When this year’s Vans Warped Tour came through Montreal, there was one band in particular at the top of my ‘Must See’ list. Sure, their music isn’t the punk/rock you’d traditionally expect from VWT, but it is always stick-in-your-head-for-the-rest-of-your-days catchy and the band in question always has a good sense of humor when it comes to making music. It also didn’t hurt that, as it turns out, they put on a stellar high-energy live show.
For years I have been hearing complaints about the commercialism of the Vans Warped Tour and this year, I got to see it for myself. Having been to the very first Warped Tour here in Montreal, I initially found it very difficult to believe what people were saying; the Warped Tour I went to as a kid was all about skateboarding, good music and, of course, Vans showing off its products, which people barely knew about at the time, but there was nothing overt or pushy about it. If you liked something they had in stock, you could buy it, but no one was forcing anything down your throat.
It may have been about 400 degrees outside (okay, maybe it was closer to 40, but who’s keeping track?) and Parc Jean-Drapeau isn’t exactly the shadiest of places, but that didn’t stop a flood of fans from continuously piling into the festival site throughout the day to catch a sliver, if not all, of the 69 bands on the bill.