Yesterday was the Warped Tour stop . Over a month ago, I got the press request form, filled it and…didn’t send it back. When I hadn’t heard anything last week, I emailed, found out they didn’t have my request and then sent it. I was thinking I was just too late, but Monday evening, I did get the confirmation. Despite the encroachment of corporate sponsors (which is really not so bad as it sounds) and the shift away from its old “punk rock summer camp” ethos that dominated my first run of attendance (1997-2002), the last three years have still been a lot of fun and I’ve seen far more good performances than bad. This was probably the leanest year yet in terms of punk, but the sets I caught from Flatfoot 56 and Face to Face were great. As always, Warped Tour’s schedule means that tough decisions will be made and good bands will be missed. In choosing Flatfoot 56 over Dillinger Escape Plan, I got the better end of the deal (especially with a stirring singalong of “Amazing Grace”), but in catching the end of DEP’s set let me know just how high a price I paid. I missed the Casualties Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band altogether. I did see Andrew WK who I’d always heard put on a good show, but nothing prepared me for just how good he was. Despite songs that revolve around partying, there’s an incredibly positive vibe embodied by his parting comment to the crowd: “Life is too good not to live.” Amen, brother. All in all, it was a solid day of sun and tunes.
Last weekend was Baltimore’s Artscape festival. In the past, I’ve seen Los Lobos, Joan Jett and Robert Randolph (the last two with my daughter), but this year, the best they could conjure up was Gov’t Mule. I debated going. Then I was looking at the Gov’t Mule website and saw that they record and sell most of their shows as downloads. Cool, right? Not at $12.95 to $14.95! What a slap in the face to their fans. They make money on the show and the merch and then they turn around and charge more than the cost of a standard album download from iTunes. Needless to say, I didn’t bother fighting the crowds to see a band that I have no great interest in and then found that I couldn’t even respect.
Last week, I said that I’d have more on my playlist this week. Well, I’ve been spending a lot of time watching two cartoons with my kids: Avatar: The Last Airbender and Invader Zim. Oddly enough, the cartoon doesn’t make me want to see the Last Airbender film. The cartoon is so full of adventure and character that I really think boiling it down into a movie won’t hold up to the expectation the animated series sets. Invader Zim, in contrast, is just goofy and fun. Anyway, that’s why I haven’t listened to as much music this week as I usually do.
Face to Face on Warped Tour:
Madness – One Step Beyond
Madness – Absolutely
Madness – Mad Not Mad
Madness – Keep Moving
Deaf Scene – s/t EP
Thrice – Alchemy Index Volume I and II
v/a – Warped Tour 2010 Compilation