Obligatory List of Bands We (I) Saw:
- Itch — Chooch’s new favorite.
- Stick To Your Guns — “too political, STFU,” per Henry, but I really liked them a lot.
- Architects (UK) — Chooch only let me stick around for 1.5 songs.
- Hawthorne Heights — only about 5 minutes’ worth, but at least “Ohio Is For Lovers” was covered in that.
- The Wonder Years
- Craig Owens — so on point.
- We Came As Romans
- The Used — definitely unplugged the hole in my heart.
- Forever Came Calling — only got to see their last song.
- Hands Like Houses — SO FUCKING GOOD. Even better than when I saw them last November with Pierce the Veil. They’re the only band that has come even close to filling the void that Emarosa left in my heart, even though one of the guys looks like if Tim Curry was in A Flock of Seagulls. I could (and probably will) fill an entire blog post with my detailed feelings about them, but I’m trying to be succinct and wrap this shit up, OK?! No wait, not without saying that I want to stick my tongue down the singer’s Australian throat.
- Bring Me the Horizon — Oli made us all sit down at one point and that’s how I wound up walking around the rest of the day with motherfucking GUM ON MY ASS, thanks Oli.
- Big Chocolate
- Never Shout Never — this one was Chooch’s pick. But the thing with Chooch is that when he says, “I want to see [this band], he literally means, “I want to walk over there until I can see them and then we can go somewhere else.” Chiodos and Hands Like Houses I think were the only full sets he endured. But he’s 7, what can you do.
- August Burns Red
- Handguns — REALLY enjoyed this band a lot. I had only heard one of their songs before, but I’m definitely a fan now.
- Run DMT
- Sleeping With Sirens — Henry really dislikes them live. He pretty much scowled and rolled his eyes through their whole set, and I couldn’t even get him to admit that “Roger Rabbit” was pretty good. He thinks Kellin is an awful live singer. (I agree with this at times, but Kellin Quinn is OMGSOCUTE so they don’t have to worry about not having thousands of screaming and crying girls in front of their stage. To be fair, the rest of the band is fucking fantastic.)
The best/worst thing about Warped Tour is that there are so many bands, in such an array of genres, that the possibilities are endless! It’s a Ritalin kid’s wet dream—you canNOT get bored at Warped Tour unless you absolutely hate music. The downside to this is that it’s impossible to see everything. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to fall to my knees and scream in anguish because two bands I really love were scheduled to play at the same time on two different stages. But, that’s the nature of Warped Tour and the only way to change it would be to have less bands. And I vote no on that.
The Wonder Years & a rainstorm.
We saw a shit ton of bands on this day, but there were a few standouts, and letlive. was definitely the brightest highlight. Henry had taken Chooch to get food while this was going on, and I am still, a week later, trying to explain to Henry exactly what he missed. He of course does not give a shit.
letlive. is a band that might not be easily swallowed for some people. When I was friends with Alisha, she was actually extremely tolerant and open-minded of the music I listened to, but she just couldn’t get behind letlive. And I can understand that—they’re not for everyone. But their live show, my fucking Christ. Jason Aalon Butler is like a tightly wound snake on stage, recoiling for .002 seconds only to spring and lurch back up in a different direction; it was like watching someone have a psychotic episode—scary and fucking fascinating. I don’t know how photographers are able to snap any decent photos of him because he does.not.stop. We saw them in Lancaster last March, opening for Pierce the Veil, and to be perfectly honest, they are the reason I was so insistent on driving the 4 hours to that show rather than wait for Pierce the Veil to come back to Pittsburgh on a different tour a month later: I wanted to see letlive,, and I wanted to see Jason sing with Vic from Pierce the Veil (he has a guest appearance on the new PTV album). Unfortunately, since we had Chooch with us, we were standing back too far in the club for me to really get to see much.
He left the stage at one point and everyone looked really concerned. I couldn’t see where he went from where I was standing, but when he came back on stage, he was covered in paint.
They ended the set with Jason intertwining himself around the drum set, which is sometimes what I do to Henry when I’m feeling especially clingy and don’t want him to leave for work. Not that that happens often!!
Please come back to Pittsburgh soon, letlive. PLEASE.
The Used—I have seen them countless times and they have never put on a bad show. They ended with Pretty Handsome Awkward and I cried.
When am I not crying, though.
WET HENRY! RUNNNN!!!
Can we just stop for a second and really look at this picture? No, I mean—REALLY LOOK. That is a smile, you guys. A smile at WARPED TOUR. It’s a motherfucking Christmas miracle. Orphans are gon’ feed tonight!
Chooch with more free shit. He didn’t even care that it was pink, because it was free.
We climbed this hill a million times. Warped Tour is good exercise. Also—look at the rainbow furry tail up there on the right!!!
Shirtless Chooch during Never Shout Never, whom he has taken a liking to just because he heard one of their songs on a mix CD I made awhile back, and liked how Christopher Drew said the word “question.” When I found out NSN was going to be at this year’s Warped Tour and I told Chooch, he said super-dramatically, “Thank god.” Then he bought one of their CDs at the Exchange on Monday and I have my fingers crossed that this is just the beginning of what will one day be a Hoarder’s episode of a music collection.
Crowd-rafting for Bring Me the Horizon.
Oh man, Bring Me the Horizon was fantastic!! Earlier in the day when we were in line to meet Chiodos, we saw Oli Sykes milling about and I almost died because he is even more Britishly handsome up close OMG. Henry just rolled his eyes, but the important part of this is that not only did Henry know who he was, he also pointed out Kellin Quinn later on, too. Henry is such a secret scene girl.
But really, he just reads Alternative Press a lot in the bathroom.
Chooch’s wristband collection. He got the Fuck Yeah, I <3 Animals wristband from the Peta2 tent, but he’s supposed to be guest-posting later so I’ll let him write about the horrors he encountered inside. Suffice to say, when we were walking back to the car that night and he was leafing through more Peta2 literature, he said to be very earnestly, “I should stop eating meat. I really want to…but I just REALLY like hamburgers. I’m not sure I’m ready to join your team yet, Mommy.”
It was so cute! But for the record: I have never tried to brainwash the kid into going meatless. (I myself haven’t even been a full-veg for several years now after discovering that I REALLY LOVE SUSHI.) But what’s cool about Chooch is that he eats tofu on his own and loves it. I would never push him into being a vegetarian. Just like I would never push him to like or dislike a certain band. (Again, I only do that to Henry. Haha.)
Meanwhile, Henry was making a new friend while Chooch and I were in PETA’s WTF Tent:
Yes, that was my reaction too.
Anyway, this guy was running the merch booth for some clothing company that benefits the homeless, so Henry asked me if I wanted a t-shirt.
Henry NEVER asks me if I want merch at a show! So here we are, once again, back to my theory that he’s either cheating on me or selling drugs.
I mean, I didn’t actually even want one of these t-shirts, but it was for a cause and Henry seemed so eager to please his new friend In the Universal Studios tank (perhaps that’s his mistress), so I let him buy me a shirt. And then I also let him buy me a Warped Tour 2013 t-shirt and a Hands Like Houses tank.
New Henry rules!!
So fucking hardcore. This is my new favorite shot of Chooch!
The Spotify Stage had all the dancing.
Somehow I forgot to mention that when we were standing in line that morning to get in, Henry pointed to a small hill on the other side of the fence and said, “Look who it is.”
It was KEVIN LYMAN, the Warped Tour godfather himself. In all of the years I have been going, I have never seen him, even though I know that he walks around a lot. And there he was, standing at the top of this hill, on the phone, assessing the crowd. You guys, he is such an inspiration to me. If I ever got to meet him…it would be Waterwork City.
At the end of the day, Chooch is still just a kid who wants to eat a fucking ice cream cone. Only, he’s a kid who eats a fucking ice cream cone with a band behind him screaming bloody murder.
I really hope this is Saint Eminem on her calf.
Chooch already has the ambivalent scene armcross going on here, but let’s address Parenting Fail No. 66976: Check out his fucking sunburn. When we arrived at First Niagara that morning, I assumed Henry sprayed Chooch with sunscreen because I could smell it on him. Apparently, Henry assumed that I had covered that parental task. Turns out, CHOOCH applied HIMSELF with sunscreen and did a pisspoor job of it—look at the weird amoeba-outline!
Oh, to be a Perfect Parent. I hear they’re out there. I think they’re called Mommy Bloggers?
This is the Handguns crowd. There was so much energy, it was palpable! (Henry still yawned through their set though.)
So, remember in my Warped Tour preface, where I ranted and bitched about people judging those of us who choose to bring our kids to Warped Tour and how it’s not like I had Chooch in any circle pits or anything?
Handguns played on one of the smaller stages, so the crowd wasn’t very big. This meant that we were extremely close to the stage and just happened to be standing in the line of fire when a circle pit broke out. I mean, it’s not like Chooch got swept up in it or anything, but I suppose that if Henry and I had been too busy lighting our joints at that moment (A JOKE), perhaps this would have had a different outcome.
Instead, Chooch soaked this all in, his first glimpse at a real life circle pit, and then this happened:
Sleeping With Sirens was the last band of the night and even though Henry had his laundry list of gripes, I really enjoyed their set but was sad at the same time because I knew that as soon as they were done, it was going to be time to leave. I swear, this is the shortest day of the year. (Unless you’re Henry.)
In conclusion, do I regret my decision to bring Chooch with us this year? NO. It was the best idea ever, and I’m positive that it’s something he will never forget. And do you want to know the number of times he threw a fit? Zero. Number of times we had to yell at him? Zero. Number of times he got hurt? Zero. Number of times he wanted to leave? Zero. Number of times he smiled/jumped/laughed/danced/threw metal horns into the sky? LIKE A THOUSAND! In fact, Chooch was looking at the back of one of the Warped Tour shirts that had a list of cities and he cried, “IT’S GOING TO BE IN CLEVELAND TOMORROW?! CAN WE GO!?”
This of course prompted me to spin and scream into Henry’s face, “YEAH CAN WE GO, HENRY!?” He just frowned and trudged away into the metalcore-soundtracked sunset.
Fuck, I really wish I was still there. I have got to find a way to land myself a spot inside a merch tent or something.