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Concert review: Warped Tour crams in a lot of music

More than 70 bands entertain crowd at Utah State Fairpark

Published: Monday, July 9 2007 11:57 a.m. MDT

Cody Stevenson and his band, Alliance, drove 167 miles from Green River, Wyo., to attend this year's Vans Warped Tour at the Utah State Fairpark. But his band wasn't playing. Instead, Cody, 20, and the boys wanted to be a part of the audience, and the drive was worth every mile.

"I've been to six Warped Tours," he said right before Killswitch Engage took the stage late in the afternoon. "Each one has been great and this is no different in that aspect."

Stevenson attended the show mainly to see the the new-school progressive metal leanings of The Human Abstract.

"They're one of my favorite bands," he said.

This year's Vans Warped Tour took place Saturday, the same day as the Live Earth international concerts. And while the thousands of fans who attended the Vans Warped Tour were left out of the big seven-continent-staged concert Live Earth, which spread the message of climate preservation, they had their own bit of helping with the cause.

Tour organizers offered free tickets to some lucky recyclers and throughout the event, a lot of the bands encouraged their fans to get involved with politics and the environment.

Twenty paramedics and their teams of volunteers, along with a number of first-aid stations located throughout the Fairpark, helped concert attendees deal with the 100-degree heat.

There were no reports of serious heat exhaustion.

Zac Clark, 17, Kaysville, said he planned to beat the heat by drinking a ton of water.

"I've been to Warped Tour before and know that you have to keep hydrated," he said. "This is a great place to see live music, meet the bands and do other things."

The other things Clark meant included a Guitar Hero video-game competition and the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, which gives amateur songwriters a chance to win studio equipment, musical instruments and the opportunity to record their own music.

With the tour's music in mind, more than 70 bands performed on one of seven stages Saturday. The event culminated with pioneering melodic punk band Bad Religion. Other band included Utah's own Meg & Dia, Scary Kids Scaring Kids and Tiger Army.

Nick 13, guitarist and vocalist of the psychobilly band Tiger Army, said in an e-mail interview prior to the Salt Lake show that playing the Warped Tour was great. The challenge was cramming as many songs as the band could into a 30-minute set.

"We have a new album ('Music from Regions Beyond')," said Nick 13 (born Kearney Nick Jones). "So this is our chance to play that stuff live, which is exciting. At the same time, we want to make sure all of our releases are represented. So we do what we can to fit everything in.

"I think (being on the Warped Tour) is one of the best ways to reach people," he said. "There are always kids at the Warped Tour who are just discovering underground music, and they have the most open minds. There's no substitute for showing people what you're about live. That's the way you really turn people on to your music."


E-mail: scott@desnews.com

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