2010 Vans Warped Tour
Seaside Park – Ventura, CA 06/27/10
Words/Photos/Videos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com
Over the past few days here at concertconfessions.com, we have discussed various styles of music found at the Warped Tour. We discovered new music, we had a heavy metal showcase and we even gave 3OH!3 their own review. For our final look at the 2010 Vans Warped Tour stop in Ventura , CA we want to cover the roots of the tour by taking a look at the “Legends” of Punk Rock.
Face to Face
The only time I’ve seen Face to Face was at the San Francisco stop of the 1997 Vans Warped Tour. I seem to recall that during their set, lead singer Trever Keith was hit in the face with a half empty bottle of Corona . Bleeding from the head, Keith finished the set, not letting one bad apple ruin the set for everyone else in attendance. As a teen still looking to form a musical identity, it was this very moment that I realized that punk was more than my classmates dying their hair green, spiting in gutters and kicking over dumpsters. I in no way claim to be some uber-street-punk, but as a music-lover punk sure gets my blood flowing.
Playing an early afternoon set on the main stage, it was nice to re-introduce myself to the band. I couldn’t name a single song not called “Disconnected”, I couldn’t name a single member not named Trever Keith, but it doesn’t really matter. Face to Face still sounds great and with them on the main stage all summer I feel as it is in your best interest to catch at least a portion of their set.
In 2007, I went to a poorly attended radio station festival at Seaside Park. Sum 41 was one of the acts no one gave two craps about. Seeing that the band was performing a set on one of the side stages, I had assumed that three years and one broken marriage later, people still didn’t care about Sum 41. Wrong again. I worked my way towards the back of the large mob of people rocking hard as the band wrapped one of their radio hits whose name has escaped me. The next song was the hit “We’re All OK.” It was anything but. When you have 30 minutes, don’t be the band who has to stretch a below average song out 7-8 minutes with piss poor attempts to get the crowd to clap and sing along. If dude couldn’t keep the attention of Avril Lavigne (who he married about 20 miles north of the venue) on his pogo stick for more than three years, then you have no right to expect me to stick around for your sad attempt at a camp fire sing along. Shame, as I had hoped to at least tape “Pain For Pleasure.” Next please.
The Legends of Punk Stage
With many upset with Warped evolving from a punk tour into a emo/metal fest, select west coast markets feature a “Legends” stage where old school legends are allowed their 30 minutes of Warped fame.
I only checked out The Dickies because a friend wanted too. I think that’s called peer pressure, but I am glad I did. Wow, how have I missed these guys for 31 years? They are everything I love. Intelligent, yet snot-nosed brat lyrics, silly props (including blow up dolls and a penis puppet), covers of “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath and sound check jokes about molesting Warped fans at the John Lennon Educational Bus. Oh, and did I mention the bass player was wearing a polka dot bear costume?
I was surprised to recognize a few songs from the band’s set. I had always assumed “Giagantor” was a Helmet song, but you know what happens when you assume. Somehow I knew “Grape Ape” from somewhere as well. So sure, it took 31 years, but better late than never right? I think it’s time I start to acquire the bands back catalogue.
When I saw FEAR on the main stage at the 2008 Vans Warped Tour, it was depressing. There was next to no one in the crowd, and the band sounded old and tired. With nothing else going on during their time slot, I decided to at least snap a few photos of the LA punk legends, and ended up staying for the entire set. The Lee Ving fronted band blasted through a 30 minute set a classics – starting with the ever poplular sing along “I Love Living In The City.” “Gimmie Some Action” and “Trouble with Women” quickly followed as an animated Ving poked fun at the opposite sex. It is amazing what a few years has done for these guys, as they sounded 1000 times better than ’08.
“Fuck You, Let’s Rodeo” got the old school pit swirling quite nicely. It’s good to see that at least two kids in Ventura , County still have tall Mohawks. Just a few miles south of Ventura is Camarillo , CA . You just knew the band was not going to leave the song about a loony bin within the city limits off the set list. The set continued with back to back beer breaks – “Have A Beer With FEAR” and “More Beer With FEAR.”
After the set closed with a powerful 1-2 punch of the oft covered “I Don’t Care About You” and “Let’s Have A War.” The final song was a personal highlight, as I remember hearing this song as a very young child and laughing about going to war with New Jersey. Hell, looking back at things, that was probably my initial exposure to the punk rock genre.
Four reviews, dozens of bands, you know we saved the best for last. The highlight of the day, heck the highlight of my month. I picked up a copy of Back From Samoa probably around junior year of High School and it has been in steady rotation ever since. I seriously freaked when I read the Warped Ventura lineup and saw the bands name on the bill. I had no idea the band was even around at this point so you know I was not missing my chance to see them.
I have to assume the band played about 25 songs in 30 minutes. In between crazy unintelligible burst of stage banter from front man “Metal Mike” Saunders the band would fire off anywhere from 1-4 songs in a row. The first group featured “Right Side Of My Mind/Gimmie Sopor/Gas Chamber.” I had a hard time focusing, I was still in shock I was seeing my heroes play these songs inches from my face.
Metal Mike may claim the band has no hits, but I sure felt as if all my favorite Angry Samoans classics made it into the set. “Todd Killings”, “Steak Knife”, “Homosexual”, “Light’s Out” the list goes on and on. The band even found time to invite some fans upon the stage for a quick double shot of Black Flag “hits” – “Wasted/Nervous Breakdown.” While one fan was very off key,, the passion and excitement was there and hey what a moment for those guys. Despite jokes from Metal Mike about the “arena show” they were putting on, the small stage still felt cozy much like the Santa Cruz Vets Hall or The Gilman.
The band closed with “My Old Man’s A Fatso” and I swear to God I almost had tears in my eyes. For the first time all day, I found myself not excited to run along to the next stage, but depressed that the set was over. About an hour after the show, I ran into Metal Mike walking around the fairgrounds eating a granola bar. I thanked him, and he yelled at me – something about being punk rock and no need for thanks. Usually when someone talks with their mouth full and gets half of their snack all over my face, I am looking to runaway. However, when it’s chunks of a Quaker Oats Chewy Granola Bar from the mouth of an Angry Samoan, at the age of 31 lets just say I debated never washing my face again. That’s how important the Angry Samoans are.