Monday, June 30, 2003

Warped Tour 2003

Saturday was Warped Tour in Somerset, Wisconsin. Kristin and I went and had a blast! Now, just like last year, here is the review of the day. For those of you who don’t enjoy punk music, this may not be a very interesting read, but for anyone who does, here’s the rundown of the bands that we saw. Oh, and just for fun, I thought I would review the bands a little different this year. Each band that we saw I think deserves an award (and this is also a nice way to summarize their sets). Anyhow, lets get on with it. Here are the bands that we saw in the order we saw them along with what I thought:

Most Thankful Band: Flashlight Brown. This was the first band of the day for us. We went to one of the smaller stages because Avenged Sevenfold were supposed to play, but they switched to a different stage and the schedule wasn’t updated. Instead, I got to see these guys. Never having heard them before, I thought that they were a decent band. They had a pop-punk meets Rancid style of sound which I thought was cool. They thanked the crowd about 10 times for being so great and so big. I enjoyed their set and they were a great way to start the day. Now we were off to the main stage to see what was up there.

Most Gender Confused Band: Damone. Ok, I would have thought that this band was made up entirely of men if I hadn’t heard two of them singing. They were some pretty manly looking women (well, two of them were, I’m assuming the other two actually were men). Their music was ok, but I really didn’t like them. Their songs were too simple and dumb and I just didn’t enjoy them. Well, at least we got a good laugh out of how manly the women in the band were.

Best Performance of the Day: Mad Caddies. Oh my gosh, I loved their set. The were easily the most fun to watch out of all the bands. Their combination of punk, ska, and comedy worked perfectly. I really enjoyed their pirate song. The lead singer’s voice was also amazing in that he could do so much with it and that it was also pitch perfect for almost the entire set. If you want to see a really fun ska band, these are the guys to go see.

Worst Performance of the Day: Andrew W.K. Holy crap did they suck. What made them look even worse was the fact that they came on right after the Mad Caddies, who were so good, and proceeded to suck and blow at the same time. The music was muddled and just sounded bad. AWK simply yelled into the mic occasionally and ran around hitting himself and pointing out that we were all alive and not dead. Duh, like I didn’t know that. The only reason that AWK received as big of a round of applause as he did from Kristin and I is because he was finally done and we wouldn’t have to listen to him anymore. This was easily one of the worst performances I have ever witnessed on a stage. Horrible.

Best Female Fronted Band of the Day: Tsunami Bomb. Their set was a tight performance of straight up punk with vocals done beautifully by their female lead. I really enjoyed their set, but I was a little put off by their stage presence. They seemed to be in a daze while they were playing and really didn’t seem into it at all. Listening to them, I really enjoyed their music, but watching them I was bored.

Largest and Rowdiest Crowd: Dropkick Murphys. Holy sh*t was this one hell of a rowdy performance. Kristin and I were up in front from watching Tsunami Bomb and as soon as Dropkick came on, the entire crowd surged and then started moshing like hell. Kristin and I slowly floated towards the back through the sea of moshing fans. Jared, this would have been a pit from your dreams! They were pretty good, but it was weird that in their 30 minutes set 2 of their songs were covers. They did a CCR song and “Dirty Deeds” by AC/DC. I really liked both covers and the rest of the set wasn’t too bad either. They have a somewhat “busy” sound in that they seemed to not all be in synch all of the time, but I guess that little bit was to be expected considering how energetic they all were on stage.

Most Technically Sound Musicians: Thrice. I really like Thrice and seeing them perform was fun. They had a somewhat smaller crowd, but they performed wonderfully. They played all of their songs very tightly and I was impressed by their musical talents. I don’t know what else to say about these guys except that they played some great emo-hardcore. I can’t wait for a new disc from these guys.

Most Erratic Band of the Day: Glassjaw. These guys were high on my list of must-see bands for the day. After seeing them, however, I was a little bit disappointed. Their set was good, but very erratic. They started out with a couple of heavy tunes off of Worship & Tribute, but then they played some mellower songs, did some rappy breakdown, and finished off their set with songs from Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Silence. They still put on a good show, but they didn’t live up to all of the hype they have garnered.

Smallest and Most Disinterested Crowd of the Day: Poison the Well. I had really thought that they would have had a larger crowd since they were one of the few true hardcore bands on the tour. Surely all the hardcore kiddies would show up to listen, right? Wrong. They played to a small crowd (smaller than many side-stage acts) who really didn’t get into their music. I really couldn’t get into that much either. I enjoy their cds, but they just didn’t translate very well to the stage. There wasn’t really very much interesting during their set besides lots of screaming and some occasional heavy riffs.

Band Most Liked By Kristin: The Ataris. This is the band that Kristin came to see. They had some technical problems at the beginning of their set, but after that they played a great set. They also did their classic routine where they bring someone from the crowd up to play guitar with them. It was fun and I enjoyed their energy and enthusiasm while playing. The big moment for Kristin is when they played “Boys of Summer” since that’s her favorite song by them. Great band, I liked them a lot.

Most Gothic Punk Band Ever: AFI. When I saw AFI at Warped two years ago I thought they sucked. Seeing them this year they were a little better, mostly because they were playing songs from their newest cd, Sing the Sorrow. The ├╝ber-high pitched vocals got a little bit unnerving during their set. As tolerable as it is on their cds, live it becomes a little grating. The Somerset show was their last of the Warped tour so they did a bunch of thank you’s while up on stage. They were originally found by Rancid, which I never knew before, so Davey Havok’s thank you stuff was at least informative!

Most Anonymous Band: Face to Face. I don’t know why, but every time I have seen Face to Face, they feel like they have nothing to set them apart from every other punk band out there (the same can be said of Alkaline Trio, in my opinion). They played a great set, I enjoyed all of their songs, and for some reason, I still have a hard time picking out a defining feature of their music. Eh, I dunno. What I do know, though, is that they are a fun band to watch.

Band that Most Resembled a Boy Band: Simple Plan. I haven’t been the biggest fans of Simple Plan because they’re a little bit too poppy for my tastes, but they did put on a great show to a very hostile crowd. There was a big pocket of people giving them the finger the entire time they were playing and also holding up signs professing how crappy of a band Simple Plan was. I don’t understand why people would do that. Does it make you seem more hardcore if you put down a band that isn’t to your liking. Just go watch someone else if you don’t like Simple Plan. They handled it extremely well, though, and even dedicated a song to the idiots in the crowd. At least they made it comical instead of being all pissed off because some people don’t know how to act like anything but an idiot. Also, they did a good cover of “American Jesus” by Bad Religion.

Band in the Biggest Drug-Filled Haze: The Used. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone in as much of a drug induced stupor as the lead singer of The Used. He came out on stage, didn’t really know what was going on, thought they were the last band, and asked his band members & the crowd “What the f*ck is going on?” at least 5 times. It was almost comical. When they were playing songs they were putting on a good show, but half of their set time was spent with the lead singer talking nonsensically and wandering around. I think they would have been great had they not been on so many drugs.

Most Punk Punk Band: Rancid. Every time I have seen these guys they have not disappointed me. This time was no exception. Being this was AFI’s last show they had Davey Havok come out and sing “Radio” with them which was a great combo. Also, Skinhead Rob from the Transplants did a song with them. They played a lot of their classics which got the huge crowd they amassed moving. They tried out a few new songs, but I didn’t think they were that good. If the new stuff they played is a preview of their upcoming disc, I have a feeling it isn’t going to be all that great. All in all, though, this was another great Rancid performance.

Most Energetic Band of the Day: Less Than Jake. For being the last band, they sure had a lot of energy and really tried to get the crowd into it. A lot of people were leaving while they were playing to try and get a jump on traffic so I felt a little bad for them. That didn’t deter them at all. In fact, I think it might have motivated them to be as energetic as they were. They played fast, furious, and all over both stages. They were running all over, playing up a storm, shooting t-shirts into the crowd and heckling all the people who were leaving. These guys were even better than the last time I had seen them. I don’t think I would have wanted any other band to end the day.

Whew, another Warped Tour down. I had an absolutely wonderful time and I am already anticipating next year’s tour. Ok, I’d write more, but I’m all spent. I wish you all could have been there on Saturday. It was great!

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