This past weekend, my friend Ginger and I accompanied our daughters to Van’s Warped Tour on what was decidedly the hottest day of the Dallas summer, so that they could rock out to some of their favorite bands while her and I enjoyed 1 or 2 refreshing, ice cold, $10.00 beers (yeah, we were done after 2. Beers that is. We were done drinking before 1:00 p.m. and Ginger was sporting a nice headache before 2:00. Nice....
If you don’t know what Van’s Warped Tour is – Lucky you (and lucky your pocket book)! Basic explanation is that it’s a “clothing optional-modern-day-Woodstock” but instead of Hippies, it’s attended by melodramatic teenagers who don’t smile and keep their hair covering at least three-quarters of their face. Except for our daughters, who were grinning ear to ear, for the most part, and were complete angels.
The bands that Ginger and I wanted to see played at 1:15, and then at 7:15 and 8:10....giving us a big SIX HOUR gap in which to people watch; and boy did we see some. . . . people.
Like this guy, who wore only a bandana, held up with suspenders and a conspicuous pair of knee pads.
"I'm too Emo for my shirt, too Emo for my shirt...so Emo it hurts...."
Yeah, yeah…so nobody who is Emo thinks they are Emo…and I don’t think my daughter and her friend are Emo…but they sure do party with a LOT of Emo people.
At least our daughters weren't hanging out with these girls, who, much to the dismay and mortification of soon-to-be-Nurse Ginger, splashed each other with reckless abandon in a puddle of oozing, foul hepatitis water. Playtime was actually over when we walked by and they were just sitting in the middle of it.
It was all Ginger could do not to ask for their parent’s telephone number so that she could call and warn them to watch for signs of high fever, chills or a red, swollen, pus-oozing rash. Somebody at this venue MUST have gone home with ring worm or staph infection. Ginger is certain of it!
I can't say that we were too impressed with much of the screaming, from the bands or the fans (ever tried to take a nap at a rock concert? It's hard!) but we did like the sound of this one guy who calls himself "I can Mess Up any Lyric" or "I'm messed up but I can sing." or was it "Nobody can mess things up like me" I can never get it right...but he was good. He had a more mellow sound that I like, and he actually sang the words instead of screaming them.
I also liked this guy, The Rocket Summer. Some guys can really sing, and we appreciated their efforts to not alienate the few, shocked parents who were in attendance. He reminded me a lot of Bon Jovi, but Ginger doesn't like Bon Jovi, so that's not it either. I think it's just that we understood what he was saying so that made it music.
This is the Mosh Pit that Ginger's daughter SWEARS she was not near...and okay...I have to say I believe her. I just don't think she would be that crazy or make herself look that foolish!!!
In all, the most unnerving thing about the concert was that many of these kids parents could NOT have known what their kids were wearing, where they were actually going (other than a concert) because I resfuse to believe that there are this many parents who would allow their kids to do things like this:
Or especially this:
So, are we crazy moms or cool moms for spending a Saturday outside, in temperatures of not less than 100 degrees or more, with a bunch of wild, crazy punk teenagers and music that made our ears ring? I would have to say crazy for sure because we definitely won't be doing it again. Next year - the dads can go!
The one thing that made it bearable is that we at least knew where our kids were and what they were doing (for the most part) and what they were definitely NOT doing. It's really kind of frightening to know that your child is right in front of the stage (Ginger's daughter has a talent for pushing right to the front without a problem; I'm still kicking myself for not having her drag me up to Travis Clark!) and you suddenly see all kinds of crap (water bottles, plastic beer bottles, etc) flying in that direction. Ginger and I would just turn and look at each other and shrug. What are you gonna do? At least our girls made it out of there safely, whether it was because we were there or because they are just smart kids, who knows?
Things we learned for certain this weekend are as follows:
1) rain panchos can be used for sitting, but when used later as an actual pancho, should be worn dirt side out.
2) it's really stupid to pay somebody $1.00 to take a picture of their concert schedule, especially if your friend then does the same thing for free - DOH!
3) A tree will not protect you from the rain as well as a bathroom.
4) A teenagers entire wardrobe can be purchased at a concert merch table.
5) Our daughters are so NOT Emo. Puh-leeze! They don't cut!
6) I really like to say "merch."
7) we are pretty cool moms whether our daughters admit it or not.
Oh, lest I forget the former circus side-show freak, who retired from Ringling Bros. in order to peddle beer at concert venues, that was trying to pick up on Ginger by impressing her with tales about his possible pro-wrestling career, and later on, the over-weight, very inebriated merch guy (I think he used to be a Carnie) who wanted BOTH of us, though he never got his eyes as high as our faces.
....yeah....we've still got it....
TO FOLLOW: PART TRES - Road Trips, Vegetable Abuse, Smoking on the bus and Blind people.