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Six reflections on Friday’s freakishly toasted Warped Tour stop

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Singer Craig Owens and Chiodos play for a hot but happy Warped Tour crowd Friday at the Silverton.
Photo: Fred Morledge
Chris Bitonti

1. The space available for—and layout of—the Vans Warped Tour’s Vegas stop at the Silverton was totally adequate, but a blacktop parking lot is far from ideal for an all-day music festival in late June. Maybe they can find somewhere cooler next year ... like the seventh level of hell.

Warped Tour 2013

2. Organizers did what they could to help attendees beat the heat (free water station, sprinklers on tripods, giant Slip ’n Slide), but reports put the number of heat-related illnesses on-site at more than 200.

3. Once an exclusively punk affair, Warped has evolved and diversified to mirror the tastes of its young fanbase: hardcore, metal, grindcore, even boy bands. And it seems to be working; almost everyone at the event over the age of 25 appeared to be either a parent, a vendor or a member of The Aquabats.

4. Chiodos drew the largest crowd of the day, gathered to see singer Craig Owens and drummer Derrick Frost reunite with the band for the first time in years. In addition to performing fan favorites like “Baby You Wouldn’t Last a Minute on the Creek,” the heavy Michigan band previewed some new material that sounded even harder, with Owens departing from his trademark squeal for a deeper growl.

5. The highlight of the festival for me came from the LA-based Letlive and unpredictable singer Jason Aalon Butler. In contrast to many of Warped’s near-choreographed stage shows, Butler’s is authentically out of control.

6. Nineteen years in, Warped remains an unparalleled opportunity to see a cavalcade of emerging and established artists—far outweighing its $30 ticket price.

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