JULY 10TH, 2002

(Photos and text by Bret Miller)









As we circumnavigated the 500 person line that stretched around to the back of the Sports Arena, we found a much shorter line. Not questioning the existence of a line with only 20 people in it we quickly made our way into the parking lot and areas surrounding the Coliseum and Arena where the Warped Tour 2002 took place. Already blasting listeners' ears on one of the main stages, Handsome Devil were treating their audience to a set of blistering punkish rock that foreshadowed the heat and volume we would be subject to for the next 12 hours.
We then made our way to the Drive-Thru stage where bands from that label and others held court. We caught a little of American Hi-Fi's performance, the band spraying good vibes all over the crowd.
Next was the hard-edged rock and pop of The Movielife, with a slam pit starting and me running for cover from the photographer area at the foot of the stage to the back of the sweaty audience.
The Starting Line followed, with more teenaged girls in attendance than I've seen since, well, since I was in high school (which was longer ago than some underaged Warped attendees have been on this earth). Scary. Anywhoo, front man Kenny's shorts kept falling down, and the band ripped through a half hour of their not-too-serious pop rock.
I just had to see Flogging Molly. It was a moral imperative. The group slammed through a too-short set of Guinness fueled tunes telling tales of rebellion, life in Ireland and how it is to be Irish and proud in America. Bodies flew, beer was flung and shoes were lost as kids surfed the crowd and pogoes like mad to the anthemic Irish punk rock.
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones were another group not to be missed. Dickey wore baby blue pants, and squawked out the lyrics in his damaged voice. The horns blared, the guitars squeeled and everyone sang along to the Bosstones' stories of rascals and ruffians and being tested for HIV in "Knock on Wood."
Something Corporate blew away their young audience with something called Showmanship as they tore through such catchy songs as "Woke up in a Car" and "I Kissed a Drunk Girl."
Switched were playing at the same time as Something Corporate causing me to miss the end of the Drive-Thru band. Switched dressed all in black, defying the afternoon sun as they played the loudest and hardest music of all the Warped bands. The vocalist posed and moved around the stage inciting the fans to raising their fists. The guitarist looked as scary as possible, with "censorship" scrawled across his lips. Switched's intense noise kept the timid at a distance but the real fans kept close to the stage, gyrating and singing to the lyrics, tinnitus be damned.
Thursday were great as usual. As the sun set the band ripped it up and made everyone crazy with energy with their harsh yet emotionally charged rock tunes.
With the sky coloring orange and red, Reel Big Fish played their signature song "Sell Out" as the Warped attendees filed out of the show and onto the streets to find their cars in the surrounding lots. Fun was had by all, not too many people passed out from exhaustion (that I know of) and there were many burnt breasts and legs. See you all next summer! This year was a blast!