It’s time for my yearly rumination on the Warped Tour and the 4 dimensional chess game of art vs. commerce vs. age vs. youth. After hanging around the Old School Stage last year, I was reduced to confusion by the kids at the rest of the show, and I realized that I’m old and whatever brings these supposedly outcast youth together must have some value that my ancient ears can’t comprehend. Then I saw some of the same bands at the “metal” Golden Gods awards, and I was totally confused. My skepticism toward these peg-legged, college bound and keyboard pounding “woe is me” non-metal bands is well documented. I just don’t get it. It would be ok if I thought it was helping teen boys get some action, but what I’m seeing is obese teens hanging around a Sbarro at a mall, spending more money on pizza and tight shoes than I even had as a kid. If I had 10 bucks at their age, I’d be doing my best to get a 12 pack of Milwaukee’s Best and a hand job down at the river. Back when the minimum wage was $3.35, that was four hours of work. I sure wouldn’t be spending it on something from Hot Topic. Some of these mere teens are so fat, and their guts hang out so far, the best they could hope for is getting blown in the parking lot in an SUV over by the Macy’s. By a girl (maybe) with a some very inconvenient piercings and a lot of issues. Again, I digress.
So at Warped last year, to see these lost kids moping around everywhere, and to be at the Old School Stage and hear Tony Adolescent belt out “No ass… no head…I gotta go home and jack off instead … No WAAAY” or Lee Ving beat us senseless with “I LUUUUUVE Livin the City!!” or anything by Flipper – to have all that going on in the midst of Alexis On Fire, and not have 5,000 kids rejoicing “I have been saved” – it just blew my mind.
To add more confusion, this year's Warped features Dillinger Escape Plan and Suicide Silence, bands once identified as metal somewhere or other. And it turns out Kevin Lyman, who runs Warped, is a genuinely nice guy who really wants to bring the kids what they want to hear. I gotta admit that last year, his bringing The Millionaires was a pure punk move. Three bratty bitches from Orange County rapping over Garageband loops about money and sex in a way that would make any self-respecting gas station attendant become a person of interest in a triple rape homicide on the outskirts of Costa Mesa. If music inspires that kind of emotion, it must be good.
Sorry folks, my brain just won’t focus. Back to this year’s show. The Old School Stage will features whatever version of The Angry Samoans is playing now, and that is worth something. Go hear “Carson Girls” in Carson. Check out early cross-over kings GBH sing 14 songs about a baby being eaten by rats. The un-classifiable Andrew WK will probably do something interesting at some point. Agent Orange and the Adolescents will be either at the beginning or end of the tour I forget; but everyone should see them once. And if ya get bored, check out the sexless fat kids over at the Attack Attack stage. Maybe those bitches from the Millionaires will be motivating weight loss with a peep show.
So along with that endorsement, we have a pair of tix to giveaway for this Friday's show in Carson. If you want them, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us here by tomorrow at noon and tell us what band we should see that I haven't mentioned. And spend your money on this Edward Colver shirt:
Oh ya, and speaking of festivals, how about this “Big Four” thing in Europe right now? Pretty funny, huh? I mean, funny how every other band except Metallica (and Dave Mustaine, due to his own self-respect) is quoted over and over saying “this thing has to come to the U.S.” I guess Scott Ian and Kerry King have had it watching their 401k’s dwindle while Metallica sell out every enormo-dome Stateside, making more cash on one night’s merch than the others do in a week of shows. Obviously, they can’t ask to tour with Metallica. But, you know, something of this historical importance would warrant “sharing” the stage with the Hetfield crew and getting just a teenie bit of the revenue from Metallica’s “poser” fans.
I suspect, however, the real problem is that little Lars “Bill Ward” Ulrich can’t handle the reality of a swing through the States with Dave “Vinnie Appice” Lombardo.