2009 Vans Warped Tour Part 4 – [Live]

Monday, 10 August 2009

Although it was now almost 4 pm, I still had three bands left on my list that I wanted to see, and as luck would have it, the set times were all spaced out just enough for me to enable me to see all of them.

First I headed back over to the stage for Black Tide, a young metal band hailing from Miami, Florida. I had seen Black Tide on a few different occasions, and honestly couldn't decide if they were the "real deal" or not. But after catching them on this day, I think they finally solidified themselves (at least in my mind) that they are to be taken seriously. There's been not only a huge leap forward in their musicianship, but in their confidence as well. Vocalist/guitarist Gabriel Garcia seems to have finally come out of his shell (maybe it's the new tattoos) and has developed a stage persona, while new-ish rhythm guitarist Austin Diaz is now comfortable playing with the band. So all-in-all I'd say I was impressed, and will be looking forward to see how and if they can take it to the next level.

Deciding to get one last fix of old school punk rock to appease the old man in me, I paid a final visit to the Old School Stage, this time to check out The Dickies. And as tongue-in-cheek as ever, the band cranked out a thirty-minute set that was filled as much with comedy as it was was punk rock. The one-and-only Leonard Graves Phillips reached deep down in his bag of props and pulled out a snorkel tube, a dog puppet and an inflatable sex doll—just to name a few—while never missing note. An although bass player Greg 'Plushie' Hanna was decked out in his usual teddy bear suit, The Dickies are still very much about the music, have aged quite well, and still sound as good as ever. As they wrapped up their set with the seminal "You Drive Me Ape" I was glad I had to see them yet again, and thought they were the perfect band to end what was a great run of bands at the Old School Stage. I really hope that Vans continues the tradition, because without these bands, the bands playing the main stage wouldn't be around.

And speaking of the main stage, I had just enough time time to get over there to see NOFX, the headliners that were about to stick a fork in the day. And stick a fork in it they did. Although I have never been a huge fan of the band and their bit-too-light-hearted-for-me pop-punk, I will say that after realizing that they don't take themselves seriously in the least, I really did enjoy their time on stage. There's no denying that Vocalist/Bassist Fat Mike is a punk rock icon, and as he called out Michael Jackson—whose death was just a few days before this show—with "Fuck The Kids," I couldn't help but gain a whole new level of respect for both Mike and his band. And although I was now starting to feel the effects of running around in the 90 degree heat for the last 9 hours, I was glad that I finally had a chance to see them.

So to wrap up this year's experience at Warped Tour, all I can really say is that it seems to both grow bigger and get better every year. I can't even begin to describe how impressed I continue to be with just how well all those involved put the entire tour together, and I will always look forward to covering the stop in San Francisco every Summer. Don't miss it when the tour hits your city.

Black Tide –
The Dickies –

Related Articles:
Interview w/ Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman – [feature]
2008 Vans Warped Tour Part 1
2008 Vans Warped Tour Part 2
2008 Vans Warped Tour Part 3
Warped Tour Information:

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