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Don't Rain On My Parade: Warped Tour 2009 @ Parc Jean-Drapeau

Posted by Jenny / July 12, 2009

20090712_warpedtour02.jpg "Warped Tour Montreal 2009 015" by flickr pooler redyellow.

There are people who count down the days to the Warped Tour, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't one of them. And while the overall quality of the whole enterprise leaves me increasingly disappointed year after year, the prospect of an entire day of sunburn, sandpits, and about seventy bands in an open field fills me with this naïve joy, like a little kid at Christmas.

So it is with much regret that I sum up yesterday's Warped Tour date at Parc Jean-Drapeau in the following word: deluge.

The sun managed to make an appearance early on in the day, as the likes of Chiodos and Silverstein got things rolling on the main Vans stage, the latter reminding the audience, in a rather fatherly fashion, to lather on some sunscreen. In the same breath, lead singer Shane Told made a point of telling the audience to stay away from the "bad bands" on the tour. "We won't name names, but you know who you are," he said.

With the Warped Tour straying from its hardcore punk roots and welcoming a more eclectic lineup in recent years, shit-talking became the norm as the tougher, older acts rallied against their younger counterparts and their poppy hooks, stylish hair and legions of underage fans. There lies the biggest contradiction in punk rock: to be a follower in a crowd of rebels, to refuse to conform to the mainstream while bowing down to an anarchist subculture. Punk is supposed to be about the community - but only certain types can pass the community's elitist application rounds. Frank Carter, the diminutive frontman of the British hardcore punk act Gallows, openly mocked bands like Breathe Carolina and 3OH!3 (who, ironically, are both from Denver - who knew Colorado was the new haven of electronica?).

Newsflash, buddy: 3OH!3 are playing the main stage, and you're not. I'd keep quiet if I were you.

As far as I'm concerned, diversity is part of what makes Warped Tour so thrilling; dancing to The White Tie Affair (who played an insanely catchy cover of former tourmate Lady Gaga's "Just Dance"), surrounded by a bunch of skinny girls in bright tees and stupidly unpractical flip-flops, then screaming along to Escape The Fate in the company of buff, black-clad dudes - all within one half-hour.

That is, until your parade gets rained on - literally. The skies opened up, and I could only play tough for so long. Soaking, teeth chattering and mascara streaming down my cheeks, I gave up halfway through the afternoon and followed the mass exodus in the direction of the safe retreat that was the metro station. A positively very un-punk-rock thing to do, but oh, there's always next year.

Photo by flickr pooler Megan Meza.

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