The line was already stretched some where behind them amphitheater when I arrived at sometime after 11 am to attend the 2003 Vans Warped Tour. The line up wasn't as good this year so I wasn't expecting much from the day. Yes, there were bands I wanted to see, but if I didn't, I could live with out.
I walked around with my party for about an hour figuring out what the plan for the day was, who we were seeing, and what time we were leaving. After we got a rough idea, we walked around and checked out the vendors. The vendors were pretty much the same as they always are. The only tent I noticed that was different was the Easy Mac tent. Easy Mac is good, but not when half the powder cheese is blowing away in the wind, it's 95 degrees out, and you're already thirsty.
Among some of the bands on my day's roster were Face to Face, Suicide Machines, Talib Kweli, Andrew W.K., Dropkick Murphys and Less than Jake. Usually I am pissed that I didn't get to see everyone I wanted to see, but unfortunately there was a lot of stand around time waiting for the bands that did play.
Talib Kweli, an unlikely guest at this year's warped tour managed a small gathering of people. I never heard of him until just a few months ago, but I was definitely surprised to see a bunch of punks jamming to the this hip hop. Kweli, a good sport, incorporated many of the tour's bands in his songs. Awesome performance. If you are into hip hop at least a little bit, I recommend.
Andrew W.K. came on the stage dripping wet. Anything to do with I Get Wet? I don't care for Andrew W.K.'s music, but as a person, he is awesome. When he performs he cares about nothing else other than people having a good time whether they like his music or not. When you look at the cover of his last LP, you would never think that he is warm spirited person. He played his hits including She is Beautiful. Two thumbs up for quality.
I was amazed to see that Sum 41 had the biggest crowd. Granted, of all the bands there, they had the most radio time, but I was amazed. They aren't even good. I watched from the opposite side of the venue and then walked away so the only thing I caught was what I believe was In Too Deep.
During the Face to Face set, some one in the crowd started to have seizures and they cut off right in the middle of Bill Of Goods. I liked this band before, but I respect them so much more for stopping in the middle of the song to get the security and medical team's attention to help this person. Face to Face exited the stage for 5 minutes, returned, on looked for a few minutes and then played just a few songs more including I Want. It was unfortunate we didn't get the full set, but I can speak for many when I say I hope that person is doing okay.
I missed Thrice's set, but EVERYONE who saw them and spoke to me after told me that I didn't miss a thing. It's really unfortunate that they can't make it as an acoustic set. Guess some things just aren't good toned down. With the votes I get, I don't recommend missing any band to see Thrice.
Another band I caught were Detroit natives Suicide Machines. They played songs such as SOS and DDT as well as songs off their new album, A Match and Some Gasoline. Nothing spectacular or out of the ordinary. Although I was amused by a tall goofy white guy screaming the words to every single song. I always thought the bigger fans migrated to the front.
The bagpipes caught my attention as The Dropkick Murpheys entered the stage. They had the most dedicated grouping of fans. In the middle of the crowd, there were a bunch of people holding up a giant homemade banner that read "Sing Loud, Sing Proud" and had the Dropkick Coat of Arms. I can't imagine toting something like that around all day.
I managed to catch a little of Less Than Jake's set. Despite the dying energy of the crowd they managed to get people moving again. They showed more energy than any other band I watched that night. They were pro. The played songs off Hello Rockview and Pezcore.
This was the worst warped tour I've ever been to. Even though there were bands I liked, there really wasn't any one there who was a MUST see. I am sure you can get your $30 worth if you pick up as much free stuff as possible, and there are a minimum of 10 bands you like, other wise, spend your hard earned money on something else.