Tag Archives: Warped Tour

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…

I Lied. Well, Sort Of…

I need to confess a couple of things…

Last year I said I was going to SXSW.  Not happening.  I want to, I really do but I can not afford the trip to and from one of my favorite cities in the world…Austin, TX.  I will make it there one day and that is a promise.  2010 will not be that year.

I also said I retired from the Warped Tour.  After years of going to the punk rock summer camp I announced that I was going to quit.  Well…

Vans Warped Tour

…and I lied.

If Face To Face plays the Cleveland Warped Tour you can bet your behind I will be there.  Andrew W.K. is a must see for me as well.

The Year Of The Bouncing Souls

The Bouncing Souls

As previously mentioned here on the damaged listening apparatus site, the Bouncing Souls currently are in the middle of taking the entire year of 2009 to celebrate their two decades at being a punk rock group.  The band has been dropping an unreleased track every month for their fans, playing shows, and having the times of their lives while doing so.

In May the band decided to start a “Bouncing Souls 20th Anniversary TV Spectacular” series on the web internets for all the punk rock fans.  Alternative Press had the honor of sharing the first installment of the series.  I had not seen it until today.

Warning, lots of swearing – after all the Bouncing Souls are from New Jersey.

The video for “Airport Security” can be seen at the end of this episode and may very well be my favorite Bouncing Souls music video of all time so make sure you watch the whole video.  There was something about the simplicity of the video, the dancing, and seeing the boys just let loose and have fun that made it so entertaining to me.

Here, check it out:

The whole sit-com approach at the beginning killed me.  I loved the added laugh tracks too.  I would not expect anything less from the Souls.

Now of course someone out there saw the “Airport Security” video and decided to try their own take on it substituting life with LEGOs.  The result was flattering to the Souls and has been shared with all of their fans.  Sure, it has been done before but still something like this takes a lot of time to do and really shows dedication to a band.

The creators, a family actually, had this to say about it when the Souls asked them to talk about the video:

When we saw the “Airport Security” video, with the cardboard sets and props, it just seemed natural to turn it into a Lego animation. Theresa constructed all the sets and props while Andrew and Brian, ages 12 and 13, did the bulk of the animating and Brian Sr. was the director/dictator and editor.

The whole project took two months and more hours than we are willing to admit to. We had all hoped that the Souls would see it but we never expected any feedback. Imagine our surprise when Kate contacted us and wanted to put it on the Souls web site!

We go to as many Souls shows as we can, which is about every 3 or 4 months. Their music truly speaks to us and we hope this video can express our gratitude. Thank you Bouncing Souls for 20 years and we hope for many more.

– Brian, Theresa, Brian and Andrew Westervelt

How cool is that?  A family created this?  A punk rock family at that.

Not too shabby.  I wish I had the time to try something like this.  I am sure I could not do it though.  I am pretty sure I would be getting very frustrated about 3 minutes into the project.  I’ll just stick to sharing stuff done by other cool folk.

I also thought I would mention that the Bouncing Souls are also helping out a friend in need and have been doing charity auctions on their label Chunksaah Records to help raise money.

Rich Cunningham formed Happy Days Records in 1995, releasing debut records by Hot Water Music and Ink & Dagger, as well as titles by Endeavor, Times Up, and Human Remains. In 2000 he formed New Labor, an alternative model of worker organization that combines new and existing strategies to improve working conditions and provide a voice for low-wage, young, immigrant workers in central New Jersey. In 2005 Rich was diagnosed with cancer and recently his battle has taken a turn for the worse.

Chunksaah Records and The Bouncing Souls will be auctioning off rare records, vinyl test pressing, limited poster prints, Bouncing Souls tickets, and anything else we think will help raise money for our friend.

If you are a Bouncing Souls fan you should head over to Chunksaah Records and see what goodies they are auctioning.  They have been auctioning off some pretty rare stuff for this very worthy cause.

As far as the Bouncing Souls song a month project, here is the list up until August:

Track list for 20 Year Anniversary (so far):
“Gasoline” – (January)
“We All Sing Along” – (February)
“Airport Security” – (March)
“Dubs Says True” – (April)
“I Think That The World” – (May)
“Mental Bits – (June)
“Ghosts On The Boardwalk” – (July)
“Boogie Woogie Downtown” – (August)

CLICK HERE if you would like to download any of these great songs for only $0.99 each.  Totally worth it.

“The Gold Song” by The Bouncing Souls, shot by Buddy of Less Than Jake, 2006 Warped Tour:

Lights – Lights – CD/EP Review

The heavy on the synthesizer pop act Lights, also known as Valerie Poxleitner, has been getting a lot of hype for not even having a full length release out yet. It could be solely from her beauty seeing as she is capable of turning one or two hundred heads, but in all honesty this girl is more than just a looker. She is a musician and has the voice to prove it.

The Canadian born singer actually wrote her first song when she was only eleven years old. At twenty-two Valerie Poxleitner was discovered when she casted to be a model for corporate giant bastards Wal-Mart. The modeling supervisor asked if she was a musician while looking at a picture of the hopeful model holding a guitar. Without hesitation she began to sing for them and the rest is pretty much history.

Her songs were first featured in Old Navy commercials and before long, Lights was playing the Facebook party at the 2009 SXSW, appearing on Canada’s MuchMusic, and even playing live for MTV. After grabbing a Juno award for being the best artist of 2009 she jumped on board for a summer tour with the Van’s Warped Tour. All of this happened within a four year period and Lights is still going. With plans on releasing a full length album this September and also acting as a supporting artist for a Fall Keane tour, Lights certainly as a lot on her plate.

So what is the hype about Lights you ask? Trust me I was asking myself the same question. While at the Warped Tour this summer I missed out on seeing this Lights act everyone was talking about. I read the schedule wrong and completely missed her set. Finally I have obtained a copy of her EP and I must say it was an interesting listen.

Opener “Ice” reminded me of all the cheap pop acts out there I just never cared for. You know, the one time Mousekateers that grew up to be pop stars that have everyone else do the work for them while they look pretty. I had to keep reminding myself that this was an honest musician. This song aside from the poppiness was catchy and I loved the Vanilla Ice throw in.

“Drive My Soul” was down shifted a few gears from the opening track as was “February Air”. At times I though of Gwen Stefani when she ditched No Doubt to go solo. The one song I actually enjoyed was “I Owe You One”, a thank you song for someone special. I think if Ben Gibbard did some back-up vocals on this track it would have been awesome. I guess it’s me, but I feel the song was very reminiscent of The Postal Service.

Think of a modern day Cyndi Lauper, Tiffany, or Debbie Gibson with keyboards galore and that pretty much sums up Lights. Honestly while listening to the EP I kept hoping for Lights to break into “Goonies Are Good Enough” cover. All I could image was 80’s style throughout the six songs. It was just too much for me.

Björk may be Lights’ most major influence but there is not any egg laying on the red carpet crazy experimental anything going on in this EP. It is straight forward syth-pop music for all the pop fans out there and not for me.

Lights certainly has an amazing voice, and the looks as well. I think it is just the music that backs her vocals that turned me off from most of the tracks. I think with a full band backing her she would sound amazing in my ears and others for that matter. With her full length debut The Listening dropping in a little over a month I can honestly say I am curious to see what is to come.

“Drive My Soul” video:

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.