Warped Tour 2009 - live in Ventura (Cover Artwork)

Warped Tour 2009

live in Ventura (2009)

live show

Who is indifferent to being here right now!?!"
– Fat Mike

::crowd cheers wildly::

I went to my first Warped Tour (first concert!) in 2000 and attended in ‘01 and ‘02 as well. Good Riddance, Pennywise, Rancid, Bad Religion, the Suicide Machines, NOFX, Green Day, TSOL, the Bouncing Souls...Good Charlotte, 311, Papa Roach, Finch, Long Beach Dub All-Stars...

As the above list suggests, there has always been good mixed with bad at the Warped Tour. But you have to admit, it's long been a fine gateway to punk for the suburban youth of North America. At 24, I never thought I'd be back but I guess free tickets were enough for me to brave the atrocities of 2009's lineup to see NOFX, Bad Religion, TSOL and more. Again. What year is it?

It was about what I expected, and I won't bother talking about how awful Underoath, Brokencyde and Escape the Fate are, because in reality it was fairly easy to avoid that stuff, or at least to revel in a severe distaste for it. In fact, I think I really get a profound satisfaction from hating those bands.

Actually, let me talk for a second about how awful these bands are. Escape the Fate has a key-tar and they hook the drums up to some sort of system that makes it sound like synthetic techno beats instead of real drums. Have you ever seen grown men screaming their hearts out and hardcore dancing to Tears for Fears? And I guess their fans are also huge fans of the Devil Wears Prada, or at least supporters of the ten thousand different Nicktoons shirt designs they have. I stood, awestruck, for a couple of minutes as I passed by en route to see the Duane Peters Gunfight. Duane looks good these days.

In the end, the pizza we had after the show rivaled the always-fun NOFX at the top of the short list for "things that didn't leave a terrible taste in my mouth today." It was also pretty sweet to see D.I. cover "Amoeba" even though Adolescents had played it just hours before. Funny.

Good Charlotte and Blink-182 are similar enough to bands like Millencolin and Guttermouth that those Warped lineups really did make sense in the old days -- it was quite conceivable that a youngster might show up for Green Day and go home with a TSOL CD (I did). But now, I'm not so sure. The sea of evacuees between Underoath's last song and NOFX's first joke was massive, almost as if it had rained 14-year-olds for 40 days and 40 nights and this was the ensuing flood. Don't blame organizer Kevin Lyman, though -- perhaps it's time for the older bands to let this ship sink and try something else. Then again...

Thanks for nothing, I had a pretty okay time, I'll give it a B-, seeya next time."
– Fat Mike