By Ashley Bennett
It’s true that I was one of thousands of die hards that braved a heat index of over 100 degrees (plus the heat radiating from the pavement) that attended this year’sMichiganstop of the Vans Warped Tour. Here are my thoughts:
The shift fromComericaParkto The Palace of Auburn Hills worked; much less chaotic. Being able to walk into the Palace to escape the sun was a definite perk and the basic set up was much more organized. For instance, the bands merch tents were right by whatever stage they were playing at (where as at Comerica it is anyone’s guess where things will be.) While we loved the fire department for keeping a fire house going all day in a remote corner of the parking lot, I still watched a few people collapse in mid-conversation from heat exhaustion.
With Breathe Carolina, New Found Glory, Taking Back Sunday, The Used, Yellowcard and Rise Against and other pop radio fixtures dominating the top of the bill, The Warped Tour was chuck full of commercialism.. Fortunately, the seven different stages allowed me to pick and choose. Needless to say, I didn’t make note of what time and what stage Breathe Carolina was going to be playing at. Instead, I saw some awesome performances.
Favorite band of the day: Senses Fail- I have seen them in the past, and always give a killer performance. Playing opposite Taking Back Sunday meant a small crowd. So small, in fact, that when I tried to crowd surf, the only hands that touched me were the original ones that helped me up (this worked for me because I began and landed in the front row.) Feeling the bass, seeing the band you admire and jumping to the music barefoot (I had taken off my shoes so I wouldn’t lose them while crowd surfing), is indescribable. They were in the last time slot so I had been sweating all day. I was completely drenched by the end (more than I had been the entire day), but so worth it.
#2: Make Do And Mend- They played on one of the smaller stages and I was front row (which always makes the performance so much better.) Even on a small stage their personalities were huge. They owned every inch of the stage they were given. Powerful performance.
#3: Is a close between Of Mice And Men and Falling in Reverse. I didn’t have very good spot for either show (I mean I wasn’t in the first few rows), but both bands kicked it. Ronnie Radkiff, lead singer of Falling in Reverse was very comical on stage, which made the performance unique, but I feel like he tried to steal the show. Of Mice And Men gave a really good live performance. The vocals were spot on. You didn’t get anything you weren’t expecting.
Biggest Disappointments: The Ernie Ball stage was having some technical difficulties which made lead vocals hard to hear. So Chunk! No. Captain Chunk! Just couldn’t hold my attention.
1) If you forget to bring the sunscreen you bought solely for the show, you will get very burnt, and end up with a very unattractive pony tail tan line on your back.
2) If you get spf 100 sunscreen, it makes it so you don’t get tan at all, as to why even after spending all day in the sun I am still pasty white.
3) If you are wearing cheap flip flops, they will break and you will be forced to buy even more poorly made flip flops, at a much higher price.
4) If you have been sweating all day and you put toilet paper on the seat, it will stick to your bare ass and it will be more embarrassing than toilet paper stuck to your shoe.
5) You will need some sort of bag to put all of the free stuff you get handed, and the many band shirts you purchase.
6) If you are over 200 pounds, you should not crowd surf. I can guarantee that there is going to be a group of girls all under 5’6” and 100 pounds that will not be able to support your weight, and your face will find the cement.
7) If you are in the front row and the crowd control guy stands up with his arms out, that means there is a crowd surfer coming, so put your arms up and pay attention.
8) If said crowd surfer lands on you, it is totally your fault. Don’t get mad.
9) Spend the extra money on the bottomless drink, it will be worth it.
Warped Tour 2012 was a very hot, sweaty, sticky, awesome experience. You know it was when you have to put the clothes you wore that day in a separate bag, and when you are unpacking the next day the smell even makes you gag. That’s hard core. Everyone should attend at least one Warped Tour, its an American classic.