Sunday, July 11, 2010

Toronto 2010 Warped Tour Wrap Up

Hey Everyone!
Phew... what a weekend! I dont know about you folks, but I'm about ready to crash and never get up haha. I spent this past weekend in Toronto with one of my best friends checking out the 2010 Vans Warped Tour and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised. Not that I was expecting it to suck... but when I consider the lineup and compare it to past years, I have to say it was somewhat lack luster for me. And then I remembered the magic of that place... 5mins in the gate and I was home. Here are some of my highlights for the day... recommendations of what to see if you plan to catch the tour in a city near you... pricing for those of you who are curious about the money you can expect to spend on various things... the whole deal, right here!

HINT: The lineup- Great place to meet new friends. Why not strike up a conversation with the people around you? I know that the weather made for great small talk in Toronto with the torrential downpour we experienced in the morning. Be aware, if you intend to pay for tickets in line they may sell fast and price just over $50 CDN.

HINT: First thing is first... before you run off to the nearest stage, check out the schedule usually located by the main stage. Hard to miss... its huge and inflatable! Make sure you prioritize and get to see as much as you can. Dont regret it!

First up in my day I checked out the last few tracks of the We The Kings set. The boys played a great set as per usual. Very tightly knit instrumentals, great vocals, and a guest appearance by Hey Monday's Cassadee for a memorable duet. If you get the chance to watch them, definitely do. They are certainly a pop punk fan's dream, but they also know how to get the audience going.

HINT: Take a walk of the full park on your downtime. Check out the layout, get familiar with it. Its easier to find your favorite bands when you already know where the stage is. You wont miss anything looking for it! Also, check out some of the tents. Lots of cool merch and free giveaways that are worth a look. Great causes and charities also set up tents so you can learn a lot in the process of walking away with free swag.

Note: Band tees run about $15-25, Hoodies about $40-50, Pins/Patches/Bracelets about $2-5

Next up, I went over to see The Rocket Summer. I swear, Bryce Avary is a genius. I know he does it in every city, but the man can write a freaking song in seconds. He's a multi-instrumentalist, which is something I am completely floored by. It took me 5 years to play a solid flute piece, I cant even begin to fathom playing an entire bands worth of instruments perfectly! If you want something a little upbeat and fun to beat the serious metal/emo overtones of the tour, wander over to their set and smile for a bit!

About halfway through their set, I wandered off to check out the tents and found my way back to the Main Stage (This year its going by the name of Teggart, in honor of a warped tour staff veteran who passed away earlier this year) for the Bouncing Souls set. Always a great set for punk rock fans. Timeless, simple, and amazing. I saw these guys at my very first Warped seven years ago, and watching them was like reliving that day. If you're looking for some fun in a pit, be sure to check them out.

Next up I got some lunch. Price points here werent as bad as I expected. You can assume that a slice of pizza will run about $4.25 CDN... closer to $9 if you add a pop and a bag of chips.

HINT: Bring food. Sealed water bottles and wrapped sandwiches are permitted in MOST venues, so check it out online and save yourself a few bucks.

Next up, The Cab. Now, I know what you're all thinking... Rocket Summer, We The Kings, The Cab... whats with all the pop? Truth is, I will take this over some of the "metal hxc alt core" whatever you want to call it stuff that plays on some of the other stages. I actually have an appreciation for vocal talent and solid instrument harmonies so think what you will, but I dont care. It was GOOD. The Cab drew a pretty large crowd, and played a lot of great tracks off their album, as well as their upcoming release. If you're in a dancing mood, I highly recommend letting lose to their set... tracks like Bounce and One Of Those Nights will have you busting a move in no time.

After the Cab's set, I decided to head over to their tent for their impromptu signing. The guys were great, super chatty and friendly which is always a plus. Cant say the same for the screaming girls though...

HINT: Some bands dont announce signings until they close their set. If you're really hoping for some Warped Tour magic, to meet your favorite bands, wait to see if they invite fans to drop by their tent for an autograph, then deak out before the last song to snag a spot in line early. ALSO, please... remember that lines function better than mobs people. LINES. Like when we were all in Kindergarden? Remember lines? One behind the other... orderly fashion. Lines...

Once I finished up with that, I had just enough time to check out a couple tracks by both Motion City Soundtrack and Pierce The Veil. Good times. Pierce the Veil are actually on my radar for Warped. They are a lot of fun, and usually play a pretty wicked cover or two that make the set more than worthwhile. This time around they chose Drake. Good fit for us Canadians. Motion City are also a solid band worth giving a go. If you like their old stuff, they play a lot of it on tour so dont worry- they make use of their catalogue unlike some bands :)

3:45pm and the clouds were pushing further into the distance. About halfway through the day, lots more to see and do! Here is where I had my first and only real conflict for the day. You see, Bring Me The Horizon and The Pretty Reckless were set to play different areas of the park at the same time.

For all you metal fans out there... Bring Me The Horizon is a MUST SEE. These british boys know how to tear the roof off a place... even when its outdoors. They take control of the stage and crowd with incredible ease and aggression. Driving bass lines, growling vox, and vicious melodies had the crowd in a frenzy. They are also the only band I saw that day who managed to create a successful circle pit AND my personal favorite, the Wall Of Death... for those of you who dont know, Oli (singer) essentially splits the crowd like Moses did with the sea, and then when the music kicks back in, everybody runs at each other. Crazy, dangerous, but SOOO fun. They also had a crowd surfing contest, the winner walking away with a brand new, signed skateboard deck. Not bad. Never have I seen so many limbs in the air, and never have I been more afraid of feet falling from the sky and whacking me upside the head.

For those of you looking for something a little more 90s grunge era... I might suggest to you, The Pretty Reckless. So, you know Gossip Girl? The little blonde chick on the show who goes after guys twice her age and is the Queen Bee? Well, chickie is also in a band, and surprisingly, the girl has a voice! Rough, raw, edgy... this girl wowed me. Yes, the lingerie was a little over kill, the blonde extensions could use a wash, and the makeup made me think of the raccoon who digs around in my trash... but beyond all that, just focusing on the music... she's good. Youtube it if you dont believe me. I know she hates the comparison, but she really is a young, more talented Courtney Love. Watch her, she's going to be huge.

After this, I made an attempt to check out Mayday Parade, but some genius decided to put them on one of the smaller stages which was impossible to get to... or see... or hear. So needless to say, I gave up after only a few minutes of their set. I wandered around a little bit and managed to catch a bit of Dillenger Escape Plan, and meet Oliver Sykes from BMTH... even though my picture magically deleted itself from my camera. Its cool. I know it happened and it was pretty sick. After this excitement, I made the tough choice to turn down The Casualties set in order to pursue something a little more satisfying to the 14 year old burried inside me... Sum 41. Yes, ladies & gentlemen, I waited a little while by the front of the main stage to see my 9th grade favorites.

Sum 41... SO MUCH FUN. Yes, they had a lousy album with Underclass Hero, but the old stuff is still classic and insanely fun. Who gets tired of hearing Fat Lip? Not me! Any rap about back packs and dentists wins me over even years later. Out of all the sets I saw that day, they were one of the best. I think thats what happens when Candian bands play their home country on the main stage. Just like Alexisonfire and Billy Talent in previous years, the hometown heroes always win over the audience. Lots of "devil horns" up, and 41 salutes were made. Lots of jumping and moshing ensued. A good time was had by all the Toronto crowd.

Finally, as the night wound to a close and the sun began to set on yet another Warped Tour, the stage stayed standing for its final performance. The one I had anxiously been awaiting all night... Alkaline Trio. The chicago trio are some of my favorite musicians. All equally brilliant, and all true musicians. You can tell they love what they do. I actually met them at their signing earlier in the day and it was probably one of the highlights of the tour for me. Now, with all the hype I had running through my system, I have to say I was slightly let down... The problem? So much new material. I havent had a chance to pick up This Addiction yet, so I wasnt familiar with many of the tracks. I was really hoping for some older stuff. Mind you, Stupid Kid was played so I cant complain much at all. They were still the image of punk rock perfection. Perfectly in sync with each other and brimming with talent. It was a great way to end the night... sun lighting the stage so intensly it looked like flames were climbing the banners. Everyone gathered around the last standing structure, basking in the summer heat and dusty air. Grudgingly turning away to leave the park as the last notes rang out through the amps... amazing.

So that about sums up my day... get it, SUMS up? Haha I'm such a joker :P Anyways, I hope that sheds some light on the fascinating world of Warped Tour through the eyes of yours truly. An real life, summer punk rock wonderland with something for everyone to see and enjoy. If you can, check out this tour. I promise you wont regret it. If the bands all suck, at least you have the experience... again, unlike anything I could possibly describe. A united community, always welcoming new members.

Will you be checking out the tour? Have you already? Tell me your Warped Tales!
Rock On,
-Girl At The Rock Show


  1. I heart your sign off.

  2. Thank you :)
    Tribute to an amazing band haha but clearly you knew that. Thanks for reading and posting!