ‘nuff said.

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