Warped Tour 2012, Camelback Ranch Baseball Stadium, 6/28/12
See also: Valley Bands Sweat it Out on Warped Tour Stages
See also: Warped Tour 2012 at Camelback Ranch Stadium full slideshow
See also: Vans Warped Tour 2012: The Good, the Bad, and the Auto-Tuned
See also: Crowdsourced: Fans Beat the Heat at Vans Warped Tour 2012
Despite my trepidation about being able to handle the heat and a slew of young bands that had little to do with the Warped lineups of my youth, I survived. Another Vans Warped Tour is in the bag.
This was the first year it was held at Camelback Ranch Baseball Stadium in Glendale, and with any luck, it will be the last.
The venue is simply ill-equipped to handle the masses of scantily clad teenagers crammed in to hear their favorite bands. The divided park completely segregated the two main stages from the other five, and the tunnel that led between them was bottlenecked with people on the verge of heat exhaustion. Just how hot was it this year? Well, hot enough for me to volunteer my vital organs after I die in order to score a free T-shirt to wrap around my head.
But enough about the heat (everyone knows it's hot), let's talk about the music:
Dallas-based band Memphis May Fire was the first band I caught on the main stage. The small crowd in the early hours of Warped seemed to get into the jarring guitar chords, even if the vocals during "The Sinner" and "The Deceived" were entirely inaudible.
Making my way through the tunnel, into the converted parking lot where the other five stages were, I stumbled upon Motionless in White, a Pennsylvania metal band heavily dressed in makeup and gothic garb. As much as I wanted to dismiss them as a gimmick, I sat through a few songs, including "If It's Dead We'll Kill it" and "Creatures." It's hard to dismiss a band who's hellbent on dressing and singing like they just sprouted from the seventh circle of Hell. And, you know, actually pulling it off.
Melissa Fossum Warped Tour fans...
I'm told it takes a big man to admit when he's wrong. Well, I just wrote about Baltimore-based Ballyhoo earlier this week, describing them as a generic surf band that was easy to listen to. The truth is, after a morning of metal, this band was a welcome change. At one point, I actually had a smile on my face as I grooved to songs with titles like "Somewhere in the Fucking Desert." Vocalist Howie Spangler seems to embody the spirit of deceased Sublime singer Bradley Nowell. So I wolfed down some humble pie and moved back to the main stages, where I caught Pierce the Veil and New Found Glory.