One Day. Ten T-Shirts.

9. Yoo-Hoo The Warped tour doesn't announce its playing order until the day of the show; every band gets a half-hour set, and two of the four stages are always in use. That's nicely egalitarian, but it also makes the bands a little more anonymous than they would be otherwise, and more anonymity they don't need. Just as an experiment, I tap somebody on the shoulder during nearly every set and ask, "Who's playing?" Aside from Bad Religion, NOFX, and the Specials, the answer is either "I don't know" or "I don't know, but they're pretty good."


The Vans Warped Tour 1998
Randalls Island
August 1

10. 0 My own brand-identity signifier is just the big blue Germs zero on a black T, though, with the dust so fierce that people wet patches of their T-shirts to breathe through, the day turns it bluish tan on dark tan, like a faded relic. Warped is a county fair, and a good one; the point is not, as with other big tours, the individual performers, it's the mass of them. The tour's specialty is music that was born out of desperate repudiation, frozen in midlunge, and repurposed as the soundtrack to reflexive dissatisfaction. Genre trumps identity, and by god it's fun to jump around to. On the bus back from Randalls Island, there are a dozen kids in my earshot, horsing around, still having a blast. They don't say a word about any of the bands they've just seen.

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