Vans Warped Tour 2009 at Thunderbird Stadium Part 2

Photos by Alex Ramon

Part 1 ended with a small tiny little bang, and I would say the best part of it, that didn’t remind me of my rebellious youth, was Shad. His hip-hop flavour left a sweet taste in everyone’s mouth, so when P.O.S. hit the stage, people slowly started to wander over in curiosity. There were also Warped Tour veterans like Bad Religion and NOFX that showcased why they were mainstays, as well as newcomers such as Meg & Dia that blasted the stereotypical Warped Tour acts. The first half of the festival was somewhat of a let down, with screamo punk bands performing their interesting form of music, but the second half picked up quite nicely and turned the entire day around.

P.O.S.

POSAt first glance at the line-up sheet, I wondered what P.O.S. stood for. Well the first thing that came to mind was piece of shit, but that couldn’t be right. There was no way someone that talented could have shit associated with his name.

P.O.S. can be described as a musical genre connoisseur as he blends introspective hip hop with his hardcore background. As music pumped throughout the airwaves, the scent of marijuana flowed through the air and P.O.S., without any hesitation, got himself knee deep in crowd sweat and he sure wasn’t afraid to get dirty with those Mohawk-ians.

As rap blended with the hardcore punk crowd, a very special hip hop show emerged. It’s not what you traditionally call dancing, but jumping up and down aimlessly could be a new type of dance (watch out you tutu wearing ballerinas!).

Bad Religion

Bad ReligionThings sure don’t change with these guys, and as Warped Tour veterans, they knew exactly what it meant to play some punk rock music.

I can’t really recall their set from when I was 16 but what I do remember was a sweaty hot dog scented mosh pit. Dare I try it again? No I think I’ll sit this one out and actually listen to the music this time around (I feel old and frail).

As soon as they stepped on stage, memories began to flow back into my feeble and empty brain. For some reason, lead vocalist Greg Graffin seemed to be as youthful as the first time I laid eyes on him. Just a thought, but maybe it’s all that beer and drugs they consume.

A lot older audience was in the pit and I could tell it was getting quite rowdy. The crowd surfing was at a peak and even an inflatable green martian went for the dive.

It got even rowdier when the boys from Bad Religion taunted our Canadian Olympic hockey team. Sorry baldy but when was the last time USA medalled? Better yet, they probably medalled when you had hair.

Even though their comment may have tainted my memory of this band (sorry I’m a hardcore hockey fan), they sure knew how to punk rock it out. They left the crowd grasping for every breath their tender lungs could take.

NOFX

NOFXNOFX came on just in time for the sunshine and I thought to myself (and I’m sure a lot of other people as well) “why on Earth did I wear black today?” With the heat pouring down, those hooligans from NOFX made their way on stage.

The crowd finally streamed in from all angles and packed the front like a hungry baby suckling on a tit. Those drunken baffoons started out with some racist talk about Asians and Mexicans, with a little religious connotation, all in good fun of course, and when they finally started their set I think everyone was thoroughly offended. That didn’t matter though because everyone I’m sure was high out of their minds by now.

With mohawks and florescent coloured hair, the crowd threw up their hands and jumped along in protest to NOFX’s interesting humour. Fat Mike, frontman for NOFX, took a few jabs at some undisclosed bands, and I honestly felt the growing love between all these lovely musicians (it was more like a sibling relationship, where you have to love the other one no matter what sort of stupid thing happens).

Meg & Dia

Meg-DiaA fry cry from the obscenity known as NOFX, this lovely duo known as Meg & Dia stepped on stage to a crowd of screaming little girls, with a few pre-teen boys mixed in. I’m glad our youth is finally wising up and looking up to these two as opposed to cooch magee (also known as Ms. Britney Spears, or the drug induced Lindsay Lohan).

Aside from their preppy clothes, their music was surprisingly edgy. Their harmonies were sweeter than sugar and their personality brighter than the sun (corny enough for you?) They are definitely someone to look out for in the future, so make sure you keep your eyes and ears on them.

Alexisonfire

AlexisonfireWell this is going to be the last band I cover, and what a day it was. Before I continue with my review, let’s just take a minute to reflect on the days events. It started out with me reminiscing about Warped Tours gone past, with a very pessimistic overtone, and continued on with some more dumb witted comments.

I realize now that the punk scene hasn’t changed that much, but more so I have. The state of punk these days is relatively the same as has always been, but now it’s a little more overt if you can believe it. I may not like screamo, but I can appreciate it a little bit more after today, because when the fans leave in a sweaty mess you know it must have been a killer show.

With that said, I’ve never been a huge fan of Alexisonfire. To me they seemed like an overrated screamo band with amazing instrumentals. But when a crazed fan almost knocked me over I had to rethink my outlook.

They utterly blew my mind. I think a part of my medulla oblongata just exploded, so instead of breathing air, I started to suck in some Alexisonfire tunes. The energy radiated from the band onto the fans and produced one of the rowdiest circle pits I have ever seen. When pre-teens start moshing, you know they’re doing something right.

I hate to admit it, but I think Alexisonfire may have swayed my opinion on the whole screamo genre. Wait… No. I still don’t like screamo but I do like Alexisonfire. Hopefully other bands of their genre will one day step it up to their level. Until then, I’m going to compare every screamer to them.