Warped Tour 2003 - live in Camden (Cover Artwork)

Warped Tour 2003

live in Camden (2003)

live show

(I'm gonna put band names in bold so that you lazy ass people can only read the reviews of bands you care about, and then you can tell me that I'm a moron for the review that I gave that band.)

A day before the Warped Tour came to the Tweeter Center in Camden, all of the tickets had sold out. I don't remember Warped ever selling out in prior years, but there were a ton of people there. It's weird to say this, because my friends and I that went are only 17 and 18 year olds, but already we are starting to feel old at the Warped Tour. Or maybe just the overall maturity of people there is low, but I won't bitch about that like I could.

We got into the Tweeter Center at about 12:45 after a long wait at the ferry to get out of Philly. We were walking around the back of the large amphitheatre that housed the side stages when we heard a familiar song echoing out from behind the seats. We quickly jumped up the back wall to look in and see what was going on. Vendetta Red was on one of the stages really tearing it up. I had heard their song on the TV before and didn't have any problems with it, but I really liked it live. At one point the lead singer threw the mic all the way up to roof and let it fall and threw his hands in the air for the crowd to sing and pump their fists along to. Their live show is what Taking Back Sunday's should be, but more about them later. We caught another song by Vendetta Red, and left to check out when the bands were playing.

We made it just in time to work our way up real close to the stage where Poison The Well was setting up. As soon as these guys came out, they wasted no time getting the crowd to go nuts. Within 10 seconds of them getting on the stage they had already begun playing "Zombies Are Good For Your Health". The energy didn't stop until they were done, and they also produced the biggest pit I would see all day. Even though it was early PTW had one of the best sets of the day and I was very happy that I finally got to see them. They also mixed it up nicely with old and new material: 2 from "The Opposite of December", 2 from "Tear From The Red" and 3 from "You Come Before You". They closed the set with "Nerdy" which I really wanted to hear, so that rocked alot.

After that we went inside to fill our water bottles at the waterfountains and meet up with some more people. We hung around there for a little and decided to see The Ataris because we were just sitting around and not watching bands. Since the crowd for them was gi-nourmous, we were pretty far back. But even far back the people were goin' nuts. One thing I really hate though, is when people in the back try to push all the way to the front. It sucks for people who actually waited patiently to get the front, 'cause they're being pushed back. The Ataris had a decent set, playing a lot of new stuff. I would've rather heard more stuff from "Blue Skies..." but you gotta respect a band's desire to play some new songs live. I actually saw some bloodlet in the Ataris pit, it was pretty crazy. The lead singer tried to get the kids to do a circle pit, but they couldn't/didn't know what it was. Eventually the singer had to explain the concept of a circle pit and they still couldn't. It really isn't that hard. They closed with "San Dimas High School Football Rules", much to the delight of everyone in the crowd.

Less than a minute after The Ataris finished, the opening chords to Taking Back Sunday's "You Know How I Do" were emanating from the next stage over. I never had anything against TBS, so I decided to check it out. The crowd, while not as big as the one for The Ataris, was pretty large. I have to say that it was a pretty weak performance. They were way too sloppy. The singer was swinging the mic around more than singing, leaving the crowd to cover half the vocals. My friend Sarah summed it up when she said that he throws the mic around, leaving the audience to carry the melody and sometimes they just can't do it, and it throws the whole song off. Hey, I enjoy a good set of microphone theatrics as much as the next guy, but someone once said mic's are for singing, not swinging.

From there we caught some of Rancid. While they aren't really my bag, I have nothing but respect for them. They made sure that their fans had a good time and they had tons of energy. Oh, and their bassist is incredible.

We wanted to catch Brand New in an hour so we headed into the side stage amphitheatre next and got to sit down in the stadium seating, just to grab some overpriced food and drink and listen to some not-so-memorable bands (my friend Brian actually fell asleep). Not memorable, that is, until a spectacular little band took one of the stages. They caught our attention the second they started playing. They were really good, but we didn't know who they were. I kept asking around and found out that they were Motion City Soundtrack. I remember hearing nothing but good things about them before, but for some reason I never felt compelled to check them out. The energy they have is outstanding and their songs are so catchy that it made me want to puke all over everyone around me (I mean that in the best possible way). We kept yelling for them to turn up the keyboards and they complied each time (their keyboardist is nuts). Then they invited everyone to meet them after their set. These guys are good dudes and they rock, check them out as soon as you can.

As soon as Motion City Soundtrack stopped playing, about a thousand people rose up out of nowhere and crowded around the other side stage. Everyone stood on their chairs in front and in back of us. I looked over at the other kids in our row who looked just as confused as us. It turned out that it was The All American Rejects. These guys are too poppy for me to like, it like having bubble gum and skittles forced into my brain. I wasn't really impressed with any of their songs. For some reason their lead singer said "fuck" at least twice a sentence. I guess he was trying to prove that his band is tough or something, but it just came off as phony. He also told everyone who was standing up to flip off everyone who was sitting down. When little kids turn around to flip you off its a sad thing. I looked back at them and shook my head. The kid next to me actually laughed at the fact that this was happening. I didn't like them all that much.

We worked our way down to catch Brand New, when this band Pepper took the stage (I think thats their name. They were a Hawaiian group with three members. If I'm wrong please bitch me out, 'cause I should've looked this up). They really weren't good at all, but I felt bad when half the crowd was flipping them off. I don't like it when people are assholes to bands. I definetly lost all respect for them when they wanted the crowd to chant something about liking pussy and weed. It was dumb.

Brand New took the stage with acoustic guitars and chairs, not the rock out way I envisioned them. The acoustic set was a great change of pace from all the other bands I saw that day. People made jokes about them trying to be like Dashboard Confessional, but Brand New's electric songs hold up better acoustically than any Dashboard song. People were crowd surfing and trying to mosh, which was very annoying since the music being played was so calm. A lot of people left complaining about the set, but I thought it was great. How many times have I heard those songs played electric? Hundreds. How many times have I heard those songs acoustic? Once. It was nice.

Finally, the primary band I came to Warped to see was taking the stage. Coheed and Cambria has been one of my favorite bands, ever since "Second Stage Turbine Blade" was released. As soon as I heard the opening riff to "Junesong Provision" I knew this was going to rock. And ho-lee-shit can these guys rock. They were all over the stage going nuts, but never missing a single chord of the already technical songs. There was one problem. They were in too small a space. The crowd was pretty packed in (a friend of mine later told me that security wasn't letting anyone else into the barred off area) and they were going crazy. I started out in the front, but as soon as the music started, people pulled me away from my hard earned spot. I still had a blast though. I wish they had played "Time Consumer" but I would've been happy if they played Madonna covers. Crowd surfers started to become a huge pain in the ass. One kid fell on his head and looked like he was completely out of it when we pulled him up. I never understood crowd surfing. Co&Ca was, by far, my favorite set of the day.

I really badly wanted to catch Glassjaw, but I had to grab a spot in the ferry line before it got too late. I already saw Glassjaw this year, so I didn't feel as bad. My friend who saw them told me that their new song is great.

All in all, it was another fun day at the Warped Tour. It would've been more enjoyable if there were more open spaces for bands and less people, but what can you do? If you haven't gone to the Warped Tour yet, go to it sometime.