|Glenn? Oh no, it's just Davey Havok of AFI.|
Can a farmer's tan pass as a fashion statement? I am ridiculed with this question every time I go to the Vans Warped Tour. This year will be no exception.
Warped Tour is known for its virile production of heat-induced maladies. In past years, leather-clad, mohawked youngsters spared little attention from the musical acts and professional athletes to regard friends succumbing to heat exhaustion. Recently, however, dime-a-dozen bands have clogged the musical circuits of punk rock evident in radio and television play. Warped Tour has turned into little more than the musical circus its organizers once desperately tried to avoid. It's a temporary hair dye paradise with self-absorbed contests and autographing sessions for the musical group du jour.
Punk powerhouses NOFX and Rancid keep their names on the bill as alternating headliners each year, drawing from a decades-old fanbase. Aside from a handful of hardcore groups (the latest crossover phase in punk), and a couple of token rap acts, the Tour teems with the nasal vocals of every pop punk band whose members are stuck between black-and-white Chuck Taylor shoes and a headful of liberty spikes. They take the stage telling gawky adolescents they must fight and unite and that the merch booth accepts all major forms of payment.
Enter the Used. The lead singer has been involved with Kelly Osbourne, and if that's not bad enough, after riding to fame on a self-titled debut, the band is currently promoting a DVD/CD of live and unreleased songs - order online and you get a free autographed booklet! Another flash in the pan, Andrew W.K., has a better story. Known for his wild antics - including busting his own lip and nose with a brick for the cover of his first release - Mr. W.K. is close friends with the Camp Kill Yourself skateboarding crew. (I wish my friends would get me on their shoe sponsor musical tour!)
The hardcore lineup looks promising: Thrice, Poison the Well, and From Autumn to Ashes. Let the ridiculous hardcore dances ensue. My favorites are the wildman windmill, the all-out gymnastics (very reminiscent of wrestler Rey Mysterio Jr.), and the bicycle kick, in which one person grabs another person by the waist and raises his feet off the ground so he can mimic riding a bicycle.
Previous Warped Tour goers have been witness to Eminem getting booed and Kool Keith being incredible. This year, we have the too-cool-for-school rap group, Atmosphere. I'm still waiting for the Biz to take the stage and do his human beatbox version of Tiffany's "I Can't Wait."
The meat of the Warped Tour is the established bands higher up in the musical food chain than say, Slick Shoes. A Fire Inside (better known as AFI) will be making an appearance this year in promotion of Sing the Sorrow. We can all thank them for introducing punk to goth kids; much like the Misfits/Samhain spawned a major Tejano following with their horror-tinged punk. The connection goes further: AFI lead singer, Davey Havok, has recently transformed himself from a classic Reservoir Dogs-esque character to a full-on imitation of Misfits singer Glen Danzig. For $27.75 plus some change, you can't beat getting to see famous musicians making fools of themselves and spraying you down with $4 bottles of water. •
WARPED TOUR '03
Friday, July 18
224-9600 or www.ticketmaster.com
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
16765 Lookout Rd.
Less Than Jake
Poison the Well
Face To Face
The Starting Line
One Man Army
Destruction Made Simple
From Autumn to Ashes
Plain White T's
Story of the Year
Big D & the Kid's Table
Bowling for Soup
Don't Look Down
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