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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Warped Tour '07 - NY Edition
Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Ten hours, 14 bands, pro wrestling and a lot of blazing hot sun added up to one heck of a time at the New York stop of the Warped Tour this past Saturday. This year it was held in the parking lot of Nassau Coliseum, a place that’s near and dear to my heart since my old dorm room back at Hofstra had a view of it. Of course I had to have one friend query “you spent ten hours in the parking lot of The Mausoleum?” Yep, yessir, I did, and here’s how the day went.

8:50AM – I hopped in my car ready for the ride to Long Island. I had decided well in advance to avoid the parking lot issues all concerts have and park at Hofstra. It’s only about a ten to fifteen minute walk from the school to the Coliseum, and it’s a walk I’ve made numerous times in the past.

10:15AM - When I arrived at HU at a quarter past ten I looked for a bathroom before making the walk. Turns out all the men’s rooms in the student center were being renovated and nobody cared because the school was filled with high school cheerleaders as it was playing host to a cheerleading camp. I probably could have peed at the Jets practice facility but it wasn’t technically open yet, so I just started walking instead.

11:26AM – After a nice walk that let me know I was going to be hot for the majority of the day (long jeans, in the long run, turned out to be a good idea, though. You’ll see why later) and finally making my way up to the head of the press will call area I walked over to the press tent and picked up the schedule for the day. Warped Tour doesn’t announce who’s playing at what stage when until the morning of the show. I had come prepared with lists of bands I wanted to see and tents I wanted to check out. Proving myself to be one of the most anal retentive writers in the biz I whipped that out and started figuring out who was playing when so I could get my entire day planned out. (Somewhere my dad was smiling)

1:15PM – After browsing through some tents, making sure to check out Skullcandy’s offerings, as well as Sugar Hooker’s and Rhymesayers’, I saw my first live act of the day, The High Court. Bands started playing at 11:15AM, but The High Court was the first one I wanted to see. They had a small crowd gathered at the Hot Topic stage and were pretty interesting. I was digging what I was hearing, but at 1:30pm AAA Lucha Libre wrestling was doing a show on the other side of the parking lot and I knew I couldn’t miss that so after a few enjoyable songs from The High Court I started walking.

1:30PM – Psicosis live in a tag team match! The announcer was trying to tell everyone that Psicosis’ team were heels but we were having none of that, cheering on the former LWO member as he and Chess Man defeated Mini Charlie Manson and his partner, whose name I didn’t catch. Considering it was 90+ degrees out there I was impressed they did a full ten minute match, including flying out of the ring and onto the concrete. As fans we were all appreciative and I even managed to get a picture with Psicosis afterwards.

1:45pm – One band that some PR folks had been telling me about was Biffy Clyro, a group with a promotional sticker so great (it simply read “Who The Fuck Is Biffy Clyro?”) that I had to check them out. I had also been listening to their upcoming album, Puzzle, in the car on the ride down and was into it. The band was good, and they put on a great live show, but after about twenty minutes I remembered Sims over at Rhymesayers had told me the schedule was wrong for him so I made my way to the Skullcandy tent to check out the end of his set. He seriously dug my Saint Paul Saints hat. It was truly coincidence that I happened to be wearing a hat the repped the state of the majority of the Hip-Hop acts there, but hey, would you expect anything less from me?

2:45pm – So far, with the exception of the lone rap act I had seen (Sims), all the bands had been solid, but had basically acted as a soundtrack to my wanderings. They were performing and it was nice music to hear as I was walking around. At 2:45PM, however, Paramore hit the stage and turned out to be the first act where I stayed for an entire half hour set. For some youngins they sure know how to both rock and get the crowd hyped. Paramore featured some of the first crowd surfing of the day and had one of the biggest crowds to do it in.

3:45PM – A little under two hours after my first rap act of the day my second, and final, rap act of Warped Tour ‘07 would be P.O.S. (WTF happened to k-os? Wasn’t he supposed to be here?). I had interviewed P.O.S. a few days earlier and was looking forward to seeing him live. He’d told me his crowd is usually a mix of a few die-hards and a lot of new folks who have never heard of him before. Rather than be all the way up on the stage P.O.S. jumped off of it and stood right up against the railing on a raised step, getting as close to the people as possible. This is one big advantage to not having an instrument around one’s neck. The crowd grew as his set went on and with the way he was spittin he deserved a big crowd.

4:45PM – In addition to Biffy Clyro, another band some PR folks had asked me to check out was The Spill Canvas. The group fell into that “good soundtrack to the day” sort of vibe for me. I dug them enough to stick around and halfway into their set I ended up bumping into someone I knew from Connecticut. For some reason it always weirds me out to see someone from my hometown in my college town. The two places have always been so separate for me, it’s very strange when they connect in any way. Also of note during The Spill Canvas’ set; a small plane flew overhead advertising for Envy The Coast. It sure beat having kids running around holding up signs on sticks.

5:15PM – Time for a classic band. Bad Religion was in the house and with my penchant for legendary artists I made it a point to see their set. The Bad Religion performance included one really nice blunt being lit in the crowd, a credit card being tossed on stage, and the usual punk rock music that’s smattered with political ideologies that the group has become so well known for over the past 25+ years. A true punk band, almost every song sounded the same after a while, but it was still a very enjoyable set.

6:15PM – While waiting for The Vincent Black Shadow (pictured above) to hit the stage I caught a large chunk of Meg & Dia’s set. Not only was it good, but they covered a classic, Blind Melon’s “No Rain,” and did it well. Who’d have ever thought the guitar riff and first set of lines from that song would be so everlasting? Maybe the bee girl always knew. After Meg & Dia were done The Vincent Black Shadow were up. This was a band I really wanted to see. I’d interviewed them a few months ago and kept in touch with guitarist Robbie Kirkham, even speaking with him earlier in the day at the press tent in-between acts. I was expecting a fantastic set from his group and they not only met, but exceeded, those expectations. It was obvious Robbie was having a blast on stage, including playing his guitar with his tongue at one point, and lead singer Cassie Ford, who is stunningly beautiful in person, was fantastic vocally. They performed almost all of my favorites from Fear’s In The Water and even did a cover of the Jefferson Airplane classic “White Rabbit.” That song is a personal favorite of mine since my mom used to sing it quite often when I was young. Yeah, my mom sang to me about drugs when I was little and now I’m covering rock concerts, it’s not the toughest connection in the world to make.

6:45PM – Once The Vincent Black Shadow were done with their set I raced over to the 13 Stage to catch some of Coheed and Cambria. I really dug “The Suffering” when it was out and it just so happened that was the song they played right after I made my way there. The crowd surfing became crowd tossing at this point as I saw an Asian girl in a blue top get launched about ten rows. Numerous cell phones were lost, but from what I could see nobody was getting seriously injured. Coheed and Cambria’s set dragged a bit after about 20 minutes, so I walked over to where Family Force 5 were playing and checked them out for a bit. I dug what I heard and made a mental note to find out more about them. They seemed to be having a really good time performing which is always a great sign in my book.

7:15PM – There were two things I wanted to do at a quarter past seven, I wanted to see New Found Glory and I wanted to say what’s up to The Vincent Black Shadow and get a picture with them at their tent. As it turned out, someone turned up the volume on New Found Glory and I was able to do both at once. I chilled out by the tent and heard every song of New Found Glory’s set, including a bouncy rock rendition of Sixpence None The Richer’s “Kiss Me.” I was standing there with another writer I had just met and New Found Glory’s version of the song was so different musically that we were looking at each other like “why do we know all these lyrics?” Then a great “oh shit!” look came across both of our faces at once when we realized what we were hearing.

7:45PM – After New Found Glory I ran over to see The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (and I’m using the word “run” very loosely here. I’d been out in the 90+ degree heat for over nine hours at this point, so I was dragging a bit). “Face Down” received a tremendous reaction and the rest of the group’s set was enjoyable, as well.

8:15PM – Exhausted, I make my way to the SmartPunk stage to see my last act of the night, All Time Low. Little did I know I was walking into a volume war as Underoath, who was playing a couple hundred feet away, was so loud they were drowning out All Time Low. Underoath’s set involved a ton of water bottles being thrown in the air, significantly more than any other band’s set, and lots of loudness. All Time Low were a bit more low key. The latter, however, performed a cover of Blink 182’s “Growing Up” that was great. It was at this point in the evening that most of us realized we were sunburned. I saw one kid having a sticker peeled off him by his girlfriend and there was a huge pale square on his skin where it had been. I had seen some kids take off their shirts and leave their backpacks on. I assume they will look equally as funny this week. Despite wearing pants and avoiding any burning of my legs I did get some on my neck, ears and arms and I have a nice, thick, pale line where my press wristband was.

9:00PM – Back at Hofstra I make my way through the exiting cheerleading camp and openly ask God why he has thrown so many seventeen year old girls showing their cleavage in front of me today. It was quite the taunt, including having Trojan handing out condoms at the show. “Hey here’s your condom for all that jail bait out there!” I popped in P.O.S.’ CD and started my drive home.

10:40PM – Pulling into my parking space at my place the day had come to an end, 14 bands and nearly 14 hours since I had first jumped into the car, and I have to say is it was completely worth it.

For pictures check out my Warped Tour 2007 album on Imagestation.


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:41 AM  
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