Warped Tour Park Place, Barrie, ON - August 12, 2006

On a hot, dusty summer day, thousands of people made the trek to Barrie, Ontario for one of three Canadian dates on this year’s Warped Tour. Consistently pulling in one of the biggest crowds all summer, this year’s date saw huge crowds gathering at even the smallest stages for the likes of Alexisonfire, Protest the Hero and Moneen, making for a big, well-supported dose of CanCon. It was apparent that all three artists were drawing more than some of the headlining acts, with throngs of eager fans arriving way before the bands were scheduled to play, blocking access to other stages. Saves the Day, who for two months have been pulling double-duty on the main stage as an electric act and the side stage acoustically, treated their fans to a selection of songs played on request from the crowd in the later set. While a little dull, the set was balanced by the balls-out rock of Venusians Valient Thorr, who pretended to fire off guns into the young emo horde watching Saves the Day. Drawing a huge crowd by virtue of their stage presence alone, the band kept people around with their stellar musicianship and leaps from the side-stage speakers. Horse the Band drew a gigantic crowd to their tiny stage and proved worthy of the attention, concluding their set with the unpredictably popular "Cutsman,” while the Sainte Catherines played with fury and discussed their distaste for Toronto. The crowd that had gathered by the end of the band’s set included an obese drunk guy and two awkwardly dancing girls in bikinis, prompting singer Hugo Mudie to ask, in his loveable Quebec accent, "Are you here because you like us or because I have no shirt on?” and seemed to embody the bizarre mix of people that is Warped Tour. On the main stage, Joan Jett looked not a day over 30 and made sure to kick off her set with hits "My Reputation” and "Cherry Bomb,” though her newer material didn’t seem to do much for a crowd looking to hear the hits. Helmet, while impressively tight and heavy, confused a bunch of kids who didn’t know who they were. It was clear, however, that a few older attendees were beyond stoked to hear "Just Another Victim.” And NOFX, who could barely be seen through the cloud of dust that gathered in front of them, played really fast and made fun of everybody.