The fifth annual Vans Warped Tour kicked off Friday at Retama Square in San Antonio,
Texas, under a blazing sun.
A brief downpour extinguished the heat for just a bit as fans moshed, skanked and threw
their hands in the air during sets by artists such as Eminem, Pennywise, Lit, Less Than
Jake, Ice-T, Black Eyed Peas and numerous others.
On this first edition of the Vans Warped Tour to highlight hip-hop in addition to punk rock,
Detroit rapper Eminem (born Marshall Mathers) lured fans away from the second music
stage and extreme-sports displays with a graphic clown-around set that focused on
songs such as "My Name Is" (RealAudio excerpt).
Fan Steve Davis managed to take in the tour's first three stops, which included shows at
Houston's Astro Arena on Saturday (June 26) and Dallas' Artists Square on Sunday
"I came to see everyone, but especially Lit," the 19-year-old Dallas resident said.
"There's almost too much to see."
At the Dallas stop, San Diego pop-punk trio Blink-182 delivered a typically lighthearted
set. Tossed in among songs such as their recent single "What's My Age Again?" was a
cover of hip-hop trio TLC's "No Scrubs" that had fans smiling as they danced.
Meanwhile, veteran rapper Ice-T (born Tracey Marrow) has been drawing fans' attention
with a recurring guest spot during the set by old-school Southern California
metal-rockers Suicidal Tendencies. The political gangsta rapper rallied crowds with
chants of "Ice! T!" as the band played.
During his own set Friday, Ice-T hyped his forthcoming disc, The Seventh Deadly
Sin, between songs while focusing his set on fan favorites, such as 1991's "Original
Suicidal Tendencies also dug deep into their catalog, pulling out such songs as
"Institutionalized" and cooking up a disco version of "I Saw Your Mommy," both from their
1983 self-titled debut.
Despite the heat, which was mitigated in Houston by an indoor portion of the show, the
majority of fans at each location stuck around throughout the eight-hour concert to witness
the rotating headliner spot.
Not that all fans fully enjoyed themselves. "It's too hot, and there are too many
new-school bands," Dallas teen Jessica Thompson said. "But then, I'm not really a
"There's a lot of lovely young ladies," observed guitarist Billy Sherman of the
reggae-flavored band Common Sense, out for their debut run with the tour. "But the
coolest part has been meeting all the other bands."
The tour's 31 dates continue through the end of July, first heading west, then doubling
back through the Midwest and Northeast before wrapping up in Georgia and Florida. The
next stop is Phoenix on Tuesday (June 29), where forecasters are predicting a
SonicNet is the exclusive online presenter of the Vans Warped Tour '99 and the
designer of its official website (www.warpedtour.com).