Punksburgh went to Warped Tour (7/14/17)

Hey! I went to Warped Tour this year and it was crazy rad. I was lucky enough to hook up with the Mable Syndrome podcast to get press credentials and a buddy on tour got me an all-access pass, so I was able to cover it from all angles (and get some lovely lovely shade).

First up for the day were pop punk locals Eternal Boy. This was a pretty special show for them as it was also the release day of their new album Awkward Phase. I was thrilled to see a sizable crowd gathered to see them. Their music was great, as always, and a lot of fun. If you’re not familiar with them, make sure you check out our interview.

There was an hour long gap between Eternal Boy and the interview I had scheduled with Shawna Potter of War On Women. The bands that played during this time held zero interest for me, and my level of flipping out could be described as “extreme,” so I spent this time drinking an overpriced malt beverage in hopes that it would calm my nerves. It didn’t, and so I apologize to my friends that had to listen to me screech “AHHHHHHHHH” repeatedly during this time.

Fortunately, it turns out that Shawna is an awesome person and the interview went just fine (I’ll be posting about it when it’s released in a week or two). Unfortunately, my interview directly coincided with Anti-Flag‘s set, which I was bummed to miss.

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Chris 2 of Anti-Flag. Thanks to Maura for snapping a pic for me!

With the big stressor of the day out of the way, I was able to kick back and enjoy everything from here on out. First up was Bad Cop/Bad Cop. I am a huge fan of these ladies and was bummed that I only caught part of their set when I saw them at Punk Rock Bowling, so I was very much looking forward to seeing them here.

Their set was fantastic, as expected. They played eight songs, half of which were off of their new album Warriors. If you haven’t heard their music yet, definitely make sure you check them out; they’re badass musicians playing socially relevant punk.

Here’s hoping that they make it back to the Pittsburgh area soon!

Next up was War On Women. You may have heard about them in the news recently due to the controversy between their Safer Scenes advocacy group and The Dickies, something that was touched on in my interview with front woman Shawna Potter. Much of Potter’s message is about keeping music safe and accessible for everyone, encouraging bystander intervention, and believing victims.

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War On Women

Their music is more aggressive, hardcore punk with socially conscious lyrics. Their set was entrancing and powerful to watch as Potter danced around the stage singing her emotionally-charged words. This was my first time catching them, and I was extremely impressed. They’ll be finishing up a new album when they get back from Warped, so I’m looking forward to hearing that.

Fun local connection: their drummer Ben also plays in the Pittsburgh band edhochuli.

Somehow I have never seen The Ataris; I manage to be on vacation or sick or whatever when they’re in town. This remains mostly true since I was busy buying all the merch and missed half their set. I did catch this one song where they demonstrated that they’re apparently now a jam band? I don’t know.

Next up were the Adolescents, whom I had also never seen (I’m apparently not very good at this whole music thing). One of the reasons I like Warped Tour, and festivals in general, is the opportunity to see a lot of bands, especially those that I’m not familiar with.

The music was great and they were fun. It’s always awesome to get a chance to see these veteran bands, especially since you never know how many future opportunities you’ll get.

After them I finally got the chance to see Big D and the Kids Table, whom I had… you get the point. I’m an unabashed ska fan and have been listening to them for years, so I was thrilled to get the opportunity to cross them off my band bucket list.

As expected, their set was full of energy and tons of fun. I’m really hoping these guys come back to the area soon; I’d love to catch a full set.

What a shocker: I have seen Street Dogs before! Two times, in fact, at both Punk Rock Bowling festivals. All three times the shows have been great; the music is incredibly solid and catchy. There’s never any pretension or crazy stage antics, just straight up punk rock.  I dig it.

I love how singer Mike McColgan always gets up close and personal with the audience.

By this point in the day I was exhausted, dehydrated, and sunburnt, so I called it quits and headed home. I was bummed that I missed a bunch of bands that I was looking forward to seeing, but such is life! Overall it was an incredibly rad experience.

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