Sunday, July 25, 2004

Van's Warped Tour

I copied and pasted the following from the Kansas City Star.  Tomorrow's the day, and remember, I'm a country fan.  But I think I'll have great fun.

10 years in the Van Warped Tour celebrates a decade of rocking, rolling and bonding

Special to The Star

The Van's Warped Tour celebrates its 10th anniversary this summer, a landmark event that makes it the granddaddy of annual traveling rock shows.

It's a tour that — year in, year out — continues to pack amphitheaters and similar-size venues from coast to coast.

Brian Baker, guitarist for Bad Religion, has little problem understanding why the Warped tour has not worn out its welcome.

“If you're in the crowd, think of the choices (in bands),” he said. “There are so many options and so many cool things to do that I see people really having a good time there. It always seems to be full right until the last moment.

“We also are talking bang for the buck. I don't know what it is —like 32 cents a band, something like that. You do the math, it works out. Yeah, it's just a great time.”

Baker's computations are a little off, but he has a good point about the ability of the Warped Tour to deliver value.

When the tour stops Monday at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Bonner Springs, nearly 50 bands will take to the stages, all for a ticket price of $27.

In a day and age when amphitheater-level acts routinely command $50 or more a ticket — with such premier shows as Sting and Annie Lennox fetching a top ticket price of $125 and Simon & Garfunkel's recent tour having commanded $195 for the best seats at many shows —the Warped tour is easily the best bargain of the summer.

The lineup this year offers a good mixture of critically acclaimed up-and-coming bands (Coheed & Cambria, From Autumn to Ashes and Taking Back Sunday); pop-punk bands that have had a taste of chart success (New Found Glory and Yellowcard); lesser-known newcomers (Amber Pacific, the Bled and Over It); and punk vets (Bad Religion, NOFX and the Vandals).

And while the Warped tour has always been closely identified with punk and the skate and surf scene, the tour has expanded while retaining a strong modern-rock identity and not losing credibility with a fan base that values authenticity.

The 2004 lineup, though, shows just how diverse the modern-rock umbrella has become.

This year's lineup includes a healthy contingent of groups, such as Sugarcult and Yellowcard, whose sound is as much power pop as it is punk.

The impact of emo is also felt on this tour, with groups that are known for open-hearted lyrics, such as Alkaline Trio, Story of the Year and Taking Back Sunday, joining the lineup.

Other bands, such as the Flogging Molly (Irish-inflected punk sound), Coheed & Cambria (a blend of progressive rock and melodic modern rock) and Letter Kills (bringing a metal edge and strong melodies to a high-energy sound), stand out from the pack with their distinctive styles.

Sugarcult guitarist Marko 72 said camaraderie is a big selling point for bands. He noted when his band first played the tour in 2001, it had played only one punk show before opening for the Circle Jerks. It was greeted with boos and flying objects, a reaction Marko 72 said the band actually enjoyed, viewing it as its punk baptism.

“So having done that show and taken some bottles to our heads we gladly obliged to join the Warped tour, thinking, ‘… it's going to be an entire summer of bottles to our heads,' ” Marko said. “At the end of the tour, we play and we look at the side of the stage and all the guys from Rancid are there with, like, video cameras. We get off stage and they're like, ‘You guys are great, man.' So I guess we've sort of been accepted by this scene.”

Beyond the camaraderie, Bad Religion's Baker said he thinks bands appreciate the Warped tour's ethic of equal opportunity.

“It's an entirely egalitarian system,” he said. “No matter how big your band is, everybody still plays a half-hour. And no matter how big your band is, nobody knows when they're going to play until (the schedule) is posted on the big board in the morning. There is no headliner. I think that has a lot to do with (the appeal for bands). It's very put your ego in the back seat and just go play good music.

“Also when you have over a hundred buses filled with these lunatics just roaming around the country, it's almost got this ‘Mad Max' feel in that it makes you bond tighter,” Baker said. “You just feel like pirates. I'm old enough to appreciate what it was like to go to summer camp. And this is summer camp with instruments.”

1 comment:

dymphna103 said...

That does sound like a good bargain.  Kinda like the New Orleans Jazz fest.  You get to hear many bands for a decent price....john