So the one thing I have learned about The Warped Tour is that no matter how ridiculous I think the lineup may be, the few bands I actually want to see make the experience totally worth it. I went into this year's tour knowing exactly who I wanted to see and having already seen a handful of other bands multiple times my day was pretty much planned out.
I worked the night before into the morning of Warped and left Maine at 6am and made it to the Comcast Center around 11am. Needless to say I was exhuasted but I wasn't going to let that hinder me of having a good time. As soon as I went to get my press pass I ran into fellow AP.net staffer, Christian Wagner. Who I had never personally met before, so that was awesome getting to meet another person I work with on a daily basis. After I got in I went over to The Dangerous Summer's tent to see if any of the guys were hanging yet and got to meet up with their tour manager who was an incredibly nice guy. I had to make quick moves to meet up with Soupy and The Wonder Years because their set time was 12:30pm. So I rushed over to the press area to meet up with Soupy who was nice enough to meet up with one of my best-friends who idolizes him and let us catch their performance on stage as a birthday present. Seeing The Wonder Years live for the first time was definitely something I needed to experience. While The Upsides was a moving record for many, it was just a great record to me. As for Suburbia? I'm in love and the guys live show just proved they are the real deal. The crowd was cheering for TWY before The Ready Set was even off the stage. Which just goes to show how far they have come and how real and true their music is and the connection they have with their fans. You can catch their whole set which Alex caught on tape below (you can see me at a few points, I'm wearing a blue and black plaid).
After that I headed off back to The Dangerous Summer's tent where AJ, Tyler and Bryan were hanging out for awhile. I hung out with the guys for awhile and got to talk for a bit. They mentioned that they may be doing another limited pressing of War Paint in the fall. So be sure to keep an eye out for that. After some shenanigans, I headed out to check out some of the other tents. I finally stumbled across the Keep A Breast tent, which I encourage everyone to stop by and at least say hi to my future wife Christina who is working with them all summer for an awesome cause.
After killing some time I ran over to catch Moving Mountains, who I had seen before in MA but things were definitely different this time around. Not that they were bad before, but they absolutely killed it this time around. Greg's screams have become so defined and the band's as tight as ever musically. They are definitely one of the can't miss bands of this year's Warped Tour. After their set I met up with them at their merch booth and talked to Greg for awhile about the band's plans. He mentioned their upcoming fall tour, which I can't say who they will be supporting, but lets just say AP.net will be in love. He also mentioned wanting to put out some new material before the band's next album, so be sure to keep up to date with everything within the MM camp.
I had to run and catch up with Nick Martin of DRUGS who told me to meet up with him and I could catch their set side stage. So I booked it over to the main stage and got to catch about 10 minutes of Less Than Jake's set, which I wish I could have seen more. But as you probably expected, it was great for the short bit I got to see. Finally I got to see my good friend Craig Owens in action. The weather started to get real cloudy right before DRUGS took the stage and you could tell it was going to open up real soon. The band got to play 3 songs before they had to cut their set short and the rain started to pour. I caught a short video of the guys giving it their all in the downpour, but it's kind of hard to see.
After about 15-20 minutes, the band got the okay to go back on for one more song, which they closed with "If You Think This Song Is About You..." leaving the kids wanting more but still satisfied. They definitely had the biggest crowd of the day at that point in time. Out of all the sets I saw, I would say they put on the best show. No gimmicks, just straight in your face rock, which is how Warped should be.
I had some time to kill so I grabbed some food and got to catch a bit of A Day To Remember's set, which was alright. I wasn't blown away, but then again, it could have been these kids that killed it for me.
I ended up not watching much of their set just because of how big the crowd was and how obnoxious the kids around me were so I headed back over to the Nintendo Stage to catch Dance Gavin Dance with their original lineup. Out of the three times I have seen them perform, this was definitely their best performance. Jonny has stepped up to the plate and brought his A-game because he was spot on and even outdoing his recorded self. Jon's screams sounded a lot stronger as well, overall their performance was top notch and showed why they are as big as they are.
DGD was the last band I caught because I was exhausted and we still had to drive 4 hours back home. Overall, I would say this year was more fun than last year's even if I didn't get to catch as many bands. Even though I missed The Dangerous Summer and Bad Rabbits, all I could hear people talk about was how awesome their sets were. So if you get a chance to catch both of them as well, be sure to do so.
Another year down, another good time. I'm excited for next year's tour, I just hope I can take part in it.