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Five observations from the Vans Warped Tour (The Plaza, June 30)

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Concertgoers crowd surf during the Vans Warped Tour as it made a stop at the Plaza Parking Lot in Las Vegas Thursday, June 30, 2011.
Photo: Justin M. Bowen

* It takes a lot to stand out among dozens of bands at Warped, which is something Foxy Shazam seems to understand perfectly. Among other attention-grabbing antics, singer Eric Sean Nally solicits cigarettes from the audience, lights two of them and then proceeds to eat them whole without batting an eye. Bad Religion never did that.

* The ’90s holdovers in Less Than Jake do not understand kids today. They complain about the current proliferation of shaggy haircuts, then invite some floppy-haired dude onstage and use an electric razor to give him a mohawk instead.

2011 Vans Warped Tour in L.V.

* The guitarist in generic pop-punk band Every Avenue is wearing a Lady Antebellum T-shirt. Ironic or not? The line between mainstream and alternative has become so blurred that I honestly have no idea. These guys are certainly no edgier than Lady Antebellum.

* Prodigiously bearded punk-Americana act Larry and His Flask has figured out how to extend the notoriously short set times at Warped: The band plays acoustically, with no microphones and no stage, while standing in front of its own merch booth. It’s pretty awesome.

* “They’re the it band right now,” the guy standing next to me says about headliners A Day to Remember, a truly terrible pop-punk/metalcore hybrid from Florida, which attracts the hugest crowd of the day. Maybe I don’t understand kids today either.

Full story to follow in Thursday's print edition.

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