NO ROOM FOR ROCKSTARS PEERS INSIDE THE WARPED TOUR MINUS THE SUNBURNS, STANKY ASS PORT-A-POTTIES, AND IDIOT TEENINJAS
The Vans Warped Tour blows. At least that was my close-minded opinion of the traveling pop punk summer music circus that is still chugging along after nearly 20 long years of existence. Of course, I’ve never been to a single WT concert, so I’m just being a dick.
However, after watching the new documentary, No Room For Rockstars, I think I may have to actually check out WT this summer for the first time. That’s high praise coming from me, as I seldom go to live shows these days.
Shot in the summer of 2010, NR4R follows a handful of artists from that season’s line-up. These acts include MetalSucks punching bags Suicide Silence, MySpace “Kumbaya” peacenik phenoms Never Shout Never, Justin Timberlake clone Mike Posner, and pop punk trio and true road hogs Forever Came Calling. A weird combination of bands, but apparently indicative of what the Warped Tour has to offer its sweaty faithful throngs.
If you’ve ever seen and/or dug former skateboard kingpin (and producer here) Stacy Peralta’s documentaries Dogtown and Z-Boys or Riding Giants, you have an idea what to expect from NR4R: excellent cinematography, an intimate insider’s look at an “extreme” sub-culture, and some killer tunes.
The four featured performers here are Suicide Silence lead singer and anxiety disorder sufferer Mitch Lucker, disillusioned artist and Justin Bieber lookalike Christofer Drew of Never Shout Never, the soon-to-be superstar Mike Posner, and, most impressively, the formerly 450-pound Joe Candelaria, guitarist and lead singer for Forever Came Calling, who painfully tags along with the WT, selling self-released CDs to the fans in line in each town where the tour invades, with the desperate hopes of landing a set-time in the event that one of the 100+ bands drops out.
The viewer doesn’t need to be a fan of any of these four acts to appreciate the trials and tribulations (and the occasional celebrations) they undergo. Sure, NR4R provides a behind-the-scenes backstage glimpse into the machinations of creating a hugely successful traveling musical monstrosity, as well as providing a closer look at WT founder and megamind Kevin Lyman, who cooks a mean BBQ and truly epitomizes the DIY spirit of old-skool punk rock, albeit on an absurdly large commercialized publicly-acceptable platform. But more importantly, NR4R shines a light on the human spirit of the underdog, the determination of those unwilling to quit chasing their dreams, and the complete and utter randomness of the music business and how there is no full-proof method to achieve “rockstar” success.
NR4R is a damn fine movie. Let’s just hope this summer’s Warped Tour doesn’t blow because I fucking hate Port-A-Potties.
(4 Out of 5 Horns)
Corey Mitchell is a best-selling author of several true crime books and is currently helping Philip H. Anselmo write his autobiography.
Also, be sure to check out Philip Anselmo and Corey Mitchell’s Housecore Horror Film Festival coming to Austin, TX in October 2013.