Old school punks join new acts for festival's 15th year
The Vans Warped Tour, which swung through Denver on Sunday, has always had its critics. Since it started 15 years ago, the "alternative" music and extreme sports festival has taken flack for everything from destroying punk rock to charging too much for a bottle of water. And as always, this year's edition held at Invesco Field gave the haters plenty of ammunition: Brutal heat, a trash-strewn venue, overpriced merch, arcane security rules and a lineup that was arguably among the tour's weakest in recent memory.
But even the most jaded music snob has to admit that Warped Tour has always been a hell of a deal for young music fans, and that tradition continued this year. With even bargain-basement indie shows costing $20 these days, it's hard to argue with a bill that lets kids of all ages see a pile of their favorite bands for less than the price of a new video game.
Aging punk pioneers including Pennywise, Reel Big Fish and Face to Face received surprisingly warm receptions, but still failed to inspire the same hysteria as emo-metal acts Bring Me the Horizon and Every Time I Die. The shift was clearly a tough pill to swallow for fans of the old stuff, but old-school fans could at least take heart in knowing that loud music unbearable to anyone over 30 is still alive and well on the original punk rock summer camp.
Next up: Mile High Music Festival 2010!