Getting Wet at The Vans Warped Tour

Alright let’s do the damn thing! The Vans Warped Tour was one hell of a hot day- some eight-odd hours of music and sun. It would be the day of the greatest test of my novice journalism skills. All I knew was that I was interviewing and reviewing some giant roster of bands. Instead of preparing lots of questions from hours of research and having a whole-balanced breakfast before the show, I simply just stayed up all night, didn’t write a single question, and had some lettuce and coffee for breakfast. I felt this would make the experience much more memorable. I have always believed that whatever your competition (fellow journalist in this case) does to prepare for an event, always do the exact opposite as this will always insure victory. It has always worked for me.

As I arrived to the show with sleep deprivation whispering in my ear, the only thing I could notice was the crowd; it was made of a bunch of sixteen year olds with black hair, black clothing, and they all had pierced lips. I thought, “I’m right back in high school,” or as my mentor would say, “ this fucking thing sucks,” but hey, this is their day and I’m sure they’re decent people…decent people who I could not share a bottle of whiskey with but decent people none-the-less. I continued to feel this way until I got inside and the first band I saw was The Pretty Reckless with the sixteen year-old singer Taylor Momsen in lingerie. “What kind of freak show is this?” I thought. “There is a child on stage rubbing her crotch.” Besides that, the music and the performance was great and I would have been really into The Pretty Reckless set if it was not for her age…this girl looked to be third in line to be Hannah Montana so I have to question if this is her music and if it is, I love The Pretty Reckless and if it’s not then I can’t stand them.

Moving along, I won’t spend too long talking about the large part of my day backstage in the AC interviewing bands, but I must at least talk about the first interview Lost In Reviews did, an interview with Andrew W.K. Our encounter was somewhere between expected and unexpected and the only thought in my head before meeting him was, “Were we all about to party?” He came through the door and my heart started to pound; he was in all black and two hundred feet tall, a walking monument. This man is no phony; he lives in the red every day of his life, he loves bananas, and few understand his philosophy behind partying and maybe I don’t either for that matter. I won’t argue that he is not crazy and you can’t argue that he is not a genius. Most importantly, he is a good man who took great enjoyment from just talking about eating bananas with me, other than that all I can say is watch the damn interview. Thanks for the advice Andrew W.K., you crazy bastard.

Moving on, Dirty Little Rabbits: one of the few and greatest acts I saw all day. The band is one of the most original bands that I have seen all year and the performance was breath-taking. Stella Katsoudas (the lead singer) came on the stage with crutches to deal with her broken foot and she also had broken rib but this had no effect on the quality of the show; it only made it better. The music felt like a contradiction with such happy, almost poppy tones, and mentally-stable style of singing but the music was suggesting a different story. Something was a little more extreme under the surface of it all. Her body movement came off as “bat shit crazy.” She was being driven crazy by having to use her crutches and having her movement restricted so at one point she just said screw it and threw them down to the ground and jumped on the piano. “This is my kind of lady,” I thought. Let me say, it would be a crime if this band goes unnoticed.

And now for the following… The Dillinger Escape Plan is a tough one to call. On one hand, I am not a big fan of death metal, hardcore, or whatever but on the other hand the energy they gave in their performance was simply fantastic. You can’t argue that it’s hard to jump around and scream in three hundred-plus degree weather. I didn’t understand a damn word that they were “singing” but the crowd/fans seemed to understand it. The fans also seemed to be pretty good people: no drunken shoving (maybe because no one could buy drinks due to their age), everyone had their space and that’s not to say there was no pit, it somehow just worked out. It was a great atmosphere to watch and The Dillinger Escape Plan are owed respect with their veteran rank in the metal world and if that does not do it for you, they have also played with Nine Inch Nails on their last show. Other than that I can’t say much. If you like metal you will love The Dillinger Escape Plan; it was a passionate live performance.

The Vans Warped Tour was definitely one hell of an experience that taught me even if I don’t like ninety percent of the bands’ music, most all of them are fighting to make it and the road that they had to take to get here was a tough one. Some of these artists were once homeless (Modern Day Escape; Gardening, Not Architecture) and now can almost taste their dream, if only they can get past a corrupt music industry and some fat cruel “journalists” they just might make it big time. New rule, as long as it’s authentic and passionate then it’s good music in my book, and a decent amount of bands on the tour fit this criteria. A few bands that you most likely never heard of I’m going to list, let’s call it The Vans Warped Tour Honor Roll: Set Your Goals; Gardening, Not Architecture; and Modern Day Escape.

The Vans Warped Tour gets 4 “bananas” out of 5.

Damn you, tragedy. Concertgoer Curtis Alan DeForest age 26, died from what looks like dehydration at the Vans Warped Tour on the Kansas City stop. I don’t have much information on what happened and won’t until the “official” report comes to the public forum but there are questions that are on my mind. Is this from drinking too much alcohol or is it because the price of water is an insane four dollars? Should water really cost anything at all? With such high temperatures should a venue really be able to charge anything at all or should they be giving out water bottles to anyone who comes through those gates and have a station to refill their bottles throughout the day? It may cost the venue money but what is more important: lost revenue or the loss of a life?

by Josh Davis

photos by Angela Davis


About Josh

First and foremost Josh is a wino and an all around dangerous individual. Second, Josh is a political junkie, a wildlife aficionado, and a history enthusiast who aspires to be a raw mix between James Carville, Steve Irwin, Anderson Cooper, Iggy Pop, and a clown car. Most importantly, Josh is high consumer of "fuel," whether it be music, documentaries, or just some fun with friends and some cheap beers, it's all "fuel" and Josh is a very heavy consumer.

Follow Josh Here: