Blood, sweat and punk

Mark Gibson

In 90-degree heat amid a packed crowd, Andrew W.K. got the afternoon party started in true punk fashion with loud music, a bloody T-shirt and a guy in a banana suit.

The 2010 Vans Warped Tour featured the return of several old-school bands like Reel Big Fish, Andrew W.K. and Sum 41. These bands didn’t let the extreme heat and humidity slow them down as they played their hearts out, putting on a hardcore show for fans on July 24th at the Cruzan Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach.

“It’s hot! But it’s nice,” said Sum 41 drummer Stevo. “The Warped Tour has been going great for us. The crowds have been great and energetic despite the heat.”

Sum 41 was one of the highlights of the day, creating a much bigger crowd than the other bands. Despite Cruzan’s no-cursing policy, Sum 41 and the older punk bands like Pennywise ignored that rule, according to their websites.

Along with the Warped Tour veterans came several newcomers who battled for the crowd’s affection at the summer’s biggest rock concert. Among them was Hey Monday, a band that hails from West Palm Beach. Being a hometown favorite caused them to draw a rather large crowd, but it didn’t prepare them for the fan base they would receive on the national stage.

“My first concert ever was seeing Hanson at this venue,” said Hey Monday lead singer Cassadee Pope. “It’s so surreal to actually be playing here now.”

As the Hey Monday set rolled on, Pope began yelling at the security guards in front of the stage as they slammed crowd-surfing fans to the ground. She later apologized on Twitter, claiming that she was just “standing up for her fans.”

Devoted fans stood in tightly packed areas just to get a glimpse of their favorite bands. Mohawks, body piercings and shoes flying through the air were a common scene. Bands like Parkway Drive and Whitechapel beckoned the crowd to form what they called a “wall of death,” which involved people climbing on top of each other and throwing punches.

As the day rolled on, the crowds got thinner — and more intoxicated. Around 6 p.m., during a performance by The Cab, a woman decided to put on her own show by flashing the crowd and giving a guy a lap dance. The crowd paid more attention to them than to the actual music.

The 2010 Warped Tour was a refreshing look at what the concert was like in the early ’90s. The skateboard ramp was even brought back to accompany the punk music. Bands like Reel Big Fish, who played at FAU in 2007 and have a big college following in Florida, are using the tour as a way to reach out to a new audience.

“We’re glad to be back on the Warped Tour,” said Reel Big Fish trumpeter and guitar player Scott Klopfenstein. “It’s nice to get in front of new people who may not want to commit to seeing you on a headline tour. So they come out to this and check us out.”