(A review of the Warped Tour)

Seeing that the Lollaplooza bill for this year was extremely lacking and they didn't play any where near me, I was excited to hear that the opening date for the Warped Tour was practically in my backyard. The Warped Tour is a traveling punk rock and extreme sports extravaganza. It features two stages full of bands that are dedicated to the snow, skate, and extreme sport lifestyle, as well as a half pipe, street course, climbing wall and many other attractions for those who get their thrills off of the release of endorphin. The first date included Fluf, Orange 9 mm, No Use For A Name, Into Another, Sublime, and Quicksand (L7 canceled) on the main stag,. as well as a CIV, and Seaweed among others on the second stage. The bill is rotating though so check your local listings or find out more at http://www.Crashsite/com/Crash. The following is a report of my day at the opening date.

As we traveled up the interstate to the venue, all of my excitement and energy fell to anger and frustration at the sight of a traffic jam caused by a diesel carrying a manufactured home that lost it's front axel and spilled the home all over the freeway. After thirty minuets in that mess we were finally on our way there again. As a result of that misfortune, we missed Fluf on the Main stage (Whom I really wanted to see) and local act Scrotum Poles (No big loss) on the second stage.

We did get there however, in time to see the overly angry Orange 9 mm lash out a few Angst ridden tunes. After that we decided to go out back to check out the second stage.

By then it was time for No Use For A Name to come on the main stage, so we headed back in that direction. After three or four songs that sounded exactly the same. I decided to check out the skaters and other athletes. This was my first real entertainment of the day. I was fully impressed by the athletes, both pro and those sponsored locally. I also gained a new respect for in line skaters. I had previously thought of the sport as something done by guys in tight shorts and tank tops on dates with their Barbie doll girl friends. However, seeing sick mctwists and double back flips gave me an all new view of in line skating. It was really good to see the return of vert to skating. One event I would have taken part in was the Go Carts if I had an extra three bucks. We were warned to watch out for the bassist for Sublime though, they say heĀs vicious on the track.

We then went back to the main stage to see Into Another who were nothing but a heavy metal band posing as punk rockers! I was amused at the Into Another/Seaweed beach balls that were being tossed around though, but I decided to I could see more talent outside. So I went back to the half pipe once more.

The first band I saw that put on a good show was CIV and they were phenomenal. In fact, I even forgot about the 100-degree weather. CIV are from New York and are comprised of former members of Gorilla Biscuits. Lead singer CivĀs voice has matured incredibly since the GB days and so has their music. They had the crowd whipped up into a moshing frenzy. In fact it was hard to see the band because of all the dust generating from the pit. CIV ended their all to short set with No Reason Why (an old Gorilla Biscuits song) and it was sung almost entirely by the crowd.

We then went back to the main stage to check out a bit of Sublime. I wasn't too impressed by them either. The hardcore, ska, reggae mix that they are attempting doesn't quite work. It is much better done by bands that they have been compared to, like the Voodoo Glow Skulls and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Their set was also very long as they had to make up for L7 who canceled due to a family death. That was a bit of an upset. I saw L7 last year at Lollapolooza and thought they put on a great show.

Seaweed were playing the second stage by then and I went out to see them. I think I could have enjoyed them much more if I wasn't completely drained of all my energy and out of money for food or Mountain Dew (The extreme athletes choice of beverage).

But the moment I was waiting for finally arrived and all of my energy returned as Quicksand stepped onto the stage. I couldnĀt help but get my energy back seeing all of the positive energy that they radiated. Walter (lead singer) was smiling and playing up to the crowd, they seemed to be really enjoying the show, as did members of CIV, Into Another and Orange 9 mm Who you could spot to the side of the stage singing along. They were very tight. SergiroĀs bass lines were driving and full, being supported by the rest of the bands great musicianship. "Fazer," "Dine Alone," "Brown Gargantuan," and "Landmine Spring" were shining moments. But the high point was a cover of the Smiths' "How Soon Is Now" (Also available on the Revelation pressing of the Slip vinyl). No one except Quicksand can do that song with all of the emotion it was written, but completely different musically. I must say: If you have never seen Quicksand make it a top priority. They put on an indescribably great show!

In conclusion, If you haven't already gone, go to the Warped tour. If you have to go late make sure you make it in time to catch CIV, Quicksand and some of the skate action.

Wade Chamberlain
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