Wednesday, 16 September 2009

The Vans Warped Tour 2009 Hits Vancouver

Ticket, check. Money, check. Water, check. Camera, check. Most importantly, Sharpie, check! And i’m getting a bus in a city i’ve known for half a day. I get to 41st street where I have to change buses, the bus behind throws up a selection of emo kids and tattooed punks. Follow the crowd i say. Upon arrival, bus upon bus empties the growing crowd. The road was decorated with coaches and vans.

Walking up the never ending queue i ran to the end before this loser got there first who is actually a really good friend now. A band called red city burning played for too excited to notice people in the queue. Signs read, no umbrellas, thank god I’m not in England then though the clouds were currently looming over us. No water. My Mcdonalds purchase was downed, well almost. Canadian water. So sweet I’d be glad to get rid of it. Wandered into the venue and just went straight for the mass of people crowding round a guy with a sparkly bum bag (which kind of looked like a Pokemon) was selling the schedule.

From the distance i could hear Trading Heartbeats by Every Avenue so speed walked over to the good looking bunch on the Smartpunk Stage. I couldn’t match vocalist David Strachman’s face with his voice. For the first band to see, they weren’t rocking it out.

So quickly eyed up Scary Kids Scaring Kids two stages down, they scared my ears just a tad. So headed into Thunderbird Stadium itself where the Vans main stage and Ernie Ball stage was. My eyes lit up, this place was effing huge, went crazy over the merchandise booths, was informed Canadians call merch – stuff – whilst mocking the English accent. Spoke to Josh Ocean from TV/TV for a while, very friendly lad. Chatted to Alana Grace, stunning in real life and kind of bought her CD just because her booth was rather lonely. But her single mess of you is catchy, if you like much better versions of Avril Lavigne. Lost in buying stuff like mad, I missed The Maine, a pop punk band. Devastation already. Saw Alana Grace perform on the Kia Kevin Says Stage, i think i saw tumbleweed roll by, the few people soon became a good bunch.

I went to the Hurley stage - whilst passing a bunch of people running around in circles to Big D and the Kids table - to witness beautiful Cove Reber of Saosin singing delightful out of tune words across a booming crowd.

Half way through, legged it back to the Smartpunk stage to see The white Tie Affiar, full of energy and humour. They sang clearly and also did a cover of Lady GaGa’s ‘Just Dance’ which proved popular. “I wish i could shut my fucking mouth” nice touch there Chris. Bit of bundling going on, purple parcel tape bondage and whipping out the old Canadian flag brolly. Didn’t he read the sign, no umbrellas. Christ. Some people. Chris threw his sweaty t shirt into the middle of the audience where everything thrown goes, unfortunately i couldn’t get my hands on.

When they finished i queued up for Every Avenue’s signings, they were anti social and David wrote “i fuck myself” on my poster... thanks, i could be Christian. Good thing i’m not. Thought i should make a tiny appearance for TV/TV before going next door to Breathe Carolina, a screamo - techno band. Very good and nice people, well seemed nice after a few seconds of verbal contact. The two vocalists signed my Gallaz trainers. Their new album, Hello Fascination is out now, check it out! Went over to my favourite band, Saosin, they signed my brothers ticket while they said my contact lenses were nice but confused guys like them. Okay, fair dos. The ticket was then kissed on which made me comment with him being gay as it wasn’t for me. No offense was taken. Words just roll out of my mouth. Missed Forever the Sickest kids. Double devastation. However the sun graced us with its presence.

At half 3, chilled out on the damp grass watching You Me At Six from afar.

 Dashed over to the army of port-a-loos and happened to choose the loo with what looked like shit sitting among sick. Click and a flash and i got a fine-looking picture.(Removed for your viewing pleasure!) Saw P.O.S, a hip hop artist from Minneapolis, USA. He had a large set of fans, nice chilled catchy beats with powerful bad ass words. Got in the queue for Sing it Loud in the Rock Band tent. Pat Brown had some lovely UK flag sunglasses. Go UK.

The queue for Big D, and Brokencyde were longer than queuing to get in the venue, but not quite as big as the queue for the ATM machine.

Over at the Ernie ball stage, Versa Emerge played at 5pm. They’ve been compared to Paramore which i told the guy at the Versa Emerge booth, he was muchly offended. My luck! That guy was infact Jerry Peirce, the guitarist from Versa Emerge! They’re actually better than Paramore, Sierra Kusterbeck, the singer has better vocals and overall don’t sound so commercial. I was told by a mate, Versa Emerge were playing on rock band next to them, whist they did a Paramore song. Shameful. Going over to the otherside of the stadium you could hear one of the members of NOFX talking about the amount of oriental people outside Vancouver and if it was okay to say and that he wasn’t racist lol.
Hit the Lights were energetic. I thought Nick Thompson was going to put his foot through the stage. Next door, Meg and Dia, two sisters from Utah, USA. Dia’s sweet voice couldn’t match the loud instruments. And next door again, Sing it Loud. What.. what is that I see?! Nate Flynn wearing a Jonas brothers tank top?!? Nate was fucking loving it, bouncing around like a basketball. After 2 songs i practically ran to Madina Lake in the Stadium before they finished, managed to get a whole song. Big hole in the audience which did not get filled in except by me, which landed me a bottle thrown by one of the members. Managed to get it signed by Mateo and Dan from the band. The last 3 bands were in the space of an hour and a half, felt like half an hour. Rushed off my feet I was.

Alexisonfire were starting to play in the Vans main stage, people were going crazy, the audience was fucking huge and fantastic as was for 3OH! 3. Their logo of the hands making 3OH! 3 were used vastly by the fans instead of air fisting. Bayside were rather unlively. The best band i saw, Cash Cash at 7.15 , they set a good mood with their electronic waves. The last band at 7.45, Gallows, only stage that was occupied brought many people to their feet. I left with no money and got a nice ride with a cute old Korean lady who just happened to be passing by and shower me with her kindness.

Review and photos courtesy of Selina King Chiu.

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