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Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly recounts his experience on Warped Tour last year

Geoff Rickly Blood On The Dance Floor Warped Tour 2012

Geoff Rickly with actor Matthew Lillard and Dahvie Vanity of Blood On The Dance Floor

Let’s start off with a little context: Geoff Rickly is a multi-talented man. Primarily known as the frontman and songwriter for veteran post-hardcore band Thursday, he’s also the founder of United Nations, a mysterious punk/grindcore project and one of my favourite superbands of all time. Beside that, he also performs solo in the singer/songwriter mould.

Whatever he does, he’s been on the scene for quite a while. Wikipedia places him at 34, and considering Thursday started in 1997, my maths puts him at 18 when he began, so music has been almost half of his life.

Given Thursday’s popularity over the years, it should come as no surprise that he’s been on quite a few tours in his time, and most pointedly the Vans Warped Tour, which is 18 years-old itself.

He played on in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, and last year’s run as a solo act – and it’s this experience which he recounts in hilarious detail in a column over at The Talk House.

For a tour that attracts such a young crowd, it must be slightly unnerving to be on it in your early thirties; indeed, he recalls a teenager he thought might have been talking to him was probably looking through him, given his age.

It’s presented in a Dante Alighieri, nine-levels-of-hell (purely allegorical) format, and muses on the myriad mysteries and pitfalls of the tour.

Every Time I Die frontman Keith Buckley wrote a similar, much more barbed appraisal for Alternative Press in 2010, in which he lamented the shitty music and bizarre fashion choices of the “popular” young bands on the tour. It totally reads like an old man shaking his fist at the neighbourhood kids, but he’s not far wrong. The main point of it was this:

[quote-symbol symbol1]The problem is that kids here at the Warped Tour don’t know that half of these “bands” play to an iPod track or that most “artists” don’t even write their own songs. They don’t realize that the singer of Never Shout Never is just a poor man’s Justin Bieber or that most of these “moshcore” bands that use 808’s to really BEEF UP their bass tone are the most recent manifestation of nu metal. Really guys? The dude from Milli Vanilli KILLED HIMSELF because he was so ashamed at being outed as a phony and yet on a daily basis I walk out into the crowd and hear autotuned vocals in a live setting. What the fuck has happened to us? Don’t we want more than this? Music once made me want to play music. Now there are days that it makes me want to never listen to it again.

I have never been to Warped Tour (it only arrived in the UK last year, and it appears I am already beyond its target demographic), and that is fine by me, but it does make me feel a sad or two that these two eminently respectable musicians felt so out of place on a tour that undoubtedly pays their bills quite well.

I’m not really sure I have a point, but I enjoy both of these men’s work, so here’s “Understanding In A Car Crash” by Thursday, which seems like a suitably apt title.

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