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Vans Warped Tour 2005
by Jamie Griffin

For 11 years now fans of all ages have been attending the Vans Warped Tour. The Warped tour has come to be known as Punk Rock Summer Camp.  This moniker fits it very well as numerous bands and fans found out within the first few.
The Warped tour was started by founder Kevin Lyman as a way for non-mainstream bands to gather and get recognized.  The festival has since hosted a myriad of bands, from Rancid and Sublime to new comers the Transplants, Fall-Out Boy and My Chemical Romance.
This years Warped Tour was held in the parking lot of the Pontiac Silverdome, perhaps the only place large enough to hold the tens of thousands of people in attendance.
The roster included 80+ bands. One of these was up and comers Fall Out Boy. Before the band even got on stage security warned people that things might get ugly.  Were they ever right.  Half way through the chart toping single Sugar (were going down) the band had to stop so that the injured people in the pit could get taken out.  That was the end of the fun at the Fall Out Boy stage.
Next up was Celtic punk veterans Dropkick Murphys. Boston Natives the Murphys play a mix of punk rock and Irish standards. Shortly before their set the crowd erupted into cheers of Lets go Murphys. It made you wonder if it was a Punk Rock concert or a Detroit Red Wings game. The Murphys went on to play a strong set that got the crown going for the billionth time that day.
Meanwhile across the parking lot metal band Atreyu was set to take stage. Atreyu are no strangers to festivals.  They played on the second stage of last years Ozzfest.  The band came out to Queen's Fat Bottomed Girls.  They put on one of the better shows of the day, playing songs like Bon Jovi's, You Give Love a Bad Name.  Look for good things to come from these guys.  They seem to be a favorite everywhere they play.
Back on the Mike Stage were The Suicide Machines. Out in support of their new album War Profiteering is Killing us All, the Detroit natives had one of the most energetic shows of the day.  Playing songs Break the Glass and Islands the band reminded us of a time when Punk Rock was fun and not just political.  Singer Jason Navarro even said that he would start making stupid songs again as soon as we get a government that isn't money-hungry warmongers. The new album out on Side One Dummy records deals with politics and corruption in the government.   
After the Suicide Machines came the Transplants. Touted as one of the hottest new bands at the Warped Tour the band features Travis Barker (Blink 182), Tim Armstrong (Rancid), and newcomer (skinhead) Rob Alston.  With two big name punk superstars theTransplants were the act to see. They did not disappoint. With hits such as Tall Cans in the Air, Diamonds and Guns, and the new single Gangsters and Thugs, the Transplants proved that punk rock is alive and well. Transplants are out promoting their new album Haunted City that came out on Lasalle records on June 21st.  The album, like the band is a mix of punk and hip-hop with guests like Boo Yaa Tribe and B-Real of Cypress Hill. 
Finally the headliners took to the stage.  After over 20 years in the music scene the Offspring played their first ever Warped Tour.  Their set list echoed their new greatest hits disc. Playing songs like Come Out and Play (you gotta keep em separated) and All I want.
While the Offsprings show seemed rather dull compared to acts like Atreyu, and Dillinger Escape Plan (their singer breathed fire over the crowd) they definitely had the crowd and sometimes even I forgot that these guys are probably the oldest band ever on Warped Tour. They can defiantly still rock.
All in all Warped tour proved to be the best value and time of all of the summer festivals I've seen.  80+ bands, Dozens of merch booths and better yet merchandise that was for the most part $20 or less.
The only downfall was time.  With so many bands you were bound to miss a few.  For the money you can't go wrong (tickets were $35). I'm sure that the Warped Tour has at least another 11 years in it.  After all there will always be kids wanting to go to shows. With such an eclectic line-up Warped seems to be the tour for everyone from the scene kids to aging hipsters.

Jason Navarro of the Suicide Machines

Dexter Holland of the Offspring

Tim Armstrong of the Transplants

Dropkick Murphys