Date: August 4, 2001
Venue: Randall’s Island, NYC
The annual “punk rock” event, The Warped Tour came a little late this year it seems? Usually it’s in July and not in August but oh well. Last year was I disappointed with the tour, and also pissed that we got the run-around with press passes. But thanks to Launch and Side One Dummy, we got passes again.
Matt and I decided to go early and beat the traffic. We came to a huge line under the railroad bridge filled with people. There were a lot of kids there early. The doors didn’t open for another 2 hours and there was 5000 people there already. We tried to get our passes early but the passes weren’t printed up yet. While waiting for the passes, I was surrounded by people and started to get claustrophobia. They let the gates open and the herd was brought to the next cattle area. But we still to had to wait for the passes to be printed up. We finally got our passes and went immediately in the backstage area to avoid the crowds. The first band playing on one of the bigger stages was Rogue’s March. I’ve never heard or seen this band before so I didn’t know what to expect. They were okay. They had that flogging molly rock thing going for them. AFI was the first band I took pictures of. It was virtually impossible taking pictures of these guys. They moved so fast on stage!!! Which was good for the crowd but bad for me, haha. After them was Jimmy Eat World and I didn’t know what these guys sounded like so I went into the crowded fields and walked around the merch area. Is it just me or is there barely free shit anymore? I remember back in 96 or 97, I came home with my whole bag filled with stuff. Maybe I’m not looking hard enough.
Next was Fenix TX. I saw them once before and I thought they were okay. I took a couple of pictures and got something to eat. It was weird being in the photo pit for certain bands. Because some would let you stay in for 4 songs, some for 2, some for three. I don’t get it. I’m usually done taking my set of pictures of that band the first song anyway. Dropkick Murphys were next and it seemed like it was a crowd favorite. DKM banners and Irish flags all over the crowd. It was awesome. I’ve never seen them with the million guitar players and bagpipe player before live, except for Conan O Brien and they sounded excellent! Man, adding the bagpipes made the band sound ten times better and they were great to begin with! They played songs like “Spicy Mchaggis” and one of my favorites “Far Away Coast.” Plus a lot of the other punk rock ones as well. It was a great segway to have DKM and then Flogging Molly because they are so similar. I only started getting into Flogging Molly this year and man, does this band rock! I believe they started things off with “Selfish Man.” After their amazing set, Kool Keith came on. Um who? I don’t know. After them was Pennywise. They rocked the Warped Tour as usual. Last time I saw them they had the same clothes on. Do they change at all?
During Pennywise, I was in the photo pit taking pictures and a damn bottle went flying and hit my lens. I just cursed and kept trying to take pictures until I realized I couldn’t. There was something in the way. At first I thought it cracked my lens but it was something inside the camera. I ran outside the photo pit and took my lens off. Part of the viewfinder fell off. I was freaking out trying to fix it and I finally did. So thankfully I fixed it because if it didn’t I would have went on a cracking kneecaps style in the pit. Deniro style baby! But throwing bottles at the stage is fucking stupid. What’s the point? Throw volleyballs and Frisbees and crap like that around, not a full coke bottle. That’s retarded and it’s even more retarded that you didn’t even finish the damn drink schmuck! The Vandals played next and were fun. They started off with Pennywise’s Bro Hymn, just as Pennywise was finishing, and then they went into their own. I thought that was cool of them. I remember that they played “It’s A Fact” and “Oi! To The World” and “Idea For a Movie.” Speaking of movie, you can buy they’re new indy movie That Darn Punk at the show I think. After the Vandals, was another crowd favorite Less Than Jake. I remember the last time I saw them at the Warped Tour, they had all these crazy people on stage from a circus basically and it was awesome. But they didn’t have that this time. They still played great but I think they need to start opening up with different songs. It seems like they always play “Automatic” and “Happyman” first.
H20 was next and I’m not a big fan of theirs so I just chilled backstage and got rained on while they played. It was mostly cloudy all day and it drizzled for most of the day as well. The rain was on and off and only once where it got heavy but nothing serious that they had to stop the show. It was probably fine with most of the crowd since they were filled with dust and sweat. I went under the stage to cool off. After h20, was The Bouncing Souls. They kicked ass. They did a lot of songs from their last two albums, plus some classics. Around this time, this was when the dust was really getting bad from all the moshing. I never really heard of the Ataris before but I went to took pictures of them anyway. They were decent. The band to talk about though was Me First and The Gimme Gimmes.
They were one of the best bands that day. They had a tikki bar on stage for christ sake! That’s funny and awesome! Everybody on stage was buying drinks from it. They all came out in Hawaiian shirts and played a bunch of covers. DUH! They played so many songs I can’t think of half that they played but the ones I remember were “Me and Julio down By The Schoolyard,” “Sloop John B,” and “Over The Rainbow.” I didn’t really see any of the bands on the smaller stages because the ones on the Main ones were good and I wanted to take pictures of them.
Plus I never heard of most of those bands besides Madcap, Impossibles, No Motiv, Alien Ant Farm, and Bigwig. After Me First was the first reggae band on the Warped Tour, Morgan Heritage and they were really good. I wish they would have more reggae bands on the tour. Open up a lot of horizons on those punk kids’ minds. The singer explained to the crowd that reggae and punk music are the same. They both sing about revolution and that the man is afraid of that. I thought his speech was really inspiring and hope a lot of the people got it. Another Warped Tour favorite was up next and that was Rancid. Lars and Tim applauded Morgan Heritage and gave a big F U out to the major labels. Then they started off with Radio and also played Nihilism. I took a whole roll of film of them and got out of the photo pit. I heard a couple more songs and I decided my legs were about to fall off and going home would be best. I didn’t bother staying for Henry Rollins because I don’t think his music is good so. Overall, the Warped Tour was a big success and almost every band I saw was great, which is rare in my case. Usually I like at the most 6 bands on the bill. I think they’re should be more reggae bands on the tour, plus bring back some ska bands to tour. Let’s make it popular again! And maybe a GOOD rap artist or band. Jurassic Five was a great addition last year, and maybe someone like that would be good for the tour again. I don’t know, this review is long.