Okay, time flies in the summer when there is so much to do. Just wanted to write a little about Van’s Warped Tour, what it is, what to expect if you are interested in going.
We went last year and while I didn’t write anything about it, maybe I should have. I guess it was the same thing. Summertime, not enough cycles.
A measly thirty two bucks gets you a ticket which give you access to about fifty bands. In some cities there have been as many as a hundred. It’s a one day thing so we’re talking about multiple stages with bands playing at the same time.
You may have to pay to park, we paid $15 in Dallas. There were some people in nearby homes offering cheaper parking in their yards, but I really wouldn’t do that since there might be no one watching the car.
We were allowed to bring our own water bottles this year for the first time. You will want one of those and keep refilling it at the water fountain so you don’t dehydrate and have to be brought out of the concert on a stretcher. That could be quite embarrassing unless you are a drama queen. They sell drinks for $5, even beer ($7), if that’s your thing.
This tour usually has shows at outdoor amphitheaters. That’s one stage, but there are two setups on that stage since it is so big. Stage left plays while stage right sets up instruments. As soon as stage left finishes, stage right starts up.
The rest of the stages (we had six, set list is here) set up on the adjoining grounds and in the parking lots. Bands play for about 30 minutes each. At any given time there are three bands playing. No problems with one band drowning out the sound of another on a nearby stage.
At ours, there was no reserved seating in the amphitheater. Since most people want to be in the pit, the front rows are clear you can almost always find a seat in there. We sat in the front row.
But you know me and my camera. I move around a lot. That’s what I like best about going to concerts, taking photos. I had no idea they allowed SLRs and wanted to kick myself when I saw a guy with one. I talked to him and he said he had no trouble getting it in there.
My Panasonic point and shoot does pretty well, though. What you think?
That is 3Oh!3, a couple of guys who sing to prerecorded music. Garage bandish. Some of it a little techno, some a little hip-hop. Don’t know how to classify them.
What? You thought this was a skater punk thing? Not entirely. There are all sorts of genres, mostly metal though. Mostly starter, unknown type bands trying to break into the big time.
Some are up and comers with recent radio hits. Like Katy Perry (pop).
Others are somewhat established, or have been in popular bands before.
That is Tom DeLonge with his band, Angels and Airwaves, a band I am not ashamed to admit I like. He used to be in Blink-182.
If you play the game Rock Band and know all the levels, he is at the tour bus stage. A little bird who got to hang out behind the scenes told me he doesn’t mix with people, just hangs out in his bus all day. I think the guy is married and has kids. I’d do the same.
But a majority of the bands are at the run-down, small rv stage. We passed a row of them in the parking lot and there were many. It must have been wash day for one band, they had all of their clothing spread out on the hot cement to dry. I thought about taking a photo of that but didn’t because it seemed a little invasive. Underwear and all, you know.
So, what sort of people will you see at a thing like this?
Mostly normal ones.
Lots of 15 to 20 year olds, but people of all ages, even a few little kids. It’s a bit loud for those little ears, so it’s not a bad idea to get some of those foam ear plugs if you are bringing one. There is nothing uncool about earplugs. I’ve seen tattooed people wearing them. Hey, you want to still be hearing music when you’re older, right?
If you want to see some punks, there’s that too.
I haven’t seen any of them cause any problems. I never was a punk, but I love taking photos of their hair. When my kids were babies I would always punk out their hair while shampooing it. See?
That was Spanky after I found a can of foam soap for kids.
Moshing. It’s not allowed.
But they do it anyway.
I’ve seen wise guys rule these mosh pits. I don’t know how they do it but they create an empty space in the middle of the tightest crowds and maintain it for an entire show. Everyone around knows not to step foot in that space. Until it is time to mosh. That is running around and slamming into each other.
If you want to see more of my photos of Warped, I have them in an album on Flickr.
We did not see as many bands as we would have liked. It was scorching hot. Miserably so. Being in the crowds made it worse. We visited a lot of the merch booths because they were in shady areas and there were a lot of other starter band barkers playing music samples. I love talking to these guys and asking them, “Why should I listen to your band?” See what they say.
Because one day these guys might be at the jet airplane level.