About a Girl (Getting Kicked in the Head in the Pit): Warped Tour 2008 in Pittsburgh, PA 7/29

Wow. What a rush.

This was my first ever Warped Tour, and it was everything I expected and more. When I finally fell into bed Tuesday night I was tired, sunburnt, had a raging headache…and I couldn’t be happier.

But let’s back up.

My first ever day at Warped started with a Shuttle Bus ride out to the Post Gazette Pavilion. For those of you who don’t know, it’s technically not in Pittsburgh. It’s in Burgetstown. Which is pretty much a pain to get to from the city. Especially without a car.

After a nervous ride and a wait for my pass at Will Call, I ended up inside the venue, wide eyed at everything around me. It was shocking to me. It was part fair ground, part rock show, part flea market and part something totally indescribable that both scared me and made me feel bubbly and sociable.

I checked in for performance times and then…well, that’s for later. I mean, it happened early in the day. But it’s really a surprise for later. Trust me.

First show of the day I caught was Cobra Starship, and they were fucking amazing. I’d seen them this past March (read my recap and watch the video that hollow1005 took without me knowing) but I was still shocked at the show they put on in almost 90 degree heat, pounding sun and with only half an hour on stage.

From Cobra I took time to wander the grounds and check out booths. I finally got myself registered to vote, met up with the folks from Planned Parenthood who gave me awesome stickers and let me sign a petition for Wal-Mart to carry the morning after pill. I got my political action on while getting horribly sunburnt. Totally worth it.

I caught theGym Class Heroes set (check out my pictures here). I had never seen them live before and damn is Travis McCoy a showman. And the way the man can command an audience, well…let’s just say all he had to do was ask people to throw up their peace signs when, suddenly:

On top of that, Disashi shreds like a mo-fo and I think I have a new appreciation for his talent….which I always thought was impressive, but damned.

Speaking of impressive, I caught All Time Low, a band I didn’t know much about, so I could grab some shots for Buzznet. I really enjoyed what I got to see of the set. Which wasn’t much since they threw the photographers out of the pit about 3/4’s of a song in. It was an absolute mess, possibly because the band went on a bit late. I booked it out of there pretty quick, for my own safety.

Which meant I had plenty of time to get over to the stage where The Academy Is… was scheduled. Once again, I’d never seen them in concert, but I have now come to the conclusion that William Beckett’s on-stage campiness is second only to Gerard Way’s. He commands the stage, but always moves so gracefully. He was also awesome at interacting with the crowd, reaching out to touch the hands of the fans and grinning at them.

When I could tear my eyes off of William, I watched Adam T. Siska rock out on his Clandestine bass (make sure you come back on Monday for pictures from this set as well as a recap of my interview with Sisky Biz). And of course, The Butcher going crazy on the drums.

My final set of the day was Bring Me the Horizon, another band I wasn’t terribly familiar with. While I can’t say I was as into them as I was All Time Low, I had to admit they put on a hell of a show. They’re all over the stage, making photography a little difficult. Well, that combined with me being very short. And getting kicked in the head by a crowd surfer in the middle of shooting. Still, I think my shots turned out okay.

But the heat…ugh. I’m sorry, but in that heat, if you’re charging $3.50 for a bottle of water and then not letting me have the cap to put back on it? You suck. You suck HARDCORE. And yet you not only give the artists water, they get it in special cans:

Luckily, there were the soak stations. And our friendly security guards were there to fill up water bottles for people at the front of the pit. They also had some other methods for cooling people down.

All in all, it was totally worth it. Like I said, I’ve got more for you coming up this week and next week, so stay tuned.

Oh, and also? This girl’s outfit was just flat out awesome: