It was a venture to Houston from Louisiana that year. New Orleans landed a taste of the Van's Warped Tour in 2001, but alas it was run short. If there was one concert I have fond memories of in the past ten years, it would be the Van's Warped Tour stop in Houston, Tx. in 2002. It was a revolution in both where punk rock would end up, passing of the torches and a complete split mirror of what was and what would be.
Prior to the trip, I was obsessed with Thursday's Full Collapse, listening to the album every night before I went to bed. While I was gradually moving into albums like Thrice's The Illusion of Safety and Poison the Well's Tear From the Red, there was still an anticipation to see the bands like NOFX, Bad Religion, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and of course - The Drive-Thru Records Stage!
Upon arrival, it began storming outside, so the festival moved the one outside Main Stage inside and all the small stages were shut down for the day - including Drive Thru's!
The day worked out for the best though, as the set times were shorter, but there was an ability to catch everyone from Hot Water Music to New Found Glory to Something Corporate to...man, the fucking list goes on. Take a look at who was on that bill. After Reel Big Fish was MxPx and after them Bad Religion, and after them Thursday and so on.
It seemed like the year that launched many careers, and solidified old favorites. It's a bill and a day that ended with about 500 of us left inside watching the Bosstones end the long, but glorious day.
Hands down, Warped Tour 2002 was not only the best concert experience of the past decade for me, it was also a definitive moment where I witnessed my old influences and watched what would influence me to come.
I became punk rock in mind, body and spirit that day in Houston...no matter how you define the sound.