Warped Tour 2010 Diary: Shoreline Amphitheater, 6/26/2010

by Gordon Elgart on June 28, 2010

Sum 41 fans bringing the love

Subtitle: Still Crazy After All These Years

That subtitle is a reference to a song from 1975. Bands will yell out things like “How many of you have seen us before?” and a few fans will yell “Whoo hoo!” If a band yelled out, “How many of you were born in 1975?” there’d be only crickets. Still, as I said in my preview post, if you are a true music nerd, Warped Tour is something you should still be going to. But, if you’re not going to go, and your idea of experiencing Warped Tour is to let someone else do it and then read about their experiences, you’re in the right place. Come with me as I wade through the masses at the 2010 Warped Tour.

10:42 A.M. We’re parking now at Shoreline, and I’m using the employee lot, as I always do. You just get out faster from there, even though it takes longer to get there. Good luck getting to it on a day like today, though, as hundreds of teenagers are walking around in the middle of the street, oblivious to the fact that they’re IN THE STREET. The sun is getting to them.

11:00 A.M. Now we’re in line at the press tent, waiting for our credentials. The press line is filled mainly with high school students, and we’re told that yes, there are a lot of high school publications covering the show. We thought maybe we were in the wrong line. One veteran photographer is complaining about the lineup this year, and saying that the festival organizers don’t even bother trying to book good bands anymore. I think maybe he doesn’t know what bands are popular because the line to get in looks to be close to a mile long.

11:47 A.M. We’ve checked in to the press tent, and I’m completely intimidated by the interview system here, so I’ve decided to screw the interviews and just enjoy myself. That’s a good call. The first step is to run over to see Bouncing Souls, as they’re the first band on the main stage at 11:55. On the way there, we pass the KevinSays stage, which has been converted into a ska stage for the first six hours of the day. A dedicated ska stage? Awesome!

The Uptones on the ska stage

12:10 P.M. I’ve watched the Bouncing Souls for a while (solid but the early day sun has muted the early day crowd), so now I’m going to find a fellow blogger who says she was going to be watching The Pretty Reckless, a band fronted by Taylor Momsen of Gossip Girl. The band is spectacularly generic, and I guess she has a British accent. Is she from England? I had no idea. Turns out the blogger friend Tweeted that she left her phone at home, and I can’t find her among the crowd, so I figure I should just go watch some soccer.

1:22 P.M. The soccer is going to go into extra time now, which means I’m going to miss Bay Area ska stalwarts Monkey. The guy I’m watching with is wearing all U.S. Soccer clothes, but his wife’s brother is in Monkey so he bounces out to watch them for a few minutes. I stay behind, guarding his chair, and seeing Ghana take the game. I missed Monkey for this? At least I bought one of their t-shirts.

2:20 P.M. Now I’m watching GOGO13, a ska band from Huntington Beach, led by one of the makers of Yo Gabba Gabba. That means he probably doesn’t need to have a ska band but that he simply loves ska. It shows: the whole band loves it. They’re super fun and the highlight is a song called “Cereal,” which includes tossing giant bags of cereal into the middle of the circle pit for fans to share. Do people eat the cereal? If throwing cereal joyfully into the air is eating it, then yes they do. GOGO13 is super fun, and they satisfied my ska jones for today. I buy their single and a GOGO13 pin, which I’m later offered a Mighty Regis pin in trade for, and I turn it down. Then The Mighty Regis let me keep their pin, anyway. Win win.

2:46 P.M. I’m walking over to the main stage to watch Andrew W.K., eating a $6 personal pizza, and some guys get really excited and ask me where they can get pizza. I point over to where the pizza came from, and they ask me, “Is it good?” I answer, “No, it’s crap.” They say, “At least it’s pizza. Thank you very much, sir.” Sir. I guess someone half my age can call me sir if they want. The punk cap and the red shoelaces aren’t fooling anyone I suppose.

Feel the awesome power of Andrew W.K.!

2:55 P.M. It’s time to party! Andrew W.K. takes the stage along with his band and rips through a set that includes most of my favorites: “Ready to Die,” “Girls Own Love,” “She Is Beautiful,” and of course ends with “Party Hard.” Throughout the set, AWK keeps taking off a t-shirt layer and tossing it into the crowd. He throws Obama with a nose bleed, then Hello Kitty with a nose bleed … more are available for sale in the Andrew W.K. Party Tent. Yes, you can even get Bella with a nose bleed. (This was not the only anti-Twilight thing I saw. Another booth had a tip jar that said “every $1 kills a Twilight fan.”) While I enjoy the set, the crowd seems to be made up one-third big fans, one-third disinterested onlookers, and one-third Motion City Soundtrack fans wanting to be up close for them. Decent energy on stage and in the pit, but it’s not spreading outward.

3:46 P.M. I finally buy some Vans merch. I was thinking long and hard about the black Authentics with white stitching and a Warped Tour logo. At $35 with a free hat, it’s a deal, but I have black Authentics. I end up getting the black t-shirt with the fake checkered tie and decide I can wear it to future ska shows. Monkey is playing Bottom of the Hill soon; perhaps I’ll bring it out for that. I also get a t-shirt for a friend, a hat for the roommate, and an AWK black hoodie for myself.

4:05 P.M. I’m in the amphitheater to check out Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. They don’t sound like anything else on the bill, which is refreshing, but I wonder if it’s good or bad for them. Good because they stand out and people notice them? Or bad because so many of these bands are similar, and that means they aren’t going to find their fans? I don’t know which it is, but they have a fairly small crowd watching them do their country washboard punk. They’re really into it, and Reverend Peyton looks and sounds cool, but I wonder if they belong on the bill. I’m enjoying their set, but I think I’d enjoy it more with a bunch of drunk hipsters, and I’m surprised I’m writing that.

Why is he angry with us?

4:30 P.M. I’m standing at the Ernie Ball stage waiting to see Closure in Moscow, an Australian band I mentioned in my preview post. So when The Casualties are on stage playing, I’m confused. Excited because they look and sound awesome, but confused. It turns out I’m in front of the Punk Rock Legends stage. I have no idea where the Ernie Ball stage is. I didn’t buy a map. You see, they charge $2 at the door for a printed out band listing with a map on the back of where all the stages are, but I was emailed the band listing, and I thought I could learn the map for myself. Anyway, I go to a booth where the band is playing the Ernie Ball stage later, and I ask the merch guy where the Ernie Ball stage, and he doesn’t know either. Darn. I walk to the map sales booth and find someone who just bought a map, and now I know where to go.

4:50 P.M. I finally make it to the Ernie Ball stage, and the band Closure in Moscow is just beginning their set, a little late. Some guy who looks like a musician is literally being chased into the backstage area by 30-40 tween girls. I’m told by some girls watching the stage that it’s the guy from NeverShoutNever. That makes sense; he’s dreamy. Now that he’s backstage, the girls scatter and try to find the best place to get an autograph or a hair or whatever they want from him. Amused, I turn my attention to the stage and realize that this band is playing way too loudly and there’s too much treble, and I’m just not into them.

5:30 P.M. Without anything better to do, I’m back at the Punk Rock Legends stage to take a quick look at The Adolescents. The quick look turns into watching their entire set, which is great. When they launch into “Amoeba,” the pit goes to another level, which is tremendous. They tell us that their merch stand is closing when their set is done because their merch guy has a Red Sox game to go to (I’m confused because as he’s saying this, the game has already begun), but he doesn’t tell us where the merch booth is. This is a problem because the merch booths are laid out in somewhat random fashion at Warped Tour. If you’re lucky, the booth is kinda close to where the band is playing, but that seems like total luck when it happens. I never do find The Adolescents merch, so maybe I saved $10 there.

6:12 P.M. AM Taxi is on stage, and I’m bored by them, so I decide to show a friend the Attack Attack! shirts because I love the fact that they have “Crabcore” shirts. Spinning Platters proudly owns crabcore.com, and we feature a tribute to the band on that page so I think I should probably have a Crabcore shirt. I’m low on cash, but I have a $20 to give the guy. Meanwhile, D.P. explains to them that I’m the guy who makes fun of them on the Internet, that I’m the one who invented the term “crabcore.” This is a total lie (I bought the domain after reading about crabcore and enjoying the video), so I tell the merch guy that, but I’m not sure he believes me. D.P. is louder and more convincing. So when I try to buy a crabcore t-shirt, the guy says “No way man, you get it for free. You own crabcore.com!”

No ultimate crabcore moves were busted out

6:30 P.M. The Dickies come on stage, one of them dressed like a pink polka-dot something or other, and I watch about 20 minutes of their uninspiring set before going to the backstage area for Attack Attack! It’s there I learn of two pretty cool things that Warped Tour does for fans. One is the presale deal, where you get a free CD, early entry into the festival, and a cool laminate, all for LESS money than you pay for a regular ticket. The other is MusicSavesLives. If you give blood, and are one of the first 150 people to get to their booth on the day of the show, they give you a backstage wristband. You can hang out backstage all day long. That’s pretty fan friendly, and also explains why there are so many people backstage.

7:00 P.M. Attack Attack! take the stage to a giant gathering of fans. The Altec Lansing stage and field are completely packed to the brim, and you really can’t get a spot where you can see them unless you’re a tall guy (like me). They jump in unison, and everybody knows their songs. They’re singing along like crazy. And when they play “Stick Stickly,” I join in. When the techno part of that song kicks in, a few thousand people are jumping and waving their arms in unison. It’s a beautiful thing to see. Attack Attack! sells shirts and shorts that say “No Fucking Respect.” This is genius. Even while being one of the more popular bands on this festival, they’re still able to play the underdog.

7:30 P.M. I’m back in the amphitheater to watch Enter Shikari, a British band that’s hard to describe. I think we’re going to watch a few songs of this, let D.P. take his photographs, and then hit the road, but we’re not leaving. These guys are amazing! I don’t know what genre this music is supposed to be called, but I’m calling it “kitchen sink” music. It’s some hardcore sounds, some dance beats, some metal; all thrown together in a herky jerky screaming mix of virtuosic noise. It’s the kind of stuff that music critics will inevitably hate, but if you’re in front of this band watching them, it’s impossible to do so. Although the stage is split in half to allow for two bands to alternate on it without breaks, they take to using the entire stage, the amplifiers, the audience, and wherever to perform. They’re playing what’s essentially a side stage yet in a giant amphitheater, and they’re acting like they’re headlining Glastonbury. It’s infectious. It’s the best thing I’ve seen today, and I’m glad it’ll be last.

Standing on air

8:10 P.M. The fact that we’re still here allows D.P. to take some photographs of Fake Problems. The audience has pretty much left after the all-out hurricane of Enter Shikari, and I feel a bit bad for this band. Hardly anyone has stuck around to see them. And we’re not going to either. Nothing personal, but we’ve been in the sun a long time, and we’re tired. It’s tough to do this much Warped Tour, in the sun, with the crowds, but in the end, if you love music, you’re always going to find a new band or two. And that’s definitely worth the price.

———–

Photos by David Price

Gordon Elgart

A music nerd who probably uses that term too much. I have a deep love for bombastic, quirky and dynamic music.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Tony June 28, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Nice review, cheaper and less stressful than attending the show.

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Joel June 28, 2010 at 2:39 pm

The ROI of crabcore.com continues to go through the roof.

Monkey is playing at Homestead Lanes in Cupertino soon. If you go, you can also see the bar I worked at for a couple months in 1999.

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Caroline June 28, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Great review, Gordo. I already have a pre-disposed attitude towards Warp Tour, which is why I probably will never go to it, so it’s nice to hear your very open minded perspective on it.

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