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At 1:00 we headed to the outdoor main stage to see Avail. This was the second best set of the day. The only lame part was that the crowd to the right of the stage just stood there. They started by playing the beginning to "Sweet Home Alabama" and which let to Beau Beau saying "We're in Texas, we should play some ZZ Top." To which Tim yelled "Beau Beau is actually the love child of one of ZZ Top". It was funny. As soon as the set started, Tim was in the crowd and people were loving it. Beau Beau was jumping around and spitting at the right side of the crowd trying to get them worked up. At one point he threatened to piss on them if they didn't move around. So alas, the right side began to move. They tore through a great deal of songs in the 30 minute set, and provided one of the best sets at the show.
After Avail played we went inside to see the next band on my list, Snapcase, who was off the hook. Daryl Taberski came out and just got the whole show going. My favorite song they played was "Break The Static" because everyone was going off. It was a fun set to see. Snapcase kept the crowd in it, and made sure everyone enjoyed themselves. The energy was high, the music was dead on, and the feeling was great. A damn good set from a damn good band.
After running to the outside stage, I caught the end of the Ataris first song. This is one of my favorite bands to watch in the world. Chris Roe is the ultimate story in music, and his songs are sweet. I am also amazed by the fact that he plays his guitar upside-down. That is something amazing to witness. They played all the good ones, "Your Boyfriend Sucks", "San Dimas High School Football Rules" and all the others. The best was when some of their roadies came out to play and Roe went into vocalist only mode. As soon as he got rid of his guitar, he was in the crowd, and singing his heart out. He climbed up on the baricades and threw himself onto the crowd. It was fun to watch and fun to be a part of.
As soon as the Ataris ended, I headed over to the Ernie Ball stage which was outside too. I just happened to walk up on local pop punkers, Thanx But No Thanx. For those of you who don't know, this is Dave Ng from LKKs new band. They rocked hard. Dave's drums were tight, and the rest of the guys got crazy with it. The bassist had some skills, and knocked off some nice bass lines. It was nice to see some good bands on the small stage.
Finally, it's break time. I got to sit back and enjoy some good old skateboarding. It makes me wish I was still thin and able to skate well. Now I can roll around and on a good day ollie a quarter inch off the ground. I got to see Steve Caballero which was sweet. My wife got me an autographed poster after the session. It was an odd warped tour, they had a main stage and a small stage outside, and another main stage and small stage indoors. The sound sucked, but it helped being out of the 105 degree heat for a while.
Now it was one of the bands I had been waiting to see, Unwritten Law. I got up in the press pit to take some pics really fast, so I could get done and start dancing. They opened with "Teenage Suicide", and then kicked into a cover of Eric Clapton's "Cocaine". About this time a crowd surfer flew into the press pit, and pushed my head into a steel pole. Left dizzy, and having blurred vision, I got up and left the press pit. It pissed me off some little bastard crowd surfer ruined the whole set for me. Call me old, but I feel crowd surfing does nothing to enhance a show. It's fun to run around and bump into people and get the feel of the show going, but having some kid in boot rolling on your head, and kicking you is in no way fun. Maybe if I was shorter it wouldn't bother me.
Due to an extremely terrible headache and a mild concussion, I went to sit and watch the skate demo for a while. Then my wife and I headed over to the press tent to check on our interviews. Turns out Snapcase no showed for their interviews. But I was still on with Avail, so all was good. It sucked because from afar I could hear some of my favorite Unwritten Law songs being played. Damn crowd surfer.
Well, I nutted it up, and headed back to the indoor main stage to see The Suicide Machines. They were so good, the best band of the day. You could see that they were a notch above the other bands at the show. They played songs off all 3 albums, but stuck mostly to songs off DBD. I got to sing along on "Islands" from the press pit. It ruled. Then after 3 songs, I was out of the press pit and into the fan pit. It was fun, I hadn't really danced at a show in a while. So I made sure to dance at Warped. The set flew by, and rocked so hard. Dan's amp broke during the set, so they had to do "Break The Glass" with distortion and no clean channel.
Finally, it was time to interview Avail. Beau Beau showed up and got the 3rd degree from my wife who he spit on during the set. He laughed and was like "I spit a lot." Then we got into the interview which turned into a near hour conversation. We discussed small town life, playing in bands, the hardcore punk scene, and various other topics. It was really the best interview I've even been a part of. Thanks out to Beau Beau.
The final band of the night was NOFX. They sounded good. They were outside this year which made them happy. For those of you who don't know, they were put indoors for the 98 Warped Tour and threw $5000 dollars into the crowd because the sound sucked. Hard act to follow if you ask me, but they did it well. They rocked through all the old school songs, and played a lot of the new songs off of "Pump Up The Valium". Fat Mike had a nice look going, lime green hair, purple leopard skin velvet shorts, and a Bettie Page shirt. He also traded in the old P-bass for a Danelectro Longhorn bass. The best song of the night for me was "Bob". NOFX knows how to rock the party.
Unfortunately I had to leave before Less Than Jake performed, but I can't complain. I had a full day and a lot of fun. The Vans Warped Tour is something great to be a part of, the people are nice, and the bands are nice. Everyone involved are good fun loving people there to see some bands and have a good time. The best part was seeing the other bands watching the bands onstage. Good feeling of brotherhood and community. Take care and fight the good fight.
Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.