Warped Tour 1997

It’s so funny to me that my students still go to this thing and are super psyched on it. Back in the nineties, this seemed so corporate and annoying. I cannot even imagine what it is like now, but I guess FESTS are this massively normal thing now, so whatever. No one seems to blink an eye either at the expense of these shows either.

I only went to this because I got onto some kind of promotional guest list. The local record store got some passes so they gave me one and a few friends of mine got them too I think. We had just finished high school and there were TONS of people from school there. I finally escaped these people, but then I see them a month later. Ugh. One very high preppie girl I went to high school got kind of flirty with me, which was so weird. She wrote this big thing in my yearbook about how she always “respected” me. Maybe could have gotten your crew to not treat me like shit? It’s funny because looking back, I got hit on a few times like that by high school people and I just blew them off to go to gigs. That summer I just did not care about girls.

I have no idea what order bands played it, but I will try to run through them. We got there right before Sick Of It All, who were spreading the hardcore reality, or whatever, at a corporate run festival, and figured out what stage they were playing on. This horrendous band was playing with some of the whitest people I have ever encountered playing chugga chugga bullshit, but the vocalist was rapping. They were horrible and people really ridiculed them. A lot of skinheads were yelling shit at them, waiting for Sick Of It All to come on. That band turned out to be Limp Bizkit.

Sick Of It All were pretty good and played all the hits. It was weird moshing on concrete and a few people got some gnarly injuries. I had a student once write a paper about avoiding getting hurt at “concerts” and directly referenced the Warped Tour. They definitely played the comp songs and a Straight Ahead cover.

At some point during the day I watched h2o, Fury Of V, and Second To None on some kind of local stage. A lot of my well to do high school classmates were checking out Blink 182, but a lot of the crowd seemed pretty indifferent to them. I remember all the preppie pop punk kids in high school loved that band.

A lot of people were way into the Descendents, but I never liked them much. They have gross and very sexist lyrics (I once made an argument they could be on the amazing core family tree) and shitty melodic music. How could their drummer also be in Black Flag? Their songs that aren’t creepy musings about women are basically for people who say they have a “case of the Mondays” all the time.

Social Distortion also played this show and I watched some of their set. Speaking of Flag, Chuck Biscuits was playing drums for them at this time, which was kind of cool. They were pretty boring though live and my interest in them was fading as time went on. A bunch of my friends loved them, so I kind of stuck it out, but eh.

Didn’t Pennywise play this too?