Tag Archives: Festival

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.

Cypress Hill & The 2 Day Smoke Out (Festival)

I am beyond jealous of this line up…

I have not seen quite a line up like this in a long time.

Where do I start talking about this amazing festival? 

Sublime?  Seriously?  I am so curious to see how this is going to pan out.  Who is this 20 year old Rome who picked up the singing duties?  Will it be just a glorified Long Beach Dub Allstars?

Why am I asking so many questions???  I am excited that is why.

Pennywise will be playing one of the days with their new singer who was just assigned as Jim Lindberg announced his departure of the band last month after being with the band for 19 years.  Zoli Teglas from handcore punk band Ignite is taking over the duties temporarily.  I am so curious to see how this goes.

Pennywise’s Fletcher Dragge had this to say about the replacement:

“As everybody knows, Jim has left the band and we’re looking for a new singer. For the time being our friend Zoli has agreed to fill in for Jim for a couple shows to avoid having to cancel them while we look for a permanent replacement.”

Acts like Cypress Hill, Deftones, Method Man & Red Man, Bad Brains, Afrika Bambaataa (wow, seriously…wow), Mix Master Mike, Goodie Mob (reunion performance), Hieroglyphics, and the Geto Boys (reunion performance) all in a span of two days all hosted by Cheech & Chong really makes me wish this was a touring festival. 

Sadly though, it is in California and there is no way I am going to be at that show this year.  I hope to read good things about it and I thank my pals over at Earshot Media for giving me the heads up.

The 15th Annual Van’s Warped Tour – Tower City Amphitheater – Cleveland, OH – 07/09/2009 – Concert Review

The Van’s Warped Tour, currently in their 15th year of touring, made their annual stop in Cleveland, OH last Thursday at the Tower City Amphitheater (and parking lot).

The one time punk rock summer camp really should be redefined as a punk, metal, emo, hip-hop, freak rock, scream, indie, and whatnot summer camp festival thanks to the huge array of bands that dedicated their summer to touring the states as well as other countries to play out and travel.

Before even going to this year’s Warped Tour I announced it would be my last; not because I was not enjoying them but I feel I have been to enough. I don’t feel old at all as a lot of the bands I have seen over the years trump me in age, but the whole ambiance of the festival slowly has been wearing off for me. This is a festival for the kids and the young at heart and where I feel like I am 19 all over again when I make way into the festival I want to withdraw while it’s still a good feeling.

Teamed up with a small group of friends this year we made way to downtown Cleveland on a sky blue beautiful day. Saving myself $20 once again by avoiding the pay lots, I parked about a mile away from the venue and hoofed it to the venue alongside my three friends. I find it outrageous that people are charging that much for parking seeing on how that is half the price of the ticket. I have no problem walking a little further and to be honest, I love making that trek from Nautica to Tower City.

Anti-Flag was already on the main stage officially opening the day as we cut in front of the huge line of kids that spanned all the way up to the parking deck at Tower City. Honestly it was amusing to see the structured line of fans dwell up top from the street, down through the parking lot, and to the entry way. No one told them to stand in such a line but they did it anyways. Being a jerk, I walked around them alongside my friends and made my way in.

One of the things that is unique about the Warped Tour is that each stop has different time slots dedicated for the bands that play. To the attendees it is completely random and one can not plan out who they want to see until they get a copy of the schedule or find the inflatable schedule over by the main stage.

The downfall of this is that sometimes you miss some of the bands you would like to check out because bands you love are playing. Case and point, Anti-Flag was playing at 11:15am, well before the festival got going. I was able to see a brief moment of their set and you could tell they were ok with the early set and playing just has hard and loud as if they were closing the day.

Another distress to such a festival is that not all the bands hang on for the entire tour. Some of the bands only make it though half of the tour for reasons unknown while others stick it out from start to finish. I was bummed that the Bouncing Souls as well as Shooter Jennings would not be playing at the Warped Tour in Cleveland. Still how can I complain about something like the Warped Tour when it brings so many amazing bands together?

After making a quick lap around the area to see where the stages were positioned my friends and I obtained a schedule and started our ritual of planning out who we were going to be checking out as well as whom we would be avoiding. I pointed out on the schedule to my friends that there was a special guest playing today, with no clue what act it was we could only wonder and hope it was someone we wanted to see. Rumors later in the day pointed towards a possible Blink 182 performance. That right there would have made my day.

I was sad to see that some of the bigger bands I came to see were playing super early in the day. Still the point was they were playing and I was planning on being there to see them.  In order to do so though I was going to miss some of the acts I would not have minded checking out, but there was no way I was going to skip out on some of my favorite acts especially since they were playing 45 minute sets this year. This year I came to see specific bands instead of touring around the grounds to see what is good.

Less Than Jake put on one of the better sets of the day. The punk / ska act was full of energy and did not seem to care about their early slot. Their performance of “The Silence Of Selling Yourself Short”, being one of my favorite songs by them, was awesome to hear live. Another highlight of their set is when they started shooting t-shirts into the packed crowd with a t-shirt gun.

With a few moments to kill I decided to see what Brokencyde was all about. As I walked towards the SkullCandy stage I thought I was hearing 3OH!3, but no, it was just the emulate Brokencyde. They were just finishing up their set to a decent gathering and that was enough for me.

Bad Religion being one of my all time favorite bands was a highlight to my day and I made sure I would stay for the whole set. Having seen them every time they have played a Warped Tour I would have to say this was one of their better performances. Rocking through songs old and new the band sounded amazing. During “Let Them Eat War” one of the members of Aiden (as stated by Greg Graffin) filled in for the vocals usually sung by Sage Francis on the album version. Other songs during their set included “New America”, “Supersonic”, “American Jesus” as well as “Generator” and “Sorrow”, two of my personal favorites.

For a band that been around for over twenty years they looked so comfortable on stage and played better than a lot of the younger acts that day. Their live performance reminded me why it is I love punk rock music so much.

Getting away from the main stage, I checked out a couple of random acts on stages throughout including ska act Staylefish, UK pop punk band TAT, and the more so folk indie rockers Dear and Headlights. TAT was one of those bands I wish I would have been able to see more of where Dear and Headlights was the surprise of the day for me and I will be looking for their album shortly. Sadly I missed a pop rock act called Lights, a band that seemed to be getting talked about a lot during the day.

Minneapolis rapper P.O.S. performed at the Hurley.Com stage but really was not on the stage but rather in the crowd. Showcasing a more intimate performance the hip hop lyricist was perched atop one of his equipment cases in the middle of the crowd rapping away. I am not sure if you have heard P.O.S. before but I can tell you this, he is that damn good live too. The surrounding fans on P.O.S.’s declared stage were going nuts over his ability to flow at a fast pace.

Last year 3OH!3, Nat Motte and Sean Foreman, played on a smaller stage at the Warped Tour but thanks to their increasing popularity they took over the main stage to one of the larger crowds of the day. Backed by a live band the Boulder, CO duo performed their mix of punk and hip hop to what seemed like an endless sea of fans. Performing a ton of tracks off their latest release Want they gave their fans their best.

I was content to see Nat pick up a guitar while performing a new 3OH!3 song as I know many question the duo on really being musicians. The new song they played, according to Sean, was about LeBron James. Regardless if it was or not it was a nice peek into what 3OH!3 has in store for their next release.

On the other side of the venue Bayside was playing out to a decent sized crowd by the time I tore through the crowds. I enjoyed them from a distance while reconnecting with a couple other friends who finally arrived. With the temperatures not being too extreme it really was rather enjoyable to just hang out in a fenced in parking lot under a bridge listening to the punk rock act.

As the UK hardcore punk act Gallows set up their gear, I noticed a Paramore poster duct taped to the asphalt with a note saying “This Stop Only”. It was clear to me that Paramore was the special guest of the day that would be playing the main stage. All rumors of Blink 182 were shot down. The gaining stardom group took a day of from their tour with No Doubt to play the Warped Tour in Cleveland.

I myself prefer Gallows over pop-punk so I avoided the insanity that took place at the main stage to enjoy an act I was more so a fan of. I found out later in the day from the bouncers of the main stage that Paramore drew in a huge gathering fun of excited fans.

Having seen the Gallows in 2007 I wanted to make sure I did not miss their performance as lead vocalist Frank Carter takes his aggression out on the mic as well as has no problem speaking his mind. The skinny, tattoo covered, redhead alongside his band put on the hardest punk rock performance of the day. To me it was like witnessing a modern day Black Flag.

After a couple of songs in, Frank Carter jumped into the pit with his microphone where the fans respectfully gave him his space to sing, rather, scream songs and jump around. At times he would walk around and put the mic in fan’s faces to give them a chance to sing a lyric. Frank Carter had a look of angry approval each time a fan would sing into the mic. I could only wonder what would happen if a fan did not know any of the song.

Midway through the Gallows set Frank Carter started speaking his mind and the fans were all ears. He spoke on his disapproval for bands like 3OH!3, Jeffery Star, and Brokencyde. He did not seem to be too thrilled about the way the Warped Tour has been going as well and mentioned that “Jeffree Star is a confused individual”. He called out 3OH!3 multiple times and started the Warped Tour was just not punk anymore.

It was not all negativity though as Frank Carter did comment on how there still were punk bands out there like NOFX and Bayside that keep the punk in Warped. He also admitted to the crowd that played corn hole for the first time and just did not care for the scoring rules. It was not all talk of course as the band hammered through songs from the band’s two albums to a assembly of rowdy fans.

Another Warped Tour veteran act, NOFX, took the stage a little inebriated and a lot excited. The person the most excited was Eric Melvin who earlier told me behind the scenes that it was his birthday. He kept announcing it to the crowd that it was his birthday and it was pretty clear he got his party on well before the set.

In almost a Jane’s Addiction “Mountain Song” flashback someone threw a flip-flop on stage almost hitting Fat Mike in the junk. Laughing he picked up the flip-flop and asked who would wear flip-flops to a Warped Tour, let alone wear them in a pit.

I could not believe some of the tracks NOFX dished out. Opening with “My Heart Is Yearning” as well as later on playing “Arming The Proletariat With Potato Guns” from a 7” Of The Month release I was excited to see such a array of tracks being played.

I got a kick out of hearing NOFX cover Rancid’s “Radio, Radio” more so because I just saw Rancid on the very same stage just weeks before. NOFX of course did the cover their own way and to be honest, it took me a minute to figure out what song it was.

“Linoleum”, “What The Matter With The Parents Today?”, “Quitter”, “Franco Unamerican”, and the humorous “Creeping Out Sara” were other tracks the band performed to a huge crowd of all ages. I honestly think I lost some of my voice while signing along and it was totally worth it. I felt like I was nineteen all over again.

Westbound Train had a half hour set in between NOFX and Flogging Molly and I tried my best to catch at least a few songs by the smooth soulful ska act. The bottleneck human traffic jam did not make it too easy for me and sadly I just gave up. Westbound train is one of those bands I could watch for hours and I hope they return again soon so that I can actually see them this time. On a good note though I did stop at their merch tent earlier where I picked up one of their earlier releases as well as a t-shirt.

Flogging Molly would be the last band I would ever see live at the Warped Tour bearing in mind on how I previously announced my retirement from the punk rock county fair after the day’s end. They are an amazing band to see live and I am so happy they were on the bill this year.

Everyone in the crowd got a heavy dose of Irish spirit thanks to the men and woman of Flogging Molly. Slamming Guinness and playing out like it was their most important show, the band had the crowd in the palm of their hand and put on a near perfect performance.

There were a few bands I missed I would have loved to see live like Alexisonfire, Senses Fail, Fake Problems but when NOFX and Bad Religion are playing an aging punk like myself will drop all interest for other acts to see them. I am sure the veteran bands will be playing for many more years but honestly I am not the type to miss out on the bands I cherish most in life.

The Warped Tour this year was a remarkable event and I hands down enjoyed it a lot more than last years. Not only was the line up a bit more catered to me, but I felt that I had no down time at all and the sun was not too brutal. In fact I really felt this year’s tour flew by be and before I knew it, it was over.

As I stood outside of the venue I had to remind myself that this was it for me. The towel was thrown in and I stand by my decision. I’ll keep my eye on next year’s line-up and years to come because I know this festival has the capability to go on for another 15 years easily. Who would have thought such a tour could last a decade and a half?

I really need to thank Kevin Lyman for creating the Warped Tour as well as his crew, the promoters, and especially all of the bands devoted to playing on the tours over the years. His insane idea of taking punk rock music and everything good about it on a tour all over the United States and beyond has kept me entertained since I was a teenager just looking for something to do.

More Warped Memories…

So tomorrow the all day punk rock summer camp, also know as the Van’s Warped Tour, returns to Cleveland.  Once again I, along with a few of my friends, will make way through the endless crowds of kids to check out some amazing punk rock bands including Bad Religion, NOFX, Flogging Molly, and Gallows.

Armed with my trusty camera (the pics in this post are from the 2007 & 2008 Warped Tour FYI) I plan on doing my best to take some killer photos to share with all my readers.  I always have fun mingling with the fans and the bands and already know tomorrow will be an amazing day.  I may even sneak in a couple of photo sessions or interviews too.

I can not even tell you the number of Warped Tours I have been to but I know I have attended over half of them that rolled through Cleveland since 1996.  There were good times and bad times as well as times I do not even remember.

I’ve seen the festival blossom into what it is now and have watched grow as it moved from venue to venue in Cleveland.  I even remember the one time it was held at the Agora!  I think that was in 1997 and I do not remember any of it except for it being very cramped.

Having already recapped the 1996 Warped Tour in a previous blog, I though I would continue the fun stories although I am not sure my other Warped memories can top that dog choke chain story…

Here are a few select years I remember:

I remember this Warped Tour being at the Nautica Stage / parking lot in the West Side of the flats in Cleveland.  Utilizing the parking lot the festival did not seem too cramped but I know that a whole ton of kids snuck in without paying as the fences were unguarded and short.

There were a few bands I can recall without looking them up on the internet that played including Bad Religion, NOFX, Rancid, Deftones, Kid Rock, MXPX, Unwritten Law, and the The Aquabats.

It was a good time although I was not feeling very well.  I was having stomach issues and just did not want to be bothered by anyone.  During Rancid a girl was punching people and kicking the guys in their lower abdominal area.  I yelled at her for her to stop kicking people in the junk after she got me once.  She went for round two to my crotch with her Doc Martin and I grabbed her foot and…well that’s all I have to say about that.  Everyone in the pit cheered.

My long time friend Gary was with us and I remember him flicking off the Goodtime III as it sailed past us.  The horror on the people’s faces was priceless.

Kid Rock…wow.  Kid Rock was one of the closing bands for the day and I kid you not (no pun intended) there were less than twenty people checking him out.  No one seemed to like him.  In fact, after a couple of songs my friends and I took off as did most of the crowd.  (Not even a year later Kid Rock would be opening up for Metallica)

Ha, this was the year my pal Anthony and I collectively spent over $211 on beer.  Yes, $211 of our hard earned money was spent on overpriced draft beer.  I had brought a lot of cash with me planning on getting some merch from a lot of the bands I was a fan of and instead thought it would be a good idea to spend it on rounds of beer.

I think the Casualties played as well as NOFX, Bad Religion, Lars Frederickson & The Bastards, Anti-FlagYellowcard…umm…that’s all I got.  I was pretty hammered at this Warped Tour.  Ok, pretty was an understatement.

About 10 beers into the day my friends and I found an area to the left of the main stage that we pretty much staked ground at when there were bands we did not care to see.

“Eiffel Tower” was born that day too.  No, I am not talking about the Paris landmark, I am speaking of a cheers that takes 3 or more folk to engage in.  Anthony and I would hold our beers up high in the air to a random beer drinking attendee and scream “Eiffel Tower!!!!” expecting them to hold their beer up too.  At first people looked puzzled at the gesture but soon the beer drinking folk loved it and honestly I think we started something awesome that day…in fact I know we did.

In case you need more proof how much of an a-hole I can be, Yellowcard had just finished up their set and the younger crowd was leaving the main stage area because I think Bad Religion was playing and they needed to get to some other pop-punk stage.  Drunk and annoyed we started yelling at the kinds “get you of here you jerks” as well as called them “phonies”.  The looks of their faces was priceless.

I was that guy, that drunk guy, that annoyed everyone.  Hey, I was having fun so I guess that is all that mattered.  Thankfully we sobered up before the show’s end and then killed even more time afterwards ensuring no dangerous/stupid decisions were made.

This was the first year that I got a VIP pass to the Warped Tour thanks to my lady and to the Transplants‘ guitar tech Jay Bastard.  This year I actually went to Cleveland and then the very next day to Cincinnati.

Avenged Sevenfold, Senses Fail, Transplants, No Use For A Name, My Chemical Romance, Dropkick Murphys, and others were on this bill.

In Cleveland I was tame but Cincinnati was a different story.  I was reunited with Anthony and even though the two of us planned on only spending little money on beer we still got hammered.  “Eiffel Tower” was introduced to Cincinnati that day.

Later during the festival Anthony and I were beyond wasted looking for our girlfriends who were actually on a tour bus with Tim Armstrong (Rancid) and Jay Bastard enjoying the AC.  Anthony and I were hanging on a fence trying to watch the Dropkick Murphys having no idea where to find the girls while sweating our asses off.  Eventually the girls found us drunk morons and walked us back to the car.

I swore to never again get hammered at the Warped Tour.  That sun was lethal and drinking did not help it one bit.  In fact I think it made us drunker…haha.

This was one of those years I will never forget in my life.  Not because of the festival but because of mother nature’s fury.

This was actually the first festival I would not only attend but also review for the blogging site Blogcritics.org.  I was pretty psyched to have the opportunity to review the festival yet a little nervous becuase it was the first time I had ever really reviewed a festival.  I was so clueless what to do or where to go but I soon figured it out.  See below for a link of my review.

I drank one beer this time.  My friends…did not.  “Eiffel Tower” returned to Cleveland.  I kept a good eye on my friends this time to make sure they stayed out of trouble.  I should have kept my eye on the sky.

Around the 3 o’clock hour the blue skies turned dark and a freak thunderstorm rolled in to the Cleveland area.  I remember calling my lady asking her if she was getting hit by the storm.  She was at a dog park by our house and she stated it was still blue skies and had no idea what i was talking about.

This devil of a storm for some reason decided to slowly pass downtown Cleveland causing just horrible conditions, especially for folk like myself who were stuck outside with only tents to protect.  The storm pounded the area with heavy rains and winds so strong I swore we were in a tornado.  Everyone made the best of it because honestly, what the hell were we to do?  Luckily I was under the main tent surrounded by a ton of other folk.  Some kids were not so lucky hiding under bridges and wherever else they could find cover.

After the storm I walked around the grounds and it looked like armageddon.  Almost all of the merch tents were either packed up or blown over and destroyed.  The power was out in most of the city and there were hints of the Warped Tour not going on.  Even though the rumors were brewing, not many fans left and stuck it out waiting for an official announcement.

Kevin Lyman, the founder of the Warped Tour, made way to a stage where Coheed & Cambria were to play stating that the storm was one of the worst he has ever seen.  He also added that the show would go on and that they had two generators to power the two main stages.  He also offered all the storm survivors an added bonus and told everyone that their ticket stubs were good for admission to any Warped Tour for the duration of the summer.  I did not take advantage of that offer but some of my friends did.

As the sun set Bad Religion took the stage with a single hanging light bulb hovering over the stage.    It was a bittersweet ending to one heck of a day.

Click here for the review I did for the 2007 Warped Tour on Blogcritics.org

Pretty tame year actually.  Since earlier in the year I put drinking on a hiatus I just flooded myself with water and enjoyed such acts as Against Me!, Story Of The Year, Gallows, Gym Class Heroes, MC Chris, 3OH!3, Beat Union, The Briggs, Pennywise, and Bouncing Souls.

Click here for the review I did for the 2008 Warped Tour on Blogcritics.org

The day starts tomorrow at 11am.  I am sure I will have some stories to share.

Until then, have a good one.

I Am A Warped Tour Senior (Citizen) – True stores of the 1996 Vans Warped Tour

Summer of 94
Yes, this is me 13 years ago...

The Van’s Warped Tour has turned 15 this year.

How awesome is that?

The longest running festival ever is on it’s 15th run this year and does not seem to be slowing down at all.  Punk rock summer camp is still in session for fans of all ages.  I know when I go this year I will be laughing at the fact that there will be tons of kids there who were not even born when the Warped Tour first took place.

In other words…I’m getting old.

Recently I read a pretty interesting article in this month AP Magazine.  It basically told the tale of the history of the Van’s Warped Tour from the beginning until present day.  I suggest you go out and grab a copy of the magazine (who I should add has been around for 24 years!) if you want to know the true history of the Warped Tour and read the wonderful article.

I will tell you one thing…it was almost called the Calvin Klein Warped Tour. (read the article!!!)

I am not really going to go into detail with the history of the Warped Tour here, but I will go into detail of the history of myself at the Warped Tour; July 24th, 1996 to be exact.

Now I don’t remember everything because let’s face it, growing old does a number on you sometimes but I remember enough to talk about it.  This was my first Warped Tour festival I had attended and is the one that I will remember for a lifetime.  It became the start of a summer ritual my friends and I have been engaging in almost every single summer since.

It all started one day when I read about a punk rock festival that was coming back to town.  I missed the first Warped Tour in 1995 for whatever reason and still kick myself for doing so but what happened, happened.   Regardless I was excited to see it’s return and this time planned accordingly.

The festival was held at the old Cloverleaf grounds, a one time drive-in turned flea market parking lot, let me rephrase that, a gravel filled parking death lot, located under the I-480 Valley View bridge.  Of all the places a festival could have been put at they chose the white stoned parking lot and it was the perfect venue in every way.

Tickets were only $20 for the festival and the parking was free.  We arrived before anyone else and parked directly in front of the entrance gate.  Too young to buy beers and pre-game we just hung out until the gates were open and the festivities began.  Featuring acts such as NOFX, CIV, Pennywise, Unwritten Law, The Dancehall Crashers, Rocket From The Crypt, and others it was to be one of those days that I would never forget.  (Speaking of forget, it is possible that Sublime, No Use For A Name, The Deftones, Face To Face, and Fishbone may have played too but I can not recall – anyone else remember?)

Spite the lack of remembering the entire lineup, I have a lot of memories that day that will last for a life time.  I don’t even know where to start… I can tell you this though, many of those memories did not even include the bands.

Band memories:

CIV.  I miss that band so much.  I was a huge CIV fan (still am) and absolutely thrilled to see them take the stage.

I was still new to Unwritten Law having seen them previously opening for Bad Religion so i was excited to see them again live.  I was a huge fan of Blue Room and really got into their set.  So did some other fans who, apparently, started fist fighting in the middle of the pit.  Lead signer Scott Russo and yours truly broke up that fight.  I’m more about peace and rock over knocked out teeth.

I should also mention the famous boot prints found on people back’s.  I will not confirm if they were from my boots, but my friends did mention that I became very excited about NOFX taking stage and might have run over 4 or 7 kids while charging into the mosh pit.

Speaking of NOFX, one of my friend’s girlfriends at the time somehow got backstage and did not bother to invite any of us.  We later in the day discovered she made out with one of the members of NOFX.  Awesome.  I think at that moment I was double pissed.  Once for the blatant cheating and the other for the non-invite back stage.

Right before Pennywise took the stage for the final set of the day the clear skies turned into hell.  Huge dark clouds took over the sky and as Pennywise tried to close out the set lightning was striking dangerously close and the rain was pouring causing for their amps to blow out.  It was at that time that the two friends that were by me hi tailed it to my car and got the hell out of there.  We may have left someone behind.

Other memories:

I was on the nightly news that evening because apparently all of the cussing could be heard echoing in the surrounding cities thanks to the venue being located at the bottom of a valley.  I remember I was walking with my pal Jonah and was eating a hamburger.  I noticed one of the local news channels filming us so being the goof that I am I proceeded to stop, look at the camera, and stuff the 3/4 worth of hamburger left in my hand into my mouth where I proceeded to eat it.

Mom was so proud that night.

Later one of the newscasters was talking about all of the controlled rowdiness in the grounds and I walked up behind him and threw the devil horns over his head.  Everyone surrounding the camera burst out laughing.  Even the cameraman was laughing at that newscaster who had no idea what was going on.  I am pretty sure that was edited out of the evening news.

Then there was the choke chain I wore around my neck.  You see, being punk means wearing dog chains and other miscellaneous metal accessories all over your body.  I chose to wear a choke chain around my neck along with other various items including the super long chain connected to my wallet I used to trip over all the time.

For some reason I opted out of using a safety pin or mini pad lock to secure my dog choke chain and chose a chain link connector, something that I was so proud of discovering at a local hardware store earlier that year.  Well thanks to the intense heat my neck started to swell and I realized it was time to take off the chain from my neck so I could breath.  There was one problem…genus me decided to secure the chain link connector with pliers at home and I could not unscrew the chain link connector for the life of me.

I panicked and tried to do everything I could to get that thing undone from my neck.  I ran around like an idiot searching for pliers to get the link unscrewed as I was slowly choking.  All of the folk at the band merch booths could not help, the pro-skaters laughed at me, and the security was not any help at all.  Finally I found a booth where some folk were making jewelry and luckily borrowed some pliers and took that damn chain off my neck.  Who am I kidding, I basically lept over their table and snatched the pliers from one of their working hands in order to save my life.

Luckily there were no news crews around to film me during that episode…although that would have been hilarious.

Let me not forget about the the mosh pit, it was more like a death pit thanks to all the gravel.  I do want to note that the pit was very friendly and who ever slipped and fell or was forcefully knocked over was helped up immediately.  There was not as much blood as I though might occur but there were plenty of scrapes and bruises.

The drive home too was a memory.  Thanks to all the heavy rains my car decided to stall in the middle of Route 43.  I literrally beat the crap out of my car when it did not start and am pretty sure scared my friends.  To make matters even worse I screamed at my friends to get out of the car and help me push the car into a nearby parking lot.  One of them told me “no way, it’s raining”.  Thanks Pete.


The Warped Tour then was just in its baby steps when I attended.  I think there were three stages, maybe four, on that stony drive-in with just a handful of merch booths.  Within the next couple of years the success of the festival provided the means to expand and turn it into a larger festival with more stages and attractions.  Moving from place to place it just got bigger and bigger to what it is now.

I have to admit I was getting a little disappointed in the line-ups of recent years primarily because I have no idea who these bands are anymore.  I am all for the new generation of music and their fans but it has gotten to the point where I just do not care.

Luckily for me (and others I would assume) Kevin Lyman decided to go back to the Warped Tour roots this year and has asked some of the veteran punk rock bands to once again spend their summer playing on stages to thousands of fans all over the US, Canada, and even a couple of spots overseas.

This time around there will only be one main stage and longer sets.  That right there got me excited seeing how I never enjoyed seeing my favorite acts only get 30 minutes to crank out as many songs as they could.  I can honestly not wait until next week when the Warped Tour rolls through Cleveland once again.

Featuring bands (aka the bands I want to see most):

Bad Religion, NOFX, Bouncing Souls, Gallows, Flogging Molly, Anti-Flag, Fake Problems, Alexisonfire, 3OH!3, Authority Zero, Fishbone, The Flatliners, P.O.S, The Reverend Paytons Big Damn Band, Westbound Train, and Thrice (just to name a couple)

I will say this though.  This is my last year with the Warped Tour and I plan on retiring from the punk rock summer camp once and for all.  It was a touch decision but seriously even I am starting to think I am too old for it…

With my luck the 2010 line up with be even better than this years…  I’ll just insert foot into mouth now and not tell anyone later if I do return…

Vintage footage of the Warped Tour:

Speaking of memories…I came across this YouTube video of footage from the storm that nearly destroyed the 2007 Warped Tour. I was standing pretty close to the kid who filmed this. That was one hell of a storm…