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Vans Warped Tour armed and ready to entertain today's youth

| Thursday, July 31, 2003

Of all of Lollapalooza's rowdy children, only Ozzfest and the Vans Warped Tour have survived into adulthood - not that there's much that's grown-up about them. Ozzfest's got the metalheads, but if you like your music fast, funny, loud, freak-out-the-neighbors obnoxious and occasionally a little bit juvenile, you'll reach immediately for the Warped Tour. Rock 'n' roll has always been the music of teen rebellion, and what they're rebelling to these days is the sounds of Glassjaw, Rancid and Less Than Jake.

That's not to say that people older than, say, 20 can't get Warped. There's some substantial and really good music to be found here, too, among the "Jackass"-loving skate rats. Rancid is the grand old band of the Warped Tour, bringing the punky reggae party of The Clash to a new generation. Glassjaw is New York's savior of progressive hardcore, adding rhythmic complexity and actual dynamics to the old louder-faster-louder formula. The Dropkick Murphys fuse traditional Irish music - and not just barroom shout-alongs - with punk rock, and even cop a tune or two from working-class folk legend Woody Guthrie. Less Than Jake brings actual introspection to its otherwise wildly energetic ska-punk.

There are other good bands, too, and Warped always gives new and obscure groups a chance to grab new fans. The sets are short - only a half-hour each - but there are as many as six stages and virtually none of the normal buzz-killing downtime between bands.

As has become standard for big package tours, there's other stuff to do at Warped as well. Wander around, and you might catch the "Balls of Steel," a stunt bike show that involves riding sideways and upside down inside a giant spherical steel cage. There's usually a climbing wall - to work off your sugar rush - and some elaborate waterslides to help you cool off on the muggiest days.

The Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands stage gives local bands a chance to corral some big-time exposure. There's a magazine tent, for those who want to check out the latest offerings in that eternal staple of punk rock, the do-it-yourself 'zine. And best of all, there's "Reverse Daycare," an air-conditioned refuge for those parents who insist on coming along, but decide against testing their mettle against the heat and crowds. Complimentary beverages are often provided.

The lineup:

Schedule decided on the day of the show

7th Standard
All American Rejects
The Ataris
Avoid One Thing
Bowling For Soup
Brand New
Coheed & Cambria
The Commercials
Count the Stars
Dropkick Murphys
The Fags
The Halo Friendlies
Less Than Jake
Mad Caddies
Me First & The Gimme Gimmes
Motion City Soundtrack
One Man Army
Places to Park
Poison the Well
Rise Against
Simple Plan
Slick Shoes
The Starting Line
Story of the Year
The Suicide Machines
Tsunami Bomb
The Used
Vendetta Red
Western Waste

Local bands:

Almost Cool
Second Before the Crash
This Island Earth

Additional Information:


'Vans Warped Tour'
  • 1 p.m. Wednesday
  • $30.25
  • P-G Pavilion
  • (412) 323-1919 or

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