With this DVD release of live performances and interviews from the Vans Warped Tour of 2004. Lennon clearly aspires to be, in her /their words, "a heavier, hardcore, rock band" rather than the Vans staple punk. Yes – like Bon Jovi – the band and the singer have the same name. Warning bells should be sounding.

Lennon pouts her way around the stage, smokes seductively, pulls at her clothes, jumps around in and spouts Avril Lavigne level drivel. “I don’t care what you say – fuck the world” on ‘Rain. “Don’t care what you say - I’d rather and do it my way” on ‘Property of Goatfucker’. That song / title by the way is far from the stupidest thing about this band.

Yes this is your standard teenage angst from adults who should know better. This in itself would be fine. It would be ridiculous to complain about this sort of thing being aired in this venue ...if it wasn’t for the interviews slotted in between the live tracks.

In trying desperately to avoid comparisons with Spinal Tap we’ll just have to say that never have a band so solidly demolished any credibility they may have had.

Their manager explains why they are enjoying this tour: "It’s physically the easiest tour we’ve been on. ... You load in early, you play early, by the time the sun goes down you can be asleep." Rock and Roll!

The interview sections barely touch on the music, dealing mainly with the tour itself, showers at venues, how no-one gives poor little bands a break anymore. “Radio’s cut of the chances for the new guys” apparently.

The most excited they get in the interviews is discussing the catering: "This is the best catering we’ve ever had." "Any assemblance of salads or fruits or vegetables of sorts is wonderful." "Three times a day ... and they’ve got all hot catering girls."

That could be ok – maybe they want the music to do the talking. It’s certainly been authored nicely. If we’re being picky the drums are slightly tinny. The video is pretty uninspired as well. Musically all these songs are pretty similar – chugging bass, standard heavy rock riffs, and Lennon’s unchanging vocals.

In fact this has very little to recommend it apart from its brevity – at six songs it is over quickly. Also, it features a presumably unintentionally deep comment about the mainstreaming of US alternative scenes and certainly the best line so far this year that’s been delivered with a straight face.

Again from the manager who dominates the waffle sections comes: "They don’t wanna be sold – they wanna come out here and buy something that’s new."

Laugh or cry – your choice in a consumer driven market I guess.








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Commenting On: Beyond Warped Live Music Series - Lennon








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