"Sell Out With Me"
Greetings loyal readers,
I had the pleasure of attending the Vans' Warped Tour this weekend, which is weird I know, since I'm a 26-year old writer for a business magazine and not a 17-year old girl who loves eyeliner and sneaking cigarettes behind the bleachers. But, I basically never go to shows anymore, and my girlfriend had never even been to a punk concert before prior to this weekend, so I figured why not check out Warped Tour? There's something like 50-plus bands that play, and the people watching is excellent, ranging from hulking brutes in combat boots and red suspenders, weird pasty guys who look this is the first time they've been able to tear themselves from World of Warcraft in months, and 15-year olds with foot-tall pink mohawks who are very clearly there with their parents. Basically, it's like 100 punk concerts mashed into one.
It's been almost 10 years since I was last at Warped Tour, and I have to say my experiences at 16 and 26 were markedly different. I won't bore you with all the details, but here's a brief synopsis:
At 16: "This is awesome! Boy I hope someone notices my cool Descendents shirt!"
At 26: "There are a lot of people trying to shill things here, but they're all sort of bad at it."
And it's true. You have your band merch booths, your Greenpeace and PETA and Amnesty International tents, your Xbox demos and KIA displays, but no promotional products. Anyplace. For any of the 100 companies trying to grab those precious teenage minds and wallets.
To spare the poor kid handing out PETA pamphlets, 99 percent of which are going to get thrown on the ground in less than a second, why not give him some little pigs in PETA T-shirts printed with an accompanying Web address to hand out instead? My girlfriend would literally kill for one of those, and I don't think she is alone. Does the often shamefully incompetent Microsoft need something to hand out at its THREE huge tents? I think we can agree that's a yes. Would I drink from a Misfits-branded mug? Let's just say I'd be breaking every other glass I owned to spare them the shame of being around such a superior piece of drinkware.