Warped Tour

by Jen on August 9, 2007

in Soundtrack of My Life,This film is not yet rated

Yesterday (as part of my Big Birthday Celebration), the Hubster and I went to the Warped Tour. My main motivation was to see Bad Religion and Flogging Molly, although there were some other bands I wanted to check out, too. We were supposed to have been accompanied by Frieda and Beamer & OldChristine, but all three bailed the night before (which was rude).

It was a record-setting high temperature of a day (91), humidity at 75-90%, forecast with isolated thunderstorms. Although the doors opened at 11:00, we didn’t arrive until almost 1:00 due to a late wake-up and terrible traffic.

It wasn’t as crowded as I expected it to be, but the crowd demographics were what I thought they’d be: mostly teens and twenties, with some thirties, forties and even older people scattered throughout. We were by far not the oldest people there, but we were on the upper end of the spectrum.

As were were orienting ourselves to the layout, we passed on of the smaller stages on which Lourds was playing. I’d never seen or heard of them before, but the few songs I heard left me impressed and curious enough to buy their CD. I’m also always looking for new women in music.

We had a beer and wandered around, but made sure to hear Tiger Army play mid-afternoon. My favorite thing about them (in addition to the music) was that they had an electric-blue upright bass. Unexpected. It started to lightly rain during their set, but as the weather had been hot, sunny and humid it was a welcome change. Afterwards, the days remained mostly overcast which sort of took the edge off.

I was interested in hearing Meg and Dia (who I ended up being unimpressed by), so we got an ice cream cone (to beat the heat) and went to sit at the main pavilion which was set up as both the Smart Punk stage and the Hurley.com stage. I was exhausted, so I leaned back in my seat, closed my eyes and drifted off for a bit. It’s amazing that I could take a nap in an uncomfortable stadium style seat, in 90-degree heat, during a punk show, but it’s a skill I honed during my years of college, ebing able to nap just about anywhere. The band that played while I “napped” (I was still sort-of aware of what was going on) I found out later was called Static Lullaby. I thought it was very fitting, because that’s what it was. Lots of distortion and unintelligible lyrics, which I tried to sleep through.

Following Static Lullaby was Boys Like Girls, who I was also unfamiliar with, but had clear expectations based on all the cute, clean-cut teenage girls wearing their t-shirts. They were entertaining, if not unique, and had a pop sound.

Hawthorne Heights was finishing up their set as we made our way towards the Lucky stage to hear the big hitters of the late afternoon. Paramour followed them, playing on the next stage over. I liked them and think I maybe should’ve picked up a CD (in my quest for women rockers). Coheed and Cambria I didn’t enjoy as much as I thought I would, although they are talented.

Two of the later bands of the day were who we came to see. Bad Religion played an awesome set and made the whole day well worth the trip. They’re so earnest in their lyrics, so political. The Hubster commented that he gestures like he’s having a conversation with you as he sings. I was disappointed that they didn’t play Los Angeles is Burning (my favorite), but all their material is great. What other band could use “transubstantiation” in their lyrics and have it flow very naturally?

Flogging Molly followed Bad Religion on the same stage. They were also very good (I’ve seen them before). One disappointment is that they chose to play two of their new, unreleased songs. Normally I don’t mind — and even welcome — hearing new material, but in a festival environment when a band only plays a half-hour set, they should stick to what people want. Playing a new songs means there’s something I was hoping hear didn’t get played. I can allow for one, but two?

As for mosh pits and the like, there was nothing too large or amazing, although people moshed and crowd-surfed at all the major sets. The biggest asshole of the day award goes to the guy who got up to crowd surf with a lighted cigarette in his hand. If I was up there, I’d have dropped him on his head.

On that note, there’s one more thing I must comment on. I’ve never been to any sort of venue, festival or otherwise, where I have seen so much littering and general disregard for the common good. In addition to bottles, cups and food wrappers strewn about, people seemed to deliberately find stuff to turn into litter (the Krishnas were handing out free books on “enlightenment” and I saw a few that had been shredded and thrown on the ground). Also, there were groups of immature teenage and twenty-something boys who threw bottles and things into the crowd and mosh pits, for the purpose of just generally stirring the pot. During one set, apparently a guy in a mosh pit deliberately threw an entire beer at a girl. I can’t remember the band, but the lead singer pointed him out as security came to drag the guy away. My solution to all this: The idiots running the “Anarchy” booth should have to clean up the grounds the next day.

It was a great (if draining) day. We capped it off by a late showing of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

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