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St. Pete gets Warped performances

“Warped Tour is like, ‘Get in the dirt and have fun,'” Glassjaw’s Justin Beck said, “It’s dirty and hot.”

The Van’s Warped Tour stops at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg on July 25. In its ninth spin around the country, the Warped roster boasts Rancid, Less Than Jake and Andrew W.K., along with 45 other bands that should satisfy any punk rocker’s palate.

In the past, the Warped Tour has featured Green Day, Papa Roach, 311 and Weezer.

The tour has also managed to fuse extreme sports with punk music, creating an environment where a concert-goer can look up from the mosh-pit and see a motorcyclist flying through the air.

Considering the tour’s growing popularity, and the idea of music playing nearly from sunset to sundown, the price has also remained relatively low over the years. (This year’s price is $27.50 without service/convenience charge, an increase of only $2.50 from last year).

Long Island rockers, Glassjaw, will take the Warped main stage this year. On the band’s sophomore release, Worship and Tribute, Glassjaw did not conform to the mainstream, instead delving deeper into its curious style by pulling influences from hardcore, reggae and metal. Worship and Tribute refers to the band’s musical influences, paying “Tribute” to dissimilar bands such as Anthrax, the Cure, and Squeeze, to name a few.

“Life is like a dirty bucket and you’re like a sponge going into it,” Glassjaw guitarist Beck said. “When you squeeze the sponge you have your own version of this new conglomerate of water. It’s our take on the music that has influenced us.”

Those infamous Gainesville boys, Less Than Jake, join the Warped Tour again this year with the release of their new album, Anthem. Spending the last nine years performing about 200 dates per year, LTJ continue to energetically perform every set without showing any signs of weakening. The band will continue the incessant schedule, and fire up the ska-horns for the rest of the summer.

Almost every year at least one act tends to trigger a collective double take: Eminem in ’99, Kid Rock in ’98 and Limp Bizkit in ’97.

The oddball artist this year is Andrew W.K., who can be most accurately described as a partier. Sure his tunes are noisy nonsense (no wonder why he was chosen to play the Jackass movie theme), but at their core, the songs are just plain fun. By encouraging crowd interaction much more than most artists and packing his set with adrenaline and insanity, Andrew W.K. is not to be missed.

Bringing the original punk sound to the tour, and most Warped-newbies to their knees, are tour veterans Rancid. Epitaph Record’s pride and joy play all of the Warped dates and can be seen rocking it in St. Petersburg.

In addition to the healthy blend of basically underground bands, Warped satisfies those who only listen to popular radio with outfits such as All-American Rejects, the Ataris, Simple Plan and Bowling for Soup.

Experienced Warped performers this year include the Dropkick Murphys, Suicide Machines, and Mad Caddies. For complete band listing for Vinoy Park, check