This was actually the second Vans Warped Tour I have attended this year. The first one was about two weeks ago in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Having several bands that I had never seen before, I decided to take the three hour road trip to Pittsburgh to attend Warped there.
I arrived a bit late at 12:15 thanks to MapQuest's shady directions. The very first thing I saw was the Mustard Plug tent, I was ecstatic because they weren't scheduled to perform and I'd never seen them before. After walking up the hill I heard a song that sounded very familiar but I couldn't pinpoint what it was, then it came to me it wasâ?¦
Recover! I then ran down the hill to the side stage at which they we playing. They played a relatively short set, but it rocked hard. They played old classics from their full length as well as a few new ones from their new E.P. Finally they finished with "Rodeo."
After they finished I walked around a bit and checked out all the other tents and got the times for the rest of my favorite bands. While I was down there I heard..
Thursday kicked into "Understanding in a Car Crash" so I picked up my stuff and headed down to the main stage. After pushing my way through on-looking fans I made it up to the front of the stage. Their pit was pretty crazy and I managed to get kicked in the head by crowd-surfers twice. They played "Paris in Flames" and a couple others. Then they played a new song that is probably going to be on that new E.P. that is coming out shortly, it sounded very good. Finally they closed with "Cross out the eyes." Thursday played an awesome show and I'd recommend seeing them live to anyone.
Next up was Autopilot Off at 1:30. So I headed over to the Drive-Thru stage. These guys really impressed me when I saw them in Cleveland and they didn't disappoint here either. They played every song off the new E.P. and played them really well. Although their singers voice wasn't loud enough and it was kind of difficult to hear the words, but I was familiar with most of them, so I didn't mind. The crowd seemed into them, even though there was little moshing.
Next up was Alkaline Trio. I have seen these guys three times now, and this performance was defiantly my favorite out of them all. They were just on that day. Matt didn't hold back on his singing and Dan was great too. They opened up with "Clavicle" and the crowd went nuts. Their set included "Crawl", "Private Eye", "Queen of Pain", and a few others. After playing an awesome set they ended with a stunning rendition of "97."
After the Alkaline Trio show I went to get my skank on to the crazy sounds of the Planet Smashers. They played a few songs, and then two members of Mustard Plug joined them as they sang the chorus from "Beer". After that they closed with "Super Orgy Porno Party", my favorite by them. They played an extremely short set, about 15 minutes, but I wasn't bothered because I was tired from skanking.
From there I went to check out a local band from Los Angles called "Never Heard of It." I missed these guys at the Cleveland show. They opened up with the first song from their new cd "Limited Edition." They played a good set of pop-punk and got the small crowd into their set. I'm looking forward to these guys coming back in the fall.
When they finished I dashed over to the Drive-Thru Stage to see Finch tear it up. I started out very close to the front but as they rocked harder and harder I was pushed to the way back. They opened up with a very powerful version of "What it is to Burn". Finch tore through most of their cd "What it is to Burn" before finally closing with my favorite song on there "Untitled."
After Finch I was torn between seeing either RxBandits or Deviates. Seeing as how I had already seen the bandits in Cleveland and I've never experienced the Deviates live, I decided to watch a few RxB songs then head over to see the Deviates. I saw RxBandits perform "VCG^3" and "Who Would've Thought" before I ran over to catch the rest of The Deviates set. For as old and as hard to find as the Deviates debut cd is, they sure played a lot of songs off of it. I don't own it so I didn't recognize most of their set. The songs I did know were "The End" and "Right Back to You". Then they finished with "Come with me." It was a decent show but I was expecting better.
When the Deviates finished I headed over to the Punkrocks.net Stage to catch my most anticipated band, From Autumn to Ashes. I managed to get there pretty early and secured my place up against the stage, and dead center. As they began to set up their equipment, the Trojan guys came out and chatted with the crowd. Then they began to throw free samples of condoms out to the crowd. There was a ton; they had a large backpack stuffed with them that they were giving away. One of the sound guys for FATA opened one up and stuck it around the main mic, which got some laughs from the crowd. Finally FATA was ready to play. They opened with "The Royal Crown vs. The Blue Duchess" Throughout their set they played "Cherry Kiss", "Take her to the Music Store" and "Capeside Rock". Their set had so much energy and was my favorite show of the whole day. They finally closed with a beautifully stunning version of the nine minute epic "Short Stories with Tragic Endings." After that song I knew I had gotten my $35 worth.
Next I headed over to check out Against All Authority at the small and crappy Ernie Ball Stage. I listened to a few songs by AAA but I was disappointed that all that was left of their "horn section" was a trumpet. The songs I did here, were a few from "All Fall Down" but most of them were from "24 Hour Roadside Resistance." So I left mid-set to watch a more ska filled Reel Big Fish show. When I got to the main stage I was very surprised to see how large the crowd was to see RBF. I stood pretty far back in the crowd and watched on as they played "Thank you for not moshing." They then played a handful of rock-heavy songs off their new cd entitled "Cheer Up." Their cover of A-Ha's "Take on me" was next. Aaron even claimed that he wrote it. They then closed their set with the crowd favorite "Sellout" All in all a pretty good show; I just don't like the new cd.
Closing the day for me was none other than Mustard Plug. I had never sent these guys before even though they are from Michigan which is very close to Ohio. I was expecting a stellar performance from them and they delivered. They played a decent amount of tunes of their upcoming cd "Yellow 5" which comes out in September. Let me tell you it sounds like a great improvement over their last one "Pray for Mojo." Unfortunately they didn't play anything off of "Big Daddy Multitude" which is one of my favorite cds by them. They then ended their set and my day with "Beer." Even members of the Planet Smashers joined in. All in all it was a great day, and I saw a huge amount of great bands. This show was definitely better then the Warped Tour in Cleveland.