Monday, June 29, 2009

The Warped Tour

Warped Tour 2009!

I went to the Warped Tour yesterday in Ventura, CA and it turned out to be an epic show with some amazing performances. I must preface this post by explaining that I am 22 years old and so I was in the minority of over 20 year olds at the festival. Even though most of the bands had members that were older than me, the overwhelming majority of the fans were teenagers, in particular 12-16 year old kids. Most of them were followers of the punk rock, hardcore or emo scenes and so they dressed like it was Halloween and had terrible haircuts. These odd sights did not faze me though because I was there for the music; some of the bands I had been listening to for over a decade.

One of the best things about Warped Tour is the fact that you can check out dozens of bands in one day from many different genres and styles of music. However, one of the worst things about the festival is the fact that sometimes you’re favorite bands will be playing at the same time. This made my experience at this year’s Warped Tour pretty frantic and chaotic, although certainly not boring. What sucks about Warped is that the more diverse your music tastes are, the harder it is to see all the bands you wish to see. In previous years the festival has done a better job at spacing out the bands, but as my music tastes have broadened, I have found it increasingly difficult to manage my time at the show.

Even after that rant I must say that I was able to see Thrice, I Set My Friends On Fire, Anti-Flag, A Day To Remember, Underoath, Saosin, NOFX, Senses Fail, Bad Religion, Aiden, Gallows, The Ataris, Scary Kids Scaring Kids, and The Devil Wars Prada (14 Bands). Unfortunately I missed Less Than Jake, Escape the Fate, Streetlight Manifesto, Bayside, Therefore I Am and Alexisonfire and this was because I was watching other bands or they played too early (another criticism). They should consider adding a few more bands, making the set times longer and stretching the festival out to two days to solve these problems. Well, seeing 14 of the 20 bands that I wanted to see is not bad at all.

So I had the difficult task of trying to watch a few songs of one band and then had to race to another stage to catch half the set of different band. This was only a serious problem during the afternoon because Saosin began playing at 3:45 but NOFX started at 3:55 and Senses Fail at 4:15. I watched the first 4 songs from Saosin and then ran over to catch the end of “Linoleum” by NOFX and stayed for the rest of their set. By the time I had fought through the crowd to get to Senses Fail, they were thanking the crowd and played their last song (which sounded great). Saosin seemed to be having problems with their sound equipment (I’m not sure whose fault this was) but their vocals sounded pretty bad despite the fact that Cove Reber is an incredible vocalist. Their drummer lives up to his reputation: absolutely legendary chops, he has excellent fills and drops beats better than Neil Peart. NOFX also lived up to their reputation and were the best seasoned punk band of the tour. Despite Fat Mike’s desire to talk more than rock, they sounded perfect when they were playing and had a pretty interesting set list. My advice to them is to save the jokes and chatter for their headlining tours and just play their music during short sets on festivals.

Check Out Part 2 Next!

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