Opening Bands: Street Dogs, Millencolin, Dropkick Murphys, Bedouin Soundclash, the Offspring
Date: August 13th, 2005
Venue: Randall’s, Island, NYC
I wasn’t sure if I was going to attend this year’s Warped Tour because I wasn’t really impressed with the lineup. I’m still not impressed with it; but for some reason, each year keeps bringing me back to take pictures of bands & the event. If I didn’t get press passes to cover the tour for the site, I would have stopped going to the Warped Tour years ago.
I’ve been going almost every year since 1996, I think I missed two years out of that. It just isn’t what it used to be and the bands are way too popular & corporate. Plus the whole tour seems like one big fashion show. But I’d rather see the bands I wanted to see in a club where the sets are a lot longer and there isn’t any dust!
The day started off with Paul, V and I driving down in the sweltering heat and making good time on the Palisades Parkway. UNTIL we hit the Triboro Bridge and got stuck in traffic for over and an hour. And you want to know the reason why there was traffic? Yes, The Warped Tour BUT this time they decided to charge 10 dollars for parking. And it wasn’t a simple thing like park your car and pay, you had to wait in a line for an hour to park your car and pay. I bet you next year they charge you for taking a piss or shit in the port-o-potties. Nickeling and Diming kids for everything! And while this was all going on, I drank two waters on the way down and you know what that means. I had to take a massive piss and I HATE holding it in because it’s the worst feeling in the world. This usually happens every time I go into the city but never learn. Though I was drinking this time because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to inside that much. Plus, Paul was a butthead and didn’t have the AC on so it was 100 degrees out on top of me having to pee really bad. Not really a fun experience on the way down. We finally parked, and I ran to the nearest port-o-potty, which was 2 miles away. So it was just a little bit difficult to walk. I unleashed the Kracken and reappeared out of the portable crapper 5 minutes later and felt refreshed. But enough about my bad bladder.
Since the concert had already started, there was no line and I walked up and got my passes and went backstage immediately to avoid getting frisked. I didn’t feel like throwing out my water bottle, which I ended up re-filling the whole day. I wanted to check out the Briefs on one of the smaller stages but we ended up missing them already. We headed to the middle of the concert area to write down the lineup. The Offspring were the last headliner and that was one of the bands I wanted to see ,so it sucked we had to stay the whole time. There were a few bands I wanted to see and they were spread out the whole day so I had time to kill before each set. In a perfect world, all the bands I wanted to see would have been the first ones and I could have gotten out of the fucking heat. But I guess it could have been worse, it could have been raining all day but then again, I would have enjoyed that because then I could have went home early haha.
The first band I saw was Street Dogs from Boston, and man, what a band to see first! They were one of the highlights for me, even though the sound was so god awful, it was hard to make out words. I was stupid and forgot earplugs too. Yes I know, I’m old but when you are taking pictures right next to the speakers, you’d wear them too. Halfway through their set, Mike announced a special guest and it was none other than Nate Albert of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Mike praised Nate and said if it wasn’t for him, there wouldn’t be no Street Dogs, Dropkicks. I forget what song he came out to play on but the crowd went nuts, and the dust came flying up. The songs Street Dogs played that I could remember were “Savin Hill” “Back to the World” “You Alone” “In Defense of Dorchester” and “Cut Down on the 12th.” I’ve been wanting to see them live for awhile now and I finally did. Granted, it was outside and the sound sucked but I saw them. I just hope I see the band in a club next time. Oh yeah, they should have been on the bigger stages because they deserve it, and a lot of people were there to see them too.
After the Street Dogs, I wanted to walk around and look at the merch. I didn’t get anything this year because there was nothing I wanted. Usually I buy a shirt of a band playing there but nothing peaked my interest. I made my way to the Water Truck thing and had Paul fill up my bottle since I was a wimp and didn’t want to get wet. We decided to go see Motion City Soundtrack for a few songs. They opened up with two songs I knew, probably from compilations. The keyboard player was really active and jumping all over the place. The crowd went nuts for those guys and that was another band that should have been on the bigger stages. I only stayed for a few songs because I wanted to see the Transplants suck wind and…yup, they did. Talk about a snoozefest.
I’m not a fan of the Transplants and think it’s a joke that the band thinks they are all gangsta. Gimme a break, you’re a bunch of white guys from California. One of you used to be in a dorky ska band, you know what I’m saying Travis? So put down your glocks and 40z and go back playing in real bands! I have to watch what I say, I might get gun- downed from a moving Escalade. So yeah, they played songs, I took pictures, and they were done. They weren’t impressive at all and Tim looked like he was either drunk, drugged, or just didn’t want to be there. But nonetheless, I got some good pictures of them haha.
I went backstage and realized my whole body was dusty and dirty, so I decided to take a picture of it. I could imagine how dirty kids were who actually went in the pit! I was chilling backstage for an hour so, at the baseball field dugout seats, waiting for Strung Out to come out. I never listened to Strung Out before but since they were on Fat Wreck, I wanted to check out some songs. They played pretty good, and I took some pictures of them. It might have been for this set, or another band but when I started to take pictures of the band, I had one of the security guys yelling at me that I had 4 songs. I responded, yeah I know, can I take pictures of this band or what! And he kept repeating it over and over again, until I just walked out. And then walked right back in when the asshole left. Apparently, on my wristband, it said somewhere hidden 4-6. I guess I had to take pictures from the 4-6 songs but was never told that. It was always 3 songs and you’re out of the photo pit. Either way, the guy was a dick.
Um, who’s next. I’ll say the Dropkick Murphys because it’s probably the band I wanted to see the most on this tour. I love when Dropkick Murphys play because all the kids support the band with homemade flags. Irish flags, Red Sox flags, Dropkick Murphys all surfaced from the dusty crowd and DKM was again, the crowd favorite. The piper came out did his stuff and then one of the guitarists came out next and then played a little ditty on the keys. They opened with “Your Spirits Alive” off their new album, the Warriors Code. And then they went into “Boys on the Docks.” I swear each of those guys can play like 5 instruments each haha. I wish I could play ONE! Though I didn’t get to see their whole set because I was backstage, though the sound is better back there anyway. I heard them play “Sunshine Highway,” “Heroes of the Past” “The Burden” and “Amazing Grace.” I heard some kid came out and play “Barroom Heroes” with them. I wish I saw their set but I’m sure I’ll see them again soon.
Other bands I checked out were Millencolin, MxPx and the Offspring. I think I saw Millencolin once before at the Warped Tour but I wasn’t into the band at the time. They played some new & old songs, I recognized some of them off their new album. I always make fun of MxPx, but they actually played good and it was nice change from the other screamo shit. The Offspring were the last headline act of the night (even though other bands played after them on the smaller stages for some reason). I’ve been listening to the Offspring a lot lately, and I was eager to see them play live for the first time. They came out and started the set off with “All I Want,” which kicked ass! They also played “The Kids Aren’t Allright” which is another favorite of mine. Other songs they played were “Keep Em Separated,” “Self Esteem” and “Staring at the Sun. ” Half way thru their short set, Dexter whipped out a big fire hose and sprayed the crowd. That was cool but I wished they played another song instead. Their set was really short but it was still good. Then I finally went home and passed out. Yup.
This is the time of the review where I rant about how all the bands sound & look alike. It just seemed like this whole tour was a giant fashion show. I mean, it’s over 100 degrees out, my balls are swimming in there own pool known as my sweat, and you have kids wearing fucking jeans out! There’s a time to try and look cool and it’s called high school haha. But the bands & kids all have their tight shirts on, and messy black hair that’s in assorted styles. Yuck, it just makes me sick that the music scene has become something so superficial that every band has to look and sound alike. Then you have the kids that are posers who have to look like the bands. Isn’t their individuality anymore? Can’t people make up their own minds on what to look like and what to wear? And the music is just as awful as the way the bands dress. They could have renamed this whole tour, the Vans’ Pussy Emo Screamo Shit Tour. I know ska is deader than a hooker in my hotel room in Vegas, but at least give some of the surviving bands of the ska scene some damn exposure!
The one band (Bedouin Soundclash) that was different than most bands on here got stuck on the smaller stage. Which I missed by the way because the set times were all fucked up. I would have killed to see the Bosstones reunite or the Toasters or Pietasters, even Madness on the tour! Maybe import some European ska over here for a fucking change. But no, they have all the corporate mainstream bands that sound alike and have the word romance in their band name. My Chemical Romance, Matchbook Romance, Fall Out Romance, Story of the Romance, Romance Fails, it’s all the fucking same! And it’s not even punk rock music! What about bands like Authority Zero or Pistol Grip, those guys would be awesome on this tour! Where’s bands like Pennywise, they have new albums but they weren’t even on the tour this year! A lot of the bands that are usually on here weren’t. Yeah there was some bands like Millencolin, Dropkicks, Street dogs, The Briefs that are punk but they were used sporadically on the tour.
I would like to see either next year: lots of ska bands, some reggae like one of the Marleys or Buju Banton, some Celtic/Folk bands like the Levellers (doubtful), the Saw Doctors, Real Mckenzies, Great Big sea, Billy Bragg, or maybe even a Pogues Reunion (doubtful)! SOMETHING! The tour definitely needs a facelift from the shit they currently showcase. How fuckin’ cool would it be to have Billy Bragg or someone on the tour and show these scenesters and kids some REAL music! But none of the real musicians or bands would do it because the tour is too corporate. The only way they are getting my ass to the warped tour again is if they resurrect Bob Marley from the Grave!