Warped Tour 2001 - Toronto, Ontario (Cover Artwork)

Warped Tour 2001

Toronto, Ontario (2001)

live show

This was my first Warped Tour experience. I was a little skeptical because it was in the Skydome, and just didn't know what to expect since I had never been to a show this big. Still, I hadn't been to a show since Deviates and Guttermouth back in June, so I was pretty pumped about seeing Bigwig, Catch 22 and Less than Jake, amongst others.

My first impression? There's a LOT of fucking people here. I thought it was kind of funny how there are tens of thousands of kids at this show, yet at the average Toronto punk show about 300 that show up. So much for supporting the scene.

The lineup was huge. It was boiling hot outside, and there was only one gate open letting people into the dome. It took us almost an hour and a half to get in, and we weren't even at the back of the line! So we finally get in, and see a band playing on one of the main stages. I couldn't tell who it was until we got close enough to hear the distinct sounds of The Bouncing Souls. I'm not the biggest Souls fan you'll ever find but they played a really good set, and if they came with a couple decent bands I would definately see them again.

Shortly after The Bouncing Souls left the stage, MCA's own H2O took over and played a few songs off each CD and their first single, Role Model. All doubts that I had about H2O since their jump to MCA were removed as they totally kicked ass in their half hour. Another band that I will see again for sure.

I'm not a big fan of huge, crowded pits, so we looked around at some merch stands while AFI took the stage. It was then that I found out Bigwig had finished their set before I had even got inside, so obviously I was pissed about that. I really wanted to hear some new stuff and see how their new bassist stacks up. Oh well, hopefully they tour after their new CD comes out next month (September 18th for those of us that are counting the days).

The next band I saw was Catch 22. I saw them in March of this year for the first time, but at that time I had heard maybe 2 songs by them, and it was a terrible pit when they played. This time was different. I'm now a certified fan of Catch 22 and knew most of the songs they played. The pit was also a lot better this time around, at one time chanting "1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4" until the singer told us to shutup, they were saving that for last. Worked for me, as they played another one of my favourite songs Hard to Impress. They didn't play it the last time and I was pretty stoked that they did this time. Of course they closed it up with 1234 1234. A perfect way to end the best set of the day so far.

At this point, I was getting pretty thirsty, so we decided to go get some water. On the way though, we noticed a band playing on the main stage. It was the Vandals and I soon realized why everyone says these guys are so much fun to see live. Their last "song", I Have a Date, (for those of you that care) lasted about half of their set with Mr. Escalante screaming at his band mates to stop playing every once in a while so he could explain to the crowd what music is made up of. Besides educating the crowd and yelling at his band mates, he found the time to dance up on the big stack of speakers and pull his shorts up over his shoulders so he had a kind of overall-thong going. You'd have to be there.

For the next while, I watched a couple bands from a distance, but didn't go in the pit for either. The bands were Jersey and The Planet Smashers. I have seen Jersey before, but I was a lot more impressed by them this time. Planet Smashers on the other hand, didn't do anything for me. On an un-interesting side note, while I was watching Jersey, Tim Armstrong of Rancid walked past where I was sitting followed by a crowd of about 50 screaming punkers. I thought that was kind of funny. Speaking of Rancid, I avoided them and Dropkick Murphys as neither of them do anything for me. Both bands had about a million people packed together watching them so there was no way I was going in.

There was a huge crowd when Less Than Jake took the stage too, but there was no way I was missing them. After a couple songs though, I remembered why I didn't go in for AFI, as you could barely move. I successfully crowd surfed for the first time during their set, and it was actually pretty fun. Skull Guy was there too and made like New Jack as he climbed to the top of the stack of speakers then jumped into the crowd. I love that guy. All in all, my thoughts on LTJ were: Great band, tons of energy, way too many people. I hope they come back and play at the Warehouse with a couple small bands so I can see them again.

Sum 41 were the next band on the main stage. Terrible, terrible band. I don't like their music and I don't like how they're Blink 182 part 2 (Blink 183?) one minute, and the next they are asking all the teenie boppers in the pit what metal songs they should play. While they were playing though, I saw Matt, the drummer for Bigwig walk by. I followed him to try to talk to him but I lost him after he finished talking to a couple other people. Oh well, it was more entertaining than Sum 41. The only good thing about Sum 41 was that Pennywise was after them.

I was pretty tired by the time Pennywise played, and they had probably the roughest pit of the day so my thoughts on them probably aren't fair. Oh well, it's my review so I'll say them anyway. I wasn't very impressed. Most of their songs sounded the same and Fletch wouldn't shutup in between songs. I wouldn't mind it if he said anything intelligent, but all he said was "Fuck the government" about 30 times. Disappointing set.

The final band of the day was The Ataris. They played through pretty much the exact same set they played when I saw them with Lagwagon back in March. I wonder if they will still play The Radio Still Sucks after their next CD comes out on Columbia. It was a disappointing way to end the day to say the least, but I was tired anyway.

Overall, I had a good time. The highlights of the day were H2O and Catch 22. Seeing Joe Escalante with his shorts pulled up his ass and Skull Guy jumping off the speakers were pretty fun too. There wasn't as much merch as I expected either, and NO free stuff! Oh well, you win a few, you lose a few.