The Vans Warped Tour has become known for being able to bring together some of the best acts from across the punk, rock, and metal spectra – think Andrew W.K. and The Dillinger Escape Plan (who we recently covered) – slap them all onto one bill, and create an unforgettable (and mad) full-day live music extravaganza. But perhaps what’s even greater is all of the up-and-coming bands it introduces attendees to. Case in point, if it wasn’t for VWT 2010, I would have never stumbled across the following two bands, and my iPod’s repertoire would have been a lot less rockin’. The two standout gems of this year’s Warped Tour, which I discovered at the festival’s Montreal stop, are (drumroll, please): After Midnight Project and Riverboat Gamblers.
It is the frigid winter of 1963/64. Extra cold, in fact, in the Toronto suburbs for an eight year old who has a long holiday, all set to spend: “With The Beatles.”
My best pal Paul Davis’ house is conveniently located just one block over. His mother is a piano teacher, and so music – yes, even rock ‘n’ roll music – is allowed, if sometimes in the case of “the louder stuff” only tolerated, on the family hi-fi system. So it was then that, until the following year when I was offered the choice of one 45-RPM record of my very own in lieu of fifty cents’ allowance each week, I had to visit the Davis place in order to fully avail myself of his older sister’s record collection.
And what a collection it was! Remarkably hip in retrospect especially because alongside all the usual ’63-vintage pin-up pop (as in Elvis on down), the elder Davis sister had a slew of beautifully battered seven-inch singles I was allowed to run hog – or should I say “Pig” wild with, whenever over there, ostensibly visiting Paul.
That is how, right after that initial Kennedy assassination, I came across my very first Beatle disc: an authentic orange-and-yellow-swirling Capitol Records of Canada pressing of “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”
So, onto the Davis console stereo it immediately went.