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17th annual Vans Warped Tour rocks Detroit

Band members offer their perspectives, plans for future

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Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 11:29 am, Fri Apr 5, 2013.

Over 60 bands rocked Detroit at the 2011 Vans Warped Tour at Comerica Park June 8. The Detroit line-up this year included Warped Tour rookies, regulars and veterans.

The Warped Tour, a music festival that has run since 1995, consisted of multiple stages set up in the parking lot of Comerica Park and an array of vendors in and around the park itself. A huge sign in the middle listed what times and which stages the bands played.

The line up of bands for Detroit included The Devil Wears Prada, Simple Plan, illScarlett, Big D and the Kids Table, We Came As Romans and Less Than Jake.

The tour has already visited big cities like Houston and Las Vegas, and will go on to stop by other cities including Montreal, Olando, Phoenix and San Diego.

Ska/punk band Big D and the Kids Table’s fourth Warped Tour experience comes just after the July 7 release of their new album, “Fluent in Stroll.” Lead vocalist David McWane said that the best thing about Warped Tour is getting out of the bump and grind of normal life.

“Believe it or not, this (Warped Tour) society functions really tight and well,” he said.

After Warped Tour, the band will be touring in China and Japan; the band will then come home, rest for a week and then tour the United States, tenor saxophone player Ryan O’Connor said. After another week’s rest, the band will then go on tour in Europe.

Big D and the Kids Table also has a new DVD that will possibly come out in the fall, McWane said. The DVD, titled “Built Up From Nothing,” includes DIY tips for starting bands.

Post-hardcore band We Came As Romans, based out of Troy, Mich., joined Warped Tour’s line-up for the first time this year. Lead guitarist Joshua Moore said that the tour has been awesome so far, and that the band is just playing shows all the time.

“Our first day in Dallas was actually the first Warped Tour I’ve ever even been to,” he said.

So far, Moore said their best show experience had been the California dates, because the band had a good time during the day and a great show at night, “but I have a feeling that today’s going to be better, ‘cause (Detroit) is our hometown,” he said.

We Came As Romans just got back from headlining the Scream It Like You Mean It tour in Europe, and already has post-Warped Tour plans.

“We’re booked actually into next year, but the tours haven’t been announced yet so I can’t really say what they are,” Moore said. “But we definitely have some plans.”

Warped Tour veterans Less Than Jake played the main stage this year. The ska/punk band has played 10 of the 17 Vans Warped Tours. Their set, exceeding 40 minutes, included a hit from their first album which came out in 1995.

Saxophone player Peter “JR” Wasilewski said that the unique thing about Warped Tour is that there is such a wide array of bands.

“It’s really unlike any other tour you would do,” Wasilewski said.

Less Than Jake just released a 5-song EP titled “Greetings From Less Than Jake,” which was sold in both CD and rolling paper form at Warped Tour. Patrons who purchased the Less Than Jake rolling papers received a code to go online and download the EP.

After the Warped Tour, the band plans to take a break for a while.

“If the world doesn’t end in 2012, we will be celebrating our 20th anniversary as a band,” Wasilewski said.

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