Gig/Concert: Van’s Warped Tour 2008
Venue: Comerica Park, Detroit, Michigan
Date: 18 July 2008
Headliners: Jackâ€™s Mannequin, A Day To Remember, Story of the Year, The Audition
In one word: Sweltering
Detroit is known as Motown but one day out of the summer every year, the amped up, punked out Warped Tour comes roaring into town. This was my seventh time going to this show and I get pretty excited each time. The only thing that got me down was hearing the forecast of 95 degrees F. Stepping outside of the house to make the trip to the city, you could definitely feel the heat. It felt like one hundred with the humidity. I knew I was in for sweating way more than any female should.
I went into The Fillmore, another venue, located across the street from Comerica Park, to get my pass and directions to the press tent. The girl working there was really nice. The air conditioning good for the whole ten minutes I was there. I jumped in the short line, got my bag checked and was inside the gates. Ahead, I saw the mob of people I would have to walk through and counted how many times somebody bumped me in the shoulder: twenty-three. One thing I did notice was that the crowd seemed pretty young. Iâ€™d have to say the average age there was about seventeen. You could see a few parents around trying to fit in or looking lost. It took me about a half hour to find the press tent, due to poor directions and the uncooperative crowd but some man, with an Australian accent selling earplugs, sun block, and other useful things, helped me out. I signed in and got a list of bands and stage times, as well as a map of the area. There was a line of other photographers and people with video cameras along the wall, probably waiting for a band. I decided to leave and hit the stages.
There were eight different stages set up in the two parking lots. The two stages, which featured the biggest acts of the day, was the Route 66 stage, with acts like the Bouncing Souls, Warped Tour pioneers Pennywise, and locals Chiodos. The other was the Highway 1 stage, with Against Me!, Angels & Airways, and one of my personal favorites, Story of the Year. Other set ups included Kia Kevin Says (named after the founder of the Warped Tour, Kevin Lyman), Ernie Ball, Smartpunk, two Hurley stages and the skate ramp stage. The crowds seemed to move all over, and didnâ€™t stick to one stage, which was interesting. It was good to see people that had an open mind about the other bands on the tour than just the big acts.
I heard Against Me! as I walked in and they sounded just as good as they did when I saw them back in December. I checked out MC Chris on the Ernie Ball stage since Iâ€™ve heard good things about on him from friends. I watched the beginning of The Academy Isâ€¦, which impressed me. William Beckett is just as skinny in person as he is on television. Say Anything and Story of the Year drew big crowds, with much mosh action and crowd surfers, one of which almost nailed me in the head with his foot, coming over the barricade. I was excited to see The Audition, since the singer is a Detroit native.
As it is all about the bands, you canâ€™t forget about the number of tents that line up one after another. I ended up spending way more than I thought of but ended up with some cool things. For a whopping five dollars, I bought a book printed to remember the past years of the tour, in full color. I contributed to the charity, To Write Love On Her Arms, which is becoming big. Vans had their tents all over with shoes, shirts, hoodies, and giving away free wallets and hats with a purchase. Also, the return of the Girlz Garage which is always a hit with the ladies. Band members were in tents all over trying to promote themselves and sell merch, and I got suckered in to buying quite a few CD’s. And of course, lets not mention how much I spent trying to stay hydrated and the nachos that were incredibly delicious, courtesy of the Comerica Park concession stands.
At the end of the day, the walk back to the car was a bit painful, as my feet yelled at me from standing and I could feel the sunburn kicking in. The Warped Tour never lets me down though. I have a feeling that itâ€™ll be around for another ten years, with the feeling that next year will always be even better.
Â© Britany Gibbs