Warped Tour 2004 - live in San Diego (Cover Artwork)

Warped Tour 2004

live in San Diego (2004)

live show


Traffic. Be a better person than I am and plan for it when heading to the Warped Tour. With that out of the way, I didn't really miss too much in being an hour late. At least there was no line. The weather in San Diego was perfect for an all-day outside event, not too warm at all with a nice breeze. Here's my take on the portion of the few dozen bands on the tour I was able to see.

Playing when we arrived was The Early November. They play that poppy edgy emo style shared by many other bands on the tour. Not to say that's bad, and they put on an entertaining show complete with lots of jumping and crazy spinning bass players. Their sound seemed offkey, both the singing and playing so these guys didn't really stand up to many of the other bands I saw yesterday.

After wandering and checking out the booths and the small stages for awhile we headed back over to the main stage to catch Alkaline Trio. Apparently they were already way ahead of schedule so I missed at least half their set. They played well this time as opposed to previous Warped stops here in years past. I was happy at least to hear "Goodbye Forever" and they ended with "This Could Be Love" along with a part of Billy Idol's "White Wedding" stuck in the middle.

As far as musicianship went I have to say that Thursday was probably one of the tighter bands to play. Songs like "Understanding in a Car Crash", "Signals Over the Air", and their opener "Asleep in the Chapel" were executed nearly flawlessly. Geoff has a great stage presence too and I'd definitely try to see this band sometime when they're touring. Taking Back Sunday was the big crowd pleaser of the afternoon. They played a couple of songs of their upcoming record and closed with "Cute Without The E".

After that we took a break from the main stage to grab something to drink and check out the booths again. My younger cousin and her friend went to go wait in line to meet The Early November and TBS, to no luck (their advice: get there early). My brother and I checked out the small stages and ran into a band playing at the Ernie Ball stage called the Army of Freshmen. We were very pleasantly surprised. The six-piece played some very catchy pop-punk boosted by their two (yep 2) synthesizer players. I'm interested in checking the band out online since I had never heard of them. I recommend you go check out this stage to see if any of the other bands playing were good also. Another band on the side worth mentioning was The Big Pill. They played in their tent seemingly nonstop for the whole day, so you can't miss them. This eight-piece, complete with a horn section, a percussionist, and a DJ didn't play ska but a funk/jazz/punk hybrid. Interesting, at least.

I wanted to see Yellowcard but Rise Against was playing on the Maurice Stage so I headed over there instead. They played in front of a crowd of about 200 who had gathered to the side stage, so that meant a big portion of their fans. This band was another standout of the day. I do think Joe and Chris could get more into it but at least this band has Tim, whose stage presence was wonderful. Their high-energy set consisted almost entirely of the best from Revolutions Per Minute, except one off the Unraveling and one new cut that'll be on the new album. Great band, great crowd, great set. Highly recommended.

The crowd was gathering for big draw NOFX to the Irish folk-punk tunes of Flogging Molly playing in the adjacent stage. Fat Mike and co. took the stage and cranked out a half-hour of fun punk rock to please everyone. Required tunes like "The Brews", "Bob", new tracks like "Franco Unamerican" went along with less-played tracks like "Drugs are Good", "Monosyllabic Girl", and "Please Play this Song on the Radio". Pure comedy. Ending their set was the work-in -progress "Idiot Son of An Asshole", the cue for more political punk to follow.

"The best punk rock band ever" according to Fat Mike, Bad Religion (sans Mr. Brett) took the stage, and damn good is the phrase that comes to mind first. Off their newest realease they played "Los Angeles is Burning", "Sinister Rouge", and "God's Love", which Greg claimed was their first love song. From TPOB they played "Kyoto Now", "Supersonic", and "Prove It". The guys didn't surprise with classics like "Infected", "American Jesus", "Do What You Want", "No Control", and "Fuck Armageddon". Fatty came out to do vocals for "21st Century Digital Boy".

I caught about half of New Found Glory's set. They seemed to be on the ball more this time than when I last saw them, Jordan in particular. They played alot off s/t and Sticks and Stones. I recognized their single off the new album too. The Vandals were the last act. I'm not too familiar with their multitude of songs but they played "My Girlfriend's Dead" and "Oi to the World". Overall a fun act. They traded lead singer-guitar duties for the last couple songs, including the new hit "Don't Stop Me Now".

After that the exhausted crowd made their way out of the Coors Ampitheater lot and into the ensuing traffic jam on the way out. Overall a fun night. Definitely something cool to do once a year.