I was so sure I wouldn't attend this event. Punk rock is not one of the primary genres I favor...Reminds me a bit of high school, and that really isn't always the best thing to be reminded of, yes?
So it was a surprise to me when I found myself packed in a car full of people speeding across the mountains into the rolling deserts of Eastern Washington, where Warped Tour 2010 was being held at The Gorge.
I thought that perhaps I'd been abducted by crazed ragers... But then I realized that they were just my friends high off of their own excitement, dressed like hooligans. I happened to peer down at myself and I too was prepared for a "raging" experience. This was surely going to end in an unexpected way.
It was a 4 hour drive to the canyons of The Gorge. We found ourselves in deserted lands until we climbed closer to the venue, where there were massive lines of cars gathered, each waiting their turn to get into the campgrounds. I hadn't been here since Coldplay in July '09, so I was relieved to see the familiar scenery and smell the warm country air. Eastern Washington, you see, is my homeland. I was born and bred all throughout the Southern to Northern parts of Eastern Wa, so this I came to the conclusion was one of the factors that brought me to Warped Tour this hot August weekend.
The fee for camping was a reasonable one; $50 per car for two nights. Earlier we had met up with other friends, so the campsite we make-shifted ended up having four cars instead of one. That's a lot of people when you really consider! We had a whole group of guys, and then myself, Mac, and Brit. Nevertheless, it was a great collection of people. We had almost the entirety of one of our local bands with us, whom are all friends of ours. We also had other allies among us, including boyfriends. It was already proving to be worth the drive over. We wasted no time in pre-partying before the big day ahead.
As the evening wore on, it was stunning to watch as the campground nearly tripled in size in a matter of hours, continuing to grow through the night as more weary travelers arrived.
I sat atop the hood of a car at some point in the night and listened as the youth around me collided with one another....their echos repelling against the canyon.
The scent of the summer evening and sweat. A time to collectively breathe in.
Tranquility existed only in my own head; All around, people of all ages were violently celebrating their metal & rock Gods, knocking over Honey Buckets, getting into fights, gallivanting from campsite to campsite in drunken stupor.
A sleepless night.
Morning finally arrived, and with it a fresh renewal. Our collection of cohorts prepared to enter the venue for the one day event.
While standing in line, we had the privilege of listened to a pre-band outside the gates. They were really quite good, although I fail to recall the band name.
Once inside, it was the start of battling crowds to get where we wanted to go. Their were, as are at most music festivals, different stages scattered around the venue that we had to familiarize ourselves with. The men of our group immediately split off from us to go rage in their mosh pits.
I stuck together with my friends and caught glimpses of Attack Attack, Breathe Carolina, NeverShoutNever!, Of Mice and Men, Parkway Drive, Mike Posner, The Rocket Summer, The Summer Set, We The Kings, and WhiteChapel. All of which were awesome, my favorite ended up being Breathe Carolina. I purchased their album that day and still have it in my car... The techno/screamo has always attracted me, for some odd reason. (Hence why I like 30H!3 and Kill Paradise despite them being well out of my genre.)
It was sad to learn that although Sum 41 was a planned Headliner, they didn't show up. Apparently, Pennywise was supposed to play as well, but that also didn't come to pass. It wasn't too devastating, just confusing. Rumors of reasons why surfaced and then dissipated throughout the day. I eventually gave up on what was true or not and enjoyed what bands were there initially.
I didn't participate in any of the mosh pits. Lord knows my wimpy girl bod would have been knocked down and trampled...or beaten with an axe. (All jokes aside.) It was exhilarating enough to watch. I threw a few water bottles out into the crowd and felt proud of myself...
I felt that out of every band present, the only one out of place was Mike Posner. Considering that right across the lawn was White Chapel......there's something boldly off about that. I wasn't impressed with Posner, although I can't lie when I say I find his Cooler Than Me song catchy.
I was shocked to also discover NeverShoutNever! there. I didn't have a lineup schedule with my, because they cost money. And why have money when you have this messy thing to look up at?:
We were laying in the grass overlooking the main stage and the brilliant canyon in the background when I thought to myself... The band playing down there seems awfully fluff to be playing at Warped Tour...but at least they have all those teenage girls squealing at the foot of the stage.
It wasn't until they began playing Trouble that I realized it was NeverShoutNever! and I became very grateful that they were there. It was a good change of pace from the other bands.
I'm not used to music fests ending at an early time. But because Warped Tour is a traveling festival, it packs up and keeps on moving. Their next destination would be Portland, Oregon.
I was more than satisfied with my day, although I had spent all my money on food and a Rocket Summer band tank. I had to rely on the others for food money.
We met up with the guys and made the trek back to the campgrounds. We were all exhausted, but ready to go all out for the final night!
We cooked Top Roman on a portable stove (which took AGES, I don't recommend it.) and then began sorting through our remaining brew. I was surprised to find, as the night began, the campground was much quieter than how it had been the night before. It was slightly disappointing, as we were all ready to party hard.
I didn't plan to let anything stand in my way of enjoying the remaining hours of Warped Tour, so we made sure that our campsite became the main feed for loud music and dancing. Somehow in the mix of things, Tiesto, Deadmau5, Daft Punk, and some other electro dance music fell out of our speakers and passer-bys wondered why we were indulging on a completely different genre than that of Warped. Awkward, yes. But it was the best time I had that whole trip!
The most deliberated thing I can say, post-Warped Tour 2010, is that you can't base your music fest destinations on types of music alone. Punk Rock and metal aren't my favorites, but I still had a good time with my friends and threw back my head and sang into the sky. I appreciated the music and the fans around me. It's the experiences you have and the moments you create that should drive you to attend music festivals, no matter what genres are featured. In the end, it's usually always worth it if you have good company and the right amount of spirit.
Bumbershoot 2010 lay ahead of me as we sped off towards the coast again, leaving behind The Gorge and the entirety of Eastern Washington. We stopped in Vantage and jumped into the Columbia River due to not bathing in a couple days, then sped off down the desert road. The next time I expect to see those canyons again will be at Sasquatch 2011! At least, I have my fingers crossed...