Review: Never Shout Never, Andrew W.K., Dillinger Escape Plan lead St. Petersburg's rain-soaked Warped Tour

23

July

Warped
On Friday, I lost my Vans Warped Tour virginity. Me, a 30-year-old dude who owns not one, not two, but three Death Cab For Cutie T-shirts.

Click here for my official concert review. It deals largely with being a 30-year-old at a wildly youth-centric festival, and enjoying it nonetheless. I touched on some of my favorite parts of the show, like the monumental sets by Andrew W.K. and Dillinger Escape Plan; not to mention the widespread circle-pitting at almost every stage.

But when you spend nine rain-soaked hours getting to know 70 bands on seven stages, you take more notes than you can use for a newspaper review. So after the jump, I've collected a few spare thoughts on Warped 2010, including reviews of Never Shout Never, We The Kings, Alkaline Trio, The Pretty Reckless and more ...

-- One of the most frustrating things about Warped is that they don't post each day's schedule until the morning of the show. So if you get there late, and one of the acts you wanted to see has already performed, you're out of luck. (I'm looking at you, whoever decided to put Mike Posner on at 12:15.)

-- Show of hands: Did the rain make things better or worse? There were no major cloudbursts, but it was falling pretty steadily all day. Seems to me like the rain cooled things down a great deal, and it inspired a lot of muddy fun. People were stripping off their clothes left and right. On the other hand, wearing soaking-wet cargo shorts all day really warps your vans, if you know what I mean. I should have brought a change of clothes, or at least picked up a pair of those sweet Pretty Reckless shorty-shorts.

-- Speaking of The Pretty Reckless: Gossip Girl's Taylor Momsen really can sing, no joke. For those who must know such things, she was wearing teeny-tiny denim shorts with a beige corset/haltertop, long black stockings and hot pink heels that limited her mobility so badly, she literally had to be dragged to the stage by a roadie. It was all an excercise in futility, since the audience couldn't see her shoes anyway. Here's a truly horrendous cell-phone pic I snapped of her:

Pretty.reckless 

-- Here's something that will totally make me sound like an old stuck-in-the-'90s D-bag: My three favorite sets of the day were probably the Dillinger Escape Plan, Andrew W.K. and Alkaline Trio, in some order. I really like Alkaline Trio, and the crowd at their set did, too. They're a band I should have seen a long time ago, and they're totally a band I'd see again. I've never cared for the Dillinger Escape Plan, but their onstage antics were bat-crap wild -- they were diving off eight-foot amp towers, stuff like that. But the man who made me the happiest was, of course, Andrew W.K., with irresistable party-starters like Party Hard and She Is Beautiful. How could you not love every last thing about his set, right down to the little kid sitting on the guitarist's shoulders during the final song? (Of note: I missed most of Pennywise, but what I heard from afar sounded great.)

-- Another thing that'll make me look like an out-of-touch D-bag: I can't any of these hardcore/thrash bands apart. I couldn't pick a single person from Pierce the Veil, ConfideParkway Drive, Set Your Goals or Whitechapel out of a lineup. They all had long hair and tank tops, officer. Sorry, but it's true.

-- Other random acts I enjoyed: The Upwelling, Gardening Not Architecture, You Me At Six and The Chase. Also, The Summer Set > The Rocket Summer.

-- The dirtiest, and funniest, joke of the night came from Sum-41's Deryck Whibley. Some fan up front kept waving a giant inflatable penis at the band. "This one goes out to the guy with the big d---," Whibley said, before launching into -- wait for it -- In Too Deep. So wrong.

-- Cruelest scheduling trick of the day: Three excellent Florida acts took the stage within 15 minutes of one another -- Tampa's Automatic Loveletter at 5:10, West Palm Beach's Hey Monday at 5:15, and Bradenton's We the Kings at 5:25. Automatic Loveletter's Juliet Simms really does have a tremendous voice -- maybe the best of the day, to my ears. And We the Kings brought the party big-time, as always, with special guest appearances from Mayday Parade, The Rocket Summer. and Cassadee Pope from Hey Monday on We'll Be A Dream. Gotta love homeboy Travis Clark wearing a Tampa Bay Rays jersey to the stage.

-- Another Florida act I really liked: Local contest winners Manhattan Roar from St. Petersburg. They've really got a British/NYC vibe about them. Check these guys out, for reals.

-- Best sign at a merch tent tip jar: "Every $1 kills a Twilight fan."

-- I had to file my review at 8:15 p.m., so I couldn't include anything there about this summer's breakout act, Never Shout Never, who ended up playing the last set of the day at 8:45.

Almost immediately, the screams for Christofer Drew Ingle were deafening, and the flashbulbs from the crowd must have been blinding to him. "Sweet Jesus, there's a lot of good-looking people here," said the sprightly Ingle, before launching into a set of bouncy pop songs that blended emo, Southern rock and early Beatles pop in a way that made all the girly girls swoon. Love Is Our Weapon and I Just Laugh were early crowd-pleasers.

I have to say, I didn't really *get* Never Shout Never before Friday. Now, I sort of see what the fuss is all about. I'm still not 100 percent sold on Ingle's voice, but he and his band are quite musically talented, and Ingle is a totally engaging stage presence. Never Shout Never is still under the radar for now, but they're only one mainstream hit away from breaking into the big time.

*****

So that's my take. (This is also my take.) But even though I spent nine hours at Vinoy Park, I couldn't be everywhere at once. What was your favorite moment from this year's Warped Tour? Leave your reviews in the comments!

-- Jay Cridlin, tbt*. Photo: Melissa Lyttle. 

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:21pm]

    

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