Vans Warped Tour: Disappointment Is the Best Word to Describe It
I have a vague recollection of always wanting to go to Warped Tour when I was in middle school. It was just a few years after it had begun, and it was the first time in my life that punk rock could have made sense to me, as I was entering my angsty teenage years.
Having said that, teenage me never got to go to Warped Tour, so this year was my first. The problem is, I think it came about ten years too late.
Maybe it was just the heat, but I couldn't help but feel like too many things had changed since the Warped Tour's inception in 1994. Whether it was the increased commercialism and mass branding of the event, the way the style of music had shifted to something that I could largely not identify with, or the fact that I felt at least a decade older than the bulk of the crowd, more times I felt like an outside observer than an actual participant.
The worst let down though, was that almost nothing truly notable happened throughout the day. I hung out in an asphalt parking lot for seven hours, patiently ready to document anything and everything exciting that happened. Unfortunately, I came out of the event with fewer notes and observations than I had from nearly all two or three hour indoor concerts that I've been to recently.
The highlight of the day, by far, was Andrew W.K.'s performance. Sadly, this happened before 2:00 PM, and nothing anybody did later was able to top it. While the temperature didn't seem to phase the performers too much (though it must be noted that they were in shade the entire time) Andrew W.K. recognized the excess heat, and still asked people to form a circle pit. They still did it. And then, amidst 111 degrees, with an outstretched fist he gave the best quote of the day. "You're giving your energy, to the party!"
Having done so, the following are random notes from the other 6.5 hours of 2010's Phoenix leg of the Warped Tour.
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