You guys think you are punk rockers? Try staying out all day while drops of water as big as your fist are pouring down from the sky, in the same damn wet clothes, just to listen to five or six awesome bands among a whole lot of shitty ones. Those who pussy out are so kicked out of punk. And a lot actually pussied out when that scenario happened last Saturday at the Vans Warped Tour in Montreal. But the true warriors stayed and had the time of their lives. Fat Mike said it more eloquently than I ever could: “French-Canadians are crazy.”
A friend and I got there at 3. First disappointment of the day -- Less Than Jake had already played at 1:15. Second disappointment -- the flood began at the very same time we got on location. But that didn't stop us. Most of the shows I wanted to see were all lined up at the end of the day, starting at 5:15 with Flogging Molly, so for the first few hours we just walked about, trying to find good music to enjoy. Lucky for us (kidding), we fell upon what I think was Underoath. I am not familiar with the band, but who could end a show by saying “God bless each and everyone of you”? Then they told the crowd to go up the hill in front of the stage and run or slide down all at the same time. I bet that once it was over, all those sheeps must have regretted it, with all the mud and grass that was stuck all over them. We continued walking. Some bands seemed good, but the problem is that the sound, save for the main stage, was AWFUL. Even the best band in the world would sound like shit on any secondary stage. Therefore, it was hard to appreciate a good band.
On the main stage was a bad band at that point. If memory serves right, it was 3OH!3. No way, I ain't going there. Then we saw a band that seemed really good on one of the secondary stages. I don't know the name though, because some asshole thought it would be a good idea to remove the big schedule displayed at the entrance of the festival, so it was impossible to know who was playing where unless you already knew them. The singer said that they just released their first 7'' on Sleep It Off Records, though, Less Than Jake's record label. I offer a cookie to the person who can find me the name of the band.
Anyway, after that, the Devil Wears Prada played on the main stage. They seemed alright. My friend, who is more into harder stuff, enjoyed them more than I did. I thought the singer had a powerful voice, but their sound wasn't anything I hadn't heard before. I still watched them all the way through to get a good spot for Flogging Molly, who was playing next.
That's when the real show began for me. Simply put, they were awesome. Dave King even waved his middle finger in direction of the sky, congratulating us for staying even though God didn't want us to. There you go. Fuck you, Underoath. God was against us that day. Anyway, they played classics from all their albums, like "The Likes of You Again," "Requiem for a Dying Song," "Drunken Lullabies" and many more. Everybody was dancing and singing along, and we all had a really great time.
Bad Religion was up next. There's nothing much to say about that band that hasn't been said before. So what if they're pushing 50? They still have a lot of energy. What I always liked about Bad Religion is that even after 30 years, they still have a LOT of fun playing all of their songs, even though some of them are quite old. They always smile and have a blast. They even managed to banter each other on stage, joke around and stuff. My friend didn't like them, but so what? Fuck him. Bad Religion is a classic and no one can touch them.
After that was Alexisonfire on the main stage. But sue me, I wanted to see Streetlight Manifesto on a secondary stage instead. First surprise, Tomas' arm was in a cast, so he couldn't play guitar (duh!). Some guy was playing guitar for the band, but he kept making mistakes. At one point I think they unplugged him. I may be wrong, but you couldn't hear the guitar at all at the end of the show. But remember that I said the sound was awful on any stage but the main one, so it was no exception here. Some songs were barely recognizable. That was my first set witnessed on a secondary stage, and I thought it would last as long as the sets on the main stage, but they stopped playing after 20 minutes. Bummer. I went back to the main stage to watch the last 20 minutes of Alexisonfire set. I am not a big fan, but they were good nonetheless. I also wanted to get a good place for NOFX, the last band that would be playing that day.
Fat Mike is definitely not a big fan of Alexisonfire either, and he poked fun at them every time he got the chance. The first line he said was something like: “I wish Bad Religion played before us. 'Cuz they are the better band, aren't they?” Then after a bad joke during the show, he said “That was funny. Not as funny as Alexisonfire, but still pretty funny.” It was one hell of a show, though. NOFX was the best possible band to end this day. They are always a lot of fun to watch, and have a lot of energetic songs in their catalog. They spoke a lot between songs, but at least what they said was funny. At one point they were making racist jokes about Mexicans and Jews, which is even funnier when you know that Mike is a Jew and El Hefe, a Mexican. Do you know why there are no Mexicans in Star Trek? Because they don't work in the future, either. Ha... Haha... Yeah, it's a little bit in a bad taste, but I find it hilarious and that's what you came to expect from NOFX. Fat Mike was boasting after every song that so far, they didn't make any mistakes. He coughed into the mic at one point, but according to him, that's not a mistake. They ended the show on "Les Champs-Élysées" to please the mostly French-speaking crowd. Ask any French guy and he'll tell you that it's the cheesiest French song ever. But whatever, cheesy is punk rock, right?
After that awesome day, I rushed home, hurried to get butt naked and got in the shower. But I wouldn't trade the cold that I'll probably have for all the enjoyment and excitement I had that day. Best Warped Tour I've been to in years.