Where Were We?: Portland, OR - Rose Quarter Waterfront
Set Time: 11.15am
Set Review: The last show. And we were on frightfully early. So early in fact, that the doors hadn’t really opened when we went on. Not the best conditions. We’ve grown quite accustomed for people being able to watch us whilst we play. It’s weird and voyeuristic - but somehow playing in front of a crowd is much better than playing in front of an empty area of ground. I believe that U2 and The Rolling Stones also feel the same way as I do on this subject. So we had a crowd made predominantly up of people we’ve met over the course of the tour. It was like at the end of a movie when all the characters the protagonist has met over the course of the film all show up to support him when he’s about to fight the villain and/or hell beast. It made us feel all warm and fuzzy, and the show was an enjoyable one. So it just goes to show - we’re a completely selfless band as we didn’t really gain anything from playing. Kind of like Mother Teresa if she played in a rock band. We found out afterwards that the reason they weren’t able to let people in until later than usual was because the police were trying to shut the show down... Apparently there were reports of potential fun going down and they had to put a stop to it. Fun can get out of hand and everyone could have died from excitement.
Lunch: Spinach Cheesy Eggs w/ Veggie Sausage & Hash Browns. For some reason, they decided to give the scrambled eggs a most unappealing name today - perhaps the eggs were misbehaving when they were being whisked and this was punishment. Spinach Cheesy Eggs sounds like something you could contract if you don’t wash often enough. But, name aside - it was a most enjoyable end to Warped Tour’s breakfast for lunch initiative. One day I wouldn’t be surprised if we all just eat breakfast for all meals of the day - it would cut out a lot of decision making when it comes to meal times. It has taken me until the last day to realise that this maverick breakfast after midday experiment has happened every Sunday. I don’t think i’ll be able to go back to eating anything else for lunch on a Sunday now - i’m too conditioned. Spinach Cheesy Eggs all the way!
Dinner: Vegan Fajita Chicken w/ Mashed Potato & Green Beans. And for the last supper... more fake meat that looks and tastes like actual meat. They’ve gotten so good at making these substitutes, even the most hardy meat eaters would be hard pressed to tell the difference. So, maybe in time we can just spare the animals? You can even spear the chicken-style tofu yourself before it’s cooked if it makes you feel any better? The vegetarian and vegan options were of such a high standard over the course of the tour that I don’t know why anyone would want to pick anything else anyway. Thank ye to all the crew at Ta Da Catering for making sure nobody on the tour went unsatisfied for even a single day, and for catering beyond the call of duty to everyone’s needs. Not a single bad meal. I bet Gordon Ramsay or Jamie Oliver would have even mucked up a couple of times. And they’ve on TV and shout at people for dramatic effect.
Campfire Session Review: An anti-climactic end to what has been hailed in many publications as “The greatest fake acoustic campfire session since Simon & Garfunkel serenaded a group of boy scouts in 1977”. And in one publication, famously, “McTrusty and Kneale are doing for acoustic sessions what Gandhi did for spirituality”. So it is with great shame that I announce that in Portland there was NO campfire session. I know, what a dramatic twist! We had big things planned for the last one aswell - caged dancers, a ring of fire, wizards and a guest appearance from Tina Turner. But, in a cruel twist of fate, the tour buses were parked too far away from the festival site to make the session feasible. The caged dancers were demanding extra to climb the big hill to where the buses were, Tina Turner broke a heal attempting the climb and it turns out wizards don’t deal with the sun very well. And the less said about the ring of fire the better. Let’s just say there is a ring of seriously burnt children very, very close to the area where we left the ring burning whilst we went to help Tina back onto her feet.
Shower: In yet another rogue move for the final day, I had NO shower. That’s right, just bypassed one completely. Like if I was living the life of a street urchin. It was the last day and I thought i’d leave the tour by trying out a bold new look: Slightly dirty, disheveled and with a funky smell. I think it was a hit, I was getting all sorts of sexy looks and people weren’t coming that close to me because I must have had an air of nonchalant cool.
Weirdest Moment of the Day: Witnessing my first ever car crash as an observer. Myself and Spider went a walk before the bus was due to leave for the final time - and just as we were crossing the road a car came haring through the junction just as another car was performing a U-turn. SMASH! Direct hit. Then the situation got more interesting as the car that was performing the U turn turned on these flashing lights that were attached to it’s roof. ‘Maybe cars light up when they get hit?’ I thought. Then Spider explained to me that it was a police car, used by the police to catch bad guys and doughnuts. So this poor man had raced through a junction and hit a lawman. It doesn’t get much unluckier than that really. Apart from the fact myself and Spider were jay walking just as the collision took place. So this police car smasher guy in fact saved the two of us the humiliation of being fined by the police. Thank you sir. Your lack of luck is our luck.
BEST Thing Said by Someone on Stage: I’ve changed this from the usual negative version, as at the end of Mighty Mongo’s set their guitarist Anthony uttered this prophetic phrase....
“God is a comedian, playing to an audience who are too afraid to laugh.”
Run: No run today, it was the final day and I really wanted to hone my new unclean look. In hindsight, going a run and then not showering would have really enhanced that look. An opportunity missed.
Best Band Seen: Funeral Party. The last band I saw of the tour were possibly my favourite, and the band that still baffle me as to why they ever did the tour in the first place. I think we sounded out of place next to 95% of the other bands on the tour, but Funeral Party are about 20 times more out of place than we are. There’s an equation there to figure out a percentage of how much more out of place they are than us, but it’s getting late and my calculator won’t turn on. But, I implore that you check this band out if you haven’t already.
Worst Band Seen: I made a conscious decision to not watch anything average, and certainly not terrible, on the last day. At the faintest audible note of a pig squeal or a synth intro I literally ran in the other direction, dirty and terrified.
Album Choice of the Day: Remember Remember - ‘The Quickening’
Made up Emo/Metal Band Name of the Day: Artichoke Heart-Break
Overall Percentage Out of 100 for the Day: 90%. This is kind of a percentage out of 100 for the whole tour. We came into this tour fearing it quite a bit. We felt like it was going to be horrible and would place our band in with a pool of music that we feel we have absolutely nothing in common with. And to a certain extent that turned out to be true. There were many bands on the tour who seem more interested in merchandise and getting drunk than the music itself. They all sound the same and there isn’t an ounce of originality in what they’re doing. The real shame is that it’s the tour itself that gets a bad name because of this. I believe that the Warped Tour still stands for the same punk ideals that fueled it in the beginning, but the musical climate has turned so sour in recent years that it needs to turn to these bands that don’t stand for anything so they can sustain the tour and make it survive from year to year.
The way the tour is run, the efficiency of moving a whole festival to a new site every single day and the equal treatment to every band on the tour (be it the bands who are on their first ever tour to the bands who can play to thousands of people on their own) is beyond commendable. I wish we could have done this tour in the late 90s when I think it would have been completely different. Now, the importance is placed on merchandise sales and telling your audience to buy things from the stage. It’s like watching door to door salesmen rather than musicians a lot of the time. But, in spite of this - I loved the tour. Waking up each day and finding out when you’d be playing, exploring the site to find out where everything is kept each day interesting and our shows themselves were enjoyable. Seeing little fan bases starting to build in all these cities we’ve only been to a handful of times was massively exciting, and made us realise that we can succeed over here if we continue to make good music and work as hard as we have for the last 5 years. And, ironically enough, Make Do And Mend, Dead Sara and Funeral Party, i’ve discovered three bands that have excited me more than I have by anyone in a long while. If only the other 100 bands could have been even a fraction as passionate and exciting as they were?
Added Notes: If you can’t afford a helmet to ride your bicycle, simply cut a coconut in half and cut two holes at the point where you halved it. Then tie some string through both holes and place the half shell on your head. There you have it, one DIY helmet. Also, the coconut milk can be rubbed on your body to make you immune to any cars that may happen to run you over. And, with the remaining half of the coconut - why not make a primitive penis shield? Great for contact sports like rugby or penis tag.