Detroit Stories and Tips

Detroit Warped Tour 2006

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member

We had told another friend that we would wake up early today so we could head to the tour early and try to find free parking before the crowds get there. Our plan was to meet up at 9 AM. My other friend said this time was too early to get up on a weekend and kept trying to make the time later, while we kept on saying 9AM. This kept on back and forth until we reached a compromise of 10 AM. Well wouldn’t you know it we work up way after 10AM because of all the partying the day before. We were embarrassed, our other friend was waiting for us with the I told you so look. Anyway, we did end up finding parking and the traffic was not as bad as we had expected. We got to the concert and missed the first acts.

I came to Detroit to see the Vans Warped Tour. For those that do now this is a music and extreme sports event that tours different states created by Kevin Lyman in 1994. Vans has sponsored the tour since 1995. The tours focus on extreme sports has declined over the years and the tour focuses mainly on the music now. In terms of music, when the tour first started out punk rock and ska were played. Now, pop punk and alternative acts have joined the fray.

In 2002 when warped was held in Detroit the concert ran out of food and water. The concert became a miserable experience for those that attended. This year’s tour was more prepared. The venue was bigger in that more streets were closed of and there was more room to move around. It was estimated that 20,000 people came to the show. The sprinkler systems mid-park helped to cool people off. There were 8 stages and 2 main stages. In total over 60 acts performed for 30 minutes each from 11AM to 9 PM. Here’s a list: 18 Visions Adair Against Me! Aiden Alexisonfire Anti-Flag Armor For Sleep Billy Talent Bouncing Souls Britt Black Bullet for My Valentine Cartel Classic Crime Down to Earth Approach Eight Fingers Down Emanuel Emery Everytime I Die Ferus Final Round Flash Bathory From Autumn to Ashes Gatsby's American Dream Greeley Estates Gym Class Heroes Handcuffs and Heals He is Legend Hellogoodbye Helmet Joan Jett and the Blackhearts Kara Dupuy Less Than Jake Lorene Drive Manic Sewing Circle Misery Signals Moneen Motion City Soundtrack Mute Math My American Heart NOFX Patent Pending Pistolita Protest the Hero Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Rise Against Saves The Day Saves The Day (Acoustic) Secret Lives Of The Free Masons Senses Fail Senses Fail (Acoustic) Shiragirl Silverstein So They Say Split Fifty Street Drum Corps Stretch Arm strong The Academy Is.. The Audition The Blackout Pact The Bled The Casualties The Early November The Fold The Fully Down The Living End The Modern Day Saint The Pink Spiders The Smashup The Sounds The Sunstreak The Vincent Black Shadow Thursday Tip The Van Valient Thorr Vaux We are the Fury Several bands are playing at once but the area is set up to prevent music from one stage disrupting other active stages. You have to pick the band you really want to see and walk or run to catch the act. There is a festival atmosphere there are different merchant and food booths set up around the park. Some tables offered promo cd’s to introduce you to some new bands.

When we arrived Silverstein was playing. We caught the last 2 songs in their show. The crowd was huge and hyped up, lots of crowd surfing going on. After they finished, we caught The Living End, an Australian punk-flavored rockabilly band. I had never heard of this group before and they were awesome, the crowd loved them. I have to say I loved seeing and hearing the guy playing the stand up bass. It was different.

Next we caught Less than Jake. These guys gave a fun performance and really knew how to get the audience involved in the performance. I have no idea why there was a mosh pit for a ska band? The band wanted to form a circle pit. They made jokes about it saying that one of there friends said they never heard about it and it sounded obscene and how today they were going to show him what one was. Basically, all you are supposed to do is a group runs around something in a circle and head back. For Detroiters for some reason a crazy few were smacking people on the head when doing this. Probably a Detroit anger management issue I guess. Truthfully, I just stepped to the side no reason to be injured during a vacation.

Helmet rocked their classic 90’s songs Milquetoast and Unsung. With this performance there was an appropriate mosh pit in the middle. There was a crazy guy in a sack that that everyone was looking it. He was gyrating and dancing crazy. It was painful but fun to watch.

Next we caught the The Sound, a Swedish based group. This group may have been my favorite of the show and I hadn’t heard of them before. There performance was very high energy. My friend Sachin who plays the drums commented how the dual drum performance during their show was very innovative. The crowd was rocking out when the lead singer sang Living in America. I did get their cd a week later. I have to say this is one act you have to hear in concert to appreciate. Their cd sounded ok but in concert it is spectacular.

We took a break to walk around and get some much needed hydration. There were a mix of people here to see the tour. There were people with tattoos, mohawks and cool tees. There was a white guy with a kill whitey sign pointing at himself. A lot of people were like us during this part of the show sitting around on the pavement trying to rest and keep cool. No fx was the next band we caught. I have to say they were a disappointment. They spent most of the show talking and trying to make the audience hate them and talking how they did not believe in religion. They didn’t do what must fans wanted which was perform and play their songs. I wish I had run to catch Aidens performance instead but the thought of walk in the hot sun to get to the other stage made us stay where we were.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts ended our evening. She played opened with her classic Bad Reputation and then sang Crimson and Clover. Her energetic performance of I Love Rock 'n' Roll was my favorite. She included material from her new album Sinner such as the song Backlash and the songs Riddles. Her song Riddles is pretty good and make you think she sings "Don't claim that you represent me because I don't believe a word that you say" and sings "Clean skies, baby, healthy forests, no child left behind wake up people!"

We ended the evening eating at the Pegasus at the Greektown casino. The food was pretty good. One this you have to try is the cheese. They put some type of alcohol on it the light it and a flame bursts out in front of you. It’s pretty cool. I wonder if there were any accidents with women with lots of hair products in their hair. Anyway, we decided to call it an early night on account of my 6 AM flight back home. All in all Warped tour was fun and exhausting and worth the trip. Tell me about your Warped experiences if you have been to one. Anyone else go to the one in Detroit?

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