Punk rock and extreme sports collide at Vans Warped Tour
Seattle Times staff reporter
Lollapalooza and Lilith are no more, but Vans Warped Tour rolls on.
Why? Because it offers much more than just music. Sponsored by a sports- and leisure-shoe company, the event includes not only nonstop punk rock - there are two stages, so when one band stops, another begins - but also nonstop action from extreme-sports stars.
Skateboarding, inline and roller skating, BMX and Moto X demonstrations take place continuously on a specially built track. Among the dozen or so athletes performing this year is Beau Manley of Longview, a pro Moto X rider whose sponsors include Seattle Cycle.
But, wait! There's more! New this year is "Incredibly Strange Wrestling," with professional wrestling action from masked and costumed wrestlers who perform to recorded punk music; "Reverse Day Care," an air-conditioned tent where kids can drop off their parents while they cruise the action; and "Warped Are They Now?," a Warped Tour museum with photos and exhibits from past tours. The museum also has computer terminals where you can view band lists from previous years (like 1997's, which included Blink 182, Limp Bizkit and Sugar Ray), listen to music, watch videos and link to present and past Warped Tour bands' Web sites.
While the music lineup may not be as exciting or cutting-edge as some past Warped Tours, there are some bands to watch among the nearly 30 on the bill. Here are our Warped Tour '01 picks for best of the bunch:
• Alien Ant Farm - The Riverside, Calif., group is all over the radio airwaves with its punk remake of Michael Jackson's graphic tale of bloody murder, "Smooth Criminal." The song is featured on the band's major-label debut album, "ANThology," on New Noize, the label run by the band Papa Roach for DreamWorks Records. The album is impressive, with tight, dramatic, well-crafted songs characterized by smart, funny lyrics.
• Hank Williams III - The grandson of Hank Williams and son of Hank Williams Jr. has fashioned his own sound by blending his country-music heritage with modern rock influences, including punk. He's an engaging performer with his father's sense of showmanship. His set should be wild and fun, because he's inherited Hank Jr.'s love for raucous party songs.
• 311 - One of the most established acts on the bill, 311 has been around for more than a decade. Its biggest hit was "Down," an irresistible song that ranges from head-banging intensity to mellow coolness. The band has just released its sixth LP, "From Chaos," which has already yielded the modern rock hit, "You Wouldn't Believe."
• Good Charlotte - A smart-aleck band in the tradition of Green Day, this Maryland group has a hit with the jumping, comical "Little Things," dedicated to "every kid who ever got picked last in gym class" and other non-cool high schoolers. Cute band alert! The handsome lads of Good Charlotte will be featured in the upcoming spoof of teen movies, "Not A Teen Movie," in which they will play the prom band covering popular '80s hits.
• New Found Glory - This Florida band plays loud, fast, fuzz-toned punk with lots of energy and aggression. Its songs are notable for their heartfelt, searching lyrics about the changes adolescents go through and the challenges that come with them. This band will get the mosh pit churning in no time.
Patrick MacDonald can be reached at 206-464-2312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.