Warped Tour 2012, Camelback Ranch Baseball Stadium, 6/28/12
I made the rounds once again, and ended up catching one of the best bands of the day, an Atlanta-based band called The Constellations. I was absolutely blown away by the perfect melding of rock, funk, and soul. This ballsy six-piece band was unfortunately robbed by the small stage, inadequate sound system, and small crowd.
As I made my way back, once again, to the main stages -- mobility during the festival was key to avoid collapsing under the desert sun -- I was shocked to find a U.K. folk band, complete with standup bass and a mandolin, playing on the main stage. Skinny Lister entertained the crowd with songs like "17 Summers" and "Merry Old Dance." I was happy to stand in the sun while resisting the urge to start river-dancing just to witness the fun.
Melissa Fossum Skinny Lister
It was almost four hours into the tour before I heard any band make mention of Arizona Senate Bill 1070. Leave it to Warped veterans Anti-Flag to come on stage and proclaim their hatred for the bill, Governor Jan Brewer, and police brutality. The statement segued nicely into "Fuck Police Brutality," but I was more on board with the message and politics than the performance.
Despite the letdown on the main stages, the others still held promise. Nothing exemplified this more than L.A. band Dead Sara. Despite their recent debut on The Jimmy Kimmel Show, I was unfamiliar with the band. But wow. Vocalist Emily Armstrong climbed atop an amplifier during the closing song, "Weatherman," possessing all the stage presence of a young Courtney Love (sans the drug habit and bizarre behavior) and the attitude of Cherie Currie, even going so far as to toy with security by attempting to remove their hats and head sets at the front of the stage. This is definitely a band I will keep my eye on and was an absolute highlight of the day.
Melissa Fossum Dead Sara