10. Dredg – Nothing particularly special about this one other than the fact that they closed with the combination of “Yatahaze”/“90 Hour Sleep” which couldn’t have possibly been a more perfect way to close the show.
9. Andrew W.K. – This whole set was one big fucking party and I’ve never felt so much positive energy at any show I’ve ever been to, easily the most joyful set I’ve ever seen and the most inspirational with some amazing words from Mr. W.K. Just seeing him close with “Party Hard” and seeing the most amazing circle pit open up would have been enough but this guy was somehow able to get fans rushed onto the stage at fucking Warped Tour! What an amazing site, he even had one kid riding around on his shoulders. What a guy.
8. Eric Clapton – I got to see “Layla” live. That’s all I have to say about that.
7. Radiohead – Radiohead scores major points for having TWO encores. Not only that but after ending their first set with “Videotape” (wow.) they opened their first encore with fucking “Optimistic” and then went straight into “Just (You Do It To Yourself)”…fucking AMAAAZING. Then, after a beautiful version of “Faust Arp” with just Thom and Jonny on acoustic guitar sitting across from each other on two stools, they played “Exit Music (For a Film).” Oh my god, you guys. I remember hearing my boy Robby say “this is about to get really fucking good” right before the epic explosion at the end of the song. It really did. If that wasn’t enough they closed out the first encore with Thom playing a second drum set on “Bangers and Mash” and then came back out with “House of Cards.” Then the close the whole deal, they did something I only used to be able to imagine I would see. Ended with “Street Spirit (Fade Out).” Wow. WOW.
6. Bright Eyes – There’s something poignant about ending the set, coming back for an encore and going right into “A Song To Pass the Time.” Really a perfect way to open the encore and then it went straight into a really fun, rockin Tom Petty cover that I really wish I knew the name of. The very last song was Conor Oberst all by himself in one spotlight singing an adorable acoustic ballad which he introduced as “a love song.” I can’t be certain but I want to say the song he played was “First Day of My Life” but I don’t remember the song especially well and it was way before that double album even came out.
5. Converge – They ended their set with fucking "Jane Doe." I fucking cried.
4. The Hold Steady – This one is probably the best closing/encore song choice ever for me. For starters they closed their original set with “Southtown Girls” which would have been a perfect closer in its own right. But then they came back and opened their encore with “First Night”…absolutely spellbinding. Then to top it all off they closed the whole deal with a wonderfully joyful rendition of “Killer Parties” in which a whole mess of people (myself included) joined them on stage. I actually danced with the keyboard player.
3. Reggie and the Full Effect – This show would probably rank 3rd on my list of most fun shows I’ve ever been to (which is really high because the only ones ahead of them are Andrew W.K.’s set at Warped Tour and GWAR). So…they played their last song and pretended they were done or whatever, blah blah blah yeah right. Then “Reggie” comes out in this British Parliament getup and does this really bouncy techno-ish song with really cute vocals/lyrics. Then they did another pretty anthemic song if I remember correctly...actually it might have been vice versa. I think it was. Anyway, when he finishes, Reggie says "Common Denominator is up next."
Without warning, a man with an incredibly distorted bass, black cape, and a fucking rubber skull mask comes on stage playing this DIRTY bassline. After a few minutes of this intro, the rest of the band emerged...and then...KLAUS (Reggie...with death metal make-up). He had this WEIRD pointy had and a wand of some sort and a vile of blood that he drank and smeared all over the skull guy's...skull. They did Dwarf Invasion and it was nuts. Everyone screamed "DWARF INVASION!" and shit. Good god what an amazing encore.
2. Against Me! – (taken from the excerpt posted below): I had been…imagining them closing with "We Laugh at Danger (and Break All the Rules)" [for months]...so Against Me! is wrapping up their amazing set and they say "this is our last song" and after a few moments of anticipation i flip my lid as Tom announces the final song as:
"WE LAUGH AT DANGER (AND BREAK ALL THE FUCKING RULES)"
as soon as the singing part kicked in, myself and a few others (Matt included) launched ourselves onto the stage and sang along. But then when the chorus hit...WHAM! The stage was fucking RUSHED. It was a sight to see. Kids were on the stage dancing with each other, singing to each other and just having so much fun. We even got the whole crowd clapping along to the little breakdown chorus and then we all let out the loudest WOOOOOO! we could muster as we brought the song to its crashing close. We all thought it was over then. Even as shouts of "BABY, I'M AN ANARCHIST" peppered the venue, people were beginning to file out...when suddenly...the motherfuckers BUSTED RIGHT INTO FUCKING "BABY, I'M AN ANARCHIST!!!!" What an AMAZINGLY PERFECT moment that was. Everyone was just on stage singing along in a circle around the band and it was so beautiful that it made me want to cry. What an ending to an amazing show.
1. Weezer – I feel so very privileged to have been able to see the once-mighty Weezer JUST before (or maybe slightly after) the beginning of their decline. It was just before the Green Album was coming out so, other than a small 4-5 song stretch of songs from that (including "The Christmas Song" which I maintain to this day should have been on the Green Album and is better than any song that was on it), every song they played was from Blue Album or Pinkerton. Truly an amazing show I’ll never forget but the encore cemented it in my mind forever. While they stood off stage with the crowd still begging them to come back, a blue light came up from the darkness. After a few seconds the band slow walk back on stage…and begin playing "Only In Dreams." Witnessing this might rank somewhere in the top 25 experiences of my entire life…they even extended the build-up/solo portion in the middle of the song to this incredible explosion that was just perfect. Then to cap it all off they closed with "Surf Wax America." Incredible.
honorable mention: Mastodon – they closed their set at The Fest 2 with two Ramones songs…that was rad.