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Warped Tour Ventura- Kristen’s Take

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Warped Tour always makes me feel old. All these carefree teenagers running amok, jumping up and down for bands I’ve never heard of whose members look like they are barely out of high school. There’s nothing wrong with any of this…it just makes me feel old. I didn’t even go last year.

But I love concert festivals and this year’s line-up drew me back into the sea of mohawks, bad tattoos, and fist-pumping adolescents. Okay, not the line-up in its entirety as much as one band in particular, After Midnight Project. My new fave band from Bamboozled is on the entire tour this year and I needed a reminder of why their CD, Let’s Build Something to Break, was playing in my car stereo for weeks.

And reminded I was as once again the gentlemen of After Midnight Project lifted my spirits and blew me away with their amazingly catchy brand of head banding/hand swaying rock music and their perfectly crafted bridges (a good bridge in a song will make me go week in the knees every time).  In addition, since I knew all the songs this time, I was able to sing along…well I wasn’t technically able to emit anything via my vocal chords as I’m currently suffering from laryngitis…but I was able to mouth all the words and could at least properly time all my dance moves.

AMP was one of the first bands to play that day and we got there just in time to make our way to their stage before the opening chords of their set. I was a little concerned after their set was over that the day could not get any better…especially seeing as we had already missed both Lovers Drug and You Me at Six (seriously, why were there bands playing at 11:30 when the ticket said starts at noon?).

We saw many more bands as the day progressed. Some I loved (Mayday Parade), some had promise (The Cab, Emorosa, Automatic Loveletter), some I had quite a strong distaste for (shall remain nameless), and some I have simply forgotten. There were a couple of bands I saw this year that I really love listening to but whose performances were somewhat disappointing. Both The Pretty Reckless and Never Shout Never have some amazing tunes, but the lead singers of both groups kind of made me want to strangle them (or their parents) for some of the remarks they made in between songs…again making me feel quite the old fogey.

My entire day, however, was righted by three bands: Alkaline Trio, Sum 41, and All-American Rejects. All three are bands from my own high school days and as they played those tunes I’ve always loved, I lost myself in the music, forgetting where I was, both time and place. I was reminded why events like this are completely worth my time and my money. Ironically, by the end of the day, Warped Tour had done something totally unexpected…it made me feel like a young teenager again! Ah, the rejuvenating power of music…

~ Kristen

Enjoy some random pics: