Monday, July 12, 2010

Warped Tour 2010

Warped Tour 2010 - Hartford, CT - July 11, 2010

So much happened.

We started the day with Set Your Goals. I’ve seen them twice before, always opening for someone else, but I wanted to go see them on purpose this time. They’re dynamic and entertaining, full of energy and in your face. Good start to the day.

From there we went to Motion City Soundtrack, the reason we were there. I love them. They’re awesome live. I’d seen them live about two years ago, and the one thing that made an impression on me was how loud it was. And again this time, it was so, so loud, even by Warped standards. Justin Pierre is so perfectly awkward, cleaning his glasses mid set, that he must be the most relatable rockstar of the moment. He was also wearing a Metric shirt, for which he gets kudos. And Jesse Johnson was wearing a Red Sox shirt. More kudos. A Dinosaur Life might still be my favorite album of 2010.

Heartbreak moment: They played “This is For Real” a song about being absolutely in love, right before “Her Words Destroyed My Planet” a song about rebuilding after a painful breakup. Justin stated in the middle that they were about the same woman, “with the year 2008 in between.” And then this little shrug. So sad.

We had a gap in the schedule, so we wandered around for a little while, checking out the booths and picking up some free candy and lipgloss. Sweet.

So here’s where things break down a little. The Glamour Kills Stage and the AP Stage were right next to each other in the ampitheater, and we were there for a good portion of the day, so I’m not entirely sure of the sequence of all of these artists. I’ll give it my best shot.

Playing in the ampitheater when we arrived were The Casualties. They made me wonder how mohawks actually stay up (A bottle of hair gel a day? Elmer's glue?), and if they knew that The Ramones were over.

VersaEmerge started playing while we were there, and I still don’t quite get it. However my friend and I both agreed that Blake has a great voice and should sing more. We had to leave after a couple songs to go to the Amethyst Jeans truck and get our FREE JEANS. I know. They didn’t have my size so the ones I ended up with are just a bit too tight, but nothing a little stretching won’t fix!

Enter Shikari was playing when we got back, and they were… screamy. Very screamy. We loved their background beats and music, but it would have been nice if there was real singing and not screaming. You take what you can get I guess.

Then The Cab played. I’ve seen them twice, and their best point each time was Ian Crawford (I wonder what he's up to lately...). Without him, they’re nothing to write home about. Alex Marshall gets props for being awesome (well played piano and guitar, and not bad vocals) but that’s all.

Then came… something. It was about now that I started wondering how you can stand out in a lineup like this. There were 70 bands playing yesterday, and you have to get people to come watch you. Clothes and appearance won’t do it, as everyone is crazily dressed for attention. Being loud won’t do it, as the sound from most stages is deafening, How do you stand out?

Christofer Drew of NeverShoutNever answered that question.

I’d kind of avoided NeverShoutNever in the past. I’d never heard the music, always brushed it off as more scene synthetic pop. I don’t think I’ve ever been so wrong. He was barefoot and playing an acoustic, and his songs were this mix of country and indie. He bounced over the stage and was ridiculous and the crowd loved him. His lyrics are goddamn adorable and it’s like he’s just pouring his heart out through his mouth. There was clapping and snapping and breakdowns and quiet moments and loud moments and key changes.

How do you stand out at Warped Tour? With perfect, cute music and an adorable personality. And confetti. And dancing. Seriously, you need to see him in concert. You will not regret it.

We scurried off to catch the last bit of We The Kings’ set. They’ve really grown on me lately, and much as I disdained them when I saw them before, they’re catchy and fun. Also, they covered “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World, but Travis’ guitar wasn’t working, so he had the crowd sing the opening guitar riff. It was awesome, and it actually worked.

By now we’d each had about 5 free coolatta samples from Dunkin Donuts. They wouldn’t let you buy a full one, but they were giving out free little ones, which was stupid. I think everyone there would have bought one because we were all dripping sweat. We were not the only people I saw trying to buy them. Lame.

Next up, The Swellers. They had this itty bitty crowd, as the Ernie Ball stage was way over in the middle of no where by the bathrooms. But they put on a fun set, solid pop punk. They’re signed to Fueled By Ramen, but I think they’re three years to late to pull it off. They’re good, I like them, but that wave has passed, which is sad. They’re going to have to work for it if they want it, but I think it’s within reach.

Back to the main stage for The Bouncing Souls, Warped Tour royalty. This was also the oldest crowd of the day, everyone probably mid to late twenties. These are the punks, not the scene kids, not the hardcore kids, not the emo kids, and they’re so very different from the rest of the tour. But there was this girl on the side of the stage. She was maybe 28, with dyed black hair and bright red lips, tattoos from the neck down, all exposed by her tiny black romper.

She was me. She was clutching onto part of the stage with one hand, and clutching onto the music with all of her heart. She was singing along with every word and her face was broken into this huge smile. I know that face, I know that smile, I know that curve of your body when you’re trying to throw everything you have into just being the music. It was like looking into a punk mirror. We’re not all so different. Love and music are the same no matter who you are or what you look like.

I wanted to get into that pit so badly. They were dancing and having so much fun and it took every bit of me to remind myself that I was a responsible adult who would not hurt myself in a pit. But they were dancing and I wanted to dance with them.

Next was Andrew WK. Complete change of scenery. The hardcore kids came back and this too looked like a fun pit. Andrew WK is dirty and crazy, and there was some girl dancing and singing on stage in a tiny lame leotard. “We wanna have fun and we wanna get wasted” for sure. But we had to leave before they played “Party Hard” because my concert buddy was a huge fan of…

Sum 41. I did not recognize one of the songs but damn the crowd went wild. There were so many people. From far away they looked a little bit like a Green Day rip, but they ruled that show.

Next we saw The Rocket Summer, because they’re this strange part of the consciousness of the scene that I’ve never been able to tap into. So many people relate so strongly to their music, but I just couldn’t connect.

We ended the day back at the Main Stage with The All American Rejects. Love them. Tyson was surprisingly more sober than the other two times I’ve seen them, but still hysterically fabulously dirty. He is the craziest frontman I’ve ever seen. The crowd surfing was at an unbelievable level, the energy was crazy, and I think everyone still left at Warped went a little insane. He danced, we danced, he screamed, we screamed. The day ended on a high note, a sexy, sweaty, sticky, dirty, thrashing, high note.

It was a good day.

No comments: