As autumn falls upon us, it’s time to take a look back at the summer of 2004 and ask ourselves, “Did we get Warped?”
Loud music booms through the speakers while you are treading in a sea of people as far as the eye can see. Ah, summer. A time to be carefree and young… and to get Warped! Nothing says summer like the annual Vans Warped Tour! I didn’t go to many shows this summer but I made sure I went to the one that mattered the most. The Warped Tour is like a security blanket – it makes you feel all warm inside.
If you’ve never been to a Warped Tour, let me tell you what you’ve been missing. It’s about checking out new bands as well as seeing veteran favorites. This year’s lineup included Bad Religion, New Found Glory, Good Charlotte, NOFX, Sugarcult, Taking Back Sunday, Story of the Year and newcomers Zox (See Zox review). One band that caught my eye as I walked around Nissan Pavilion was Halifax. The energy was so eye-catching that I found myself gravitating towards the stage. The crowd grew larger and larger – I guess I wasn’t the only gravitating. As I made my way through the crowd, I noticed a huge wall standing upright in the middle of the field. A lot of kids were writing graffiti on the wall. Who says the youth of today has nothing to contribute or say?
Warped Tour just wouldn’t be the Warped Tour without these top 10 things (not in any particular order):
Punks & Posers
Mud and Rain
Skateboarders & BMX Bikers
Some new energy drink
Someone being taking away on a stretcher
And of course…
Bands, bands and bands!
In another area of the Pavilion, a big ramp was set up for tricks. And no, I don’t mean the kind by magicians. These tricks were sick! There was no shortage of skateboarders or BMX bikers at this year’s Warped Tour. The crowd standing nearby had the best of both worlds as they could watch the tricks and watch the main stages.
Many bands set up booths to sell merchandise and meet-and-greets with their fans. With their latest radio hit “1985,” Bowling for Soup had a long line of fans anxiously waiting their turn to hug, to get signatures and to just say “hey” to their favorite band.
There’s so much to see at the Warped Tour that you really need a program book and map everything out – or else you are bound to miss something. A prime real estate location to place yourself is in front of one of the main stages. New Found Glory was one of the veteran bands that rocked the crowd to a frenzy. Lead singer, Jordan Pundik got really close and personal with his fans as he walked into the front row. Singing radio-hits from “My Friends Over You” to “Head On Collision” the stage was a non-stop ball of energy.
After New Found Glory‘s set, Yellowcard, from Ventura, California (by way of Jacksonville, Florida) was setting up on the other main stage. As the last notes of “Head On Collision” reverb through the speakers, lead singer Ryan Key of Yellowcard continued to sing the last note out playfully. Talk about surround sound!
Just two songs into their set, Yellowcard‘s bassist Pete Mosely stopped and pointed toward his right. The band stopped playing and Ryan said into the microphone that medics were needed. Apparently, someone in the crowd was seriously hurt. While waiting for the medics to assist the injured person, Yellowcard fiddled some mindless notes. Someone in the crowd screamed, “Play a song!” As the band explained to their restless fans that they’ve never been in a situation such as this and if everyone will be patient, they will play some songs soon. Just then, the medics walked away with the injured fan on the stretcher. It’s almost a guarantee that someone will be seriously injured by the end of the day at the Warped Tour.
After Yelloward‘s set, it was time to set up the stage for the final band – Santa Barbara’s Sugarcult. The sky suddenly became gray and rain slowly drizzled. I was able to find shelter under the stage to wait it out. The wind was a nice welcome to the hot and humid day we were having earlier. The sky smiled upon the crowd with a warm-colored orange glow. The sunset was breathtaking. Just suddenly as the rain showed up, it stopped. Sugarcult had arrived.
The crowd was pumped… and wet. The screaming was at a decibel high. The crowd was pogo-jumping and body surfing. The good vibes were flowing from the stage and into the audience. At one point, lead singer Tim Pagnotta had the crowd eating out of his hands. Whatever his command, the crowd delivered. “Show me your spirit fingers!” Tim demanded. Everyone’s hands shot up and fingers started to wriggle. Laughing and shaking his head, Tim told the crowd to stop – that he was just joking. If you’ve never seen Sugarcult live, you are missing one of the most rocking live shows ever. These musicians give it their all. Guitarist Marko72 showed impressive moves on stage. Bassist Airin laid down bass lines and looked cool doing it. The girls want to be with these guys and the boys want to be these guys. Even new drummer Kenny Livingston held his own.
If you missed this year’s Warped Tour, you’re forgiven. But, don’t make the same mistake twice. Mark it on your calendar! Make a note to get Warped next year!
Many of these bands will be on tour later this year. New Found Glory and Sugarcult have teamed up to support Green Day. Be sure to check them out when they come to a town near you!