SWELTER FOR YOUR MUSIC-VAN’s WARPED TOUR SWIMS IN RECORD CAMDEN HEAT
There’s another world of music out there besides what you hear on Echoes, and I’m not talking about pop, classical, jazz, alternative or metal. It’s a world you probably won’t know about unless you’re in your pre-20s or have kids that age who try to educate you to the wonders of their pop-punk, emo, screamo, rap, etc sounds It’s a sound represented by The Van’s Warped Tour which descended into Philadelphia/Camden at the Susquehanna Center on July 21, a day of record heat. That pretty much reminds me of the Warped Tour I saw in 2006 in North Jersey. I went to that show with my then 12-year old daughter Grace, (John Diliberto gets Warped on the Warped Tour 2006). But this year , Grace passed so I sent my young friend Joey Higgins to take pictures and report back.
The bands in the Warped Tour represent an interesting cultural movement. These are artists that by and large are never heard on the radio, not even on the local Philadelphia modern rock stations like Radio 104.5 or WXPN who are currently in the midst of their quite different Xponentional Music Festival. Even XPN’s more alternative leaning XPN2 barely touches these acts. Yet. thousands of fans braved the heat and the joys of Camden to hear their favorite acts, bouncing from one stage to another.
“I think there was something like seven stages” recalls a sun-baked Higgins, who despite the heat, says he never took off his knit cap.
“I think it kept me cooler,” he insists.
The crowd sucked so much water out of the public fountains that part way through the day the H2O turned to a vomit acid mix of green and yellow. The promoters leaped in, however, distributing fluids from the environmental group, Green-Works free, to festival goers. And that, says Joey, was better than paying $4.50 per for bottled water.
Despite the travails of heat prostration where temperatures topped 100 degrees, Higgins says that everyone was upbeat and had a good vibe. Everyone that is, except those being carted off in a stream of ambulances due to sunstroke, dehydration and getting faces smashed in mosh pits.,
Among the some 56 bands that performed, highlights for Joey included A Day to Remember, Simple Plan, Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows (A.K.A. DRUGS), The Ready Set and We Came As Romans.
“A Day to Remember really got the crowd revved up,” enthuses Joey, This despite the crushing heat. He especially dug “I’m Made of Wax Larry, What Are You Made Of,” a song of paranoid revenge delivered in a high energy aggressive screed mixed with a screamo chorus. The Troy, Michigan metalcore band generated a lot of action with vocals alternating between course scream exhortations and more yearning vocals that were deployed in compositions that had almost progressive rock dimensions in terms of their multi-part structures and almost classical overtones as on, “To Plant A Seed” the title track to one of their albums. The band was always moving, prowling the stage, climbing on the monitors and peering into the crowd.
Past Warped Tours have frequently featured bands from an earlier generation or two, including Anthrax (1981) and Bad Religion (formed 1979) , The Dickies (formed 1977) U.K. Subs (Formed 1976) and Joan Jett, whose career goes back to 1976 and The Runaways. This year’s Warped Tour’s oldsters were Simple Plan. For 15 year-old Joey, this 12 year old band constituted “old” for the Warped Tour 2011. Simple Plan has an internal eclecticism and wider dynamic range than most Warped Tour bands. They even sing ballads like “Save You.” For Joey, Simple Plan, as well as The Ready Set, play softer music. Nevertheless, he says they always put on a good show and this was no exception.
The 2011 Van’s Warped Tour is still running around the country. Its schedule puts it in the east until August 2, and then start heading west for a coastal swing. Joey, a kid who as seen Warped Tour veterans All Time Low four times in the last four months, would be at all of them if he could.
John Diliberto ((( echoes )))