I waited all year for Warped Tour. It’s the closest thing to Christmas I have in my life and I savor every fucking second of it. It’s music music music all day long. And I do love that there music. This year, we were going to attempt to take Chooch, but ticket prices were raised and since we’re going back to one income, we decided to pawn him off on Janna. I think he ended up having a day just as full as ours, anyway. (Thank you, Janna!)
We stood in line for a good half hour because I made sure we got there as soon as the lot opened, which was an hour before the actual gates open, because I’m tightly wound and panicked for a week about the possibility of missing a band I really like because they don’t announce set times until that morning, and and and omg someone get me a valium. There was an abandoned mother standing next to Henry and every time I looked over at her, she’d catch my eye and every time it looked like she wanted to strike up a conversation, but instead she’d just smile. Henry was getting uncomfortable because she kept standing so close to him. I thought it was cute, in a “When Oldies Collide” sort of way.
The good thing about standing in line, besides scene kid-watching, is accumulating free shit and demos from members of small local bands. One of those bands was Remember Thy Name, who were handing out flyers which had their set time and stage info on it and urging everyone to check them out. Since the flyer touched my hand and I said “OK I will” out loud to the dude, I felt obliged to make good on my word. And then I went back to bouncing up and down and squealing “I’m so excited!” in Henry’s ear until they finally opened the door to my own version of Heaven and we all pushed our way in only to stand around looking dumb and confused like lost puppies. You know, the usual.
Henry and I aren’t mean enough to make Blake and Deanna hang with old people all day, so we said goodbye to them and then continued roaming around and looking lost and confused.
Luckily, we got inside with enough time to find the appropriate stage and check out Remember Thy Name. One of my favorite moments of the day was when we approached the side of the stage just in time to be met with a barrage of guttural bellows and machine gun drumming, causing Henry to mutter, “Oh yay, I love them already.” I actually did end up loving them, a lot. Thank you for soliciting me in the parking lot, Remember Thy Name.
It had only been about thirty minutes since we began mingling with Western Pennsylvania’s finest collection of kids, and Henry already looked like a billboard for Advil. Perhaps he was sad that he didn’t bring enough money for concert gear. Last year, I know he had his eyes on some booty shorts.
We got to catch a little bit of Underoath’s set on the mainstage (another band that makes Henry grit his teeth) before shouldering our way to the Hurley stage for Bayside. I figured Henry would probably appreciate their set because they’re not screamo and the crowd was decidedly older and less scene. Yet, every time I asked him if he liked them, he’d mumble, “They were OK.” What he was thinking was probably, “They’re no Kansas.” But whatever, they wound up being one of my favorite sets of the day. And it was nice getting to be up close and not having to worry about having my neck broken. Although, throughout the day, I kept seeing some girl with a neckbrace and found myself in an oddly uncomfortable state of covetry.
So, if you’ve read this blog a few times you probably won’t be shocked to find out that I was primarily there for one band. As in, the price of the ticket was worth a thirty-minute set by them alone and I could’ve left straight after and have been happy. Chiodos, main stage, 1:55.
I dragged Henry up to the front of the stage just as Flogging Molly was finishing up. Chiodos are worth the risk of having my brittle, over-aged bones cracked and acquiring attractive barrier bruises along my ribcage. I’m still not too fond of having bitches dropped on my head, so my peripheral vision has to be on-call for this shit.
We could see Chiodos behind the stage, getting ready, and I had a fifteen-year-old girl moment when Bradley returned my wave with spirit fingers. I fucking love Bradley. And then I had a twenty-nine-year-old adult moment when some skanky bitch behind me repeatedly screamed JOEY! into my ear and I don’t know who I hated more: the skank and her skank-shout, or Joey for not hearing her skanky beckoning from all the way in the center of the massive throng of kids that had accumulated in preparation for Chiodos. Fucking answer her, Joey!
They opened with Undertaker’s Thirst for Revenge is Unquenchable and I was stoked when Nick Martin (Underminded) came out to scream. He’s on the album-version of that song and in the video, and he was on Craig’s solo tour last spring, but I have never seen him live on stage with Chiodos. I squealed. Several times. Even tugged Henry’s arm. It’s kind of like that feeling when you think you’re only going to be having sex with one person that night, but then surprise! Menage a trois. What a fucking treat.
Nick Martin can scream in my face all day and I would still beg for more.
And at one point, Jag from A Skylit Drive filled a small guest spot on vocals. It’s exciting to me when people play musical-bands at Warped Tour, because when else could you see, say, Jeffree Star sharing a stage with Breathe Carolina? Not that that’s a good thing.
I liked watching the expressions of security when Craig decided, during “A Letter From Janelle,” that he wanted to get as many people crowd-surfing as possible. Like they really needed to be told. I love watching this, kids simultaneously popping up into the sky everywhere, like some bizarre birthing art-installation. It never gets old for me. Until some motherfucker’s shoe knocks me unconscious. Then I probably won’t enjoy watching too much after that.
Yes, I pay money to be immersed in this.
Nick came out again and was all crouched down at the edge of the stage, completely in an angry-scream zone, and BSouth (The Receiving End of Sirens – RIP to a great band) kept nudging him with his foot until Nick ended up on the shoulders of one of the security guys, never missing a beat. I think it was my favorite moment of the day, aside from Henry’s anguish, which was less of a moment and more of, you know, THE ENTIRE DAY AS A WHOLE. But he likes Chiodos, I know it.
They ended the much-too-short 30 minute set with “There’s No Penguins In Alaska,” which I hope reminded them that their hockey team were bested by the Penguins. Oh, burn.
They didn’t play any new songs, so that was a bit of a bummer. Craig has been taunting everyone on Twitter with tiny updates about the new album they’re writing and I was hoping he’d toss us rabid fans a bone. But they did my favorites: “Baby, You Wouldn’t Last a Minute on the Creek” and “The Word ‘Best Friend’ Becomes Redefined” (still not fantastical tattoo-tingling during it, though).
We took a break in the shade so I could eat my contraband protein bar lunch. Henry looks like his labret is pierced in this photo but I think it’s just lint. Old men have lint.
I did some Versa Emerge-stalking for Alisha, since she couldn’t be there to (not) do it herself.
I kept touching the camera lens all day long, as this photo denotes. This was right after Deanna informed Henry that two people holding hands does not mean they’re going out. Or as Henry still says: “Going together.”
One of the bands that surprised me the most was A Skylit Drive. I missed most of their set because they played the same time as Versa Emerge and I was trying to split the sets so I could see both. But I made it to their stage in time to hear enough to fall in love. They ended with “Eva the Carrier” and I fucking almost started crying. The singer sounds like how I imagine a mer-man to sing: high-pitched and ethereal, like wetting your finger and running it around the lip of a crystal goblet. The stage they were playing on was the one under the ampitheater and the acoustics of it sent his voice traveling all the way up to where we sat, making chills drip down my spine.
I’ve been listening to that song 15x a day ever since.
Henry was not impressed. Like, at all. And somehow, he later managed to sleep through Dance Gavin Dance’s and Black Tide’s entire sets. I twitpic’d a photo of him sleeping, and my friend Matt had the good call of replying with “Hahaha, what’s up Father Time.” INDEED.
Warped Tour abominations:
1. Millionaires. A trio of half-naked skanks hopping around on stage, and lip-synching rapping. They had about as much rhythm as me and all I could make out was “Fuck” being slung incessantly because probably they are too vapid to come up with anything else. You know, GOOD RAPS like I used to write under the Glocks On Our Dicks alias.
2. Jeffree Star.
I know people bitch about how Warped Tour has taken the punk ethos and raped it silly, but I’ve always admired Kevin Lyman’s ballsiness in adding screamo, metalcore, and dance punk into the mix. I think that there’s a really great mixture of music in the lineup and if there’s not at least one band you can be down with, then probably these things just aren’t for you in the first place. However, I have a big problem with shit like Jeffree Star and Millionaires because it’s hokey and if what Gabe Sapora says about Millionaries is true (that if you don’t like the, you just don’t get the joke) then that’s a little insulting to those of us who give shit about music. And as for Jeffree Star, he doesn’t care about his music, he’s just in it for shock value from what I can see, and that’s not very punk rock.
But maybe I’m just old and jaded.
I wonder if their pubes are that natty. If so, it must be a real BITCH for the STDs to get through, like a dolphin in netting.
One of the last bands of the day was Dear and the Headlights, a band I’ve loved long time, but have never seen live. I can’t tell you how excited I was. Too bad they weren’t very fun. I mean, they sounded great, but seemed very aloof on stage and kind of ambivalent to the prospect of playing at Warped Tour. And then the singer asked what everyone wanted to hear and some girl near me yelled “Daysleeper” and I was like, “Oh yes, God yes, play Daysleeper” because that’s my favorite, and so he proceeded to ask, “Um, why that one? It didn’t even make any of our albums.” And there was something slightly condescending about how he said it, so that made me lose a little love. Although, I too was a little cranky by that point so maybe I won’t hold it against them. They ended up never playing “Daysleeper” though, those cocksuckers.
I ate Gobstoppers on the way home.