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Darla Kitt's Adventures at

Written by Darla Kitt

     Yes, I went to the Vans' Warped Tour. Now before you start going off about stupid punk rock bands and stupid punk rock kids and stupid punk rock hair, just hear me out. Yes, there were bands that sounded like death-noise, and there were kids with holes in their faces, and there were many rainbow-hued mohawks...BUT, the few cool bands there were SO cool, it made up for all that other crap.
Reverend Horton Heat
     The day started slow with us getting there around 12:00. There were no bands I really wanted to see until 3, so my roommate and I just wandered around. There were four stages set up in the Corestates Center parking lot, two at one end for the "big bands" and two at the other end for "littler bands". The rest of the lot was taken up by mostly people trying to sell you stuff or giving away stickers and promo packs if you signed their mailing lists. I was interested in checking out the much hyped up "ladies lounge" but found that all it consisted of was JNCO stickers, a chick DJ, and a Planned Parenthood table giving away free condoms. Not much of a "lounge" if you ask me.
     Anyway, while walking the lot, we came upon a rock climbing wall where you could climb for free and if you reached the top you got a hat or T-shirt. After much coaxing, my roommate Rich agreed to do it with me. Now I think I'm in pretty good shape, and it didn't look too difficult, almost everyone else reached the top, so I had no doubt I could too. Well...I felt like such a dork once I was up there. The wall was slanted out so you had to lean back to climb it, and it was a helluva lot harder than it looked. Even so, I was one more step away from reaching the top and my hand slipped right off, sending me swinging out and just hanging there by my strapped in butt. Rich made it. But, they ran out of free stuff so he didn't get anything anyway. Nyah, nyah.
     Next we were off to watch the skaters. They had this huge half pipe set up next to a great street course. Professional  skateboarders, bladers and BMXers all had free reign of these facilities. And they put on a great show.
     Up along the side of the CoreStates were the tents of each band that was on the Tour. We browsed each one, loading up on free stickers, zines and flyers. One thing's for sure, you get a lot of free stuff here. Then we walked over to the little stages. There was some hardcore band on the one stage, but I saw a stand up bass set up on the other one. We decided to hang around and wait for that show to start. I found out the band coming on was called The Amazing Royal Crowns. Hmmm, they even had a cool name, now I was thoroughly intrigued. Out came four guys in slick suits with super cool hair, except the guitarist who was balding, but he tried. Anyway, they ripped into this rockabilly beat that shocked the hell out of me. I was instantly smitten, I had to meet them. Rich and I were dancing on and off during their set, but mostly I was just watching. The singer had so much energy! And he talked to the audience! I noticed a guy close to the front of the crowd in a black T-shirt and pompadour with a bluebird tattooed on his neck singing along. Then I noticed he had the biggest mutant beetle I had ever seen perched on his back. Nice gal that I am, I went up to him and brushed it off. He turned to thank me in the sweetest, softest voice. This fact is important later, trust me.
     After their set I went backstage (it was a little side stage, no one cared who was back there) to try and talk to the singer. He was surrounded by people, but I did get to him and asked if he'd be interested in doing an interview. He said he'd love to and to meet him at their tent after Reverend Horton Heat played. I couldn't believe it! So we went over to the stage Reverend would be on to get a spot up close.
     Now, their set was amazing! The Reverend had on this country suit, all gray and sky blue with a matching blue bow tie and black and white flamed shoes. We were right up front and I swear to God, he looked right at me and winked! Of course there were mobs of girls all around me, but I'm Mrs. G dammit and I looked GOOD. During their set the singer from the Crowns, whose name I found out was Jason, came up behind us and hung out. Jimbo the Reverend's bass player did all sorts of crazy shit with his bass, throwing it up in the air, jumping on it, spinning it around, it was great. And the Reverend went off on an evangical tangent about some chick he had locked in his closet who turned into a monster, and all girls with tattoos were going to hell. I know it sounds weird, but I guess you had to be there.
     After that set we went back to the Crown tent to meet Jason, and waited forever. Then we saw about five tents down that the Reverend Horton Heat* was AT their tent and signing autographs. So off we went. I finally got to them and they all signed my ticket, heehee. Then I told the Reverend himself that I had two other requests. One, was for him to sign my boob. I know it's corny but it was a giddy day and I never had my boob signed by anyone before and I figured that he'd be the one to do the job, but he told me, "Sorry beautiful I can't sign body parts."
And, yes he really called me beautiful...heehee. But he asked for my name and wrote a personal note for me on the back of a sticker, heehee. Then I asked him if he'd be willing to do an interview for me. A huge request I know, but I thought what the hell, I'm here. And he said he would if he had time, to check back at the tent later. WooHoo!
     Now, I was in no way prepared for any kind of interview that day, so I had to run around collecting flyers to write on and I stole a pen from one of those mailing list tables. Then we went back to the Crowns tent to see if Jason was back yet. He was, and in the middle of another interview. Shit. But he did say for us to come back in about an hour. Needless to say when we came back once again we waited around and he never showed. So I said hell with him, let's go try to find the Reverend. But he wasn't at his tent either. I asked the guy there if he knew where he was, that he said he might do an interview for me. He told me he was probably at the bus and to check there. I guess he thought I had a press pass. I told him I didn't and asked if he could escort us back there. At first he said he couldn't leave the tent, but after I worked my girly eyes and asked again REAL sweet, he gave the money to another guy and took us back, heehee.     I was so friggin' nervous I thought I wouldn't be able to speak properly when we were standing outside their tour bus waiting for Chris, the tent guy, to bring him out. Then Chris came out alone and said the Reverend went down to catering to eat and that I could go look for him there. Well, I wasn't about to interrupt his dinner so we decided to wait there. While looking around at all the busses we noticed he was sitting in the front seat of a truck across the way, drinking beer with some guy. We pointed this out to Chris and he went and got him for us. Once again the nerves struck my usually calm, cool self. He walked over to us and was the nicest person you'd ever want to meet! He did a terriffic interview** with me and we just talked about all kinds of stuff for an hour! I was totally starstruck at this point, and Rich had to take up some of my warbled sentences for me. Then he took some pictures with us, shook our hands and told us to make sure to send him a copy of the magazine! And then, to top it off, on our way back to the lot we got a free cup of lemonade! Hey, at three bucks a cup, a free one is pretty cool.

Amazing Crowns
     We made it back to the lot just in time for Rancid. Don't get on my case, I like Rancid. So what? Unfortunately we were so far back we couldn't see shit, but we could hear them and they sounded great. Yes, Rancid sounded great. After they were done we went back to the Crowns tent to see if Jason was there, and the guy said he was over at the little stage watching Demonspeed, his friend Matt's band. So we went over to check them out. And who was on the stage in a cool suit jamming on guitar and singing with this huge voice? The guy a brushed the beetle off of! Honest to God I couldn't believe the sound coming out of his mouth, he was so soft spoken to me. If the Crowns were supercool rockabilly, Demonspeed was supercool rockabilly on speed. They were great. A little loud, but great.
     When they were done I finally got my interview** with Jason, and Jack the bassist. Since the Warped Tour was over we got to go inside Corestates Center and hold the interview there. In the auditorium, just the four of us. It was really cool to be sitting in that huge empty building talking with them. I felt like real reporter or something. They are really great guys, so nice! And cute as hell. We sat there for 45 minutes just talking. If you don't know this band you have to check them out! Their web address is www.amazingroyalcrowns.com but after August 31st they have to change their name to just The Amazing Crowns because they were sued so just do a search for that.
     All in all my time at the Warped Tour was very cool. So if it's coming to your town, you have to check it out. Just disregard the hardcore bands and Doc Martens. But, stay for Rancid, they are cool. They ARE!

*Click Here to read Darla's Interview with Jim Heath.
Originally appeared in the Online Magazine Elvis Ain't Dead

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