Vans Warped Tour 2001
featuring Pennywise, Less Than Jake, The Bouncing Souls, The Vandals, A.F.I., H2O, Me First & the Gimme Gimmes, Sum 41, Kool Keith, Morgan Heritage, The Ataris, Rancid, and 311
Central Florida Fairgrounds, Orlando, FL July 27, 2001
|Less Than Jake|
The Vans Warped Tour can now be considered a bonafide success. This annual gathering of Gen-X music, sports, and fringe interest has entered its sixth year with no signs of slowing, and its only real competition still standing is the metal-oriented Ozzfest, also celebrating its sixth anniversary this year.
As I entered the fairground confines, an ominous sky loomed above. Nothing can drain a daylong concert like a Florida deluge, or for that matter, a cloudless sky that allows the sun to waste away the crowd. Luckily, like last year, Orlando was blessed with cloud cover, and managed to escape even a drop of rain. This was going to be a good day.
Of course there are the Warped standards: skate ramp demos, freestyle motocross, and a plethora of vendors. Whether it be Playstation or a cell phone, it doesn't take much to lure a teenager. One new addition to the tented area was "Incredibly Strange Wrestling." A character like "Versace's Ghost" and a comedic emcee added a nice, campy touch.
Speaking of Warped standards, this year's line-up included several. Warped veterans Pennywise blazed through a set of favorites and included a tribute to Joey Ramone by covering "Blitzkrieg Bop." Florida locals Less Than Jake busted out some great ska-core sans any of their usual stage antics -- no wrestling, costumes, or gimmickry.
As the day progressed to evening and The Ataris were closing a hot set, the time was upon us -- Rancid took the stage. I think this was the band that generated the most buzz and excitement throughout the day. Rancid has not played in Central Florida in quite a while, and although thirty minutes is all we got, it was put to good use, with tunes everyone could sing along with. Lars made sure to share the band's disdain of major record labels and management, stressing their propensity for injustice and corruption.
311 closed the show with a couple songs from their new release, but mainly adhering to the "greatest hits" format, as did Rancid. By this time, the crowd was at capacity, with all eyes on the main stage. 311 generated incredible energy and left the crowd with a great vibe to take home from Warped 2001.