red lights

Vans Warped Invades Milwaukee

Vans Warped Tour 2001
The Rave
Milwaukee, WI
July 13, 2001
Sloth/Phil Bonyata
Sloth's lead singer dives into the crowd.

Story by Phil Bonyata
Photos by Terry Mayer & Phil Bonyata

Make no mistake, this is a Gen Exer's wet dream. The entire Rave opened up it's legs and entire body to accomadate the four stages (The Eagle's Ballroom, The Rave, The Rave Bar and Underground) and the many other impromptu stages scattered throughout the ultra metal / punk fest, The Vans Warped Tour. Every passage way from floor to floor and room to room were weaving with masses of sweat drenched and beer flavored people, like coursing ants moving with a confused drive on junior's desktop ant farm.
AAF/Phil Bonyata After all, this is the music your father still hates. Loud, in-your-face, repetitive beats with lyrics that would make a Bowery hooker blush. With over 20 bands to chose from it was a punker's dream. The musical genres sometimes mixed like a bad Mai Tai.
Madcap, The Ramones meets Green Day, had bundles of energy, but got lost in it's reliance on imitation. Guttermouth displayed a self winking punk parody and juiced-up the crowd with coy lyrics and inventive three chord romps. The Casualties got the small crowd at The Rave Bar stage into a apocalyptic '70s slam dance (moshing) frenzy. With post Sex Pistols panache, the boys, with the cool multi-colored mohawks, jackhammered their message of denial and alienation to the crazy human pretzel sprawled out all over the floor.Their short and furious set was clearly the highlight of the evening.
Casualties/Terry Mayer As speaker volumes increased and the heat in The Rave's inferno popped the top off the thermometer, Rancid took the stage. The band successfully mixed a hard and raw mix of punk, ska and hardcore. On songs like "Disgruntled" and "Let Me Go" the bandmates beat the brows off their instruments and only cared about delivering the goods. A refreshing concept that should remind many to give it your all before cashing your paycheck.
There was more than just music at this stop of Vans Warped. Outside found wrestlers like El Diablo and El Homo Loco duke it out with all of their excessive cheesiness.Rancid/Terry Mayer Skateboarders duked it on the course to the blaring strains of rap and ska. All kinds of music related tokens, t-shirts and other trinkets could be had at predictably inflated prices.
Back inside, crowd favorite 311 pounced on The Eagle's stage with enough energy to put the Energizer bunny out of work. Unfortunately with songs like "Sick Tight" and "From Chaos" they just kept going and going. The music, while fun at first, grew tiresome as Nick Hexum and Doug Martinez traded far too many inane lyrics.
Alien Ant Farm broke the monotony of 311 with a spirited and creative performance. The band timed their rhythmic outbursts to contrast nicely with their hard melodic underpinnings. Lead singer Dryden Mitchell stage presence was quirky and courageous. A fresh antidote to all the Fred Durst's out there breeding like rabbits today. On "Courage," the army from outer space charged the electro trebles like a sledgehammer blasting through a bucket of hot lard. Other notables were "Attitude" and "Whisper." Alien Ant Farm's future looks very bright indeed.
The biggest disappointment of the evening was surely The Misfits. The old punk rockers seemed to have gotten bored with their music. They were going through the motions on songs like "Die Monster Die" and "Devil Doll." The Misfits should move onto something new or the county fair will surely come calling.
Vans Warped idea of mixing differing styles of hardcore is great, but surely their are more inventive and passionate bands out their just chomping-at-the-bit to help fill next year's bill.

311/Phil Bonyata
AAF/Terry Mayer
Alien Ant Farm
311/Terry Mayer
Misfits/Phil Bonyata
The Misfits

Return to Reviews
Return to Menu