Date: August 1st 1998
Venue: Randall’s Island, NYC
Well, It’s time again to review one of the biggest shows in the year or the summer and that would be the Warped Tour. This time I was going to Randall’s Island because last year at Asbury Park sucked with crowded streets and there was no shade any where. Well I’m still glad I went here instead of the Stone Pony but the dust was unbelievable. I’ll get into that later.
We ( Matt, Ska Dad, my friend Sarah and I) finally parked and walked to the semi crowded area to wait on line. Matt and I (actually Matt did but anyway) called up Nasty Little Men Promotions and requested press/photo passes and by last Thursday they said yes and we were supposed to pick them up at “Will Call.” Guess how long we waited, come on guess? Over an hour and a half we waited for the guy to bring the passes. We weren’t the only ones waiting; it was everyone who was supposed to be on the guest list, have passes or whatever. Since we were in the first line and then put into the middle line, we finally got to go get our passes at noon when they arrived. I screamed some naughty words (hehehe) at them for taking so long. So Matt and I hurried to the backstage gate and walked into this huge area that was supposed to be grass but from the all the concerts there, it was all dirt and sticks. The lady on the phone from Nasty… said that we still need our tickets but we didn’t need them at all; because no one checked our ticket so I could have sold that and got some money to develop my eight rolls of film. So we wandered around looking for my Dad and Sarah, or any one that we knew for that matter. The first person I ran into was Brian and Vinny from Edna’s Goldfish. I talked briefly with them and I was looking at a schedule one of their friends had.
Before I talked to Brian and Vinny, I went over to see the U.S Bombs and went right over to the pit area where I was allowed to go. I was flashing my pass around like Wayne and Garth did when they got backstage passes in both Wayne’s World. So I immediately start taking some pictures of U.S. Bombs and I took like five. They played pretty well and they played some songs that I knew like “Jaks,” “War Birth” and I think “12/25.” The lead singer had some pretty cool tattoos.
Next up on the South Stage was 22 Jacks. I saw them once before at the 7 Willow St in Portchester in early 97. That was also when I saw that band I always review called The Pilfers. Some of the members used to be in Adolescents, and Wax. I took one or two pictures of them, I think mostly of the lead singer. They played a really cool cover from the Police called “S.O.S” (I think that’s the name of it) and I heard some other songs that I recognized. After them I wandered around looking for my friend Robert, and I was looking for some other friends. I ran into my friend Robert and chatted briefly. I went back and saw Unwritten Law playing and I didn’t seem interested so I kept walking around. Matt said they played “Crazy Poway Kids” (Which is the only song I know from them) Unlike Asbury Park, you could actually walk around this place. I went over to the truck stages and saw no one good playing so I ran into my Dad, and Sarah again. I looked at some merchandise and eventually I bought a white Aquabats shirt.
After Unwritten Law was Swinging Utters and since I don’t know jack from them I didn’t see them. Hi, Matt here, I saw them briefly and they reminded me of the Dropkick Murphys. The singer wore this cool Scottish hat and I tried to take pictures of them but me being a big dork forgot to put film in the camera. Boy, do I feel stupid! But it was only like two pictures I took so no big loss.
Oh yeah, I totally forgot to bring this up like I was supposed to earlier. This place was dusty, dirty, and dusty again. My black Airwalks are now brown. Good thing I didn’t wear my new Docs. I had to be very careful with my camera so it wouldn’t get to dusty so I cleaned it off every five minutes. I also only put on sun tan lotion only twice and didn’t get that burnt. I also had to clean my glasses off every 2 seconds also. I need to get those glasses with the windshield wipers. Okay, back to the concert review, from what I heard, they sounding good.
Next up was the Latino punk band known as Voodoo Glow Skulls. I haven’t seen them yet and was looking forward to seeing them since I have all their albums. They started off with my favorite “Insubordination” and then they played other songs like “Fat Randy,” “Dog Pile,” El Coo Cooi,” “Misunderstood,” “Bulletproof,” and “Left For Dead.” I was really impressed with the horns players of VGS because they play so fast. I took like ten or more pictures of them. For every band, The photographers get kicked out at the third song. The Bouncers were cool about it though. They tried to keep out of the way and tried to keep the crowdsurfers away from us. They said “You do your job and let us do our’s. Well that’s understandable.
Well then I went over to the side of the stage. That way I could still see the band a little and not get pelted with dust from moshers and skankers.
They got off and then someone else went on, I think All did. I looked at them and didn’t seem interested again so I walked around the dust bowl a little. I heard MXPX was playing so I decided to walk to the truck stages and went in the tiny backstage area and watched them for 10 minutes. I didn’t know what songs they played and I didn’t care. Then I waited in the pit and backstage for the Cherry Poppin Daddies to get on. I was backstage and I saw all of them warming up. Steve Perry, the lead singer was practicing his vocals in the trailer and I wanted to ask him to play “Jump In the Line,” like they do in the new soundtrack of BASEketball. So they got on and many photographers were there in the pit with Matt and I. They finally got on with their zoot suits and pin stripes on; which they used to wear but because Dicky Barret said to Steve Perry that if you want to focus on swing and it’s fans, start dressing right. So Steve Perry started swingin’ it up by himself and I was snapping away. I think I took a whole roll of them. After the third song, I chilled on the side and I saw Tommy of the Smooths there, and that stupid loser from MTV, John Norris there. I should have told him to go back to the Lilith Fair Tour you fruitcake! C.P.D played songs like “Zoot Suit Riot,” (which the crowd loved) “Hi and Lo,” “Dr. Bones,” “Brown Derby Jump,” and either Ding Dong Daddy..” or “Drunk Daddy.” Overall, I was really glad to see them finally. Just from hearing them, I wanted to ask a girl to swing dance with me but it was way too crowded in the front so I just danced in place, Poor , lonely old me :(
After C.P.D, Matt and I went over to the truck stages and saw Mad Caddies. But before they played was the Amazing Royal Crowns and I only saw the last song and the only one I really like called “Do the Devil.” Some of the Specials horn players played for them. I took one picture of Amazing Royal Crowns and I took like 8 or more pictures of Mad Caddies. They played decent but I liked them the first time. They played songs like “Preppie Girl,” “Polyester Khakis,” “The Bell Tower,” and I think a new song called “Monkeys.” I think they’re horn players are good. I was like the only person taking pictures of them. I then went over to the other truck stage and waited for the band from Aquabania to come on. Some of the members were signing autographs and talking to fans that dressed up like them. Ohhh how cute? So Mad Caddies got off and then the Aquabats came on. The Professor did an intro and then the rest of the nutty bunch came out with their orange and blue costumes. This was the first time that I saw them and I was amazed since the beginning I saw them. They started off with “Playdough,” and the Commander came out with a firecracker/ popper thing and I immediately start taken pictures. I didn’t know this till’ later that Matt had sparks in his hair and he thought his hair was going to catch on fire. What is he? Michael Jackson? I don’t know if any of you remember Michael Jackson’s hair catching on fire..I thought that was funny about both Matt and Michael. Well, here’s my version… The commander shot off the fireworks and sparks landed in my hair. I doubt they would have caught on fire but it burned like HELL! I started patting my hair and probably the crowd thought I was a wacko. so screw you Bryan! If I’m Michael Jackson, you are Tito!
Then they played “Red Sweater.” and I was singing along and snapping away of this wacky crazy ska pop band. I think I took the best pictures of the Aquabats out of every band that day. Next song was Magic Chicken,” and the bouncer kicked us out after the second song which they weren’t supposed to do. Then the magic chicken appeared out from the back and was throwing out stickers of the Aquabats. I think they have one of the best live shows that I have seen because it’s so original for a ska band and it’s just so funny to watch them. After that they played “Captain Hampton and the Midget Pirates.” I was watching them from far away with my friends Robert, K.C. and J.P. Since Matt managed to get the setlist, they were originally going to play “Idiot Box,” They played “The Cat with 2 Heads” instead. After that the Insane Clown came out and started to make fun of NY and the crowd, which was hilarious. He was saying stuff like: “NY Sucks, I’m from NJ,” “I thought this was the OzzFest,” “Where’s Tool, and Korn?” “Anyone with blue hair is stupid.” I think he was talking about this girl that dressed up like a professor with blue hair. Then the Insane Clown and The Aquabats were fighting on stage to an fast instrumental. Their last song was another favorite called “Super Rad.” I wanted to hear “CD Repo Man,” but oh well, can’t get everything in life. Then at the very end of their set, the Bat Commander climbed up on the roof of the stage and did like 3 or 4 backflips (I was taking pictures of this) and then stage dived off into the crowd (Got a picture of that also). They played really awesome and I was glad they played this year like I predicated.
After that on the truck stage was Punk Karoke so I said Screw You guys, I’m going home…No, I went over to the other stage with Matt to see the rest of Save Ferris, even though I don’t like them. I don’t know what that lead singer is talking about when she said she is the hottest thing out here because she has a pop belly bigger than Homer J. Simpson. The Specials’ horn players came out and played with Save Ferris and then Neville came out and danced around and sung for “Come on Eileen.” I think Matt took a picture of them through the side of stage. After them was CIV and I waited for like 5 minutes in the pit so I could take pictures of some of these Straight Edge pioneers (Gorilla Biscuits). They started off with “Choice Made,” and I was singing along to this song because it’s so good. I finished my roll with CIV like in the first two songs. So I watched from the side while he play more new and old songs like “Set Your Goals,” “Can’t Wait One Minute More,” and I think he played “Do Something,” but I could be wrong because I was at the other stage waiting for Rancid in the pit. Matt here again. While Bryan was in the pit for Civ/Rancid, I decided to catch some of the Smooths set. They are pretty good and I was the only one in the photo pit for them. They played songs like “Commander 7 to Spaceboy,” “Farewell,” and I saw two more and then decided to hurry over to see Rancid. Then I met up with my butthead brother.
Then Rancid came on and I had a pretty decent spot to take pictures of because I got there earlier. The bouncer pushed a lot of photographers out of the way because it was way too crowded and you can tell who the photographers wanted to see. I think the crowd went the craziest for Rancid but I could be wrong since I wasn’t even in the crowd. They started off with a song that I don’t know. I saw Freddie Madball and others in the back watching Rancid which was cool; I wished he came out and sang with them though. They then played other songs like “Time Bomb,” “Brothels,” “Hooligans,” (Which I thought the Specials would have come out since they are on the same tour together..duh) “Ruby Soho,” and my friend Sarah said they played “Radio.” At the end, Tim a.k.a Lint climbed the giant speakers and was playing from there. I managed to take a quick shot while he was still up there. Then after them was the Deftones so Matt and I went in the backstage area and sat in the shade and many others decided to do the same thing. Matt and I spotted Coolie Ranx and his son backstage talking to Lynval of the Specials in the back of the trailer and they were all dancin’ except Coolie’s adorable son (who just sat there with a bored face). Coolie and Lynval were really dancin for the Deftones which was cool to see. Actually, it looked like they were headbanging.
Then Mr. Actor came up to see them, Alex Dessert of Hepcat. So they were all talking and chillin’ with face cloths because it was so dusty. Matt managed to take a picture of them before they all left. From what I heard from the Deftones, I thought they played really well considering I only know that song when he goes “suck, suck, suck.” During that set, some freakin but yet kind of good looking lady, with her boob hanging out, was playing hula hoops right near me and she almost hit me in the face..I wanted to take a picture of her but I couldn’t get my camera out in time.
Next up was NOFX and I didn’t give a rat’s ass about them because Fat Mike sounds like he is taking a shit when he sings so I said, screw him and I don’t feel like taking pictures of them anyway. Plus, I heard he was making fun of Ian Mackeye so that’s another reason to dislike them. So I waited in the pit for Hepcat. Finally that annoying band NOFX got off and a real band came on, Hepcat. These guys can actually sing. They started off with “No Worries,” which is my favorite song on their brilliant new album. Then they played “I Can’t Wait.” I don’t really remember what stuff they played because they played a lot of instrumentals but they still played really well. I waited in the pit for Bad Religion now while Hepcat was still playing. Some of the members and the crowd were getting annoyed with Hepcat because they played an extra song over their set time and Jay from Bad Religion raised his hands and said let’s go!!!! Then they started to play their guitars and making freaky noises with them to get them to hurry up. Hey don’t blame them, blame the Deftones and NOFX who played the longest out of everyone there. So I had another great spot for Bad Religion and I started taking as many as possible because one of the bouncers said, “If it gets too wild in here, we’re going to have to kick you out of here.” So I knew it might be wild but it wasn’t as much as Rancid. As soon as Hepcat got off, Greg and them said, “Let’s hear it for Hepcat ladies and Gentlemen?!” “All Right, Hepcat.” I was kind of pissed off because this tour was supposed to be about unity of all bands on tour, whatever kind of band you are. Bad Religion gets all pissed because they are much bigger and popular than Hepcat, and they want to play when they are supposed to. I don’t think it is right but that’s just me. They started off with a song I know but don’t know the name of it though. Then they played “We’re Only Gonna Die,” which many bands cover today. They also played “21st. Century Boy,” and some others on the All Ages CD. I was trying to put film in my camera but it wasn’t working right so I couldn’t take any pictures of The Specials but I wasn’t that upset since I already have great pictures of them. Actually I took the pictures of The Specials. Don’t take credit for my pictures.
So Bad Religion got off and the All Mighty Specials came on. I guess Horace didn’t come on the tour because the trumpet player was playing bass( which was cool) and the trumpet player from Save Ferris played. They started off with “It’s You” and then “Rat Race.” Since I couldn’t go on the stage for some reason, I went to the front with my Dad and was skankin to the Specials. By this time, My legs were about to fall off and I had to skank to keep them from falling off. Then they played one of my favorites on the new album called “Fearful.” And then the ska classic “Message to You , Rudy.” They played other songs like “Bonediggin,” “Running Away,” “All Gone Wrong,” and “Keep On Learning.” They finished with “Concrete Jungle,” and then came back on for a surprising encore. They played “Nite Club” and a lot of people were on stage which struck me because I’m surprise the bouncers let them on. Overall, I had a really great time backstage and in the pit taking pictures. I’m glad that I got passes because without them, I would have been in a pretty bad mood with all the people, the dust and the sun. I hope Matt and I can get passes next year and experience the some-what elite lifestyle at a big concert again. Probably your not reading this part since this review is the longest I ever wrote.