One Hot Mission

The Vans Warped Tour approaches its teen years with historic punk

The original punk-rock summer camp celebrates a dozen years running this summer. According to tour founder Kevin Lyman, this shouldn't be happening.

"We should never talk in the present. We should be talking in the past tense like this is history. For this to still be around twelve years later ... I can't believe it!" Lyman exclaims.

For the past eleven years, Warped has been making its South Florida stop in Pompano Beach; this year it hits Miami's Bicentennial Park. "Pompano got crazy last year; fences were getting torn down — it just became too small," Lyman says. "We're moving it to Bicentennial this year. Hopefully it can absorb the crowd more."

The Buzzcocks
The Buzzcocks

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The Vans Warped tour — featuring the Buzzcocks, Bouncing Souls, NOFX, Against Me, Less than Jake, Everytime I Die, Anti-Flag, Thursday, Underoath, Helmet, the Casualties, Saves the Day, Gym Class Heroes, Aiden, Cartel, June, Over It, Plain White T's, Rise Against, the Bled, the Smashup, We Are the Fury, Catch 22, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and many others — hits at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 24, at Bicentennial Park, 1075 Biscayne Blvd, Miami. General-admission tickets are $29.75 and are available through Ticketmaster. Visit www.warpedtour.com< /a> for more information.

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This year's tour incarnation — which includes 56 acts performing on ten stages — features Warped veterans the Bouncing Souls and historic punk act the Buzzcocks making their Warped debut.

Bouncing Souls' latest effort, The Gold Album, launched June 6 with a sold-out multinight showcase by the New Jersey-based band at the Knitting Factory in New York City.

"I have a huge appreciation to be able to go out and make music and do the Warped Tour and play in front of thousands of people," singer Greg Attonito of Bouncing Souls says. "I enjoy whatever surprises the Warped Tour brings. Hopefully it won't be an awful lot of really hot weather."

The sweltering Florida summer is about the only thing Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks recalls of Miami: "I just remember it being very hot. Last time I was over there, it was the last day of our tour in 2003. We all went to a party until very late and ended up on the beach around breakfast time."

Shelley founded the Buzzcocks, definers of the punk-pop genre, in the late Seventies in Manchester, England. Original members Shelley and Steve Diggle are on the tour.

"Every time we play a festival in America, there are always bands on the side of the stage, and they tell us after the set, 'If it wasn't for you, we wouldn't have started a band.' I don't recognize most of them, to be honest, but it's always nice that people liked us enough for us to be an influence on them," Shelley says.

Bands on the tour, such as Anti-Flag and Thursday, have paid homage to the Buzzcocks by doing covers of their songs.

"There's this band called Thursday; they did a cover of öEver Fallen in Love' off the 1978 album, Love Bites.It will be interesting meeting them. I'll tell them thank you for doing a good version," Shelley says.

"Kids will go to see bands like Motion City Soundtrack or Underoath and end up catching [the Buzzcocks]," Lyman says. "I feel like people will walk away and find they're still very relevant."

Though screamo crowd pleasers AFI and retro-popsters Pink Spiders are skipping this leg of the tour, a surprise addition — Joan Jett and the Blackhearts — rounds out the Miami lineup.

"I always have kids coming up to me and saying stuff like, 'Wow, I didn't know they would be here,'" Lyman reports. "You and your friends could all go to the same show but end up having completely different experiences. That's what I hope for."

Along with the dozens of bands, the All Girl Skate Jam skateboarding competition will debut, and sponsor Cingular Wireless will offer a "Skip the Line" perk to its customers. Returning to the tour is the ever-popular Reverse Daycare tent where kids can drop off their parents at an air-conditioned tent with movies, massages, and soundproof headphones. Nonprofit organizations such as PETA and environmental groups will have a presence with booths and information stands.

"Some people say [the Warped Tour is] awful with lots of kids running around," Shelley says. "To be honest, I don't know what to expect, and I try not to let any other people's opinions influence my thoughts, but honestly I'm very excited."

 
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