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Thursday, August 03, 2006

stacey » Music » Warped Tour

"Stacey eats dirt, likes breezes."

Josh Ritter, Peter Mulvey, John Vanderslice, Page France and Alexi Murdoch are amongst my best shows or discs of the year thus far and, dammit was I bummed when I missed the Fiona Apple, Damien Rice and David Garza show last week. So, logically, I found myself at the Warped Tour Wednesday.

Welcoming this fish out of water was the Fitchburg, Massachussetts ariport, a heat index of 100+ degrees, I don't know how many thousands of mostly sweaty, bandana clad, sometimes parent guarded teenagers and, oh yeah, some wicked hardcore bands.

I went deep undercover to bring Hip Displeasure my half assed report.

As I entered the airport grounds I, well, I couldn't receive the free goody bag from the Cingular tent because, apparently, showing them my US Cellular phone was NOT the same as showing them my Cigular phone. I'm pretty sure I didn't want their stickers anyway. I was accompanying my friend and her 16 year old brother attending his first show of any kind. This was their trip, their music. I was the passenger, the skateboarder holding on to the back of the car. Basically, I had no control over the bands we saw or the tents we visited.

The first band for us was the Fully Down, ushering in my day of screaming, lyrics I couldn't understand, mosh pits and dirt. Lots and lots of dirt.

If this didn't all ready make sense to you, let it be known now; sweat + dirt = sandpaper people. By the end of the day I'm sure I could have rubbed down a post for a fence with my dirt covered arm and made that sucker as smooth as, yes, a baby's bottom. So the thought of maintaining any sort of cleanliness escaped my mind fairly quickly and I didn't really care that the "misting booth" only attracted more dirt after my exit from it, because got-dammit, that water was a fleeting oasis on what had become my desert body. The water we brought went quickly, but the $3, 16 oz. waters and $4 bottles of Gatorade were plentiful. I didn't spend a single cent on any band merchandise, but still my "Don't call me, I'll call you" change purse found itself empty at the end of the night.

As we passed shirtless teenage boy upon bikini topped teenage girl I thought 'am I the oldest one here?', but then I saw them. Only a couple at first, but little by little they emerged from their big, floppy straw hats and worried expressions, one even wore a tshirt stating exactly what they were -- "Warped Tour Mom". I toyed with the idea of telling one of them I had lost my parent somewhere to con at least one bottle of free water, but later decided they were most likely spending too much money and worry on their own children, so just observed from afar. My favorite parent sighting, which I captured on ten seconds of silent film, took place during Less Than Jake's set. I was standing behind a floral print dressed mother with two girls. She was shaking her khaki clad hips as her daughters (?) stood motionlessly at either side of her. They did not seem to be embarrassed by her, which I thought refreshing. All three were having a good time. Then, the circle pit (more on that later) made its way around and passed directly in front of the woman. She shook it like a Polaroid picture and for some reason, the site of moshers storming their way in front of a mom jamming to Less Than Jake made me chuckle.

Speaking of moshers and pits, admittedly this was my first viewing of the Conga Line on crack AKA the Elanie Bennis dance on tour AKA the running of the moshers AKA the "circle pit". Is this new? I had no idea what was going on until the singer of Less Than Jake wanted the circle pit to become the "clit pit" for the last song of their set, stating "if we see any guys in there, we'll all know you have a small dick". As the song began and the clit pit became increasingly larger, a random girl I was standing next to and I turned to each other and asked "aren't you going in?" at the same time, to which I replied "I don't think my clit is up to that". She was my first Warped Tour friend.

As the day went on and the bands played on I became pretty good at spotting the early warning signs of the birth of a mosh pit, as if they were isolated, spontaneous tornadoes during an Oaklahoma summer. The boys tying bandanas around their faces as if railroad thieves in the Old West, the violent shaking of the head, the "test" push... and then BAM move back! Move out! There's a dust storm a comin'!

I did actually hear music as well. Joan Jett can bring it, Motion City Soundtrack inspired dorky dancing of my own with 'The Future Freaks Me Out' and surprisingly (to me) awesome live bands did Thursday, Less Than Jake and 30 Seconds to Mars make. The rest of the bands I viewed (Bouncing Souls, Autumn to Ashes, Moneen, yada yada yada blended into one gigantic mosh pit in my memory and I couldn't separate them if even I were a burly, sweaty body guard).

And while I had many 'clever' things to shout at bands throughout the day ("play some Sufjan Stevens!!!"), the only thing I managed to spew was during the last band's set (Thursday) as the sun was setting on my pseudo-punk rock day... in response to the lead singer thanking Saves the Day "from New Jersey" for being there I screamed, "Woo! Jersey!", much to the chagrin of my friend. I am a cool kid.

Final thoughts:

Mom in the Blondie tshirt: your fifteen year old may not appreciate you, the 14,745 other fifteen year olds there may have not appreciated you, but dammit, I appreciate you.

Guy wearing the pink cowboy hat and smoking the cigar: sure.

People who started throwing mounds of Earth: listen, kids; you wanna throw water bottles to create some sort of "atmosphere", that's cool, but when you start propelling dirt and grass and possibly rocks, that's not cool (am I old for saying that?).

The band who dedicated their last song to "The most evilest bitch ever": those are the only words throughout your entire set I understood.

Girl with the "dehydrated and poor" sign: I hope you conned the parents better than I.

and, finally, from some kids at warpedtour.com...

"well i had front row and i was just astonished at Ronnie Winter and Elias Reidy... i was like =O! haha, i kept screaming RONNIE YOU'RE FUCKING GORGEOUS and some mom kept looking at me. I was like YES FUCKING GORGEOUS FUCK ME NOW! just to piss her off"

"I LOVE WARPED TOUR '06!!! this was my first concert in i loved it. da bands were awesome n da ppl were cool. especially da cute skaterboarder dan. : D"

"hah my mom was in the parent tent haha she made friends with the chcik running it. lol shes been to atleast 4 warped tours since me and my brother have been going."


Anonymous DHRjericho said...

Fantastic review. Very Funny.

9:10 PM  
Blogger stacey said...

Thank you!

I think I still have dirt in my hair...

3:43 PM  

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