Warped @ Randall’s Island

One of the coolest thing about the way this things was set up also set up the “Us vs. Them” mentality that led to the (relatively good natured) conflict. Each band played a half hour set, with bands alternating between two adjacent stages. 30 minutes isn’t very long, and the fact that there was no break between bands kept things moving. By the time NOFX went on, the show had been going on for over 8 hours – I think everyone was happy things moved along quickly.

Highlights included Bad Religion, who in my opinion weren’t nearly near enough the top of this bill, playing at 5:20. Most of these bands owe BR a huge debt, and it seemed that they should be in one of the more prominant spots. They put on a great show, played all the things people wanted to hear, and left saying they were going back to their trailers to get out of the heat – “not like you losers.”

Most of the others we saw were unremarkable. Missed Lagwagon, who I’ve always characterized as a cross between BR & NOFX, but saw an unremarkable set by MXPX. Why bands insist on trying to get people into the pit, or jump around? Just play & STFU – you sound like an idiot. Thursday played at noon, but on the main stage. We weren’t there for that, and I was surprised at the number of Thursday t-shirts on kids.

I’d never seen The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and they put on a really high energy show. I’m not a big ska guy, but it was pretty entertaining. They seem to have one guy whose sole job it is to dance around on stage. Strange. At least they realized that 30 minutes was too little time to chat, and said as much.

Can’t say much about New Found Glory – we’d already decided to move over to the other stage for NOFX, but they seemed like decent stuff.

I’ve also never seen NOFX, which has always struck me as strange. They’ve been around forever, and I’ve been listening to them forever, but they’ve developed such a huge, if underground, following that they only play big places where I’m unlikely to go. Anyway, it was a really good set. Mike had the mood of the crowd as they came on… “we’re not going to do any songs about girls.” Instead they ripped into The Brews just like they would in my dreams. Ironically the show degenerated into a singalong that wouldn’t have been out of place at a Dashboard Confessional show. I was really amazed at how many songs from Punk in Drublic and WTTHAAB they did.

Unfortunately they had to play the same short set as everyone else.

I was impressed at the lack of hassle that the venue presented, especially keeping in mind that it’s an island served only by exits off the highway & no subways. Good bus service & it was easy to get one home, even with everyone leaving at once. I have to say that I was shocked that the whole show was dry, but I suppose it was for the best… 80 degree heat & a bunch of obnoxious (mostly 16 year old) “punks” – just add beer.