Music News

Critic's Choice

When it was launched in 1995, the Warped Tour was one of many multi-band bashes -- from H.O.R.D.E. to the Lilith Fair -- that emerged in the wake of the influential, highly successful Lollapalooza festival. So why, seven years later, are virtually all of these allegedly annual events, including Lollapalooza, either defunct or on hiatus, while the Warped Tour is still shredding eardrums nationwide every summer? Scale, scope and focus have a lot to do with it. From the beginning, Warped, which takes place locally on Sunday, June 23, at the Adams County Fairground, has been less interested in big bucks and generalized greed than with showcasing the newest, freshest punk, ska and youth-culture mayhem to skateboarders and their friends at a reasonable price -- and that hasn't changed. This year's attendees will get a chance to hear veteran acts like Bad Religion and NOFX alongside younger outfits like Pistol Grip and Quarashi (pictured) for whom Warped isn't a passing fad but a way of life. Take that, Perry Farrell.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts