July 28th – Warped Tour – Atlanta
From the gates I can hear The Maine playing Girls Do What
They Want and see herds of other teens walking in from the streets where
parking costs up to $20 for the day.
There was a man standing with a Bible on the corner of the street we
came from, preaching to the world about Satan and God. A police officer was talking to another
man across the street who was holding a sign that read ‘Obey God.’
“Look, if I let you stand here I’ll have to let everyone
stand here. I can’t have that.”
The officer was saying when we passed.
The mid-day sun is hanging overhead as the amphitheatre’s security woman
scans my ticket, approving my entry followed by my companion who has agreed to
embark on this adventure with me known as Warped Tour.
The very first difference I notice as we walk in is that the
merch tents are not in the same place, in front of the venue’s food vendors, as
they have been for the passed two years.
With that said, I am not going to lie the set up this year was confusing
and a little hard to navigate even with the map provided on the back of the $2
schedules (which also listed signing times). Nonetheless, we continued to into the amphitheatre, catching
3Oh!3 on the way, where we ended up seeing Streetlight Manifesto, whom had a
fantastic set. The crowd in front
of the stage was moving in unison to each song and the entire amphitheatre was
filled with the sound of horns.
After that excitement, we set off to the land of the
notorious merch tents where I met Jac Vanek, who was quite polite and
humble. As we walked we were
stopped several times by people supporting labels, bands, and clothing
lines. I can’t even remember how
many demos I listened to while stickers and flyers and CDs were being handed to
me. Definitely not complaining
though! I scored some pretty sweet
swag while I was there.
Finally we parked it in front of the Vans stage where the
bands lined up to play included the Bouncing Souls, Less Than Jake, Anti-Flag,
and Bad Religion. Between the
Bouncing Souls and Less than Jake UnderOath played, so we headed to the
Amphitheatre once again to rest this time. We caught Meg and Dia’s mellow set followed by The White Tie
Affair, who I was actually very impressed with. I love a band that can get onstage and have a good time,
pull in their crowd, and most of all MOVES. The White Tie Affair did all of this and more, not to
mention they covered Lady Gaga’s Just Dance.
Once TWTA ended their set we went back outside for three
hours in front of the Vans tent for Less Than Jake, Anti-Flag, and Bad
Religion. Less Than Jake kept the
show lively cracking jokes and pulling people on stage for any reason under the
sun. One man had binoculars and
apparently was some kid’s dad, so he was invited up for a beer. Then a ‘dirty Atlanta girl’ was pulled
up to dirty dance “like in the movie Dirty Dancing’ on said man! Next, a Warped frequent was spotted who
had also attended LTJ’s show in Charlotte. She came up to lead the crowd in jumping jacks for the
following song, and finally about six or so people capable of playing drums
were picked out to come up to create a ‘Punk Rock Orchestra’, which was hella
Anti-Flag, not to be outdone, came out with a bang. Then, in hopes of breaking a Warped
Record initiated the largest circle pit in the history of Warped Tour. I must add that said circle pit was the
first pit I have ever participated in and I will probably do so again. Now, I don’t know if anyone reading
this has heard of The Wall of Death, but for those of you who have not it is
where the band splits the crowd down the middle and on their mark both side
rush each other flailing. It is a
huge mosh and usually results in pain for anyone involved; however, at this
show we had what Anti-Flag called The Wall of hugs and kisses. Where we were not running to hurt each
other, but to embrace one another and kiss them if we wanted. See, at this show they made it clear
that everyone was attending for the same reasons. We all love music, and we need to stand together to fight
not fight each other. If someone
falls, you pick them up. You help
each other and care for each other.
Then, my favorite part of all, they covered The Clash and played Should
I Stay or Should I Go. I’ve never
danced so much at a show.
Needless to say, by time Bad Religion came on I barely made
it through three songs before I had to seek some fluids to get rehydrated. On this trip to the amphitheatre we
caught a bit of Aiden, and the last part of Senses Fail’s set. Then, finally, we sat in the lawn for
Westbound Train who did a fantastic set and also covered The Clash as well as
part of the song Shout. Before we left we scored their autographs and I met the
Lead singer’s wife while waiting in line.
I have to say she was super super nice.
In the end I was incredibly exhausted, but my punk rock fix
was set. I am so glad I remembered
my sunscreen and sunglasses though.
Hotlanta so lived up to its name.
The White Tie Affair
Less Than Jake
Valencia Hot Shorts
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Hot Shorts + Sunglasses x 2
Glamour Kills Lion Tee
Guy from Valencia
Kid with a big blue Mohawk that continuously skanked and
surfed through Anti-Flag’s set