By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
After a long day of playing in the old Starplex's parking lot, bands on the Warped Tour—as well as their crew members—want to hit up just one venue: The Double Wide.
It's a perfect marriage: Since it's not too far away from where these acts play during the day, there's plenty of time to party before bus call later that night. And for four years in a row now, the Double Wide has been ready to welcome those who want to come, awkward tan lines and all, playing host as the Warped Tour's official after-party stop when the tour rolls through Dallas.
"Basically, it's a party for the bands that play Warped Tour," the venue's booking agent, Chelsea Callahan, says.
This year's party will be the second straight year in which the festivities will be open to the public. Prior years featured sponsors like Alternative Press, but those parties were closed to the public. The only major difference now that it's open to the public? Less free swag for the bands, and no mechanical bull to ride on.
Last year, in the first year of official Warped Tour after-parties, the Double Wide hosted one of only a handful of parties across the country. Now there's one on almost every stop of the tour. The Dallas date will fall on a Saturday this year—which is always a good night for the Double Wide. As such, expect plenty of venue regulars to be greeted by a burst of buses filled with Warped band members and roadies—kinda like a flash mob.
Thankfully, the venue's used to this by now. Since its inception, the party's popularity has grown. Renowned local tattoo artist Oliver Peck helped put on last year's show, and this year, he'll do the same.
"Since Oliver is on tour with the Warped Tour, he really helps promote behind the scenes," says Kim Finch, the venue's owner.
Because of this, when bands come to town, they aren't planning on going to the Grassy Knoll: "They know where we are," Callahan says. "At this point, when they come to Dallas, they expect to come to Double Wide for the after-party."
Local band The Architects played last year, and DJs also performed. This year's edition looks to be the same format—just don't ask who will be performing yet.
"Even when they were sponsored, the sponsors didn't know until the last minute who or what bands they can get, what they want, or how much money they have," Finch says. "Even last year, we didn't know until the week before."
But there were kiddie pools to play in last year, and they'll probably make a return appearance this year, Finch says. The whole venue—the two bar areas, the porch, and the parking lot—will all be used. And the space will be put to good use too: It's a rare opportunity for fans (of legal drinking age) to mingle with their favorite bands; there's no division between them and the crowd.
"We never know who shows up," Callahan says. Prior years saw members of NOFX and Shooter Jennings come on out.
"It all really happens at the last minute," Finch adds. "And that's kind of the best way our parties come together."<\hr>
Almost 100 bands will stop at the facilities in and around Fair Park's Superpages.com Center on Saturday—which, yes, is quite a lot of bands to sift through.
Some will rock, others will suck. But we guarantee you this much: The following five bands, if nothing else, will be the biggest draws of the day.
The All-American Rejects
At this year's Warped date, you won't have to worry about a WTF? factor with novelties like 3OH!3 or Brokencyde. There will still be a lot of bands that lean heavily on the pop side of things, but the lineup is not just for the screaming girl demographic. For those in the audience who crave the pop-heavy stuff, The All-American Rejects (along with Mayday Parade and The Rocket Summer) will draw good crowds. No surprise there: The Rejects have sold millions of records around the world, and the four-piece has a sound that aims to reach to the opening gates. Get ready to clap along.
The Trio is an elder statesman band at Warped this year, along with bands like Face to Face, The Bouncing Souls and Motion City Soundtrack. While a teenage fan might think We the Kings is a spectacular rock band, an above-legal-age fan might find We the Kings as inviting as vomit on the dashboard of a new car. Luckily, Alkaline Trio will definitely bridge the gap. If the Trio's set at the Palladium earlier this year was a sampling of where the band's at (new songs with a variety of old songs, from singles to rarities), then people are in for a satisfying treat.
Every Time I Die
There will be plenty of metal-infused hardcore bands on this long day in the sun. Some who think it's cool to incorporate Radio Disney pop into their sound will draw large crowds, unfortunately (here's looking at you, Confide and Attack! Attack!). Others, such as the Buffalo, New York, juggernaut Every Time I Die, like to have fun and also crush your senses at the same time. Led by the masterful frontman Keith Buckley, expect plenty of pile-driving material from the band's career, including last year's New Junk Aesthetic.
His music might be perfect for playing NHL '11 on PlayStation 3, but Andrew W.K. is an inspiring sight to see live. He always punishes his body when he plays, thrashing about and jumping around. And he's not doing that just for show; that's really how music affects him. Plus, chances are good he'll deliver plenty of positive lines about life that aren't just some syrupy nonsense. Bands like Set Your Goals will make people jump up and down and have a good time, and there's nothing wrong with that. But Andrew W.K. will do the same and might also make you seriously consider a positive change in your life. Yes, the dude is that inspiring.
Dillinger Escape Plan
Watching Dillinger Escape Plan play their psychotic blend of chaos and calculus is a great experience in "How the hell are they playing this?" The five-piece stuffed the Granada Theater with fans this past winter and will deliver again for those willing to brave the heat. Who knows? Maybe they'll whip out a cover of Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" or Living Colour's "Cult of Personality." It wouldn't be all that surprising if they did—they've performed both of those songs in the past.