Thursday, July 17, 2008

Warped Tour 2008 - Merriweather Post Pavilion - Columbia, MD

The summer institution that is Warped Tour rolled through the “DC Area” at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD on Wednesday. With no clouds, no humidity and a high of roughly 90, it seemed like a great day and it was for the most part.

HOWEVER, how can you have Against Me! play at 11:45AM?!?! For realz? This year was quite possibly the earliest I ever arrived at a Warped Tour and due to the atrocious layout, it took nearly 30 minutes to walk from the entrance, down and around and across what felt like the Great Plains to get to the big board. I seriously felt my ancestors pains of wandering the desert for 100s of years. (I believe it was Matt Caughthran from The Bronx who referred to it as “The Trail of Tears,” a common sentiment that many bands referenced during the day). Once down by the main stages we realized that AM! had already been playing for 20ish minutes. I then proceeded to run to the main stage and hear the end of “Sink, Florida, Sink,” “Don’t Lose Touch” and “Trash Unreal.” You win some and lose some, but I didn’t want to lose that one. MFers…

The next band I saw was Relient K who chose to use precious time of their 30 minute set to play a new song about “The Office.” It was something along the lines of how they’d like to be transferred to Scranton so they could sell paper. They then played the theme music. Cheap applause but topical because of the webisodes?!

Say Anything put on a great set, drawing one of the biggest crowds of the day easily. Good mix of stuff from “Baseball,” “…Is a Real Boy,” and “In Defense of the Genre.”

The 10 minutes of the Briggs I saw was entertaining.

Reel Big Fish was another big draw for me to go to Warped this year. Being the 5th summer in a row I’ve seen RBF, the band itself has become my summer institution. I was surprised that with such a short set they decided to the many version of “S.R.” You know the one where they play “S.R.” in as a reggae, blues, country, metal and punk song… Even though the band is like a revolving door for members like the staff at a McDonalds, they put on a great show every time.

And then, it was time for The Gaslight Anthem. I'll take every advantage I can to see them as up-close as as possible before it become extremely difficult to do so. Anyways, Brian Fallon was, I believe the kids call it, “wasted.” Either that or off the meds, but they still owned anyways. They did covers of “Stand by Me,” and a blues number. Maybe it was BB King, I could be extremely wrong for all I know. They played the brand new “The ’59 Sound,” (new album slays by the way if you haven’t heard it), “Say I Won’t (Recognize),” “Drive,” “I’da Called You Woody, Joe,” and my personal favorite, “I Could’a Been a Contender.” Maybe they played another, but I can’t remember. However, the New Brunswick love was there as they were more concerned that the Bouncing Souls were playing next on the main stage… and they were going to go watch.

The Bouncing Souls are one of only a few bands playing the Warped Tour this year that have been a band longer than the Warped Tour has actually existed itself. Agent Orange is the other band that comes to mind, but nevertheless they’re pros when it comes to warped. Coming up on 20 years, Greg Attonito says in honor of the milestone they’re going to record new music and continue the party. They rocked it naturally playing at least “East Coast! Fuck You!,” and “Manthem.” They also covered a Misfits jam. Good stuff.

So all in all, it was another great day at the warped tour… mainly because I didn’t get a sunburn.

pictures by ross' blackberry...

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