Vans Wraped Tour 2012 – Dallas Stop

Written by on July 26, 2012 in July 26, 2012, Live Reviews - 1 Comment

Vans Wraped Tour 2012

Photos by Jesse Lopez

Jack Kerouac once said “The only truth is music,” never was that thought more evident than at this author’s first experience at the Vans Warped Tour 2012 Dallas stop. Now, the initial concept was a bit overwhelming; there were going to be how many bands on how many stages with how many fans? Now I’ve never been one to run from a challenge, so I dove into this opportunity full throttle, and to say it was epic is only scratching the surface of adjectives.

Firstly, I was impressed at how well everything ran. The placement of the stages was ideal; never did you feel that the music from any of the bands was interfering with the show you happened to be catching at any given moment. I must say as a theatre nerd I was awed by how quickly the sets changed from band to band. If a band was scheduled to go on at 2:05 they started at 2:04, and in worse case scenarios 2:10. Let’s face it we’ve waited in line to buy a gallon of milk longer than that at the grocery. Sure, there were a few issues i.e. running out of the schedules and maps early into the day; thankfully they place everything on a giant board and one simple camera snap gives you it forever, and simply walking around all the booths gives you a clear idea of the maze.

When it came to the bands, of course some of them spent time living in my CD collection so we were familiar old friends, yet Warped introduced me to new tenants begging for residence in my collection. Now I wasn’t impressed by every band, clearly they weren’t my cup of tea because I was happy to hear them in passing, but there were a few standouts that left an impression.  Vans Wraped Tour 2012

The first band I saw upon entering was British band Skinny Lister. Not knowing of them, their folksy sound drew me in, and watching singer Lorna Thomas’ infectious exerubance made me want to dance along. Their harmonies were spot-on and even though I only caught a song it wasn’t the last I would see of them. As everyone left for the night they set up on the lawn and played everyone out. With the setting sun behind them it felt as if they were old friends wishing us well on a long journey, and letting us know this was not the last we’d see of them.

Another band that I had never heard of, but was lucky to catch was I Fight Dragons.They were setting up as I ventured through the booths, so when I saw lead singer Brian Mazzaferri playing with a Nintendo controller and rocking out; of course I stopped I was intrigued. Listening to them they seemed to capture the underlying heartbeat of the growing ideology that being a nerd in whatever capacity is A-OK. I mean they said it best in their song “The Geeks Will Inherit the Earth.” Definitely a band I will be keeping my eye on.

However, three of the “Giants’ left a big feeling. First, All Time Low I wasn’t overly familiar with, but was impressed by their set. The interaction they had with their fans, and their banter was wonderfully bookend by their music. Second, The Used, now I liked them but I wouldn’t have called myself a diehard fan, yet after seeing the band live and lead singer Bert McCraken on stage I became a “Used” woman. All I kept thinking was this is what Willy Wonka would have been like if he fronted a band and not a chocolate factory. Finally, Taking Back Sunday, a huge fan but never fortunate enough to see them live, this set was like an appetizer of what I can expect from a full show soon. The guys sounded amazing, they played some old favorites and some new songs that will round out there already amazing catalogue. I was thoroughly impressed at how lead singer Adam Lazzarra was so in tune with the audience you felt as if every word was just for you even when he was on the other side of the stage. When some moron threw a water bottle on stage nearly hitting him, he kept his composure finished the song then let that person know in his, dare I say, sassy southern accent “You may have seen a lot of skinny guys on stage twirling their mics, but I’m not one of them and if you do it again I will whack you in the face with my mic;” and then back to business.

Some other note worthy bands that I must quickly mention are: Streetlight Manifesto, Anti Flag and Falling in Reverse. All three of their sets were obviously different but very exciting to catch, and if they are not on your ipod, mp3 player, Zune etc, put them there immediately I don’t think you’ll regret it.

The overall feeling I left with from Warped Tour was this: Lady Gaga in her Gaganess about birthing a new race of individuality/diversity and love must have come from experiencing Warped herself. If there is one place one can feel comfortable in their own skin with no fear of judgment, it’s there. Girls walking around nearly topless not being objectified (unless they wanted to be), guys walking around in underwear that just said sexy, people in wheelchairs rocking out in a mosh pit, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, skinny, thick, moms, dads they were all there, and never once was there an incident of ill will toward ones fellow man that I saw. I guess you could say, that even with the heat of Texas , my first experience at Vans Warped Tour left me itching to go back.