Up until last Thursday, I had no idea a hotel existed by the simple name of, Plaza. Really? Oh geez. I couldn't find Warped Tour. Been driving around Ogden and Main St for about 20 minutes all ready. I decided to look for it on foot. It had to be somewhere close. I park at a familiar casino, the California. The garage is full and it's not even noon yet. I go to the next best place, Fremont. They never fail. Now it's time to find this place. I can't listen for music because it's loud as hell outside. Lots of construction going on and there's people everywhere. So what do I do? I follow the scene-kids. Pretty lame, I know, but they lead me to it. I walk past the Plaza. No shit? The place is called Plaza? I see tents, crowds, and security. I'm here. Warped Tour 2011.
I took a glance at the lineup a few nights before. Eh. It should be fun though, I have the day off. I get to check out some bands I never thought I'd see like Larry and His Flask, Unwritten Law, Against Me!, and Dance Gavin Dance (just to name a few). Well, I get a call from work the morning before Warped Tour and was told to come in Thursday on the grave shift. OK, but I'm still going to Warped. I have to. I need to at least see Big D and the Kids Table.
I get in line for a ticket. I'm thinking admission is around maybe $25-$30. Not bad for a full day. No, it's $35 and I'm leaving early. Oh well. I get in and there's a good crowd. It's all ready 12:46 pm. I get a pamphlet thinking it's a schedule (no those were actually $2 somewhere else), but instead it's some information (a lot of it actually) about vegans. Useless! Music is all ready playing. I catch a glimpse of a punk band playing. Pretty sweet, don't know who they were, but they were pretty cool. I walk on and see some dude playing what I'm guessing is dance music (it was coming off his laptop). I move on to find a wall with a schedule. This shall be my goto spot. I see that Pepper is playing at 1 pm. Nice.
Pepper open up with No Control. The crowd is moving. I'm enjoying it. And the thing with a Pepper show (or set in this case), is that they're very interactive (and vocal) with the crowd and the music is a continuous jam. The songs never sound how they do on the record. For Pepper, that's a good thing. It makes the show more interesting. Highlight of the set is a two-parter: They do a Public Service Announcement, which was actually a 30 second doom-death-metal song (pretty funny) and their mention of the “Punani Neck Warmer” (cracked me up). They continue on with more favorites like Ashes, Stone Love, Your Face, and Too Much. I honestly can't recall if they played anything off of Stitches, although, they did mention that they'll be back in August. I think at the Hard Rock. Even better. Longer set, more songs. They closed with, Give it Up, although I wish they would have done something else. I guess that was the crowd favorite, might as well.
I get back in time to see The Acacia Strain. I'm really excited to see this band, as it was my first time seeing them live (as well as most of the bands that day). They start playing and the crowd sort of expands outward. Oh yeah, time to get your mosh on. The Acacia Strain are just tearing it up on stage. Vincent Bennet (vocalist) mentions later to those not familiar with their music, that he's full of negativity, hates the world and what not. OK, cool. Maybe a few songs afterward, a fight breaks out in the pit. I didn't see what exactly happened, but what I'll say is that I saw a kid (#1) bump into another kid (#2), like he kind of lost balance or something, the other kid (#2) threw a punch, the first kid(#1) bumped into another kid (#3), and that third kid (#3) went for it. That kid (#3) wailed on the other kid (#1). All the moshers get into it. Really? And then in the middle of the song, Bennett yells, “Stop fighting!” Wait, really? I was a bit surprised. He goes on to say, “Warped Tour is predominantly 13-year-old girls, who are you trying to impress?” It seems he doesn't support fighting (I'm glad), but I think he likes violent shows. He later said a bunch of other things about fighting and then , “wait, I'm contradicting myself, I don't want you to fight, but I want you to hit people, does that make sense?” That was the highlight of the set. I hope I see these guys again.
Listen to The Bots here.
I decide it's time to get something to eat. I settle on a burger and a lemonade, which cost me a total of $9. I saved the cup because later I saw that you could get refills of water with any size cup for only $2. Pretty cool deal if you've got a decent size cup. I walk back to catch a couple songs from Set Your Goals. I've seen these guys in Portland, Oregon and thought they played a cool set then. I tried to enjoy this set, but I couldn't help but think my burger was just so damn dry. And then one of the singers said, “this next song is about having fun in the sun, it's called Summer Jam.” My initial thought, well, I think I'll check out some other bands I haven't had a chance to see yet. I walk past another stage and I think Attack, Attack, was playing or it could have been Asking Alexandria...or I Set My Friends on Fire...I really don't know, but I wasn't going to wait to around to find out. I go ahead to check out the schedule again. I saw that Street Dogs were going to be playing soon and go ahead and wait at the stage. Relient K is playing right before them so I catch some of their set. I've heard some Relient K before, but not too much. They then did a cover of Cindi Lauper's, Girls Just Want to have Fun. That's cool I guess. Relient K ended and then came on Street Dogs on the stage next to theirs. It's now about 4 pm. I've probably heard only like a track or two from these guys, but now I'll probably be listening to them more often. Really awesome set. Great songs, tunes and a sweet performance. The crowd kept moving. They were able to get a pretty sizable circle pit going. And the sun was sort of coming down pretty hard around that time. Perfect timing.
Now the moment had arrive. After whoever played got off stage, Big D came on with each member sort of taking their time. It was a pretty good size crowd. The band opened up with the tune, Modern American Gypsy, from their new album, For the Damned, the Dumb and the Delirious! It was followed up with Little Bitch and Noise Complaint. Later, David McWane announced they were going to be playing another show that night @ the Divebar. Oh great, awesome. I'll be working in a few hours. But I still enjoyed this set. They played a couple more new tunes as well as Shining On, and Hell on Earth. Strictly Rude is definitely my favorite album of theirs. They end the set with LAX. Nice. It seemed like a short set, but I guess time flies when you're having fun.
I contemplated sticking around for Against Me!,but that wasn't going to happen. I went back to the Fremont and went home, ate and slept for about 40 minutes before heading in to work. Was it worth it? Yeah. I enjoyed the short time at Warped Tour. Will I be going next year if it stops in Las Vegas again? More than likely.