REVIEW: NOFX gets by with help from friends as Warped Tour drops the curtain

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Circa Survive

Circa Survive performs at the 25th Anniversary Warped Tour at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 21, 2019. Photos: Gary Chancer.

MOUNTAIN VIEW — The 25th and possibly final iteration of the Vans Warped Tour, dubbed by some as “punk rock summer camp,” went out with a bang with Jawbreaker and quick-thinking “supergroup” consisting mostly of members of Sum 41 filling in for a late-arriving NOFX.

As the clock struck 9:30 p.m. for the band’s anticipated set time, other bands took it upon themselves to make the situation work, in true Warped Tour fashion. What ensued was the epitome of Warped’s “no rules” mantra; an out of control party that that morphed into a celebration of the past 25 years in front of thousands of attendees.

Warped Tour, Spiderman

Your friendly neighborhood Spiderman at the 25th Anniversary Warped Tour at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 21, 2019.

Sum 41, which had already played earlier in the day, returned to the stage with The Startling Line vocalist Kenny Vasoli to perform a light-speed cover of NOFX’s “Stickin’ in My Eye.” Thrice, another of the day’s performers, then took the stage to play a faithful cover of “Linoleum.” The impromptu versions of the songs seemed so natural you’d think that they had time to think about it and work through them ahead of time, but the seat-of-your-pants nature of the moment created a special, loose environment with which each of the bands seemed to have fun.

John Feldmann of Goldfinger, which had performed the previous day, went next to sing on “Bob,” with Atreyu handling the backing band duties with a cavalcade of guests indulging Hyro the Hero and Yungblud.

Any sense of control had gone out the window once All American Rejects frontman Tyson Ritter played with Bert McCracken from The Used, Brandon Saller from Atreyu, some members of the audience who were brought up on stage and just about anyone else who felt like pitching in on vocal duties.

 

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Police escort into the final @vanswarpedtour. 🚨#nofx

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Just when it seemed like it would be impossible to get the train back on the tracks, the men of the hour arrived. Bassist-vocalist Fat Mike, El Hefe, Eric Melvin and Erik Sandin opened with “Fuck the Kids (Part 1).” The band then ripped through an 11-song career-spanning set that continued the party long into the evening.

The band kept up the pace with songs like “Six Pack Girls,” “Murder in the Government” and “Bob.”

NOFX powered through with rousing mosh-pit opening performances of “Six Years on Dope” and “72 Hookers” as many of the performers who filled in earlier in the evening flanked both sides of the band to take in the moment. The band gave each other grief throughout the course of the set, with entertaining banter about shows gone by. While NOFX came up with fellow Warped contemporaries like Bad Religion, Green Day and The Offspring, it never signed with a major label, giving even one of their biggest shows an underground vibe.

“Remember when we used to play without tuners?” guitarist El Hefe dryly said at one point, enacting laughter.

Warped Tour

Attendees pass the time at the 25th Anniversary Warped Tour at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 21, 2019.

The band closed with “I’m So Sorry Tony,” putting a beautiful, chaotic and bizarre bookend on the punk rock lore that is the Vans Warped Tour.

Just when it seemed like it would be impossible to get the train back on the tracks, the men of the hour arrived. Bassist-vocalist Fat Mike, El Hefe, Eric Melvin and Erik Sandin opened with “Fuck the Kids (Part 1).” The band then ripped through an 11-song career-spanning set that continued the party long into the evening.

The band kept up the pace with songs like “Six Pack Girls,” “Murder in the Government” and “Bob.”

NOFX powered through with rousing mosh-pit opening performances of “Six Years on Dope” and “72 Hookers” as many of the performers who filled in earlier in the evening flanked both sides of the band to take in the moment. The band gave each other grief throughout the course of the set, with entertaining banter about shows gone by. While NOFX came up with fellow Warped contemporaries like Bad Religion, Green Day and The Offspring, it never signed with a major label, giving even one of their biggest shows an underground vibe.

“Remember when we used to play without tuners?” guitarist El Hefe dryly said at one point, enacting laughter.

The band closed with “I’m So Sorry Tony,” putting a beautiful, chaotic and bizarre bookend on the punk rock lore that is the Vans Warped Tour.



Sum 41

Sum 41

Sum 41 performs at the 25th Anniversary Warped Tour at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 21, 2019.

Canadian metal-tinged pop-punk legends Sum 41 provided some of the biggest thrills of the weekend in their late afternoon set. At a time when the crowd began to feel some fatigue from the beating sun, Sum 41 provided the shot in the arm that brought concertgoers to live. While the band’s newer material has evolved into a more hard-driving metal sound, Sum 41 jammed its set with singalong classics like “Fat Lip,” “Motivation” and “Over My Head (Better of Dead).” Frontman Deryck Whibley owned the stage while the rest of the band members pounded away on some of their biggest hits. Filling in for guitarist Tom Thacker, former Avril Lavigne guitarist Devin Bronson led a high-powered cover of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” while smoke cannons provided an added amount of production not usually afforded to a Warped Tour set.

Atreyu

Atreyu

Atreyu performs at the 25th Anniversary Warped Tour at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 21, 2019.

Orange County metalcore rockers Atreyu also provided the soundtrack to some of the most engaged and active crowd participation of the day. Fans moshed, crowd-surfed and jumped for just about the entire duration of the band’s superb 10-song set. The performance showcased the diversity of Atreyu’s material from the infectious gang vocal chant of new cut “The Time is Now” to heavy scream-laden older material like “Right Side of the Bed” and “Ex’s and Oh’s.” A metalcore cover of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” also got a huge response before the band concluded with the infectiously explicit singalong chorus of “Blow.”

Tsunami Bomb

Tsunami Bomb

Tsunami Bomb performs at the 25th Anniversary Warped Tour at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 21, 2019.

Northern California rockers and Warped Tour veterans Tsunami Bomb provided some of the most authentic punk rock of the afternoon, playing a high-energy head-bang-worthy set. The band’s dual vocal attack provided a unique spin as both singers got close to the crowd, leaning against the barrier multiple times. Oobliette Sparks’ raw punk rock aggressiveness served as the perfect counterpoint to new vocalist Kate Jacobi’s energy. Bassist Dominic Davi offered his thanks to festival founder Kevin Lyman and the entire Warped family for playing such an integral role in the band’s lives and development before jumping into “Lemonade.”



Juliet Simms

Juliet Simms

Juliet Simms performs at the 25th Anniversary Warped Tour at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 21, 2019.

Another longtime veteran of the Warped Tour circuit was singer-songwriter Juliet Simms, who pointed out from the stage that she not only grew up in the world of Warped Tour, but also became a woman through her life in the traveling festival. Simms is married to Andy Biersack, better known as Andy Black. While Simms began her warped career with Automatic Loveletter, she showcased mainly new material in her Sunday set. Simms’ “100 Little Deaths” and “Say Hello” absolutely lit up with a raw classic rock stomp. Her voice has also developed impressively as she belted out stadium-sized vocals with a distinct prowess.

The Dollyrots

The Dollyrots

The Dollyrots.

Pop punk husband and wife combo The Dollyrots provided some bounce and energy in their midday set. Bassist Kelly Ogden and guitarist Luis Cabezas deftly played off each other with complimentary vocals. The band tore through upbeat material including the shouted chorus-stops-and-starts of “Everything.”

 

Yungblud

YungBlud

Yungblud photographed at Warped Tour.

One of the most day’s most unique and varied performances came from U.K. phenom Yungblud. In some ways, he was the physical representation of everything that Warped Tour culture is about: a performer that doesn’t necessarily fit into a specific box or genre. Opening with “21st Century Liability,” Yungblud wore a transparent black dress and stormed the stage with equal parts Freddie Mercury, Kurt Cobain, David Bowie and Lady Gaga. The material was just a varied as the performer, ranging from punk to hard rock, pop and hip-hop. There was a marinating period for the uninitiated, but he very quickly had the packed-in Monster Energy Stage crowd in the palm of his hand.

 

 

Circa Survive

Circa Survive

Circa Survive performs at the 25th Anniversary Warped Tour at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 21, 2019.

One of day’s most electric performances came right off the bat of Philadelphia rockers Circa Survive. The experimental and progressive rock band showcased all of its strengths, with frontman Anthony Green providing a stage presence and fueling the performance. The band included songs like “Act Appalled” and “Rites of Investiture” before closing with “Get Out.”

 



 

Follow writer Mike DeWald at Twitter.com/mike_dewald.

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