The most impressive part of the Vans Warped Tour usually comes in the middle of the annual daylong sweaty rock scrum -- when the wild tour's studied eclecticism is on full display.
Saturday's nine-hour show in the Nassau Coliseum parking lot was no different.
In the "Acoustic Basement," where the enclosed tent often shakes with the booming distorted bass of the louder stages nearby, Vinnie Caruana manages a set that approximates something intimate, as he led his Long Island faithful in one sing-along after another. Even when the Merrick singer-songwriter, best known as the frontman for The Movielife and I Am the Avalanche, unveiled a new song, "To Be Dead and in Love," that will be on his upcoming solo album, the crowd did their best to follow along.
Behind his tent, They All Float, featuring Cheyenne Snider, daughter of Twisted Sister's Dee Snider, was making its Warped Tour debut on the "Kevin Says" stage, hand-picked by tour creator Kevin Lyman. The band's mix of Evanescence-like rock and hard-core went over well, generating one of the day's many circle mosh pits.
"It's amazing that we're still here," said Sunday's drummer, Mark O'Connell. "Playing here still really stuns me. It's so exciting to be playing at home."
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"This is a tough tour," he added. "But I'm glad we did it because it's good for the band. We've won over all sorts of crowds who have now become fans."
The Rockville Centre-based band, which is one of the headliners for the entire tour, was set to close out the night on the big stage, gathering the largest crowd of the day.
The fans, who spent so much of the day in their little worlds, finally got together to see how big their challenge to the pop culture mainstream really is.