Van's Warped Tour

By C Shot

Today, I examine the bruises and squint in pain everytime I move. My ears hurt, my back hurts, my right arms hurt, and my ribs hurt the most. Yet I'd take the pain again in a moment, for another second to experience the joy of thousands of like minded people enjoying loud music and moshing. For a moment, a bunch of angry youths united in rock 'n' roll, punk, hardcore, a little hip hop and a moment of ska. We were able to express oursleves and not be afraid of backlash for being who we are. God, my neck hurts.

Yesterday I woke up, ate a quick breakfast and got ready for Van's Warped Tour. I put my mohawk up, put on some comfortable jeans and put on my favorite band shirt. After which I waited for my brothers to get ready, than we waited for the eight people to show up at our house. Once everyone was accounted for and we were loaded up in the huge uninsured twenty year old wreck-in-waiting van. We headed off for the festival.

Once we got to the Twin Cities, the long search for the Metredome started. Sad, with skyscrapers blocking our view and bad traffic trying our patients it took us an hour to find the Metredome, I suppose it didn't help that the whole time we had our heads hanging out the window yelling at random strangers... but we're smalltown folk, we don't need street smarts. Once we got there we waited about an hour.. than the fun began.

The first band I saw was the infamous punk band called The F-Ups. I jumped into their mosh pit and only came out after it turned into a circle pit. The second they were done playing the drummer jumped into the crowd and crowdsurfed to where ever he was going. Interesting enough, later on during the day I went to the The F-Ups tent. I saw the lead singer and told him that his show kicked ass and if I had money I'd buy his CD. Then the guy made my day by giving me their CD (which I am listening to right now). Yep, us Minnesotans our good to each other.

After the F-Ups I hurried my ass over to the Maurice Stage and moshed to From Autumn to Ashes. The band was energetic and lived up to what anyone could expect from a hardcore band. The screamer screamed in low tones and the drummer screamed in a high voice, that'd put the singer to AFI to shame. It was sad that II was only there for the last four songs of there set, but not being the kind of person to stick around and bitch and moan about not seeing the band to the fullest I rushed over to the Ernieball Stage. Somerset just got done playing, which was sad because they are another local band... but The Autumn View got on stage right away and rocked the world. For the whole seven people that stuck around to watch them, good bands like them should always have a crowd big enough to start a mosh pit.

I found something to drink and headed out to see Coheed & Cambria, what can I say? The band kicked ass and the other guys in the pit kicked my ass. It was great, I'm going to invest my next paycheck in one of their CDs. Feeling a little beaten, but still full of energy I found myself with my older brother listening to Single Frame. The band inspired so much pain in my ears that the only reason I stayed around for their horrible show was because I heard the Casualties were playing next. Yet the rumors were wrong and Atmosphere was playing. Atmosphere, I heard was a very good Hip- Hop act. Once again, the rumors were wrong and I fled to the Ernieball Stage.

At the Erniball Stage I caught a most wonderful refreshment of awesome music. While giving my body time to recover for the rest of the night. The band was Big D & the Table Kids, their style was Ska and we were skanking. Meaning that there was a mosh pit, that wasn't a mosh pit. Just a big circle full of relatively friendly people bouncing off of each other and enjoying the trumpet, sax, trombone, drum, guitar, bass and singer/ screamer. I didn't even know that I liked Ska music until I saw them, they changed me for the better.

After Big D, I once again was looking for something to eat. Yet with prices averaging three dollars for a bottle of water, I wasn't in the mood to get anything beyond french fries. So I ate my fries and listened to a band called Billy Talent, now as the name implies the guys have talent. However, unlike the name implies there is no one with the name 'Billy' in the band. As the singer pointed out before he rocked the world some. After Billy Talent I went to see Avenge 7 Fold, luckily I got the time they were playing wrong and I showed up a band early. The crowd may have gathered to get a good spot for Avenge 7 Fold, but they sure as hell payed attention to spazzes on stage. Letter Kills. Letter Kills became energy on the stage, the singer climbed into the poles holding the tent up and started screaming upside down.

Of course the second Letter Kills's guitars became silent, Avenge 7 Fold came on. I've seen some mean acts in my life, but these guys fed the crowd brutality and we loved it. Good times and no complaints will ever spout from my mouth about Avenge 7 Fold. They made up for whatever bad melodies were left in my head from Single Frame and Atmosphere. Yet after they played I bummed around for a half an hour until the band that was easily worth the thirty five dollars I payed to get the ticket for to start to play.

What malicous, mean, ugly, life destroying, amp blowing, guitar hammering, drum thundering act could this be? The Casualties. Must I say more? I will, this band was pure balls and the singer almost spent as much time in the crowd than on stage. I was up front, hanging on the bars when he threw his mic down. The guy next to me caught it and we screamed the lyrics into for at least a millenium, so probably thirty seconds, before he gracefully whipped the microphone back to himself and begun singing. Towards the end of the day, I spotted him walking around... which was quite easy since he had two feet long purple and yellow spikes coming out of his head... and I had him sign my Warped Tour ticket.

Well, the first half of my Van's Warped Tour report is finished. In the next chapter expect to read my reactions to Yellowcard's politics, Taking Back Sunday, survivng Story of the Year, New Found Glory and Flogging Molly.