Warped Tour 2008 - live in Scranton (Cover Artwork)

Warped Tour 2008

live in Scranton (2008)

live show

I wish I could say that only I went to the Scranton stop of the Warped Tour because I had nothing else to do. I wish I could say I only went because a buddy had an extra ticket. In all honesty, I went because I was actually extremely stoked. While I was totally bummed that the Bouncing Souls dropped off the tour two days earlier, the lineup was still very appealing. I'd seen Reel Big Fish at least 20 times before, knew from experience Against Me! and the Street Dogs put on stellar sets, and was even curious to check out Say Anything and (dare I say) Angels and Airwaves. It started off as a perfect day to take your shirt off and rock out to some great bands. Okay, maybe I was one of the only ones without a shirt on, but you get the idea.

You may call them sellouts, but I call them one of the best bands in music today. I was disappointed to see the crowd didn't share my opinion, though; the 11:50 a.m. stage time may have contributed. I found myself singing solo along to "Walking Is Still Honest," and only a few others shared my enthusiasm for "Reinventing Axl Rose." While some of the New Wave songs had larger fan support, it was still discouraging as a fan to see a band that has worked their asses off to get where they are have such little support. I let the fact they didn't play anything off As the Eternal Cowboy slide, as some sacrifices are always made on Warped Tour set lists.

Set list:

  1. Piss and Vinegar
  2. New Wave
  3. Walking is Still Honest
  4. Stop!
  5. White People for Peace
  6. Pints of Guinness
  7. Reinventing Axl Rose
  8. Borne on the FM Waves of the Heart
  9. Don't Lose Touch
  10. Thrash Unreal
I've been meaning to see the Street Dogs again since first seeing them on The Gold Tour with the Bouncing Souls twice in 2006. By this time (12:20 p.m.), many in the crowd looked as if they weren't even in elementary school while Mike was still with the Dropkick Murphys. They still had the energy of rowdy middle school students, which some of them may have been. I hadn't had a chance to check out State of Grace prior to the show, but the new songs sounded well-executed. Highlights of the set included "Not Without a Purpose," "Tobe's Got a Drinking Problem" and "In Defense of Dorchester."

After the Street Dogs, I went to get my Against Me! set list signed at their merch tent. They gave out free ice pops, which may be one of the most creative and kindest acts I've experienced at any Warped Tour. The highlight of my day came when Warren pointed out the middle-aged woman with a teenage daughter in front of me. "She says her daughter came for Katy Perry and that she came for us. How cool is that!?"

As Reel Big Fish took the stage at 2 p.m., the sun had gone away and it had started to drizzle, but no one seemed to notice. Turn the Radio Off and covers dominated the set, as might be expected when playing to an audience who might not know they've done anything else in their busy career. They actually stopped playing a few songs at the second choruses in order to fit more onto the set list. It was a good concept, though I'm getting sick of hearing the multiple versions of "S.R." I've seen better performances by them, but I've also seen them play a lot worse. (NOTE: I've uploaded the raw footage my co-worker shot of "Where Have You Been" and the first rendition of "S.R." to YouTube).

Set list:
  1. Sell Out I Want Your Girlfriend to Be My Girlfriend Too
  2. Another F. U. Song
  3. The New Version of You
  4. Enter Sandman
  5. Where Have You Been? / S.R. (regular, blues, country, death metal, disco)
  6. Beer / Take on Me
As soon as RBF had finished, an announcement was made that a storm was coming in and that people should head to the nearby amphitheater for cover. Relient K attempted to squeeze a song in before the impending lightning and hail, but they got shut down before the opening chorus. The skies opened up, and the Warped Tour was swept with a taste of chaos (lame, I know, but it was too good to pass up). Everyone rushed to the safe cover of the amphitheater or nearest merch booth, failing to avoid the inevitable drenching. They announced that the music would resume once the storms passed, but I decided to leave, knowing that it would be at least four hours before the next band I wanted to see played.

As I left, I realized this may be the last Warped I go to. My recent quest for a full-time job has proved to me that I can't financially afford $40 for a punk show anymore. Either way, a great show, great bands, and I got a pretty nice tan.