Dissing the Warped Tour and its primary audience is about as moot as criticizing Nickelodeon for catering to a younger audience. Fifteen years in, the Warped Tour still has a reputation for being a fairly priced, all-you-can-digest buffet of bands. From Underoath to Dance Gavin Dance to Bad Religion, there's plenty to see and hear—if you can tolerate the heat.
Make no mistake, many of the acts set to play this year's touring fest definitely fall into the "mall" pigeonhole (mall punk, mall emo, mall hardcore, etc.). But to be fair, the Warped Tour's always featured something that draws teenagers and college students out to this touring carnival. This stuff just speaks to them and draws 'em in—a double-edged sword, sure, as punk purists/idealists hate the massive amounts of corporate sponsorship and marketing that cover most of the venue's grounds as the show takes place.
Either way, gear up, as this will no doubt be something of a marathon. But for so many bands and fans, it's what they wait all year for.
Vans Warped Tour �09 Sunday, July 5, at Superpages.com Center.
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