Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Punk rock show sweats it out in Pompano

The Vans Warped Tour brought its rock show into town on Saturday July 26. True to South Florida style, the day was scorching hot, but fans swarmed the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre anyway. The lineup included a list of national talent such as The Atari’s, All American Rejects, Rancid, Less than Jake and some lesser-known bands like Big D and the Kid’s Table and Fire on Claira, a local band from Miami.

Despite the heat, mud, and occasional rain shower, the audience had a lot of fun. Tabitha Cook, age 16, said, “It’s the greatest thing ever and I’ll be coming for the next 15 years!” Most of the bands echoed the audience response. Said Nick Wheeler of the All American Rejects, “We love what we do and we love our music and we want everyone to hear it.”

I got the chance to speak to Nick Wheeler and Mike Kennerty of All American Rejects about the tour and their recent rise to fame.

What are some of the downsides to touring? “It’s definitely hard to write on the road,” said Wheeler. He also misses his dog, showering, and clean laundry. When asked what the upside to touring was, Kennerty responded “everything.”

A fellow reporter, one of the more skeptical ilk, asked the band members about moving from the independent label Doghouse to the conglomerate DreamWorks, and what they would say to fans who felt they had sold out. Wheeler replied, “Some people distort that and they think that any band that’s popular has sold out.” How do they decide what goes on the play list? “Unless you’re Rancid, you gotta play your singles,” Wheeler said.

If Kennerty was to be deported to a deserted island for the rest of his life and could only bring one song, what would it be? “Something long, like Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.” When asked who influenced the band, they listed All, Screeching Weasel, Def Leppard and “the bands that are still trucking and not burning down clubs,” Wheeler said.

What about the bands that rocked out the Vans Warped Tour but are not as successful as bands like All American Rejects? “Miami was, so far, our best show,” said David Mcwane, age 26, of Big D and the Kid’s Table. Chris Bush, 27, the saxophone player from Big D, agreed, “[There were the] most people here, best response, everyone was dancing.” This was the band’s first ever appearance on the Warped Tour, and Bush was already making friends with the big-name bands. When asked what hanging out with bands like Simple Plan and the Atari’s was like, Bush replied, “They did pretty much what I always pictured Motley Crue did.”

If you want to check them out, head over to http://www.bigdandthekidstable.com. It is my opinion that part of the fun of the Vans Warped Tour is discovering cool, little-known bands. I also spoke to Brent Jay, 23, of The Letters Organize, about the tour. “This place was so unorganized and there were, like, 45-minute waits,” said Jay about his band’s first time playing the Warped Tour. The smaller bands don’t get as much help setting up and lugging their equipment across the park. They also don’t have egos like the bigger bands. “We don’t sign stuff because we’re just like you. No matter how big we get, we’re just gonna straight up have a good time,” Jay said.

It started raining pretty heavily around 5:30 p.m. Everyone was grateful for a break from the heat. “Let me get a hip-hip hooray for the rain,” yelled Andrew W.K. of Andrew W.K. The crowd roared back its hip-hip hoorays. “Let’s hear it for the rain,” said W.K. “Now we can get wet without even trying.”

The Suicide Machines also rocked at getting the crowd hyped. “Put ’em up,” shouted Jason Navarro as he flicked off the screaming fans who responded with their middle fingers. The crowds jumped, pogoed, and beat each other up in the mosh pits in the muddy, garbage-strewn grass. There was a wild dash from stage to stage as the audience struggled to get the best position to watch their favorite bands. The crowds swelled for the likes of Rancid and Less Than Jake. Said Leslie Mendendez, 17, “I wanted to see Rancid the most and Suicide Machines next.” Noel Landreneau, 15, said of the Warped Tour, “It’s tiring because you have to wait in line forever.”

Chris Candy, 19, who was running the Plea for Peace non-profit booth, said when asked if he enjoys traveling with the Warped Tour, “Yes I do, but unfortunately everyone plays the same set every day, which will drive you crazy.” He also said of the tour, “I miss my home – it’s a rough tour, it’s one of those things where it’s like the worst/best time in your life.”

Even with the long lines, extreme heat, sunburns, mud, and difficulties actually being able to see every band you wanted to (try racing from the “Kevin says take action” stage to the “Maurice” stage without missing a band), most of the fans and bands seemed to really have a good time. The vendors at the Warped Tour were a lot more political this year, and the Marines were absent – unlike last year when they set up shop along the Warped Tour trying to recruit young punks. The more politically charged atmosphere has been absent from the tour for a long time. Joe Smith, 22, said of the tour, “South Florida is a really conservative group of people. The Warped Tour gives them an ability to explore other ideas.” It also gave South Florida a chance to explore mud pits, mini lakes (from the rain) and mosh-pit injuries. Rock on!

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