It should have all been a disaster.
A 32 year old who has never been to Warped Tour, who was only able to find 14 bands I cared about seeing at all (out of a list that seemed to grow every time I looked) who hates big crowds, who has only experienced a multi-stage show once (with a whopping 2 stages), who generally hates any amount of standing for long periods of time, who burns easily in the sun, who instantly turns into a grumpy old man who hates everything at the mere presence of 5 consecutive teenagers in a row...
"Man, this is going to suck" I thought to myself as we drove in and parked in the seemingly miles long parking lot. "How did I get myself into this?"
Over the last year, I've slowly started to follow a path I should have been on for years. My show buddy Lambert has connections that get him into shows for free for either photos or reviews of the show. He had me cover an Into it. Over it. show way back in October (for Performer magazine), and although my review apparently got lost in spam folders, it was still kind of fun to do. From there, I said I'd go to a few more for Performer, but because of 2 snowstorms, I had to bail on 2 of them. I helped Lambert edit/re-write some of his reviews, but other than a review of a Balance And Composure show (page 34 if you really want to read it), my ratio of shows I reviewed vs. shows I said I would review was a tad off.
So when Lambert asked me if I wanted to go to Warped Tour with him (he was getting a photo pass for theywillrockyou.com), I told him I had no interest in going. But then I thought about this blog and my life after work- my once-dead-and-now-revived desire to get content- to experience things solely for the purpose of experiencing them and seeing if my assumptions were right or not. And I thought that I owed him one for not going to some others. And I said "I'll tell you what, if you can get me in for free too, I'll go with you." I ended it there and hoped that would be the end of it. I wanted to be forced to go and experience it, but mostly, I just didn't want to go.
After the hike-drive-phish-phish-drive-weezer week, I was not only exhausted and looking for a few boring days, but also pretty much showed-out. I didn't want to see any concerts- at least until Caspian played the streets of Beverly on Saturday.
So of course when I got out of Weezer, I had a text from Lambert saying "this will make your day- I got you into Warped. We're going." Ughk.
I did my best to pretend I was excited to go, but a forecast that called for rain all morning and thunderstorms varying between 50 and 70% for the rest of the day, it was hard. I began to lose my mind searching the internet to see what bands were actually playing the Boston (Mansfield) date. I didn't understand how a tour that featured so many bands that played some dates and not others didn't have a list of bands for each date. Lambert sent me what he thought was the list, but I balked at him: "that's like 70 bands dude, there's no way there's that many playing." I was wrong.
Watching the rain crash down on my car on the way to his house made me feel sick. What the hell was I getting myself into? Driving through dark clouds on the way there, flying past the hundreds of cars full of what looked like 14 year olds driving that were in the right lane (the exit has 2 lanes, warped tour virgins), I prepared for the worst. 80s with humidity in the instant-pit-stains regions, and all these annoying kids. This would be my life for the next 8 hours. And I didn't want that.
Getting out of the car, I packed up my backpack: crocs I prayed they'd let me have in case my feet started to hate my shoes, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (the website said I could bring in "one small homemade snack"), a granola bar and Clif Shotblocks I hoped they wouldn't see, my point-and-shoot camera, and a 1 liter sealed bottle of water. Since I was quite broke, I planned on making this water and sandwich last all day.
As soon as we began walking, the sounds of excited teenagers yelling for no reason popped up sporadically throughout the parking lot. And the first picture I took, I already saw some jerk wearing a shirt with huge swears printed on the back. What a rebel.
We went to the press pass/guest list line and stood there for a surprisingly long amount of time. See the dude on the right with the square shaped, short brimmed greenish hat (what the hell are those called?)? That's none other than NH hardcore legend and Coat of Arms bartender Rob, who was on Defeater's guest list. Already I knew someone there. We proceeded to shoot a lot of shit, then he headed in. He cared about seeing 2 bands that day. I felt some comfort in knowing that the only other person I knew there wanted to be there less than me.
We hit the line, and I took off my bag to be inspected. I don't know what they were searching for, since once I showed them my crocs and water bottle, they were pretty much done with me. I could have brought in SO many drugs. I think they were solely making sure I didn't bring in an unsealed bottle of water. Weird.
Immediately upon entering, there was a stage facing me, with a band who I was shocked to find I really liked. "One band into this and I'm already enjoying myself?" I thought. Hmmm...
They turned out to be Gates, who I've heard once before, and are, in fact, now that i've listened more, excellent
I stopped watching though, since we needed a schedule. See, for some reason, Warped Tour doesn't have the same order every day. In fact, they don't announce the schedule of bands and stages until 11am the day of the show. Now, I assumed that all the huge bands would end the show and the morning stuff would be stuff I didn't care about. Incorrect.
After buying a piece of paper from a dude for 2 bucks (I saved money on the marker since Lambert had an extra pen (or I just stole his all day, I forget)), I immediately saw that 2 of the bands I wanted to see most; The Chariot and Oh, Sleeper had already played, at the same time on 2 stages nowhere near each other, at 11:15am. Great start to the day.
Oh, and I also saw that it wasn't what I thought was an absolutely ridiculous 7 stages with 70 bands- no, it was 10 stages and 118 bands. THAT IS TOO MANY BANDS.
After circling who I wanted to see, and taking note of who Lambert wanted to see, we were in somewhat good shape in that we wanted to see a lot of the same bands. But still. I immediately hated Warped Tour. From the hours of 12:55 to 5:25 or so, every band I wanted to see overlapped each other.
I could watch Motion City Soundtrack, but only for 20 minutes if I wanted to see Letlive, who I would be able to see nearly all of if I missed all of Reel Big Fish, before walking way back to see August Burns Red, who I'd have to leave halfway through if I wanted to see Upon a Burning Body, who I'd have to leave a few songs early if I wanted to catch The Used, who I'd be able to see most of, but would then have to find another stage where Story of the Year was playing at the same time as We Came As Romans, who I'd only be able to see some of if I wanted to catch any of The American Scene, who I'd have to only see some of if I wanted to catch The Wonder Years.
So it looked like I'd have a complete mess of 4 and a half hours, then from 5:30 to 7:10 (when Bring Me The Horizon played) I couldn't care less about any bands. And of course, one of the bands I wanted to see most (The Story So Far) was playing last at 8:15, ensuring that my tired fat old body would not only not be leaving early, but would also be leaving at the same time as thousands of other people.
But I said fuck it and embraced the chaos. I decided my best option (other than walking around and trying to figure out where stages were in the maze of stages) was to catch some of Silverstein, and immediately saw an old friend from Apple, Jimmy Reynolds like 20 feet away from me. He loves generic metalcore and pop metal, so I don't know why I wasn't expecting to see him, but there he was. He was with friends who had also played at 11:15 and I still haven't checked out.
I got to see Silverstein end with an American Nightmare cover they were only playing because we were in Boston (or 45 minutes from it (same thing)), with Jason from Letlive adding vocals. I was happy I caught it, but at the same time, that meant missing the beginning of Motion City Soundtrack's set.
I went over there, caught 4 songs or so, then immediately went back to where I had come from to catch Letlive's set, which was one set left I didn't want to miss any of.
This was where the day became very fun. Since Lambert was there to take photos with his DSLR camera, he had a photo pass to stand in "the pit," a designated area right in front of the stage where you can take pics a few feet from band members. And I apparently had a photo pass too.
I try to maintain some sort of grizzled old man attitude- the hardcore scene lifer who complains about everything and doesn't give a shit about meeting bands or taking pictures of them up close. I make fun of Lambert all the time for being excited about that kind of stuff. I pull the age card and say that when you're past your mid twenties, these kinds of things aren't important. "They're just regular people, dude. They just happen to be in bands. Big deal."
But that mindset quickly changed. Seeing Jason, the singer of Letlive flat out freak the fuck out on stage mere feet from me, it was kind of exciting. Turning around to see all of the people crammed against the gate, having people crowd surf over them, trying their best to be close to the band, and realizing I was not only way closer than they'll ever be, but even had security making sure nobody hit me... that's a pretty cool feeling. And watching bands I've listened to for years from that close... yea, it was pretty damn cool.
photo pit: the space in between that cushioned stage extender thing and dudes in yellow shirts
I unfortunately didn't get any good pics of Letlive with my point-and-shoot, but at least got one I kind of liked from the side.
We then left early, knowing that it wouldn't be easy to get in the photo pit for Chiodos, sure to be one of the more popular bands of the day. But it was pretty smooth, and there I was, leaning on the stage, feet away from Craig Owens, who probably every girl and a lot of guys there wanted to get nice and cozy with.
I got an awesome one of him in the crowd with my iphone, but most of my time up there was spent trying to get out of the way of the 10 other photographers, trying to get my crappy camera to do anything I wanted, and figuring out what songs they were playing based on the PPPPBBBB PPPBBB PPBB PBBB PBBB bass farts I was hearing through the tarp-covered crate I was leaning on. I'll tell you this, the sound up there is not the best.
I did get one solid one of him screaming though.
They were frustrating though, because they were super high energy and I was immediately bummed out I didn't have a real camera to catch some of it. Stuff like this happened a lot, even though I love this one. Look at the guitarist's mouth!
You only get to shoot for 3 songs though. I'm not sure why, but it's probably a combination of the band/front row people not wanting to deal with a bunch of cameras and the security guys trying to limit the amount of people they have to deal with when they're pulling crowd surfers out. I was ok with that though, since although a band usually saved their best songs and maybe best stage moves for the end, after a few songs from that angle, I began to feel like I couldn't possibly get any more shots unless they looked exactly like every other one.
We walked over to August Burns Red and hung out in the pit for a bit. They were predictably pretty awesome, but for whatever reason, they sounded way better too, sound-wise. Chiodos sounded like a mess.
At this point, Lambert had interviews scheduled with a frontrunner for worst band name of the festival, Rdgldgrn and the classic Big D & The Kids Table, so he gave me a brief lesson in how to use his camera, abandoned nearly everything he taught me in favor of having it be as automatic as possible, then actually let me use it for a few bands.
Lambert, thankfully being covered in red, therefore easy to find.
I went over to see Upon a Burning Body, the band responsible for this ridiculously awesome song featuring a CHUG chant (at 2:00) and saw that there was only 1 other person in the photo pit for them. For my first attempt at using a DSLR to shoot bands, I had a good time and got a few decent shots. This was my favorite.
They were pretty awesome but had a pretty small crowd for what I was used to so far. As had become the norm, I had to leave early if I wanted to catch The Used. And I only got into the photo pit because the woman guarding the entrance let me in (apparently I went in the wrong way) and I am surprisingly good at making my way through crowds.
The last time I saw The Used, Bert (the singer) was fairly normal and had long black hair. He apparently now had a pink mohawk and was throwing around what seemed to be chalk. I was just psyched to be so close to him to get this shot:
I felt like bands hated us- we were press (not fans) who just swarmed the singer and ignored the rest of the band for 3 songs and then were gone. I felt like he and Craig Owens came right out and sucked it up to let us take pictures of them, but I still felt like something I didn't want to be- someone who was there just taking pictures and not caring about the music. So I tried my best to not be that person. I was singing along, throwing my arms in the air, and really having a blast being that close. At one point Bert looked at me as I was singing along and looking at him, and he kind of smiled. Right after that, he crouched super close to me so I could get these shots. I may be reading more into it than I should be, but it really felt like he was like "oh wait, one of these annoying photographers is actually a Used fan? Well alright, I'm gonna give him some good shots." Even though this world was new to me, I had to remind myself that I was there to be having fun too, and decided that I would be the guy in the pit who was having the most fun. And when Lambert took the camera back, I even let people with expensive cameras in front of me to get THE SHOT while I just had a good time. Out of nowhere, I felt super lucky to be up there. I had space and the band was RIGHT THERE. It was awesome. I was having fun.
I had to leave early though, since I wanted to catch Story of the Year, a band who really hasn't done anything I cared about since their second album, but a band who I knew I had to take pictures of (they do a lot of stage moves). I wandered out of the main area I had been in and attempted to find the Tilly's stage. Literally other than the first band I saw, and the Acoustic Basement Stage and Kevin Says stages I saw in passing, every band I had seen were next to each other- the Kia Soul stage and Kia Forte stages were right next to each other, with the Monster stage (where most of the metal was) just a short walk along the same line.
I went as far in one direction as I could and saw the ampitheater- the gigantic stage where most people who have been here have seen shows. I went in and saw bands, but wasn't convinced that was where it was. I asked the woman guarding the press area entrance and she said she wasn't even sure, but thought that maybe there were actually multiple stages in there.
And after walking back, she was right. Such a weird thing to see 2 stages set up on 1 stage. And I even got to catch the end of The Early November's set while I waited.
(obviously the bands played at different times)
In there, I saw 2 dudes who had really committed to the day and decided to take a picture of them. I don't know how any human being, no matter how skinny could spend 8 hours outside like this, but more power to them.
I saw a Batman later, but his costume wasn't as good as Spiderman and Kick-Ass's were. Sure wish I had seen a Hit Girl.
I fought my way up to Story of the Year, and as predicted, they did a lot of stage moves. Man I wish I had a DSLR. Look at that spin kick!
Lambert showed up right before they started playing and took his camera back (bastard), but he let me use it for 1 song. I missed one of the guitarists do a backflip, but managed to get a mid jump shot, which Lambert told me later he hated me for (since he's never been able to time those right). Apparently I'm a natural.
clearly I have to work on my framing though
They were fun, but once I was out of the photo pit, I was in "gotta keep moving" mode and decided to check out what I thought was going to be The American Scene, but just turned out to be the singer in the acoustic tent. Going from a crazy world of a million people and always at least 6 stages going at once to literally a tent with a dude playing acoustic guitar was quite odd. I immediately felt like it wasn't worth it and had the instant need to move on.
I fought my way through the crowd to get to the photo pit for The Wonder Years, and they ruled. They were pretty crazy, as was the photo pit. Apparently at one point, the singer jumped into the photo pit area to help a girl out of the crowd who security wasn't helping. He glared at them with a "why am I doing your job?" look and moved on. Lambert saw this, and shortly after had a breakdown and hated being at Warped Tour. He apparently couldn't stand one girl in the pit who I thought was pretty cute who was using her phone to take pictures. I have no idea why that bothered him so much, but it did. He thought the crowd was too aggressive or something, I don't know. He just was fed up. I was too busy rocking out and singing along to give a shit about anything, and after he left to go wander around being mad, I just kept on rocking out.
Soupy from The Wonder Years owning it
I caught up with Lambert in the press area a little later. On the way, I ran into the guitarist from Every Time I Die, who apparently lives in Medford now. Weird. The press area was an odd place- in one direction an interview with the drummer from August Burns Red was happening, in another, people were sitting on a rock wall eating, and through the middle of the area was a long winding line of people buying food from Warped Tour catering. I was curious about this world as I've heard a lot about it, but it was a long line and it was $15 to eat, so I didn't bother. In the distance, I could see someone getting their hair cut in a chair next to people doing yoga. The idea of Warped Tour being a living, breathing thing suddenly started to make sense.
bands and press together as one
I decided it was finally time to find a porta potty to pee (and although there were probably a hundred of them, I had a lot of trouble finding one), drink more of my water, and finally eat my sandwich, now that it was 5:30pm. On the way to the press room, I caught some of Years Since The Storm, who were extremely heavy and pretty awesome sounding. They even covered a small section of Korn's "Blind" at the end of their set. Once they were done, I walked across the place again and ate my sandwich while watching the first song of Black Veil Brides, a band Lambert was asked to photograph, and who were even worse than I thought they'd be, forcing me to leave after half a song.
It was very odd to suddenly be in "what band do I watch?" mode after running back and forth between so many in a short time. I decided locals Defeater would probably be the best option and watched the end of their set while trying to figure out if a dude to my left was the singer of a band I used to watch back in my hardcore days in the Maine scene. I met Lambert back at the stage we walked into and we watched a band I wanted to check out solely because I liked their name, Great American Ghost. They were a metal band from Mass who were solid but nothing new. We randomly ran into Joe, the singer from Transit, a band I love. Lambert has known him for years, so we talked for awhile while I watched people walk by and realize who he was, waiting to talk to him.
We were told by promotions people to check out Crossfaith, since this was (I think) their first show in the US (they're from Japan). Or maybe it was their first tour. I had heard them before and remembered them as a basic rock band that was just really fast, had occasional screaming and breakdowns, and weird electronic parts. I was wrong. They were basically super heavy metalcore with dubstep breakdowns, and honestly, as ridiculous as that may sound, they were quite awesome. I've been waiting for a band to do this since I first heard dubstep. Why not extremely short Japanese guys wearing makeup? The dude wearing a blood red leather jacket over no shirt was my favorite.
They killed it. I'm sure a lot of it had to do with their look and his pronunciation in between songs, but they got the crowd into it more than any band I'd seen, and were a blast to watch. They were also the only band I watched on the Ernie Ball stage, which was one of the smallest ones there was.
Austin 3:16 says Crossfaith's dubstep breakdowns are a mean SONOFABITCH
I left them early to try and catch Bring Me The Horizon. I got into them pretty heavily this spring and even though I'd be using my crappy camera (Lambert was watching other bands), I still wanted to see a band as popular as they were that close. But oops. They're apparently HUGE.
that's them, a mile away
I walked all the way around to the side and fought my way to the front, but when I gave the security person the look of "can I get in here?" she shook her head and immediately looked away. Now that I think of it, I don't think I showed her my press bracelet, so she probably thought I was just some piece of crap trying to get up there. Oops. So I tried to watch them from forever away, but after being so close to so many other bands, I decided it wasn't even worth it. I might as well just be listening to the albums at home. Plus, they played a lot of stuff I didn't want to hear.
Lambert texted me that he had just met the singer from Letlive and that he was super nice, and as I wandered back to the ampitheater area to catch The Story So Far and end my day, I ran into the singer from Letlive. And he was super nice.
I don't know if I've ever taken a lame picture with someone from a band before, but I almost just took a picture of him for the blog and decided it made more sense to pose with him. I loved their first album instantly and was incredibly impressed with his stage antics, his ability to still hit notes while running around on speed and screaming his lungs out, and his general friendliness and "damn, that's a good dude"ness he showed onstage. What a frontman.
I had time to kill before The Story So Far, so I wandered around a little bit and realized that this was the first time I really spent any time looking around. Earlier when I had downtime, it was all "find lambert, go to press area, pee, eat, go to next band, etc." But here, I suddenly had 40 minutes or so where I didn't care about any bands. I finally noticed just how many band merch areas were set up and how ridiculously randomly they seemed to be placed, how many random booths were selling lighters and bandannas with pot leaves on them, how many dead tired people were just sitting in random places, how much trash had accumulated everywhere, etc. Walking, I was literally either stepping on or kicking trash with every step.
The Monster stage way in the back
trash, the Kia stages, people starting to take stuff down, and NATTY DREAD JAH
The Kevin Says stage, more people, one of the Kia stages way in the distance
I decided I really wanted to try one of the fruit smoothies Lambert had gotten, so I spent the 7 bucks on it. It was old and not as thick as I had hoped, but it was generally pretty awesome, and I'm sure it helped me out more than I ever thought it would. I then went in and watched 1 song of Big D and decided I really wasn't a ska fan. I wanted to see Big Chocolate, who used to be the singer of a disgusting metal band called Disfiguring The Goddess. We used to watch his vocal videos in the break room at apple, and I knew he was doing electronic music now. I had thought he mixed in death metal vocals, but nope. He just sucked.
sweet stache though
The Spotify stage he played on was a weird one- they had rap and electronic artists all day, which was a very odd thing to see sectioned off in its own place at Warped Tour. Looking back, it was surprising to see how little of the classic Warped Tour punk sound there was in 2013. Not only that, but there was no legendary headliner like a Green Day or Blink-182. Instead, it was just a very odd collection of metal, pop punk, pop, EDM/dubstep, acoustic, and bands I've never heard of. It was pretty much:
Kia Soul Stage: Big bands, mostly metal and rock, to the left on the line of huge stages
Kia Forte Stage: Ditto, but arguably the biggest bands, middle of the line
Acoustic Basement Stage: In between the back line and the smaller ones closer to the entrance, literally a tiny tent with acoustic sets. Very out of place.
Kevin Says Stage: Literally watched maybe 20 seconds total at this stage. It was smack dab in the middle and mostly had bands I've never heard of (maybe that's where the punk was).
Ernie Stage: To the right of Kevin Says, facing a somewhat different direction. I had heard of 4 bands and watched 1.
Spotify Stage: By the end of the day, I was able to find it to watch Big Chocolate, but for most of the day, I would swear I didn't even see it. It was kind of in a line with Kevin Says and Ernie.
Mass Concerts stage: The only stage with no identification as to what stage it was, it was the one I saw first when I came in, and I ended up at more than I thought I would. It also had way bigger crowds than I was expecting, but I think that's because a bunch of the bands were local or semi local. I had heard of 3 bands that played here.
Tilly's Stage: The right side of the Ampitheater, featuring what I'd describe as medium size bands (in terms of popularity).
Domo Stage: The left side, featuring more medium size bands. It surprised me that medium sized bands had probably the most space to watch, most of which was seats.
And somehow, with all of those stages, a band playing in the distance was exactly that. The people who designed this place really did do an excellent job of facing stages in the right direction and just far enough away that you couldn't really hear other bands. I mean, you always hear them a little, but it's just distant noise. That impressed me a lot.
After leaving Big Chocolate and noticing the swarm of people coming from the back line of stages, I took a few final pictures of the parking lot mess and tipped my hat I wasn't wearing to a surprisingly fun day. But I had one more band to watch, and the place was filling up like crazy.
I'm still not sure how I got to the front to get in the photo pit, but I did. Other than one double take from a professional photographer who saw me using a point and shot camera in a press pit, nobody really seemed to notice or care that I didn't have a REAL camera. But now, a stage guy walked up and asked me if I even had a camera. "yea" "where?" "In my pocket, it's small." "Come on, let me see it." "It's just a small one, I don't have a real one." And I showed it to him, which he laughed at. "I'm writing for a website! I don't need a camera!" and he just kept laughing. He then told us that we may only get 1 song before we have to get the hell out of there. And he was right.
The crowd was crazier and the security people didn't want to deal with having to protect us, so we were kicked out after 1 song. I guess that's why we only got 3 songs per set.
The Story So Far have a top 3 contender for my favorite album of the year in What You Don't See, but were honestly pretty boring to watch. The singer kind of just stands there flexing. It was also pretty weird to suddenly see a band with 2 to 3 times the crowd of any I had seen that day, on a stage that, now that it was starting to get dark, looked like it was inside. Once he said "this is gonna be our last song" and it was an older one I didn't know, we decided it was time to go. Maybe we could get ahead of at least 40% of the people who were there that day. We booked it pretty quickly to the car, I changed my shirt, Lambert dug out the waters he had kept in a cooler all day (brilliant idea Lambert, BRILLIANT), and we took off. We were on the main road to get out insanely fast, and it probably only took 10-15 minutes to actually get on the highway. He said he'd seen Pearl Jam there and it took 2 and a half hours to get out of the parking lot. We talked about music the whole way home.
I ended up back at my house at 11:30, and that was it. It was a looong day, but I had survived my first Warped Tour.
I had shown my high pain threshold survival skills and had survived. I got up at 7:45 after about 4 hours of sleep, ate a dunkin donuts chicken sandwich and vitamin water, and stood outside and walked surprisingly long distances over and over again, watching bands almost non stop for nearly 8 hours, only eating a PB&J, 2 shot blocks (not packages, the actual squares), 1 liter of water and a fruit smoothie. I knew I was severely dehydrated, but other than feeling fairly drained and my left heel and shoulders starting to hurt, I was actually pretty fine. I certainly felt better than I did at those 2 phish shows.
It was overcast and ugly all day, but it never rained. And I remarkably went all day with no sunscreen and had only a little pink under my eyes and on my nose to show for it. I never needed to change my shoes, never really felt like I needed to sit or lie down, and had only spent 7 bucks. Maybe I'm cut out for all day festivals after all...
The trick is to just accept it. Warped Tour is a lifeforce that's been around for 19 years: it shouldn't have to change for me. I remember past tales of bands fighting, bands being kicked off the tour for bad attitudes, etc. It's bound to happen with so many bands playing such different styles of music to such different types of people. I caught some of a speech from (I think) rapper Mac Lethal while I was walking past the Spotify stage, where he was making fun of a bunch of bands, saying half of them are wimps who were crying into microphones and half were guys trying to sound like monsters. But I left half way through his set and almost booed him. Because I started this day out negative- even though I like a lot of the bands he was talking about, there were a lot I'd call boring or generic. There are a lot I think flat out suck and shouldn't have careers in music. If I didn't like metal as much as I do, I probably would have hated just how much of it there seemed to be this year. I hated the fact that there were 118 bands playing. I hated that there were 10 stages, all of which were impossible to find (how about a map? Would that be so hard?). But I was wrong to feel that way, and Mac Lethal shouldn't have been on the tour if he hates all the bands so much. If you don't like it, don't go. If a band sucks, go watch another one. It's Warped Tour, a force that gets stronger every year. Either don't go, or just go with it.
I watched a song or two of 24 different bands that day, saw at least another 20 in passing, and only watched 1 full set by any band (The Wonder Years). I missed at least 6 that I was at least somewhat interested in. I wanted to check out more booths, I wanted to eat some food, I wanted to try to meet some people in bands, and I wanted to spend time at every stage. I wanted to walk around more and really see everything there, not only since this was my first time at something I've been hearing or reading about since its formation, but since I was responsible for writing a report about the day. But Warped Tour happened, and that means my plans were constantly changing all day.
You're not going to see every band you want to see. Some of your favorite bands you are most excited to see are going to play at the same time. They'll probably play across the world from each other. Your favorite quiet part of a song will be ruined by the sound of a band playing in the distance. You're going to have to fight through a million teenagers wearing YOLO shirts. Unless you spend a lot of money, you're going to leave hungry and dehydrated. You're going to get stuck in traffic going in and leaving. You're going to stand in line. You're going to have a bad view for the bands you want to see. And you're going to love it.
Warped Tour truly is the perfect show for the ADD generation. It's a day long clusterfuck of sweaty people and loud noise, with 118 bands fighting for your attention, organized by people who want you to be there all day, running around trying to fit too much into too little time. And if you accept it- if you play by its rules and just go along with it, it can truly be a blast. I can't imagine how great this was for people in the right age range where maybe this truly is the best day of their summer, but I bet it rules. As a 32 year old fat guy who hates long and outdoor shows, who hates standing up for long periods of time, who has concerts ruined for him by bad sound, who hates all of humanity more with every "Keep Calm and..." shirt he sees, I had an awesome time and want to go back next year. I can't imagine how great it must be for people who belong there. But maybe anyone belongs there, as long as they love music and are willing to go along for the ride. Maybe that's the whole idea. Or maybe this was all a fluke and the stars aligned just perfectly enough that I am able to look back on this day as a highlight of my summer. I guess I'll find out next year.
Oh yea- this was shortened a lot but has completely different pictures. It's here on the internet. I think that's pretty cool. And yes, I already know I need to write reviews that are about 85% shorter.