The day ended with me puking out the door of my friend’s car and falling asleep by 7:30PM on the floor of my living room right under the air conditioner. How did I get to that point? Two words– Warped Tour. It’s my favorite day of the year and also typically ends up being the worst night of the year. The exhausted and dehydration struggle was real yesterday, as it is every year, but it is always worth it when I wake up the next morning and realize all of the great bands I was able to see the day before.
Clearly, there are far too many bands for one person to catch absolutely every band and even with two photographers by my side, it was still impossible to catch even half of the bands playing. With seven stages and a schedule that isn’t announced until you walk in the doors, it’s impossible to get a game plan going prior to arriving. All you can do is head straight for the blow-up schedule in the center of the grounds and start planning while stressing out about how you’re already missing music. Having a “job” that allows me to go to nearly every single concert that hits the Twin Cities definitely makes my decisions easier. I pick one or two bands that I refuse to miss and leave the rest up to fate. I know that I will be catching majority of these bands in the upcoming months so why even stress. Even with that mind frame, I still found myself freaking out as my photographers and I tried to figure out a plan.
Having caught nearly 20 bands, me writing about each of them would be a bit too much for just one blog post but here were the highlights of my day:
- Municipal Waste- “Rise and shine fuckers!” screamed singer Tony Foresta. Those were the first words I heard from a band and it couldn’t have been more perfect. Tony’s energy was a great way to kick off the day and their powerful brand of thrash metal was enough to get even the most hungover kid in the audience going. The band played through their quick set with fury and energy and had me super optimistic as to how my day was going to go. They teased a triumphant return back to the Twin Cities with a show at the Triple Rock and I can’t freaking wait.
- Alestorm- Known for the pirate metal sound, Alestorm brought a little bit of fun to the early hours of Warped Tour. Although I was a little disappointed that they weren’t dressed as pirates or anything, there was no denying the pirate attitude that their music gave off. It was fun, upbeat, and made you want to dance a little jig while roasting in the sun. The banter on the stage was perfect and had the growing crowd laughing.
- Sylar- Okay, so maybe I’m a bit biased about this band. They were the first guys that I ever had an official interview with and they are quickly becoming a staple in my daily playlist. I was more than happy to see that, even though this was their first Warped Tour and they are definitely still an up and coming act, there were a bunch of people who had carved out some time during their busy day to catch their set. Sylar took the stage with the same power and passion that had me falling in love with them the first time I saw them. Their music had a much more rap-rock vibe than other music during the day and that seemed to really get people talking. Also, let’s be real, it’s pretty cool to watch a band that you had a one on one conversation with absolutely kill it on stage.
- American Authors- I actually caught these guys by mistake. I needed a little breather and they happened to be playing on the closest stage to where Jessica (a photographer I work with) and I were standing. I was instantly sold on these guys when the banjo came out on stage. I feel like this year’s Warped Tour really focused on heavier music so to hear a more indie-pop band and see colorful outfits on stage instead of the classic black shirts with black skinny jeans was super refreshing. This was one of those bands that I thought I had no clue who they were but as soon as they started playing “Best Day Of My Life” I realized I knew exactly who they were. They were probably one of the poppiest bands of the day but I loved every second of their set and it gave me a bit of a second wind.
- CKY- CKY was one of the bands that I knew I just had to see. The last time I saw this band was while I was still a teenage and living in Des Moines, IA. Honestly, that was probably the last time I even listened to this band but as soon as I saw them on the Warped Tour line-up, I knew I couldn’t miss it. Their sound hasn’t really changed much over the years but you can tell the members are a bit older and have calmed down quite a bit. Even with a calmer demeanor about them than the last time I saw them, hearing them play some of their older songs was definitely a treat.
- T.S.O.L- Yet another band that I knew I couldn’t miss. Formed in the late 1970’s, T.S.O.L is definitely a legendary group. Even with their age, their sound was exactly what I wanted it to be, it was nitty, gritty and not so pretty but it was perfect. Singer Jack Grisham had a pink suit on and explained that he wears a suit at every show and has other bands sign it. Then he auctions it off for a charity based in California that provides food for people. What a seriously great idea to come from such a humble band. It was definitely heart warming and, at a festival that promoted helping yourself and each other, it was perfect.
I could go on and on about all of the bands I saw. I saw Hawthorne Heights and chickened out on meeting the singer when I realized he had grey hair and it reminded me just how old I really am. There was Sammy Adams– a young hip-hop dude that I absolutely freaking hated and had me questioning what the younger generation was thinking when they made him famous. The face that Jessica (my friend and fellow blogger) made when she saw two members of Gwar walking around was freaking priceless. So much happened yesterday. So many great bands, great moments, and good vibes that I just can’t put it all into words.
Sure, I didn’t make it to the end of the day. Puking out the car door and falling asleep by 7:30 isn’t something I’m completely proud of. Regardless, Warped Tour day will continue to be my favorite day of the year for years to come.
Will I see you there next year?