Of all summer festivals, Warped Tour has always been the best bang for your buck. Twenty three dollars for 30+ bands is ridiculously awesome. Too bad Ticketmaster likes to stab at our wallets. “Convenience” charges and service fees aside, Warped is still your best ticket of the summer, and maybe even the year.
The sun was already high in the air and there wasn’t a rain cloud in sight over the Starwood Ampitheater in Nashville, TN. The parking lot was filling up as street punks, older Warped vets, and the Myspace generation made their way to the gates.
While walking around, the smell of hairspray hung in the air, as most kids didn’t anticipate sweating it all out for the day. I made a quick sweep of the layout, because every date’s differs according to the setup of the venue.
After learning it was almost time for Gym Class Heroes, I made my way to their stage. That band never ceases to amaze me, and with the addition of a synth player, their live sound is even better.
After Gym Class, I walked around a bit before checking out Dayton, TN’s Radio Fix. I’d been wanting to see the band live for a while and they delivered.
I left The Radio Fix to catch the first of Saves the Day’s set. Legends in this scene, it was amazing to see true masters at work.
I hopped over to the Myspace tent to check out a little acoutic Gym Class Heroes. MC Travis McCoy dropped some spoken word that was quite incredible to experience.
I then got into the second row, eagerly anticipating theAcademyIs…, however, the heat was starting to take its toll. Coupled with the headache I was developing due to the fourteen year olds freaking out because TAI is so “hawt,” I was near the point of blacking out. I took off before they started for some shade while still being able to listen to them.
After a nice turkey sandwich for lunch, I watched Greeley Estates with a friend and was pleasantly surprised at how tight they were.
I went from Greeley to Rookie of the Year, which is quite a dynamic change in sound. I didn’t stick around long, because I wanted a good spot for Motion City Soundtrack.
The sun was slowly, and I stress slowly, trying to go down, but still loomed over the crowd as MCS took the stage. Never a band to disappoint, they had the entire crowd singing along. Unfortunately, they also had the teenagers moshing. Let’s not forget the crowd surfers. Mostly between the ages of 13 and 16, it would be the first time a lot of these girls were held in the arms of a man: a security guard.
Just staying at the same stage and waiting it out, I got up front and center for Paramore. They have never put on a bad show in Nashville, and they continued their streak. Frontwoman Hayley Williams may be small, but she knows how to command a crowd better than a lot of bands headlining this tour for multiple years. The Farro brothers both played their respectful instruments with the efficiency of seasoned professionals. Bass player Jeremy grooved along to the tunes and threw in an acrobatic cartwheel over Josh’s back. Guitarist Hunter Lamb rounded out the lineup to help deliver one of the best sets of the day.
As soon as Paramore ended, I walked all the way across the grounds to catch the most underrated band today: Spitalfield. Mixing songs from their first two Victory LPs and throwing in a song from their forthcoming album, Spitalfield played a set of pop songs solid enough to make Fall Out Boy jealous.
And so ended my day at the Warped Tour. I left with a bag full of free swag, a headache, and the sunburn from Hell. It was a blast.