Punks unite at all-day summer festival
Katie Bennett
August 10, 2002
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Rock Music Reviews

MxPx was a major highlight of the 2003 Warped Tour. (RMR/Jack Shepler)

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (RMR) - Summertime for punks consists of three chord medleys, one dollar "Fuck Racism"buttons, and the sleek grinding sound of skateboards on vert ramps. The Vans Warped Tour offers all this and more.

Making a day stop in Noblesville, Indiana on Thursday, July 25 was the music circus with such acts as influential Bad Religion, Blink-replacements New Found Glory, and strained emo-driven Thursday. Beginning at noon, the festival allows attendees to get a buffet-style of shows. Every band has thirty minutes to reach out to skeptical bystanders and adoring fans.

Some bands prove to be the main course, while others measure up to the week-old stale bread.

Sugarcult, a sharp-dressing LA band with a knack for producing catchy melodies, played an earlier time slot to a respectful crowd of followers and gawkers. The band, motivated by the responsive crowd, even dabbled with hits by legends such as Elvis Costello and the Ramones. In between playing tunes "Bouncing off the Walls"and "Pretty Girl,"lead singer Tim Pagnotta expressed an interest in engaging in a sexual relation with poseur punk-princess Avril Lavigne. Pagnotta and the gang urged the crowd to meet them over at the band's merchandise stand after the last chords had been played.

The piano-toting Something Corporate was a surprisingly pleasing entree in the midst of an army of hardcore, mohawk men. Emerging from the shadows of big brothers New Found Glory, this Drive Thru band still managed to rock and roll (Example A: Lead singer and piano player extraordinaire Andrew McMahon fell and hit his chin) even with a somewhat odd and bulky musical instrument on stage.

Their more glorious performances were of the songs "If You See Jordan,"and "Punk Rock Princess."There's just something about the way that McMahon stomps barefoot on the piano keys that says Something Corporate will follow in their big brothers' footsteps.

Fat Wreck Chords band No Use For A Name would be the green beans of the day, as some people dug ‘em, while others basically were waiting for the next band to hit the stage. The zenith point of the California rockers' performance was the latest single "Dumb Reminders."Extremely catchy, this song got some head-bobage from the entire audience.
Good Charlotte, a pop-punk group from Maryland, took their thirty minute set and exploded with fury during the opening song, "Little Things."

The crowd, equally as fierce, yelled out ‘DICK!' at the appropriate moment. Guitarist Billy, motivated by the surprisingly rough crowd, spun in tight circles with his instrument at various points in the performance. With only one album under their belt, the band introduced songs off album The Young and the Hopeless, due out in October, and played the tunes flawlessly.

Exhibiting their respect for fellow Warped acts, lead singer Joel and twin brother Benji listed an almost overwhelming amount of bands with whom the Good Charlotte guys have made friends. Good Charlotte have also proven to be equally popular with crowds of angst-ridden teenagers who seek refuge in songs such as "Another Loser Anthem,"and "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."

Recently popular New Found Glory hit the stage just as the cool late-afternoon breeze came out, and the sun began to set. Starting off their set with "Understatement,"New Found Glory served the crowd helping after helping of their latest album Sticks and Stones. What looked to be a promising show was riddled with non-functioning microphones, causing lead singer Jordan Pundik to distress.

Pundik and the gang did manage to play a few songs off of their introductory self-titled album. "Hit or Miss"proved to be a real crowd-pleaser, even though the crowd did most of the singing, and "Sincerely Me"also urged the crowd to sing aloud.

NoFX, a favorite Warped Tour commodity, played an energetic and sarcastic set including the song "Don't Call Me White."Fat Mike and the crew gathered a large and ferocious crowd of hardcore fans and those with nothing better to do.

As the sun set, and mohawks began to fall down, the entire Warped Tour traveling circus picked up various skating ramps, merchandise booths and foldable stages and began the journey to the next town, all to forget the chaos that had engulfed Verizon Wireless Music Center.