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Warped Tour 2009

Warped Tour 2009: live in Clevelandlive in Cleveland (2009)
None

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


Contributed by: maxsternmaxstern
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As I walked towards the entrance of the Time Warner Cable Amphitheater, I felt a strange mix of nostalgia and fear. I can recall going to early Warped Tours as a 13-year-old kid and being amazed that all my favorite bands were playing in one place. That being said, with the inclusion of bands like B.


As I walked towards the entrance of the Time Warner Cable Amphitheater, I felt a strange mix of nostalgia and fear. I can recall going to early Warped Tours as a 13-year-old kid and being amazed that all my favorite bands were playing in one place. That being said, with the inclusion of bands like Brokencyde, Millionaires and 3OH!3, it seems that the image and the demographic has shifted a bit since the tour's inception. That may be an understatement.

We parked in a garage and I immediately heard the beginning to Less than Jake's "Plastic Cup Politics" booming over the loudspeakers. I adored that band when I was 15. By the time we made it to the main stage I rushed towards the pit and pogoed and danced and sang along like it was sophomore year of high school. Though I would probably never come home from work one day and think "Man, I wanna listen to Less Than Jake!", there's definitely something to be said about remembering where you come from. "Look What Happened" still puts a smile on my face.

Bad Religion played next and the three older punkers standing around started to flip out. Watching Greg Graffin front that band is hilarious -- it looks like when someone's dad gets drunk at a party: awkward but awesome at the same time. Fake Problems was playing at the same time, and in retrospect I probably should have seen them instead. Next time.

We wandered around for a little and ended up catching the second half of Minneapolis rapper P.O.S.'s set. My experiences with live hip-hop have never been that great, but P.O.S. had abandoned the stage and was standing in the middle of a crowd of about 200 kids and was just KILLING it with an amazing amount of intensity. Everyone was dancing, singing along to the parts that they knew, and generally just having a great time. He introduced one song as "the Bouncing Souls meets De La Soul" that included the chorus from the Souls' "Argyle," which was awesome, but made me a bit sad that the Souls weren't gracing Cleveland with their presence at this year's Warped. P.O.S. ended up being one of the best sets I had seen in a long time.

The next band on my list was Big D and the Kids Table. I remember seeing them play out of the side of a truck in 2004 and putting on one of the most energetic shows I've ever seen. However, it seems like their musical ideas have just become diluted and misguided -- their set consisted of "Little Bitch," "Steady Riot," "Fly Away" and four newer songs that are half laid-back-ska, half showtunes complete with backup singers who were fun to look at but didn't add an incredible amount of‚?¶anything. Times are changin', I guess. When they finished the crowd stayed and chanted "L-A-X!" for a solid two minutes. The band just looked back at the crowd and laughed, which was a little bit disheartening.

Streetlight Manifesto played next. They are consistently awesome, although their singer Tomas kept referring to Cleveland as Cincinnati. Their set consisted almost completely of requests, which was nice to see.

I caught some band -- I think they were called Gallows -- who were just shit-talking the entire Warped Tour in a fashion that one might call "very British." They had a circle pit that went around the soundboard with a diameter of about 250 feet, which was impressive until I realized that it was a bunch of 14-year-olds running in a circle and not even making any physical contact, which I guess makes it more of a track meet and less of a circle pit.

I closed out the day with back-to-back-to-back sets from NOFX, Westbound Train and Flogging Molly. Fat Mike was obscene and Hefe did a bunch of impressions -- pretty much par for the course -- but they did play "Linoleum," "The Brews" and their cover of Rancid's "Radio," which was great. I really enjoyed Westbound's set -- relaxed, soulful reggae and ska tunes complete with covers of "Stand by Me" and "Cupid." Their singer has a great voice for the type of music that they play, and it was a nice deviation from the rest of the acts I'd seen. Flogging Molly played a very energetic set too, but it's the same thing every time I see them. At that point I was too tired and sunburnt to dance anymore, so I stood by the soundboard and thought about when I was younger and was one of the annoying crowdsurfers whose shoes I now rip off and throw.

The bottom line is that Warped does represent everything wrong with punk rock and independent music today -- I saw enough scenesters and half-naked 13-year-old girls to tide me over for the next few hundred years. But why focus on the negative aspects? I think the 30-something guy in the NOFX shirt said it to me best: "I don't even know why I come here -- The Fest is a million times better‚?¶but I don't know, it's still fun though."

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
damnitsderek (July 17, 2009)

I already wanted to see P.O.S. live incredibly bad, and this review only makes me want to go see him live even more.

dX927 (July 17, 2009)

"Fuck man I just got back from the warped tour... and holy shit is it annoying. I'm 21 and I was older than 95% of the crowd. It didn't seem like anyone knew who Bad Religion was. Nofx played before 30h3(or something) and when we were leaving one of the million 13 year old girls said, "ew they're all old". Streetlight only played for like 20 mins. On the plus side, LTJ played one of the best sets I've seen them do, and I saw the Madd Vibe Experiment featuring Angelo Moore and HR. Fucking warped tour man..."

You tried way too hard to sound cool.

brandonsideleau (July 16, 2009)

Bad Religion wipes the floor with Fake Problems and that "old guy" is one of the smartest men in the country.....fucking teeny boppers.

rozmantic (July 15, 2009)

Score is for Max being awesome.

IanIsSuperRad (July 15, 2009)

Bad Religion at a huge stage with hundreds of kids < Fake Problems at a tiny stage with 30 people.

I'm not saying Bad Religion sucks or that Fake Problems are better, but having seen BR many a time and having never saw FP, the choice was easy for me.

alchron77 (July 15, 2009)

Score is for saying you should have seen some shitty band instead of Bad Religion. I hope you fall off a cliff.

inagreendase (July 15, 2009)

amen scruffles

lol? lol.

Rastid (July 15, 2009)

I'd say something wrong with punk rock is the number of people who believe that you should grow out of Less Than Jake, or that Fake Problems would be even remotely fucking preferable to Bad Religion.

this.

Babrook (July 15, 2009)

Score is for missing FP's great set and not realizing Tom was joking during the Streetlight set, and not mentioning the Streetlight crowd fucking with the band that played while Streetlight set up.

But past that, I agree with your review.

Chadreligion (July 15, 2009)

I have seen NOFX play at 3:00 in the afternoon here in SF a couple of years back.. I'm sure they all went to go party at Mike's house afterwards.
BTW, I've seen NOFX God knows how many times, and this year, to be quite honest, was the worst performance I've ever seen them play, and they didn't even fuck or or have any sound problems. I think it was just their attitude and their choice of songs that ruined it.
I know I know, Their NOFX, but fuck.....

Score was for the whole day, and that's with a backstage pass

misterspike (July 14, 2009)

Does NOFX ever NOT play almost at the end of the day? I don't think I've ever seen them before 5pm at Warped.

cuffer (July 14, 2009)

Fuck man I just got back from the warped tour... and holy shit is it annoying. I'm 21 and I was older than 95% of the crowd. It didn't seem like anyone knew who Bad Religion was. Nofx played before 30h3(or something) and when we were leaving one of the million 13 year old girls said, "ew they're all old". Streetlight only played for like 20 mins. On the plus side, LTJ played one of the best sets I've seen them do, and I saw the Madd Vibe Experiment featuring Angelo Moore and HR. Fucking warped tour man...

IanIsSuperRad (July 14, 2009)

Hey Max, I saw you and Matt walking around a few times and meant to say hi. Never got around to it. You blew it by skipping Fake Problems. They were the highlight of my day.

I give the day a 5. I enjoyed myself, but if I'd have stayed home, I wouldn't have lost any sleep over it.

StrangeSlowOld (July 14, 2009)

I had to work til 5 but I asked my friends to tell me when Westbound Train and Flogging Molly played. I only wanted to see those two anyway. It worked out because they both played later in the day. Checked out NOFX when I got there then headed straight to WBT and then Flogging Molly. Saw some old friends I haven't seen in awhile and hung out with WBT for a bit.

So glad I didn't take off work to sit around and hope to find an impressionable young boy to make out with. I made money and still saw the bands I wanted. It would have been nice to make out with a teenage boy though. Yes, I'm creepy.

brangelina (July 14, 2009)

amen scruffles

thekidsaresoso (July 14, 2009)

Gallows and POS are the best bands on this tour.

-J-

red_eye_inc (July 14, 2009)

Why would Bad Religion play in the middle of the day?

scruffy (July 14, 2009)

I'd say something wrong with punk rock is the number of people who believe that you should grow out of Less Than Jake, or that Fake Problems would be even remotely fucking preferable to Bad Religion.

brangelina (July 14, 2009)

Score is for me seeing all of the best worst bands when I was there and getting waaaasttteeeeeeedd

NewKid (July 14, 2009)

Terrible review. I was at this date. NOFX was incredibly wasted. All Melvin did was yell in the microphone 'it's my birthday'. Hefe had to play his parts. It was great. Anti Flag opend up the show at 11:15 and put on a good set, Less Than Jake's onstage banter was halarious. Not even a mention of Paramore's special appearance in all fairness for the review? Big D and POS were definately highlights. The new songs fit perfectly with the older ones for Big D and the crowd never stopped moving. If you skipped all the right bands it was an enjoyable time.

Eric

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