Category Archives: Festival

The 2010 Vans Warped Tour (well some of it…) – Cleveland, OH – 07/08/10

It’s no lie, the Vans Warped Tour is the longest running traveling festival of all time.  The punk rock summer camp has been going strong for 15 years now and once again has shown no signs of quitting any time soon.  I am sure it is safe to say that Kevin Lyman, the Warped Tour founder, has no intention what so ever of shutting down his vision that has brought bands and fans together yearly all over North America.

The festival for myself has been more or less a ritual over the past 15 years.  I have gone with my friends to Warped Tour almost every summer since I was a little 18 year old punk kid without a care in the world.  Some of my best memories come from spending hours in intense heat watching bands I love with others who share the same interest.  I have written about many of those memories last year so I am not going to repeat myself but I will say that “Eiffel Tower” and “FAFGAD” will always bring a smile to my face when one of my friends happens to bring them up.

Now I will admit that last year I announced my retirement to the Warped Tour.  At the time I was serious and felt it right to stop going while I was still having a good time.  I stood by my decision and was ok with it.  After going to the Warped Tour for 14 years I decided I saw all the bands I could ever want to see and just did not have it in my anymore to continue going.

Well I lied.  Sort of…

I just came out of retirement early and it was all because of a little Californian band called Face To Face.  The second I found out that they reunited and were playing the 2010 Warped Tour I had no choice but to go again.  Can you blame me?

So yes, I am a liar like Henry Rollins.  Oh well.  I might as well talk about my day at the 15th annual Vans Warped Tour in Cleveland.  I will warn you that there may be some shocking material in this post featuring yours truly.  So without further adieu…my review.

“I’m getting too old for this sh*t” – Me upon entering the gates of the Tower City Amphitheater.

It was ridiculously hot on Thursday as I got my ticket scanned for entry to the festival.  When I say hot I am talking 95 degrees with a heat index of at least 100.  The sun was a bastard and just scorched all who got in it’s way.  I knew to dress accordingly and to bathe in sunscreen so I had no worries about getting sun burnt but I was pretty damn miserable the moment I set foot into the grounds.  I laughed at myself knowing that I might have made a bad choice by coming out of retirement but decided what the hell and chose to make the best of it.

Before I even got started roaming around I wanted to say hello to my cousin who was at the tour as well but not as an attendee.  He was working EMT in one of the first aid tents near the entrance.  When I greeted him there was a young kid in the tent already with a war wound like none other.  Half crying the young music fan was holding a towel to his head and was just covered in blood.

My cousin smiled at me giving indication that he was in for a long day.  He called for an ambulance as the kid needed stitches due to a 2 inch gash in his forehead.  Apparently the kid was watching metalcore act  Confide and fell in the pit – headbutting the ground with his skull.  I felt band for the little guy mostly because I knew that not only was his day cut short but I was also pretty sure his parents would never allow him band to the Warped Tour again.

Every Time I Die was already opening the day by the time I arrived to the main stage.  I was bummed out to see such a killer act play the early slot but that is one thing Warped has always been known for, no set schedules.  In fact one of the reason I missed some of their set was because I had to partake in my little ritual of going to the inflatable schedule and writing down what bands I wanted to see.  Closing with “We’rewolf”, the band thanked Cleveland for coming early to see them and was positive that they had set the level for the day.  I could not agree more.

I took one, count ’em, one lap around the festival grounds.  Why?  It was too freaking hot.  I just wanted to see if there were any interesting merch booths and maybe take in a band I had not heard of before.  I had intentions of spending more time exploring but found myself stopping at the Kia / Kevin Says Stage to see Left Alone.

As they rifled through their set playing songs like “Sad Story” and “I Hate Emo” the kids in the crowd showed their support and early on energy by dancing around as well as forming a circle pit that spun around the soundboard.  Lead singer Elvis Cortez enjoyed the insanity but did call out one long haired kid who clearly was moshing like an a-hole.  Elvis Cortez was also the only original band member on the stage.  What was up with that?

I shook my head in disbelief as I walked past the AP stage and saw apparently a popular Mike Posner on stage swooning hundreds of little girls with his R&B soul music.  All I could think of was what in the hell this guy was doing at a punk fest?  I did not even give him a moment of my time and headed to the main stage where I would remain for the next few hours.

Before staking ground under the giant shade tent I detoured to the Skullcandy stage where a band called AM Taxi was playing to a very small crowd.  The band, who features members of Luck Boys Confusion, put on a good rock show and impressed me with their sound.  I will be checking them out more in the near future.

Alkaline Trio took to the main stage under the shade tent that seemingly served no purpose.  Even if the sun was blocked it was still 100 degrees under that giant tent with no airflow at all.  Even if I was a sweaty mess I still enjoyed AK3’s set including “Cringe”, “Armageddon”, “Dine, Dine My Darling”, “This Addiction”, and also “97”.  There was little movement on stage by the band during their set but overall they put on a good show.

New Jersey metal act The Dillinger Escape Plan were without a doubt the most energetic group I’ve witnessed at the Warped Tour for a while now.  Lead singer Greg Puciato was all over the stage causing fans to go insane and at one point hopped on top of some stacked amps and leaped without a care.  A few songs after, guitarist Jeff Tuttle, who joined singing duties repeated the feat and leap off another stack of amps.  It was an insane performance and one of the highlights of my day.

I had many the option to check out other acts while the bands on the main stage while their sets were being broken down and new ones were set up but I was finding myself overheating.  I consumed more water than I thought my body could handle so it was nothing to do with hydration.  I was just finding myself exhausted to the point where I just was not caring anymore.  It was a scary thought as I used to go to Warped Tours with intentions of just pounding beer after beer but in reality I am getting up there in age so I was not completely shocked.

The whole reason I came out of Warped Tour retirement, also known as Face To Face, finally took to the stage to a much smaller crowd than I had anticipated.  Trever Keith and company sounded absolutely amazing and played the radio friendly “Disconnected” as well as “Walk The Walk”, and one of my favorites “I’m Trying”.  The band announced they were finishing up a new album and even played a cut off of it.

In the middle of their set Trever Keith called out to the huge group of young kids just sitting down under the amphitheater seeking shade who were clearly ignoring his band.  He shouted at them “I just want you to know there was music before 2005. You should go ahead and Google it.”  The true punk rock fans applauded in approval while the kids – just sat there clueless.  It was depressing to see such an influential punk rock band have such a small crowd.  Not letting it affect them they played their hearts out to the older Warped Tour crowd.

A few more people seemed to enter the main stage area before the Bouncing Souls were to take the stage but still it was nothing in comparison to previous years performances from bands like NOFX and Bad Religion as well as the kiddie pop punk act Paramore and (cough, cough) 3OH!3.  It just seemed as if the people who paid the $40+ for a ticket were more interested in the younger acts playing the smaller stages.  Honestly when I thought about it, things were running as designed (bands playing for fans) but I just was hoping for a little more respect for the bands that made the Warped Tour what it is today…  The main stage just did not seem to be the focal point of the day.

The East Coast punkers took to the stage with Dillinger Escape Plan’s Jeff Tuttle who ran all over the stage getting the crowd riled up.  Greg Attonito took things a step further and jumped down from the stage and started singing songs to the fans at a more personable level from the barricade.  Countless kids crowd surfed their way towards Greg Attonito and each time one came close to him he would hold his hand out and pull them closer.

A few songs into their set they  brought out UK act The Exposed to the stage with them to play along.  Seeing members of other bands hit the stage with them through their just screamed how punk rock they really are. The band sounded great and clearly was happy to be playing to all their fans on summer day.  Hearing “The Something Special”, “Lean On Shena”, as well as a handful of other Souls’ songs put a giant smile on my face and at that moment I forgot about the sweltering heat and sang along enjoying every moment.  Ending their set with “True Believer” I could not be happier with what I just saw.  Long live the Souls.

It was about 5 o’clock and there were could other bands I wanted to check out before Andrew WK was to hit the main stage.  I sat there and contemplated which stage I should check out and if a lap around the grounds was in order.  Sum 41 was to play as well as All American Rejects and Polar Bear Club in that 2 hour span so I had plenty of options but chose to do something completely different.

I threw in the towel.

That’s right folks, I gave up.  As happy I was at the end of the Souls’ set my body was pleading with me to get the hell out of dodge and find some air conditioning.  I sat there for at least 10 minutes trying to convince myself that leaving was a good idea.  I knew I was going to miss some of these bands and most of all would be missing puke rocker Andrew WK, someone I have admired for years.

I finally grabbed my gear and headed for the exit.  As much as I wanted to see Andrew WK, I knew those 2 hours until showtime were going to kill me.  It just made sense to head out and hope the puke rocker comes back to Cleveland another day.  My few friends who were there were not even bothered by the fact of me bailing, some of them followed my lead.

I do not think I will be returning to the Warped Tour ever again.  This is my letter of resignation.  It is not because I have issues with the way the festival is running, it’s more or less issues with myself.  Feeling like I’ve been caught on fire for an entire day is just not my idea of fun.  The kids, on the other hand, love it and I hope they continue to do so for another 15 years.

If by some chance next year has an amazing line up that can not be missed then maybe, just maybe, I will succumb.  Until then I am done.  I just do not have it in me anymore to do a day long festival on asphalt.  I’m still all for festivals and hope to hit Bonnaroo again but as far as the Warped Tour goes, I am out.  Fifteen years is good enough for me.

This years line-up was a little weak for me personally because I just had not heard of any of the bands on the roster or had no interest.  Again, that is just my opinion because I saw a whole lot of other music fans in their glory.  I looked at them and remember the times when I was younger and was just overwhelmed.  As for myself I only cared about eight bands total and had no intentions of exploring for more music.

So yeah, this is a half assed review since I bailed and decided to get pizza and go record shopping.  Well, that is kind of punk rock if you think about it too right?

So am I getting too old for this sh*t?  Not really.  Mentally I am with everyone else, physically on the other hand is a different story and I know when my limits have been met.  Face it, the Warped Tour is for the kids.  I was there once…

The 2010 Interpunk American Skate Fest @ Skatopia – June 25th & 26th

This goes out to all you skateboarders and punk rockers out there…

There is a pretty interesting festival that is going to take place in Rutland, OH this June.  The 2010 Interpunk American Skate Fest will be taking over the skateboarding mecca that is Skatopia on June 25th & 26th.  Tickets are $55 for two days (camping not included) worth of punk rock, skateboarding demos, and endless enter-at-your-own-risk fun.

Interpunk stated the following on their website:

Music! Mayhem! Skateboarding! Anarchy! Interpunk American Skate Fest!!!

This summer marks the beginning of the Interpunk American Skate Fest at Skatopia! This is the first in what promises to be a long line of amazing bands, skateboarding demos, and entire weekends of chaotic fun.

Despite being the first link in the chain, an amazing lineup of bands are ready to blow you away and drench you in blood. Brace yourself before checking out the list of bands below or you risk snapping your wrist in half from clicking the buy tickets link.

The festival grabbed my attention not only at it’s location but also the line up that includes:
GWAR, Fishbone, Meat Puppets, 7 Seconds, Youth Brigade, DOA, Agent Orange, DI, CJ Ramone, Murphys Law, Nassau Chainsaw, Teenage Bottlerocket, El Destructo, Frontside Five, Machine 22, Downtown Brown, Mustard Plug, Greg Ginn & The Taylor Texas Corrugators, Sleeper Agent, Fast Piece Of Furniture, Agression, Dirty Filthy Mugs, Trusty, Pinstripes, McRad, Minus One, Shot Baker, Kirkwood Dellinger, Dirty South Revolutionaries, Rezzin & More…

That is a sick line up if you ask me…  I am not sure if I am going to hit this festival up yet but at only $55 for a weekend of amazing bands including some classic artists it is worth it.  What?  You can’t make both days, well just fork over $30 and you will have yourself one full day of punk rock goodness.

All of the bands will perform on the recently built Amity Whitelight Amphitheatre located in the skate park.  Don’t be too quick to judge the picture of the stage below, it is petty large in size (that’s what she said…) and I am sure it will be a little built up once all the equipment and bands take over.

Honestly looking at the above picture though remind me of something you would see at a campground  It is not fancy and does not look like the kind of amphitheatre I would imagine to host such an event but I am sure that Skatopia and Interpunk are going to pull this off.

It’s about time something awesome in Ohio happened.  If I do decide to hit up this festival I will be sure to share.  I think I will be leaving my board at home though as I am not the skateboarder I used to be and I like my bones not broken.

Click HERE for information on purchasing tickets to the 2010 Interpunk American Skate Fest.
Click HERE for Skatopia information and directions.

Where Does Rock Live? Columbus Apparently…

Ok so that is not entirely true.  Rock lives everywhere.  Rock is where the heart is?  Ok, I will stop.

Now you can buy rock in Columbus, not that I know that personally or anything, but you can also rock out hardcore for a weekend thanks to Rock On The Range returning to the Columbus Crew Stadium on May 22nd and 23rd.  This will be the festival’s fourth run in the center city of Ohio and the lineup caught my attention more so this year than any other year before.

When I see that Coheed & Cambria, The Deftones, Helmet, Rise Against, Mastodon, and Killswitch Engage are all playing over one weekend I immediately want to go.

Other bands appearing at the festival are Godsmack, Rob Zombie, Three Days Grace, Limp Bizkit, Seether, Slash, Papa Roach, Five Finger Death Punch, Bullet For My Valentine, Theory of a Deadman, Puddle of Mudd, Sevendust, Drowning Pool, Skillet, Apocalyptica, Halestorm, Airbourne, Mushroomhead, Adelitas Way, Escape the Fate, Cold, Anberlin, Nonpoint, 2Cents, Violent Soho, Janus, Shaman’s Harvest, Year Long Disaster, Taddy Porter, Like A Storm, and Noise Auction

I can tolerate some of the acts but others I just can not stand and I fear if I go I am going to be punished…

Couple other personal comments in regards to the line up:

  • Who the hell are half of these bands?
  • Cold is still together?  So is Puddle Of Mudd?
  • Five Finger Death punch is still the stupidest band name I have ever heard next to The Prisoners.
  • Matt from Addicted To Vinyl (also a ROTR veteran) pointed out there is a possibility that Mushroomhead may play a bigger stage than Helmet.  If that is true I will be a sad panda.
  • Why no Jimmie’s Chicken Shack?  While I am at it, why no Monster Voodoo Machine and are they still a band?
  • Is it worth the $120 for the field general admission tickets???
  • Furthermore is anyone else planning on going?

I’ll be thinking about this heavily over the next few weeks.  I would hate to miss the opportunity of seeing a couple of my favorite bands but I do not know if I have it in me to sit though the whole weekend.  We shall see.

If you are interested in the festival head over to Rock On The Range’s website for ticket information as well as other info in regards to the weekend rock-out.

Listing It Up: Best / Worst Of 2009 According To BHP

Nothing like waiting until the last minute…  With less than 10 hours to go I give you my Best / Worst list of 2009.  Mind you none of these are in order/ranked, they are just the best / worst I have been pondering over all year long… Enjoy.

Best Albums:

  • The Avett Brothers – I & Love & You
  • Mastodon – Crack The Skye
  • Frank Turner – Poetry Of The Deed
  • Phoenix – Wolfgang Amadeus
  • Converge – Axe To Fall
  • Those Darlins – Those Darlins
  • Gallows – Grey Britain
  • Dan Auerbach – Keep It Hid
  • P.O.S. – Never Better
  • BlakRoc – BlakRoc
  • The Sidekicks – Weight Of Air

Best Unreleased Album:

  • Dangermouse & Sparklehorse – Dark Night Of The Song

Worst Albums:

  • Brokencyde – I’m Not A Fan But The Kids Like It
  • Alice In Chains – Black Gives Way To Blue
  • Third Eye Blind – Ursa Major
  • Sugar Ray – Music For Cougars

On The Fence About Albums:

  • Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures
  • Drummer – Feel Good Together

Guilty Pleasure Albums:

  • Owl City –Ocean Eyes
  • Brokencyde – I’m Not A Fan But The Kids Like It

Best Box Set Released:

  • Coheed & Cambia – Neverender

Best Anthology Released:

  • Fat Wreck Chords – Wrecktrospective

Best Festival I Attended:

  • Bonnaroo – Bruce Springsteen, Merle Haggard, Public Enemy, NIN, Andrew Bird, Wilco, Beastie Boys, Al Green, Elvis Costello, Jenny Lewis, Phoenix and many more.

Best Shows I Attended:

  • The Avett Brothers @ Akron Civic Center – Akron, OH
  • Dan Auerbach / Those Darlins @ Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland, OH
  • Converge / High On Fire @ The Grog Shop – Cleveland Hts., OH

Loudest Show I Attended (EVER):

  • Mastodon @ Beachland Ballroom – Cleveland, OH

Most Unsuspecting Show I Attended (with good reason):

  • Britney Spears / Pussycat Dolls @ The Value City Area – Columbus, OH

Worst Show I Attended:

  • Gin Blossoms @ Cain Park – Cleveland Hts., OH

Best Local Acts I Saw Live:

  • Nicholas Megalis
  • Unsparing Sea

Best Movies:

  • Zombieland
  • The Hangover
  • District 9
  • Inglorious Basterds
  • Up
  • Star Trek

Worst Movies:

  • G.I. Joe
  • Transformers 2

Movie That You Should Not Watch When Your Heart Aches:

  • 500 Days Of Summer

Best TV Show:

  • Community

The Awesome:

  • Bouncing Souls celebrating 20 years as a punk band and releasing a song a month all year.
  • Greg Ginn (of Black Flag) agreeing to play a couple of songs for free at Blue Arrow Records courtesy of myself and Addicted To Vinyl.
  • Going to Bonnaroo with two of my favorite people and then coming home and immediate going to see Rancid / Rise Against from backstage.
  • Seeing Those Darlins 4 times live.
  • Matt’s wonderful girlfriend scoring me an autographed personalized CD from Frank Turner as well as a hi-five.
  • Meeting the fine folk at Thirty Tiger Records followed by shopping at Grimey’s while pit-stopping in Nashville.
  • Getting my Melt Bar & Grilled tattoo (I’m #47).
  • Having friends from all around come up to visit and see the magic that is called Cleveland.

The Suck:

  • November 5th, 2009
  • My laptop crashing
  • My external hard drive crashing
  • Changing for the better.

RIP (there were plenty more but these are ones that stuck with me):

  • Michael Jackson
  • James “The Rev” Sullivan
  • DJ-AM
  • Taylor Mitchell
  • Vic Chesnutt
  • Les Paul
  • Jay Bennett
  • Brittany Murphy
  • Captain Lou Albano
  • Patrick Swayze
  • Jim Carroll
  • John Hughes
  • Walter Cronkite
  • Billy Mays
  • David Carridine
  • Dom DeLuise
  • Bea Arthur
  • Jeremy Lusk
  • Heath Ledger

So with just a few hours left I would like to say goodbye to 2009.  It was a fun and incredibly rough year for me.  I see big things happening in 2010 for me.

Resolutions?  A couple I suppose…

  • Portion Control – I can eat and now I need to watch how much of it I do
  • Personal Conquest – I have ideas and will follow through
  • Sugar – I am limiting my intake
  • Live – I plan on attending more shows this year than previous years
  • Blog On – I will continue making BHP bigger and better so that people actually will COMMENT on here…

Do you have a best of you wish to share or do you think I overlooked someone?  Let me know.  Email me at broken@brokenheadphones.com or comment below.  I want to hear from you!

Bonnaroo 2010 Dates Announced / Holiday Ticket Pre-Sale

It’s that time of the year again everyone.  The time to give gifts…of Bonnaroo tickets!!!

Matt over at Addicted To Vinyl promised me that there would be a golden Bonnaroo ticket in my stocking this Jesus Day 2009 but I am not too sure if I believe him.  He also ensured me that he would never ever ever ever ever go with me and Rad-Am again to a crazy festival like that again.  2 days was just too much (yes folks, it is a 4 day festival – Matt I still love you…haha)

Luckily for me if I decide to go for my third venture I can pre-order a ticket for myself at the Bonnaroo website starting on November 27th 12pm EST.  General admission tickets will be available again on a payment plan for 5 easy payments of $50.00 plus applicable fees or a pair of VIP tickets for 5 payments of $285.00 plus applicable fees through the holiday pre-sale that lasts until December 31st.  Visit the Bonnaroo Payment Plan page for more information on the payment plan.

The 9th Annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival has been confirmed for the weekend of June 10- 13, 2010. The four-day music and camping festival will once again be held at the Great Stage Park otherwise known as the huge 700-acre farm in Manchester, TN that the huge festival takes place on.

The artist line-up has yet to be determined but I am pretty confident that it will be amazing as always.  Again, I am not sure if I am going yet but I said that last year and once I saw the line-up I had my mind set on going.  I had the time of my life and saw some amazing performaces.  No regrets at all.

Here’s a great video created by Shadow Machine (Robot Chicken, Moral Orel) in honor of the Bonnaroo pre-sale featuring folk artist Gary Chardonnay for your visual entertainment.

I completely forgot that I pre-ordered the Bonnaroo 2009 Live DVD and should be getting it soon.  I was able to pre-order it when I bought my 2009 Bonnaroo tickets.  For $15 you can own a copy too.