Review by Angela Blasi
The 2011 Vans Warped Tour made its annual summer rounds and I was fortunate enough to have the chance to check it out. I found myself one gray morning making my way to Monmouth Park Raceway ready to see the likes of A Day to Remember, Big D and the Kids Table, Less Than Jake, Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds and a whole host of others.
It would be next to impossible, or just a painfully long read, for me to sit here and list every single thing about each band that I liked and disliked. I will tell you however, that I had the opportunity to catch the set of all but one band I was able to interview and that each group successfully stood and delivered both on and off stage. With that, I’ll delve into some of the highlights of my experience at this years’ Vans Warped Tour.
Upon arrival and waiting in line to enter the venue, the crowd found the one and only MC Lars walking along the massed youth promoting his set. I had no idea who he was yet, but I liked his DIY approach. In just a few short hours I found myself sitting face to face with him and Josh of Weerd Science (formerly in Coheed and Cambria) as the two would be performing together as part of the tour. In interview, Lars was quiet and thoughtful while Josh was the more animated of the two, energetically expressing his love and enthusiasm for music. However, when it came time to catch the actual live performance, MC Lars seemingly crawled out of his shell and was absolutely spectacular. Both performers gelled well together on stage, each with his own musical prowess. It became clear quickly that the two were by no means all talk; they did in fact love every second of performing and creating music. It was refreshing to see the happiness and passion still very much alive in artists who are no strangers to the music industry.
I ran into Patrick Salmon from Tomorrows Bad Seeds in the crowd and had a few minutes to catch up since I spoke to him last and his band mates the previous year. Casually, we talked and he is still just as cool as he was last year and he brought me up to speed with the last 365 days and their continuing success. I was able to catch their set and I’m pleased to report that they’re doing great. Their live performance and sound quality coupled with the energy that is so unique to the band has not fizzled out despite rigorous touring and overall momentum.
The rest of the day consisted of back and forth from press to stage areas, interviewing bands I was familiar with and some I had never heard before. I came out of this years Warped with a few new bands tucked away for further research and some of whom converted me to an instant fan. From Sick of Sarah, who I might add are absolutely awesome, funny and badass on stage both in personality and musical styling, to the very theatrical and unique Venetia Fair, to one of my long time favorites Big D and the Kids Table, I was not disappointed with this year’s lineup.
Maybe it was just me, but I felt like this year’s show was more solid and musically diverse than last year’s event. Did I mention Mr. Dee Snider of Twisted Sister himself paid a visit to this year’s event? Yup, he did. I have no idea why, but suddenly there he was surrounded by press conducting a group interview.