Review of No Room for Rockstars – The Vans Warped Tour

If you don’t know what Warped Tour is, let me explain. The summer-long tour is a showcase of the alternative music scene, including acts that make you mosh, and others that can mellow you out. That’s why I love it so much. In the day when the 200 band tour come to my hometown, I get to watch, and interact, with bands that I love. Every year it is a new experience; you get to see bands that you’ve listened to for years, and find new ones to follow. But obviously, it is a different story. No Room For Rockstars follows four musicians and the head of the tour during it’s 2010 season, and makes an entertaining and eye opening hour-and-a-half documentary.

The people that Parris Patton and company covered stretched every sound found on the tour, as well as some of the crew that is involved in making the tour happened. Each one also brings an opinion and a mind-set, including business, touring, and the music industry as a whole. The first person you are introduced to is Mitch Lucker, frontman for the metal band Suicide Silence. When I first saw (and heard) him, I thought that he was a stereotypical metal head. Yet I was happily surprised by his moments. His music might be violent (there’s a line that’s highlighted here that goes “The human machine will finally bleed”), but he couldn’t be a more down to Earth person. Even his little sister and mother follow him on tour, which makes it almost humerus that he sings the way he does. But, for him, he does it all for his daughter, who wears mega headphones and rocks out with her father.

Next was Christopher Drew, also known as Never Shout Never. Of course, he is all about peace and love, and also the most complicated person interviewed. His easy going style seemed to get in the way of his personal feelings about both success and the actual Warped Tour. He says on multiple occasions that he doesn’t care about how much money he makes on the tour, and slamed Warped for being a money making machine. With a broken foot and suffering from being homesick, Drew comes across as…almost a jerk. He even goes as far as saying that Warped Tour is brainwashing kids to buy their items and music. As someone who follows Drew, I can say that he is no saint here – as his fans are some of the most rabid collection of people at each event.

The last mainstream musician (and I mean mainstream) to be featured is Mike Posner. Yes, THAT Mike Posner. For someone who comes across as somewhat of an ass in the beginning, he eventually started to embrace the Tour and all of its people. It doesn’t help that his single “Cooler Than Me” was taking off as the tour was happening, and as it climbed the charts, his crowds grew and grew. And when he wasn’t singing, he was signing things, or doing photoshoots, or doing another show somewhere else. His busmates, Fake Problems and Anarbor, also get featured in his story; contrasting his rise to fame, and the other bands’ struggles to become popular. His story is probably the most interesting out of the three, which is something that I wouldn’t have thought would be – especially since his music never really does well on Warped.

The last band that is Forever Came Calling – a band that followed the tour from town to town trying to sell their CD’s to anyone who would listen. Starting on ZERO dollars, they make it the entire tour hoping that one day they can grace one of the stages of the Tour. They go through some personal drama, a broken down van, and plenty of signatures to help catapult them onto just one stage for just one day.

Lastly, but definitely not least, it’s everybody who makes it possible, including founder Kevin Lyman. The amount of work that each person puts into making this gigantic tour possible makes me feel lazy, because they are trying to make everything great, fun, and most importantly safe (depending on who you are).

Parris Patton created a great documentary that focuses on both the music, business, and personal aspects of what it takes to be in a band and to be on a tour like Warped Tour. I knew that this was some work to put on, but some of the things that they do is ridiculous. IF you’re looking for a fun documentary that can both inform you and introduce you to some cool music, don’t be afraid to check this out.

Final Grade: A-

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