With my sunburn finally starting to show signs of subsiding I sit and reflect on my Warped Tour experience. Now I must admit I’m not big on festivals and haven’t been to Warped in many years. To be honest I wasn’t even planning on going until a couple days before, but I’m truly glad that I gave in and went.
The Starting Line kicked things off, and even though it was the release day for their new record they kept their set full of older selections. The backdrop for the Milwaukee stop of Warped was Lake Michigan, but unfortunately with the scorching temperatures it really wasn’t cooler by the lake… Amber Pacific played a great set and it was my first chance to hear some of the new material live. I then took some time to wander around and take it all in, look through the various tents and ponder why was there a Mexican wrestling match going on… New Found Glory hit the stage and really got the crowd going. They gave a preview of their upcoming cover album (From the Screen to Your Stereo Pt. 2) as they preformed “Kiss Me” originally by the group Sixpence None the Richer. I really had expected the attendance to be much larger, nevertheless the atmosphere was vibrant and fun. Very solid and energetic performances were given by Valencia and Mayday Parade, both groups will no doubt be staples of Warped for years to come.
As the mid afternoon sun beat down it was time for Alkaline Trio, truly the band I wanted to see more than anyone else. Unfortunately, I have to admit I was overall disappointed by them. Their live performances have blown me away in the past but I just wasn’t feeling it. They played a brand new song titled “In Vein” which will most likely appear on their Epic Records debut in ’08. The song itself didn’t “wow” me, but I know that they’ll pull it together and create a great record next year. My favorite performance of the day was easily Straylight Run. Even though their sound doesn’t fit with most Warped Tour acts, they held their own and stole the show (in my book). The entire set was meticulously paced and amazing to watch as each song was just perfect.
All Time Low, Underoath and Paramore seemed to be the bands that drew the biggest crowds, and for good reason. As I was waiting to leave, the man himself Kevin Lyman rode by on his bike. He was nice enough to stop and talk with my friends and I, he asked our names and thanked us for coming to the show. He is truly a down-to-earth and very genuine person, before riding off Kevin told us how to get to the famous Warped Tour BBQ. So thats where we headed, in between rows of tour buses there were tents and tables set up. With band and crew members just hanging out, winding down the day. As my friends roamed aisle after aisle of buses searching endlessly for Hayley of Paramore, I was perfectly content next to the keg drinking beer that was provided by The Starting Line. As the buses began to leave we made our exit as well, it was a great time and I for sure plan on going next year.