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The 1998 Vans Warped Tour

A day of Snowboard Rock

I've spent a good amount of time trying to come up with a fresh angle for this story. What I decided is that it's not going to happen. I'm thinking for this, I probably should have gone into the event with an idea, and then looked at the whole festival a different way, other than that I have press passes and I can go bro down with the bands and the skaters and get them to take promo shots for me. Since that's what I did I guess this will just be the same punk rock show article; the bands were energetic and all sounded the same, the skaters went off, the crowd was funny looking, and you could buy lots of overpriced band merchandise with mom's twenty bucks.
Since I got that out of the way early, I'll try to come up with something interesting. My first stop was in Seattle, July 7th. Over course, not planning ahead at all, I had no idea where the concert even was until about 10 minutes before we even left. I realized I better figure it out, because Seattle is a pretty big place. Luckily, the Warped Tour webpage was down that day, so I had to resort to some kid's Less Than Jake page where he had all their tour dates listed, which coincided with the Warped Tour exactly. I determined we were heading for the Kingdome Parking Lot, and what better place to have a concert than an asphalt parking lot in the hot sun? I guess they were probably expecting rain, but no such luck. After about ten minutes, the skin on my face that usually never sees the sun because it's under my goggles was nice and sunburned, and I looked like some sort of a reverse raccoon. It was a good thing that the natural elements made me look freakish, because I fit in much better with my costumed cohorts. SCOTT STAMNES2.JPG (61989 bytes)

Scott Stamnes proving that crappy snowboards is not the only thing Lib Tech makes.

This day was about the first time I had been out in the sun yet this summer, as the rest of my time is spent hiding inside in front of the television. I wasn't handling it well, so most of my day in Seattle was spent in the press tent eating chips and drinking water. I was only supposed to cover the event, so why would I need to go participate, I'm sure all the bands sounded exactly the same anyway. I got pretty bored with the other members of the press, and I figured I could protect my journalistic integrity a little bit, and go watch a band or two.

I made it outside just in time for Guttermouth. I remember when I was in 8th grade this kid from my school was always rocking out to a Guttermouth CD, and when I listened to them , I thought they sucked, but they had the cool bro cal image, so they couldn't be all bad. I was really glad I didn't put on any sunblock as I was standing in the midst of a few hundred punk rock kids who made their way over from the main stages that were afflicted with ska to hear some good old fashioned punk rock. I was leery of them, but as soon as they came on and immediately trashed every other band on the roster, I knew I was going to enjoy their set. Since it was the only set I actually paid attention to, I figure I better discuss it in detail. I only recognized two of their songs, but they trashed rollerbladers, ska, and some guy that was holding up a Hemp Fest poster. I decided at this point that this band was very worthy of an interview, but they were much too punk to show up for their interview time at all, so much for that.

There were four stages, and I think there was a band playing on all four at any given time, so I gave up on trying to find a band I wanted to listen to and went to watch skating. I got there right in the middle of the amateur contest. I, of course, know nothing about skateboarding other than that it's really hard and pros can go bigger than I could ever hope to on my snowboard. What I'm trying to say here, is that I assumed the ramp was sucking hard, because nobody was going more than 3 feet high. I then realized that these weren't the pros. It was still more enjoyable to watch than another punk/ska/swing/hardcore band so I figured I'd stick around. I was informed that one of the skaters was Scott Stamnes, who I just happen to have a picture of on my wall, because he just happens to be a pro snowboarder. Once he won the contest I bro-ed down with him for a bit before the pros showed up. SERGI VENTURA2.JPG (39747 bytes)

That damn wifebeater wearing kid had to be in every picture I took, including this one of Sergie Ventura.

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This biker actually dropped in from the crane in the background. 

As it turns out Sergie Ventura has not dropped off the the face of the planet or quit skating, and he still goes bigger than anybody else in the ramp. The only other people I identified were Steve Cabellero and Mike Fraizer. Supposedly, Neil Hendrix was there, but I must have been smoking crack when he was skating because I didn't see him. In addition to the pro demos in the vert ramp they had street course demos, and moto cross jumping, which was very cool, except I didn't see any carnage. When I watch an "extreme sport" I expect broken bones and blood, but what can you do.



Left: Steve Caballero going fuckin tiny. Right: Mike Frazier skys over Steve Caballero's biggest air of the day. FRAZIER & CABALERO.JPG (40090 bytes)
All right, enough about Seattle, I was only there for a couple hours, and you shouldn't have to read about it for longer than that. Now we move back to the right coast for my second stop, Northampton, Mass on July 29th. I wanted to go to this concert about as much as I wanted to go to any given day of high school, but I had made a commitment, and flown back for it, so I figured I better go. When I woke up it was pouring rain, and I was really looking forward to spending a day soaking wet. As I drove south though, the clouds parted, and my good friend the sun decided to come and torment me for another day. Once we arrived in Northampton my desire to leave became stronger than my one to stay, but since it was a three hour drive I figured I'd better stick it out. To make the day a little more tolerable, we drove around looking for a liquor store, and when we finally found one, my alcoholic copilot bought a $3.99 six-pack of Shlitz, so I figured I'd have to do this day sober.
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Above: Another one of them damn punk bands, Unwritten Law. Right: This picture of Brian Wainwright was just so great that I had to use it twice.

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I only had to wait in line to get my coveted press passes for about an hour because I cut right to the front. When I was about ten feet from the window, it started pouring, which really stoked me out. Luckily, the people at the window had just finished smoking a bowl, and had no idea where my passes, or anyone else's were for that matter, so they gave me two tickets and sent me inside. At this point I had to do some serious bro-ing to get back stage where I finally received my credentials. Now soaking wet, I was free to use the backstage port-a-potties which were of the cleanest variety. This is the real reason why I was glad to have press passes, because the toilets are cleaner.
It only rained when there was no way I could be under covering, so by the time I was ready to go it was sunny again. The rain successfully postponed all of the pro demos though, so I was forced to watch the bands. I felt pretty cool hanging off the back of the stage with about 100 other kids who were blessed with passes, and so I sat there and watched Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Voodoo Glow Skulls, Drop Kick Murphys, All, and Bad Religion. I could sit here and write a critique of all these bands but I know that I wouldn't read it, so I don't expect you to either.

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The perfect vert conditions.

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Voodoo Glow Skulls

The best stunt pulled by any of the bands was Voodoo Glow Skulls' attempt to embarrass one of the dumb punk rock kids in the crowd. They offered a bike to the first person to make it past the security and on to the stage, naked. There were two dumb jock boys trying, and they gave all the girls an eyeful, and the photographers something to shoot, but they never did make it on stage. Hopefully, someone who knows them will get a hold of the pictures and use them to blackmail the stupid boys for the rest of their lives, because I am still having nightmares about their pubescent bodies.
With a big 50% of the bands still remaining on the tour, there was even less that I wanted to watch at this stop, but since I didn't watch anyone on the left coast I guess it doesn't matter. There wasn't much for the bro cal genre in Massachusetts, so some of the bands actually sounded different from one another, but it was all basically the same concept.
Once the ramp dried off, people started skating. This was again impressive. Andy Macdonald was there, as well as Neil Hendrix, who I actually saw this time, Jen O'brien, and the sickest rollerskater named Brian Wainwright (see Brian Wainwright: Rollerskater Extraordinaire). I amused myself by taking pictures with my point and shoot camera on the deck for awhile, and then went down to sit inside the fence, hopefully making some of the little kids jealous. The funny thing about this, was that anyone really could have gotten into the vert ramp area, or backstage for that matter, because security was basically nonexistent, but people were too stupid to figure that out.
amacdonald2.jpg (30875 bytes) While performing this air to fakie, the multitalented Andy MacDonald actually caught that annoying fly that had been bothering the skaters all day between his right index finger and  thumb. 


The best part about this year's Warped Tour was that it was free. Of course I got in for free last year, and there were much better bands, but I guess you can't win. I learned a lot by going to two stops, like it's better if it's not on a parking lot, and press passes entitle you to do whatever you want. I also learned that there is no need to go twice to a concert were all the bands sound the same. I will be sure to keep this in mind next year.

-Brooke Geery

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Left: Andy Macdonald is a true jock, he is always showing off his backside. Above: This isn't actually a picture of Neil Hendrix, instead I was trying to capture the true essence of Monty, (in the background). Right: Some guy named Chris.

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