You may be saying, "Oh god, another Warped tour review" by this point, but I felt that it was needed for someone to actually review the type of bands that warped was originally entitled for.
I left Cincinnati at about 10 a.m. for the two hour drive to Indianapolis on thursday. Me and my friend stopped into a Denny's on the way up for a quick bite to eat before the long day that we knew was ahead of us. As we were leaving we asked the server what time it was, and it wound up being an hour earlier than we thought, since we didnt think to remember the time zone shift. So that made us pretty happy knowing that we could still possibly make it in time for the expected early doors.
After being hassled by a monk when we climbed out of my car, we made the half mile journey to the front entrance. Where there was a huge line of kids at each gate getting patted down. I soon approached the security guy and he patted me down and made me take my belt back to my car for some reason. But soon enough I made it back through.
As I entered the Verizon Wireless Music Center, the first thing that caught my eyes on the way in was the River City Rebels drum set, set up in the Space Station tent. I ran up to the trombone player, and talked to him for a couple minutes, as they've always been one of my favorite live bands, and they weren't announced for any of the shows, so I was very suprised. They weren't to play for another five hours or so, though, so I continued on. My next goal was to find a schedule for the day. I soon found one taped to a vendor's table and wrote down set times for all of the bands that I planned to see.
First up was Lars Frederiksen and the Bastards. We made a good journey to the Brian stage to find them, and find them we did. Lars came out looking like a breed of 1/3 werewolf/ 1/3 biker/ 1/3 child molestor. He stated that they were the ugliest band in the world and introduced the band, as they busted into their first song, "Dead American". I joined in the pit and sang along with everyone until the song ended. They went through a couple more including, "Campbell, CA", "Wine and Roses", and "Anti-Social". During the breakdown of one of the songs, Lars dedicated the set to his fallen friends and family, and even spoke the chorus of "Time Bomb" so that everyone knew who one of the guys was that he was talking about. It was really emotional for me, as I've been a huge Rancid fan for many years now. But before they finished, Lars asked if anyone knew who his favorite band was. A few kids shouted Motorhead, and they played a familiar song that I'd heard Rancid do on their Demolition Sessions, then called "Do you wanna dance with me?", now entitled "Little Rude Girl". I never thought I'd get to hear this song live, so it made me very content with the set. By the way, the new cd doesn't stack up whatsoever to the first one. So unless you're into hearing about Lars fucking whores and carrying guns and knives around with him, don't buy the new album.
As soon as The Bastards finished playing, we made our way over to the Volcom stage to see Avenged Sevenfold Play the last 20 minutes of their set. It was good if you're into hardcore/speed-metal stuff. But I was beat from seeing Lars, So I couldn't get too into them. One highlight of their set, they played in my opinion, their best song, "Second Heartbeat."
We then tried to make it to see Anti-Flag play their last few songs, but couldnt make it to the stage in time. I wasn't too bummed though, as I've seen them play 3 times in the past year. On a side note, one thing that I dont understand is why everyone bitches about Anti-Flag talking about politics while their on stage. That's what they are, a political band, if you dont like it don't listen to them, or watch them.
After realizing that we'd missed Anti-Flag, we went back towards the front entrance to the Space Station stage to watch the Groovie Ghoulies play a few songs. Their set was very energetic and you could tell their fans apart from everyone else, with the guys dressed in old school punk shirts, tight, ripped jeans, Chuck's, and horned rim glasses, and the girls in 50's style California skirts, still with the Chuck's and glasses. Very interesting none-the-less.
At this point in the day, there was a good hour break between sets that we were going to see. We took time to walk around to the different booths and pick up some free crap and buy a little bit of merch. After receiving free condoms and a shitload of stickers and promo posters, we passed the Code of the Cutz Stage, where a group called Arcane was playing. It was three guys with great crowd control and some very funny lyrics. The last song that they did was something like "You're pussy is so hairy", after apologizing before hand to anyone that would be offended. They even gave free shirts to anyone who danced. I recommend watching them for a laugh if you've got some free time. After that, my friend and I waited in line for the Avenged Sevenfold signing. All I got out of it was impatience and an excroutiating sunburn.
3 o'clock rolled around and it was time to go watch the Bouncing Souls play. Greg soon came out and they busted into their set. The crowd went off as they played old classics like "Argyle" and "Hopeless Romantic". A few other notable cuts would be "True Believers" and "That Song". I wasn't completely impressed with the set as I could have been, since they didn't play "Manthem" "Johnny X" or "Gone". Which in my eyes, are the best songs that they play live.
As the Souls finished, you could hear the Vandals taking the stage across the field. The crowd got very into them. And I have to admit that they had the most hilarious, and bizarre set of the day. They even had the Drummer from Alkaline Trio playing with them, since the original drummer was apparently sick. They played everything from "My neck, my back" to "Oi, to the world." They asked for a request at one point and i had to give it a shot, so I screamed out for Anarchy Burger, but only got a dumb-founded look from the lead singer. I guess they haven't played it in years or something, but it would have been nice to hear anyhow.
After their set, we had a half hour to kill until Bad Religion played, but we realized that we were missing Rise Against, so we ran as fast as we could to the volcom stage just in time to catch them playing their last song. We were disappointed, but we'd seen them not too long ago, so it wasn't that big of a deal. Once they finished, we made it back over to the Brian stage for BR, instead to find Flogging Molly setting up. They said that BR wasn't there yet, so they were taking their place. I was ok with it though, since I planned to see them play anyhow. Before they played, Mr. Dave King noted that Irishmen and people with red hair aren't supposed to be in heat over 100 degrees. This got a laugh out of the sweat soaked crowd as they flew right into their first song "Drunken Lullabies". Many notables were "Whats left of the Flag" Devil's Dance Floor" "Rebel's of the Sacred Heart" and the closer "Salty Dog". Somewhere in the set, they through in a new song from an apparently upcoming album, which was amazing if I may say so. After making a few jokes, the band left the stage and went back to their little guiness party.
The rest of us made our way back out of the area and went our seperate ways. My friend and I went to the Space Station stage once again, this time to watch the River City Rebels play. We sat around for about 20 minutes waiting for them. Dan soon enough made his way out to the front of the band as they kicked out their set. A much needed rain began to fall as they played classic Rebel's songs like "No Good" and "Life's a Drag", including a few new songs from their upcoming album, "Hate to be Loved." They even did a cover of "Do you love me?", which really got the small crowd going, as Dan jumped out and danced with the kids for a little while. They soon closed with "Small Town Pride" as the die-hard, bleeding Rebels fans danced their lives away. This was arguably the best show of the entire day.
Since we were confused about the time at this point, we decided to walk over to Ernie Ball stage to wait for Big D and the Kids Table to play. When we arrived, Lordz of Brooklyn were playing their brand of Beastie Boys-like rap/thrash/metal. My friend and I were both upset that they didn't play "Saturday Night", but we were lucky enough to catch them, so we didn't worry about it. We just hung around until Big D and the Kids Table played, and decided to miss Bad Religion, since we'd have another chance to see them in Cincinnati in a couple of weeks. Before they played, I said hey to some of my friend's in the band, since I'd put on a show of their's back in April. They opened up with "Girls Against Drunk Bitches" and went through the set with few more from Good Luck, like "Myself" and "She won't ever figure it out". The kids were skanin all over the place during the entire set, until they closed with "L.A.X.", when everyone just crowded in around the stage to sing along. It was a very exciting show to see towards the end of the day.
For our final performance of the day, we walked only a few hundred feet over to the Teal Stage for NOFX. They had a few minutes until they played, so I began to study the stage, where they had two huge dolls propped up on rods, that we later found out they'd found in the grabge a few days earlier, because "For some reason, mid-westerners have the wierdest garbage" according to Fat Mike. The band soon came out, followed by Fat Mike, who looked like he hadn't had a bowel movement in a month. But it wound up being a stiff neck, that he'd been given pills for, but Eric Melvin apparently got some too and snorted them. Nothing compared to the cocaine he'd done, he noted. The opening of the set was just a really fast, NOFX-esque riff, which soon turned into "Kill all the White Man.", followed by"Linolium"; "a slow song" according to Mike. They busted out other classics like "Murder the Government","Bob" and "A Perfect Government", with newer songs like "Bottles to the Ground" and "Franco Unamerican". They even played both versions of "Fuck the Kids" upon request. During one of the last songs, someone passed out in the pit, which I'm beginning to think is a curse on NOFX shows, as everytime I've seen them, this has happened. They finally finished with "Idiot Son of an Asshole", which had everyone in the crowd laughing, as he through in things about the president not having the ability to eat pretzels properly.
With this being my fifth year at Warped Tour, I have to say it was one of the best. Nothing compared to last year's line-up, but good in it's own sense. I hope that everyone goes out and has a great time this year no matter what. And if you have a chance, check out some of the bands on the smaller stages.