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"Warped Tour" Review By Shawn Hallman

Warped Tour 2012

Crowd 2012June 30, 2012
San Antonio TX

AT&T Center Parking Lot

                  The Vans Warped Tour has been home to countless up-and-coming punk, ska, and metal bands as well as seasoned veterans since its inaugural year in 1995. Over 17 years later, this summer tour has remained an important date for music lovers of all ages who are willing to brace the heat. Warped Tour stages have been home to many big names within the reggae-rock community. Bands such as Pepper, Sublime, and 311 have all put in road time. This year’s line-up featured a stage dedicated to the ever-growing reggae-rock scene. The House of Marley Stage was the stage to be at for all reggae lovers trying to escape the never-ending attacks of distorted guitar and double bass pedals. Ballyhoo!, The Green, Echo Movement, and Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds all kept me happy by rocking the Marley Stage from about 4-7.

                After finally entering the parking lot of the AT&T Center and getting settled in I decided to enjoy some fine hip-hop and scan out the Marley Stage crowd. G-Eazy managed the crowd was well received. People took notice of his talent as I saw countless people walking by then stop and listen. After catching the end of Warped Tour veteran Anti-Flag’s set, I decided to take a break away from the sun.

                By the time 3:45 rolled around I made my way to the Kia Rio stage to check out Streetlight Manifesto, a band I have been a fan of since my high-school days. Skanking with a huge crowd in the hundred-degree weather made me feel like a teenager again and gave me the adrenaline I needed to get through the rest of the day. 

                Following Streetlight’s set; I headed back over to the House of Marley Stage to check out Ballyhoo! who managed to pull in a good crowd given the stage’s location. They managed to get the crowd moving for their set and lead singer Howi looked more and more pleased with the crowd’s reaction as the set went on. The Green came on next having the best time slot of the stage, as more people began to drift in combining with those still left from Ballyhoo!’s performance. The single “Love and Affection” seemed the most well received. The Green’s set left a lasting impression on the San Antonio crowd that is known more for metal.

                Next up on the Marley Stage was my personal favorite, Echo Movement. These down-to-earth dudes were extremely friendly and hung out at their merch booth to talk with fans almost all day. After spending countless hours listening to In the Ocean it was a real treat for me to finally be able to see these guys live after being turned down by a bouncer for being a minor the last time they rolled through town. Their set gave the crowd a sneak peek into what we can expect from their upcoming album Love and the Human Outreach. Following a solid set from Echo MovementTomorrow’s Bad Seeds took the stage and incorporated their blend of high-energy rock with relaxing reggae to an extremely positive reaction from the crowd. Although the crowd had thinned out in favor of big-name headliners by the time the Bad Seeds had came on, TBS still rocked it and enjoyed a long line of people waiting to hang out with them after their set.

                It was interesting to see a stage dedicated almost entirely to reggae/rock. Although the stage wasn’t the busiest of the day, reggae’s influence is becoming increasingly obvious as it finds its way into pop, hip-hop, and rock.  It was great to see a focus on different bands and different styles of music in this year’s Warped Tour and it will be interesting to see how the scene holds up in following years and what will be the next big step for the genre.

Review: Shawn Hallman
Photos & Video: Michael Arocha

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