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Warped Tour
Warped Tour at Randall's Island, NY, 8/4/01
Photo © 2001 NY Rock, more photos

  

The Warped Tour Marches On: Randall's Island, NY, August 4, 2001

The Vans Warped Tour is set up day after day in state after state, has maintained popularity for seven years, contains over 40 punk bands at any given show while also featuring wrestlers and athletes on skateboards and tiny bikes. It costs $30 (give or take) a ticket, and somehow manages not to collapse into its massive self, forming a hole in the universe. Kudos to the people who piece this one together. The setup is something like a demented small-town harvest festival, where instead of portable carnival rides, there are punk rockers for entertainment, and instead of little kids, you have angst-y teens. There's also "reverse daycare" for parents, tents promoting athletes and lesser-known musicians, and a "ladies' lounge," where female bands and DJs perform all day.

  Desperation Squad
Bassist Laura Kovach of Desperation Squad
Warped Tour, Randall's Island, NY, 8/4/01
Photo © 2001 NY Rock, more photos

That said, the Warped Tour can be a nightmare. As I stood in the humidity, dust balls rollicked through the quarter-mile line I was standing on to get into the line to get into the Randall's Island event. I looked over some pointy pink heads and thought, can't complain in good conscience, because most of the performers were out of their element, too. The tour is obviously rough on the bands, who are used to cozier indoor venues. Here, they have to perform outdoors in blazing heat, pitted against each other, as up to four or more bands perform simultaneously within a few hundred yards of each other for thirty minutes. Then they have to maintain the audience by constantly shouting encouraging phrases like "Fuck you, fuckers! Fuck!" with conviction, while trying not to slip in their own puddles of sweat. But their efforts don't pass unnoticed. Yeah, it's a nightmare. But, oh, the kids do love it.

"I went to yesterday's show, and I'm going to tomorrow's show in Jersey again. And today's gonna fuckin' rock!" said the girl next to me in the line to get into the line for the line to get to the gate. Her "Rancid" T-shirt reminded me how the event's main-stage performers – Rancid, Pennywise, H2O, the Dropkick Murphys, the Vandals, among others – represent the punk name that the Warped Tour is known for.
Alien Ant Farm
Dryden Mitchell of Alien Ant Farm
Warped Tour, Randall's Island, NY, 8/4/01
Photo © 2001 NY Rock, more photos

  
Over the years, the tour has branched out: ska, reggae, hardcore, and hip-hop influences abound. But tour-founder Kevin Lyman claims this year is a big return to the festival's punk origins. While that may well be, the main stages also rocked under hip-hop miester Kool Keith, emotionally charged Jimmy Eat World, ska-laden Less Than Jake, Celtic-influenced Flogging Mollys and let's not forget the hard-edged Rollins Band. Don't let us ever forget Rollins Band.

The addition of different styles doesn't always sit well with those who hold that punk is alive and kicking them in the ass. I spoke briefly with a group of kids who wished that hip hop would "get the hell out of the Warped Tour." One wonders why they would care when (1) they were so drunk they could barely stand and, (2) there are so many tents, shows, and events going on at any given time that you could sneeze and miss five acts. But teenagers need their angst and thus the Warped Tour will merrily march on.

August 2001


More Warped Tour Photos:
Alien Ant Farm, Bouncing Souls, H20, Jimmy Eat World, Desperation Squad

Warped Tour 2000Warped Tour 1999

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More Warped Tour Photos

Related Content:

- Rollins Band CD Review
- Pennywise CD Review
- Alien Ant Farm Concert Review
- Warped Tour 2000
- Warped Tour 1999

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