Seeing The Warped Tour at the Gorge is sensory overload. Not only are there thousands of people milling about, most in some state of undress, but also multiple music stages, dozens of vendors, band booths, skate ramps, pamphleteers, and on and on. Stand in just the right place and you can hear three screamo bands yelling at you at the same time, all at equal volume. And then there was the sun, the brutal sun, beating down on pasty white skin marked with colorful tattoos like an angry ball of gas intent on memorializing the occasion with a thousand sunburns.
My day started off with a set from Columbus, Ohio's Attack Attack!, a growly metalcore band that seemed a little out of place in the harsh light of day.
Hollywood's Black Veil Brides may look like Nikki Sixx, but they sound more like today's modern metal acts than Motley Crue.
I checked out back-to-back ska-punk bands on the two main stages, with one band starting just as the previous finished. Less Than Jake's singer/guitarist Chris Demakes poked fun at the aesthetic of many of the bands on the tour, apologizing for his age, for not fitting into size 28 jeans, and for having a haircut that looked like Ellen DeGeneres', or at least the lead singer of The Offspring. "All I know is I'm pretty fly for a white guy," he said.
Allston, Massachusetts' Big D and The Kids Table kept the ska party going. Singer David McWane hoped his tongue-wagging and mike-hoisting would help fans sing along.
There is nothing more intimidating than a badass Beverage Enforcement Agent.
The self-proclaimed originator of "post-punk laptop rap," MC Lars, performed tracks from his latest album Lars Attacks!
I'm fairly certain Prada doesn't make denim vests with Joy Division patches on the back, but The Devil Wears Prada singer Mike Hranica does, whose guttural growl seemed to make all the girls in the front row swoon.
A Skylit Drive has two, count 'em two, gingers.
Against Me!played a ferocious set of smart, tuneful punk rock, my favorite of the day.
These girls agree, even if their necks hurt a little from craning to watch them.
Nic Newsham from Seattle's Gatsby's American Dream wins the award for the singer with the most colorful shirt, as well as the singer who acted most like he was tripping on acid.
And here is Bowling for Soup's Chris Burney dreaming about which cereal mascot to add to his tattoo sleeve next.
With my feet hurting and my head burning, it was time to call it a day, but at least I have the pictures (and a sunburn) to remember it by.
Check out more pics from Warped Tour: The Hot Tats and Steamy Chicks of Warped Tour