Warped Tour in Cleveland sold out two days before taking place this year, and it sure showed. The scene in Cleveland is pretty strong to begin with, but for this years event, everyone and their mother's came out to see the likes of some great bands, good bands, Simple Plan and the All American Rejects.
I walked in to see the closing few songs of The Starting Line. I won't lie, I didn't have any real problem with "Say It Like You Mean It", but at the same time, it was always lacking as being anything more than a guilty pleasure. Last time I saw them they were in a small club with very few people there. This time around, they were on the mainstage, and put on a pretty good show. The crowd was really into it, especially for "Best of Me", as was expected.
Next up was Vaux over on the Volcom stage. There were maybe 30 or 40 people watching, and I'd say were were some of the luckiest 30 or 40 people of the day. They tore through 3/4 of the songs off of "There Must Be Some Way to Stop Them". The band put all they had into every song and seemed almost held back by the tiny stage. They're touring with AWK later this fall, and I can say that will be one of the most intense and fun-filled shows of the year.
I ventured back over to the main stage for a handful of bands, the exact order of which escapes me...
Rancid put on one hell of a show, playing mostly material off of AOCTW. They also played a new song which sounded good until Skinhead Rob came out and started rapping. I hope that isn't in the album cut of the track.
Less Than Jake delivered one of the best sets of the day, playing all old songs sans "The Science of Selling Yourself Short" which is an amazing song in its own right. Almost the entire crowd aroudn the main stage was moving during their set. It's nice to see they haven't lost their touch just yet.
I caught the tail end of Simple Plan. The singer really tried putting some balls into their performance, but in the end, it was still Simple Plan, and the crowd still went crazy. I say, give me back Reset.
Thrice followed Simple Plan to deliver a rather lackluster set. The bassist was sitting because he was sick, but the rest of the band had no excuse for standing as still as they did. The sound was mixed horribly, and the only time you could hear any vocals at all was when Dustin yelled. They are a much better club band.
Suicide Machines delivered the most energetic set of the day. They did the Braveheart thing, and although I've heard about it from so many other people, it was still really cool. They turned all of their fans against the Ataris fans waiting at the other stage. SM need to tour on their own, and soon.
The Ataris were next and delivered probably the most surprising set of the day. They were my favorite band back when I was in high school (3 years ago), but their live show always left something to be desired. They seemed to have more drive this time around though, and definitely played to cater to their older fans rather than those of just So Long, Astoria.
The Gimme Gimmes were up next, and they were horrible. Two years ago, they were the best band on the tour. Theres really nothing more to say, it was just a bad performance.
Glassjaw was the last band of the day I saw. They were definitely the best of the day. Since this is the last week of the tour, many of the bands seemed like they were ready to go home, but GJ had so much energy, and every song sounded dead on. They played one new song that sounded a bit different, but was still pretty cool. All the other songs were dead on, and Darryl's vocals were even more sporatic than on the albums. If you have yet to go to the tour this year, please go support them.
I also caught part of Brand New's set on a side stage. They played acoustic because Jessie hurt his knee a few days back. Their set turned out to be the most disappointing of the day. They spent over half of the set time tuning their guitars. The only highlight was Soco Amoretto Lime.
Overall, this year's tour was pretty good. There were a lot of solid performances and it was nice to see the tour scaled down a lot from last year's advertising campaign. My only real complaint is that at age 20 I felt too old to be there much of the time.