Review: 2003 Warped Tour(Indianapolis)

I just got back from my very first Warped Tour experience, and even though my face is cherry red and the top of my head is blistered, I had the best fucking time. It was such an awesome event. Awesome bands with so many different styles, from punk to hardcore to emo, the Warped Tour has it all. I’ll give a run down of the day and reviews of the bands performances. Forgive me if I don’t remember exact set lists though, because I saw quite a few bands today.

Started out, we got there at 10:30 when I heard the gates were supposed to open. Turns out they were to open at 11:00. So we parked, applied the sunscreen, and proceeded to wait in a long ass line in the hot summer sun. I wasn’t complaining though, as I was pretty damn happy to see the sun out because it’s been raining quite a bit here lately. Fucking Indiana weather. But yeah, we get inside and make our way to the vans tent to find out what time each band is playing. We took a note pad and pen as advised by other people who’ve been before, but it turns out Vans provided fliers, preprinted with the stage names and places to write the band names and times. First band we wanna see, Matchbook Romance at 12:20. So we had over an hour to walk around the booths, locate each stage, and just check everything out. I bought a Warped Tour 2003 ‘Crash and Burn’ T-shirt. $15.00 for a shirt isn’t bad at all either. I was glad to see they didn’t overcharge like most shows that I’ve been to. Most of the booths were handing out free shit like stickers, pictures, and album ads. The Victory Records booth and the Wreck booth had CD samplers as well. Epitaph was handing out goody bags full of stickers, posters, and a DVD with music videos from the Transplants, Hot Water Music, and other Epitaph bands. So now I’ve got my Warped Tour T-shirt, a bag full of free shit, time to go check out Matchbook Romance on the Volcom stage.

They started out with 14 Balloons, which is the first track on their EP West For Wishing. Pretty energetic band, great set to start out the day. They played Hollywood & Vine, Save Yourself, and a couple of new songs. Then they finished up with The Greatest Fall(of all time). I have their EP and I think they’re a good band, but I hadn’t even planned on seeing them. I’m glad I did though. It just happened to be they were the first band playing and no one else was playing until 1:00.

That brings me to the next band, which was The Used on the Teal stage. It’s actually the main stage, but the way they work it there’s actually two stages set up next to each other. The Teal stage and the Brian stage. The names might be different for each tour stop though. They alternate between each stage. While one band is performing on one stage, the next band is setting up on the other. So anyway, The Used put on a pretty good show. They started out with the first song from their album, Maybe Memories. Excellent way to start the set. They also did Say Days Ago, The Taste of Ink, Blue and Yellow, Noises and Kisses, and Buried Myself Alive. For the finale, Bert went to the top of the speakers, which was probably 15-20 feet in the air. That’s just guessing though. He did a stage dive from the top of it. My only complaint was they didn’t perform my favorite song, A Box Full Of Sharp Objects.

After that, it was time to go get a drink of water. Some advice if you plan on attending the Warped Tour this summer, and it’s your first time, take a bottle of water with you. You can take it in as long as it’s sealed. Once inside and the water is gone, you can refill it at drinking fountains, provided the venue has them. They were charging $3.50 for a bottle of water and you don’t even get the bottles. They pour it into a cup of ice, which means you either drink it all at once or try to avoid spilling the shit in the pit. Not likely. This saved me quite a bit of money today.

So after the water break, we’re on our way back to grab a spot for AFI, who was going on at 2:30. On our way back to the main stage where they were to play, we passed by the Volcom stage and Vaux was playing. We watched them play one song, Ride Out Bitch. They seemed to put on a pretty energetic show, but I only watched them play one song.

While waiting for AFI we caught part of Thrice, as well as Andrew W.K. I only got to see Thrice do one song, Betrayal is a Symptom. Andrew W.K played a decent set, though I’m not a fan of his. He allowed several fans from the audience to come on stage and dance, which was pretty cool.

Up next, fucking AFI! I was so hyped about seeing these guys, and so was everyone else at the show apparently. They had the largest crowd by far of any other band there today, just barely topping Rancid. We managed to get about six or seven rows back from the stage and damn was it crazy. They started the set off with Miseria Cantare-The Beginning, which is the first track from their latest album, Sing the Sorrow. I don’t remember the order they did the songs, but I do know they did Girls Not Grey, Fall Children, Dancing Through Sunday, Totalimortal, and some older songs I’ve never heard by them. The majority of their set was from their new album, with some old school thrown in. They did a Janes Addiction cover, which I don’t know the name to. Then they finished it up with God Called In Sick Today, which is a bad ass song to finish up a set with. Towards the end of the set, Davey walks off of the stage and on to the crowd. Yes, I said ON TO the crowd. They were holding his feet as he walked, it was so fucking God-like.

After that set, I was exhausted so we headed to get some more water and take a restroom break. We made it back to the main stage and caught the last few minutes of Mest’s performance. I was surprised to see they were even there because I heard Tony was hurt at one of the shows the other day. Something with his back I think. He was standing when we got there, but they had a chair ready for him. He ended up doing the last three songs sitting down. I give him props for even attempting that shit though. What I saw of these guys was pretty good. Probably would’ve been better if Tony wasn’t hurt, but at least they played.

Next was Rancid, hell yes! These guys are badass anyway, but live, holy shit! Amazing! They started out with Ruby Soho and got the crowd hyped up well. They also did Maxwell Murder, Roots Radicals, Dead Bodies, Time Bomb, as well as a song from their upcoming album. Which, by the way, they said would be on Hellcat? Don’t know what this means about the Warner Bros. rumors going around, but take it as you wish. They did Dead Bodies twice. The first time was part of their regular set, and the second was for a movie they’re making. Don’t know what it’s gonna be called (I’m thinking it’s Live Freaky, Die Freaky) but it’s gonna be a horror movie. The reason for filming the concert footage was someone in the movie is supposed to get killed in the pit, and then be fed to Rancid. That’s what they said anyway. Lars also gave props to Tony from Mest, who also came on stage and helped on some vocals, for toughing out his injury. In the words of Lars Frederiksen, “That kid’s the real mother fucker there.” Like I said, these guys were amazing and the crowd was hyped as hell for them. I took a hard knee to the kidney in the pit though, so it kinda fucked me up for a bit.

So Rancid is over and it’s 4:00. Glassjaw plays at 4:30, so we had time to go walk around some more. I grabbed a bite to eat, then we went back and watched part of Glassjaws performance. I like these guys, but I couldn’t get into their show much. We ended up just walking around while we waited for Rise Against to play at 5:50. We did catch Tsunami Bomb for a few songs, but didn’t stick around.

We headed over to the Maurice stage to catch Rise Against. Not too many people were there watching them which was a surprise to me. We got right up front for these guys. Nothing like being deaf by 30 eh? They started out with Black Masks and Gasoline, the first track from their latest album, Revolutions Per Minute. They also did Blood Red, White, and Blue, Like an Angel, as well as some older songs. I’m not too familiar with their older stuff, so I’m not sure what they were, other than they rocked.

After Rise Against, we headed back to the main stage to wait for Dropkick Murphys to come on. We caught the last two songs of Less Than Jake. These guys are great, but I just saw them with Good Charlotte and New Found Glory a couple months ago. I got to hear them play Look What Happened again though, so it was all good. Dropkick Murphys came on, but I was too exhausted to really get into it. I enjoyed the set, but didn’t get into the pit. They didn’t play Walk Away which was a surprise and disappointment. They didn’t play much from their new album really. I only remember them playing two songs from the new album, Worker’s Song and The Dirty Glass. They did the Spicy McHaggis Jig and invited any females from the crowd who wanted to, to come on stage and “do a jig.”

After DKM played, it was time for a water break and head back to the main stage for The Ataris at 7:30. In the mean time, I saw that Lars and Matt from Rancid were still at their booth signing autographs. The line was hella long earlier so I skipped it, but it was shorter now and I jumped in. I searched through my bag for something with Rancid on it for them to sign, but I had nothing. I couldn’t find my ticket stub either, so I opted for the Warped Tour program for them to sign. They both signed it and I got my picture taken with them. Cool shit.

After that, we headed over to see The Ataris play. They were pretty good. They played a lot of their newer stuff from So Long, Astoria. They did some older songs like I Won’t Spend Another Night Alone, and they finished up with San Dimas High School Football Rules, where they had a fan come up and play guitar. Kris was hyping the fact that he grew up in Anderson, Indiana. That’s about 10 minutes from where I live, if you care. He complained about a local radio station here that won’t play their music, even though they’re from Indiana. The radio station he’s referring to is 103.3 The X, which is supposed to be an alternative music station but they play mostly metal. He then pretended to call them on his cell phone, but it did nothing but ring. He told us to call them up and tell them to play their music. Good set to finish up the day with.

Highlights of the day: AFI, Rancid, The Used, and meeting Lars and Matt from Rancid.

Overall, the day was killer. It was hot, I’m sunburned on my face, my neck, and the top of my head. But if was so fucking worth it! If Warped Tour is coming to your town or a town near you, and you’ve never been, I highly recommend checking it out. Tickets aren’t too much and you get to see a lot of kick ass bands, plus hang out with some cool ass people.