Life + Arts

Warped’ a hit despite heat

This Fourth of July weekend started off with a bang for fans of rock and pop music at the 15th annual Vans Warped Tour on Friday.

Making a total of 46 stops, the 2009 tour features more than 50 bands. At Houston’s Warped Tour the show contained several stages, usually with two or more bands performing at one time.

Notable big names included Thrice, Underoath, Anti-Flag and The Ataris. While Vans Warped Tour is known for primarily presenting a punk rock lineup, this show displayed a variety of bands and provided something for all music lovers.

Mainstream artists were accompanied with plenty of bands that call Houston home. The show, held at Sam Houston Race Park, started at around 11 a.m. and continued till 8 p.m. The 100-degree weather was not friendly to the audience wearing down fans in a matter of hours.

Nevertheless, the crowd was impressive as thousands of people showed up, the majority appearing to be teenagers. Of course, even with multiple stages, the single main stage garnered all the attention as hundreds tried to compete for a spot to see their favorite mainstream band throughout the entire day.

Fortunately, there were still a number of people who came out to support their local artists. Sugar Land-based bands Floorbound and Eldridge appeared at the tour to perform.

Eldridge frontman Chris Goodwin said he was excited to be playing at Warped Tour and glad his dedication to music has taken his band to new heights.

‘I’ve been a professional musician for 10 years,’ Goodwin said. ‘We definitely want to go national.’

Keith Sparks, lead vocalist and guitarist for Floorbound, expressed similar sentiments.

‘We have had three west coast tours, (but) I love playing in Houston,’ Sparks said. ‘Sure, we want to go big, go mainstream. Any band who tells you they don’t is lying. But I’m just trying to dedicate whatever time I have. I also go to school.’

Performances aside, many vendors of all sorts were there to sell band merchandise and memorabilia. As expected, the vendors profiting the most were selling ice-cold drinks.

Even with the diverse amount of artists playing at Vans Warped Tour, the show may not be for everyone. The unpaved outdoor setting at the race park was less than ideal, and if you want to go for the sake of seeing one band, it is probably a better idea to wait for your favorite band’s own concert at venues such as the Toyota Center or Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

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