an australian girl living in new york writing about music, fashion and life in general.

i couldn’t wait for summer and the WARPED TOUR!

Posted by livefastpartyhard on 01/14/2010

So looking back over my photos of the 2009 Warped Tour made me nostalgic and that, coupled with the fact that the line-up and dates for the 2010 tour have recently been announced, I felt like writing down what I can remember…

The lead-up to attending the Vans Warped Tour has been a long one for me. When I was 16 years old Warped came out to Australia and it was the first big festival that I ever attended. The memories I have of that day are fading but I still look back on it and smile. It was a day at Dee Why beach filled with music and sun.

I loved that day in Dee Why so much that in my high school yearbook under my ‘goals’ section I wrote something along the lines of ‘Go to Warped Tour in California’. Obviously, when I was younger I really set the bar high for the future.

Finally, seven years and hundreds of shows later I had come full circle. June 26th marked the San Francisco leg of the the tour. The realization of a dream; the official beginning of my American adventure.

After a false start or two that morning, with my best friend and partner in crime, Jules, we made it to one of the piers down at the wharves in San Francisco. The show was sold-out but luckily we had guest-list spots lined up through Bad Religion Greg.

The smile on my face probably made me look like a crazy person but at that point in time I really didn’t care. With a line-up that included Alexisonfire, Bayside, A Day To Remember, Bad Religion, NOFX, 3OH!3, Senses Fail and many more who wouldn’t be smiling? The day was going to be one big punk rock ‘n’ roll adventure under the Californian sun in the shadow of the Bay Bridge.

Warped Tour brings together a bunch of bands from all genres that can be loosely classified as ‘punk’ (and a few that really can’t) and puts them on the road for the entire summer. Each day, 30 or 40 bands can play so it can be a bit of an ordeal trying to work out what bands to see and where and when they’re playing, as well as trips to the merch and food tents and the port-a-potties.

I have extremely bad luck when it comes to seeing the band Bayside play. They’ve toured Australia twice, first in support of Funeral For A Friend and second as a part of the 2009 Soundwave Festival. Both times I’ve had tickets to see them and both times I’ve missed their set. Because Warped changes the playing times of the bands every day and there is no way of knowing what band is playing when until you get there, I was pretty sure that my bad luck would continue and I’d already have missed them. Imagine my surprise and happiness when I discovered we hadn’t missed them! Bayside were officially the first band I got to see on the 2009 Vans Warped Tour.

Thanks to the passes we’d gotten we were able to watch all the bands from side of stage and wander around backstage the rest of the day. A Day To Remember were playing the same stage straight after Bayside finished so we had a quick trip to the catering tent for some much-needed water then it was back to side of stage. ADTR had recently released a new album so their half hour set had some new songs but it was nice to hear them throw in crowd favorites like Monument and The Plot to Blow Up the Panhandle.

I was only familiar with one of 3OH!3’s songs but Jules was in total obsession mode so we walked over to the main stage when ADTR had finished their set. Even though it was only early in the afternoon the crowd gathered to watch the Colorado pair play their unique blend of punk/rap/dance beats was pretty large. What almost brought tears to my eyes from laughing so hard was the little kid in front of me who looked no older than 12 that sang along to every single word. Hopefully he didn’t understand the meaning behind most of the lyrics (‘Whiskey’s on the rocks while your sister’s on my mouth’ anyone?).

It was a bit funny to watch NOFX take the stage as 3OH!3 finished up, one band represents a new breed of musicians that push the musical boundaries of what most would define as punk, while the other is almost a straight up definition of what you would consider a punk band, albeit a bit older now. Of course NOFX frontman Fat Mike baited the crowd, taking stabs at bands he didn’t think were worthy enough to be on this tour. Standard Fat Mike commentary really. It didn’t stop them from playing a short, fast and fun set, basically a greatest hits collection.

We only caught a few songs of Bad Religion’s set, by that time in the afternoon we were both dying of heat/sun stroke/hunger/thirst. Instead of trying to make it back over to the backstage catering tent we went to find some food down by all the band merch tents. As we sat in the shade of the trash cans eating our food we were serenaded by the sounds of Madina Lake from a nearby stage.

Towards the end of the day the last two bands we were really looking forward to seeing were Senses Fail and I Set My Friends On Fire. Senses Fail are a band I’ve seen countless times but I really love their music. I wasn’t too keen on the fact that the singer Buddy decided their set was the right time to let everyone watching know his distaste for a lot of the other bands on the tour. Sorry, but there’s only room for one Fat Mike on this tour. Apart from his tirades between songs it was a good set though.

Last band of the day was I Set My Friends On Fire. I wasn’t quite sure they’d be able to pull off their sound live but they did a pretty good job of it. The only thing that disappointed me was the fact they didn’t play their cover of the Soldier Boy song they’re so well-known for. In the end it didn’t really matter though, I was still glad I got to see them.

As well as a day filled with music here are a few other things I can remember; within a few minutes of walking into the venue some young teenagers approached us and asked if we were famous; there was an English band we met in the catering tent that were complete babes (if only they had American accents!); the female security guards were psychos, and not in a good way; in every direction we turned there were so many amazing dudes that it was hard to breathe.

There you have it, good-bye to the 2009 Vans Warped Tour. See you again in 2010!


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