Sunday, July 25, 2010

Seen It Live: The Vans Warped Tour 2010

>> As soon as I got done with all things Bamboozle, the next big thing I had to look forward to was Warped. I had a list of bands I wanted to see, applied for a press pass, figured out who I'd want to interview, and imagined how my day would be. No matter how far in advance I started thinking about it, I couldn't have expected half the things that happened on July 17th in the Nassau Coliseum parking lot. This was my first time having a press pass for an event like this, and there were other random occurrences throughout the day. It was a day full of great surprises and opportunities from start to finish.

>> My uncle dropped me off at the venue a bit before doors, and as soon as I got out of the car who do I see standing right in front of me but my best friend. I wasn't expecting that to happen as perfectly as it did, and that's when I knew it was going to be a great day. There was a long line at the press tent where I had to pick up my ticket, so I said that I'd meet up with everyone once I had that all taken care of. I walked through the gate on my own, just taking in the atmosphere. This is the kind of thing I really live for, and I must have looked like such an idiot with a huge smile on my face. After running into Gunz from The Gunz Show, I actually wandered around the parking lot for a bit after I got my schedule. I didn't know where I had to go to actually sign up for my interviews for the day, but at that moment, I didn't care. I saw that it was almost time for Anarbor (@Anarbor) to play since they were first that day, so I ran over to the AP / Advent stage. I got there just in time to see them start, and that dumb smile on my face from when I walked in? Yeah, that got even bigger. I've loved this band for a long time now, and even though I met them last summer, I hadn't actually seen them live until this year. I was not disappointed. They played some new songs, including "Mr. Big Shot" and "Gypsy Woman" as well as some of their older songs like "The Brightest Green." I had requested a specific song 2 days before the show through twitter, and as promised, Anarbor played "Passion For Publication", my absolute favorite song by them. I was convinced that my day had peaked then & there, even though they were the first band to play. I was having so much fun that I forgot about meeting up with the rest of my friends, but for the duration of Anarbor's set, nothing else really mattered. Once they finished, Artist Vs. Poet (@ArtistVsPoet) started playing on the Glamour Kills Stage about 5 feet away. They opened with "Runaway", which is my favorite song by that band. I walked over to the main stage to find people, but I could still hear AVP's set. I managed to catch the last few songs they played as well. I'd been meaning to see them live for a while, and they sounded really good. I snapped a few pictures, and then I was on the move again.

>> One of the bands I had on my "must-see" list was Kelsey and The Chaos (@kchaosrock). I've obviously seen them before, but I hadn't seen them since the Cheap Date Tour in November. Also, what kind of friend would I be if I didn't go check out their set? I missed them playing last year, and I was determined to make up for it. I got there a little ahead of time, having overestimated the amount of time it would take to walk from the GK Stage to the Kevin Says Stage on the opposite side of the parking lot. No complaints though, it gave me time to get a good spot, and for the band to see me in the crowd. By this time, I met up with some friends and convinced them to come see KATC with me even though they didn't know the band. By the end of the set, my friends were glad they went. They played "Take Me Away", and of course, "Life Goes On" during their performance. One song that surprised many people in the crowd was a cover of "Your Love Is My Drug" by Ke$ha. KATC had played this at other dates of the tour, but most of the spectators at my date didn't see that coming. The band always has fun on stage, and you could tell they really enjoyed playing that song. The commentary between songs is always something to look forward to as well. They played an acoustic set later in the day, but unfortunately I showed up 5 minutes too late... I did get to hang out with Tyler & Corey at their merch tent periodically throughout the day, so it all worked out in the end.

>> After seeing Kelsey and The Chaos, I went back over to the GK Stage on the other side of the parking lot to see Sparks The Rescue. I haven't seen these boys since December 2008, so seeing them again was quite overdue. I absolutely love the song "Skeleton", and I hadn't expected them to play it, let alone first. They went on to play "We Love Like Vampires", which is one of the cutest songs I've ever heard, "Pine Tree State", and one of my favorites - "Hello Mexico." The crowd went crazy when the band decided to throw free t-shirts, which just added to the excitement in the atmosphere. Another pleasant surprise came in the form of an old song- every long-time Sparks fan freaked when they started playing "Nurse! Nurse! (I'm Losing My Patients)", a song from their 2007 EP. Towards the end of the set, it became apparent that half of the crowd was standing nearby in front of the AP Advent Stage waiting for The Rocket Summer, who came out after Sparks finished. Alex made a joke about it, and encouraged those fans to listen to his band while they were there. Between their stage presence and the comments between songs, you can really tell that the guys in Sparks The Rescue are genuinely great people. Their set was even better than the last time I'd seen them 2 years ago, and it just left me with a feeling of "Wow, they killed it." I don't typically use that phrase, but it perfectly described the set I had just witnessed. I'm glad that this was one of the 4 sets I got to watch from start to finish during the day. After they were done, I ran to catch the rest of Motion City Soundtrack's set. I've been dying to see this band live for years, and the fact that I was finally able to blew my mind. I love the fact that they played "Disappear", as well as a bunch of songs from their latest album. The obvious highlight for me, and what I assume to be most of the crowd, was the last song- one of my all time favorites. I had chills from as soon as I heard MCS play the intro for "Everything Is Alright" until they hit the last note. The video I recorded is really out of focus, but I wasn't even paying attention. I never thought I'd hear that song performed live, and that was an experience that any fan should have. I feel like the picture I inserted (left) pretty much sums up the set, and the overall Warped Tour atmosphere.

>> Just by reading that, it seems like I had a long day right? Motion City Soundtrack played at 12:55pm on the Main Stage. Everything I described so far happened within about 2 hours. I don't even understand how I managed that, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

>> At this point, I had already signed up for my interviews for the day. I would be interviewing Anarbor at 3:15pm (when The Cab played), and Sparks The Rescue at 6:15 (when Mike Posner played). I noticed these scheduling conflicts after I'd already signed up, but getting these 2 interviews with bands I truly love was definitely worth missing those performances. On my way to interview Anarbor, I overheard a familiar voice singing "In My Head" by Jason Derulo. Turns out, I was walking past Hey Monday's acoustic set. I realized that as soon as Cassadee started singing "Homecoming." I hadn't seen Hey Monday live since December 08, so I stayed for a bit, attempted to get a few pictures, kind of succeeded, then began walking to my first live interview. 3 of the 4 band members were preoccupied with other interviews, but I was more than happy to interview Slade. I told him it was my first live interview, and naturally he made a "first time" joke. Considering it was the first in-person interview I've done, I think it went pretty well. Slade is a great guy. You can watch the interview here.

>> Once I wrapped up the interview, I walked over to the Main Stage to see Face To Face. I never really planned on seeing them, I headed over that way because that's where my friend was, but once I got there he insisted I stay & watch the "fathers of punk." So I watched. I was impressed, and glad that I got to see a band I'd never really heard of. That's one of my favorite things about big shows like Warped Tour, there's always a ton of bands you don't know. Another thing I love is seeing random band members walking around the venue. I had seen a bunch earlier in the day, but my favorite random sighting was A Rocket To The Moon. If you've ever read anything on this site, it's pretty obvious that I've supported Rocket for a long time. (I was there the first time Nick Santino performed with a full band rather than by himself.) The last time I'd seen Rocket was July 2009 on the What Happens In Vegas Tour. I didn't get to see them perform because the acoustic set was limited to 20 people. However, as I was walking around, I saw Nick and Justin Richards walking past me. Naturally, I took the opportunity to talk to them for a few minutes before anyone else noticed they were there. Nick was impressed that I'd been supportive for so long, and both he and Justin were really glad to hear me say that. I got a picture with them before they walked away. About 2 minutes later, I realized that they were on their way to their signing at the Fueled By Ramen tent. All those girls were on line to meet the guys I just had a genuine conversation with. I was really glad about how that happened. Rocket is a band that I've been supporting since before the creation of this website, and truth be told, they were a contributing factor in its creation. Being able to talk to them at Warped, that was a really good feeling.

>> I really walked around a lot that day. I think that's because most of the artists I really wanted to see played early, minus a few exceptions. As I was roaming the parking lot again, I caught some of You Me At Six's set. I'd been interested in seeing them live, and they seemed to put on a good show. I didn't see the whole thing, but as I watched the time, Mayday Parade gradually consumed my focus. Mayday is one of my all time favorite bands, and I've loved them for years now. Any time they played a show nearby, I couldn't go for one reason or another. This day would be the day that I finally got to see them play, and the realization started to sink in as the day progressed. They were set to play on the Ernie Ball stage, one of the biggest mistakes I've ever witnessed. This was probably the smallest stage as well as the most awkwardly placed stage. It was in the corner of the parking lot away from everything else, and it was surrounded by trees, tents, & overall there was just not enough room for a crowd as big as the one that went to see Mayday. Getting there 10 minutes early was hardly early enough. I had a decent view thanks to standing on a large tree root, but honestly just hearing them would have been enough. They played "Kids In Love" as expected, but the rest of their set surprised me. It was almost as if they couldn't decide what to play, and ended up choosing the first 3 or 4 songs from their album A Lesson In Romantics, including "Jersey" and "Black Cat." (Yes. I memorized the track listing. It's a solid album.) This made me even happier than I could have imagined because that's my favorite album, and those are some of my favorite songs. I just about died & went to heaven when they played "Jamie All Over." They also played "Three Cheers For Five Years". Even though they were on a stage that was way way to small for the crowd they brought in, I couldn't have been more satisfied with their performance. If you haven't seen Mayday Parade live yet and you have the chance to do so, don't pass it up.

>> As much as I wanted to see the All American Rejects play from start to finish, I was not going to leave Mayday early just to see that happen. So I headed over to see AAR once Mayday finished. I caught a few songs, including "Move Along." I wish they played "Swing", but you can't always get what you want. They sounded really good, and Tyson went crazy between songs just rambling about whatever he felt like talking about. It created a fun atmosphere. I've always liked AAR, but not as much as Sum 41. So when Sum 41's set started about halfway into AAR's, I had no problem with walking away. The timing wasn't right however, as I only got to see them play "We're All To Blame." Granted, that's one of my favorite Sum 41 songs, but I would have loved to see more them play more than just that. Alas, it was not meant to be - I had to leave so that I could make it to my interview with Sparks The Rescue on time. I was really looking forward to seeing Sum 41, but in the end, it all worked out for the best. Like the first one I did, the Sparks interview was scheduled in a way that I couldn't talk to the whole band at once. I wasn't complaining because I still got time with Alex, Ben, and Mike. We were joking around even before the interview started, thus the faces being made once I started recording. They're a bunch of really great guys. Other than that morning, I hadn't been to a Sparks show since 2008, so I was really eager to talk to the guys & see what they've been up to since then. This interview turned out really well, but don't take my word for it- watch it here!

>> After the interview, I thanked the guys, talked to them about random things for a minute or two, then headed over to the Main Stage to catch the end of Andrew WK. I feel bad, but in all honesty "Party Hard" is and will always be the only song I know by him. So of course, I was ecstatic when I got there as one song ended, and "Party Hard" started. By the end of the song, the stage was in a state of utter chaos. I was too far away to identify anyone, but there were dozens of people on the stage with Andrew as he sang, and every single one of them was, well, partying. Hard. It was one of those moments that a person almost expects, yet they can't help but smile at. After the set was done, only one person that walked by me on their way to another stage was bleeding. I would consider that an accomplishment. I met up with two of my friends at this point, and from here on out, we spent the rest of the day walking around looking for something to do. There were still bands I wanted to see around this time, so I convinced the boys to come see Enter Shikari with me. They thought it was "interesting." I had seen Enter Shikari with ADTR in April, and it was one of the best performances I've seen in a while. They sounded just as good this time around. They're a band with a different kind of music, it's almost hardcore but with electronic beats. It translates quite well when they perform in person, but because it's so different, the band isn't exactly everyone's cup of tea. I love them, and I think that everyone should see them live if they have the chance. After a song or two, we continued roaming around for a while until we eventually ended up in the part of the parking lot dedicated to the tour buses, and where the famous Warped BBQ would later be held. It was entertaining to look around & try and guess which bus belonged to which band. While we were there, we saw Cassadee & Mike from Hey Monday, The Summer Set, Bryce from The Rocket Summer, Gunz, Oli from Bring Me The Horizon, Ryan from Envy On The Coast, Breathe Carolina, Brian from Stereo Skyline, and more. Everyone was hanging out at this point just waiting for the real party to get started. Everyone we talked to was great, and it was just a really relaxing atmosphere to be in after such a long day. We could eventually hear Reel Big Fish playing on the Main Stage, and they were the last band to play for the day. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stay for the barbecue this year, but hopefully it'll work out better next time.

>> Throughout the day, I saw 13 performances. However, I only watched 4 sets from start to finish. There were a bunch of artists I really wanted to see, such as Alkaline Trio, We Are The In Crowd, I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody's Business, Alesana, I See Stars, The Pretty Reckless, & Mike Posner.. But alas, it was not meant to be. I missed these bands either because of scheduling conflicts with other bands, they played at the same time as one of my interviews, or I just got distracted while walking around. Although I didn't get to see Alesana, I found videos of the band performing my 2 favorite songs by them - "Apology" (filmed by myzfit1214) and "Seduction" (filmed by Tapheroni). I would have liked to see all of these bands, but in the end, it all worked out for the best.

>> Looking back, I honestly couldn't tell you if my experience at Warped 2010 was better than Warped 2009. Although it was the same tour, different bands played, I spent time with different people, and I did different things. Every day at Warped Tour is unique, that's why it's something any music lover should really experience for themselves. A bunch of my fans & friends also went this year. Some attended the same date as me, others went in their hometown. A few people sent me their review of their day at Warped tour. You can read all of the full reviews on my Facebook page. Read them, then write your own!

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