Music is often a safe haven. The day leading up to the Pepper show was particularly heavy. Anytime you have a political event where people are drawn to different sides of an argument, it’s going to create some discord and discontent. I needed to retreat to my safe haven, Union Transfer. I remember the first time I had seen Pepper. It was the first Warped Tour I had ever been to. I had a crappy flip phone camera and recorded the band performing “Bring Me Along”. I was a fan ever since.
The first band of the night was New Beat Fund from Los Angeles. They play a style of music that they call G-Punk. It was a decent opener for a crowd that was just looking to have a good time. They would later come out at the end of the night to play their joint song with Pepper, “Every Little Thing”. The second band of the night was The Movement from South Carolina, who provided a reggae vibe to the show. Bassist Jay Schmidt was swinging his long dreds mouthing the lyrics from the crowd. The entire front row knew some of their songs from their set, as well. This was my first time seeing them, but when I got home, I checked out some of their music and it made my coveted iPod playlist (maybe not so coveted).
Last, but definitely not least, was Pepper. They played an hour-long set that was fun and charismatic. The fans in the crowd were clearly veteran Pepper fans. There were not many new fans, but in retrospect, as they tore through songs like “Point and Shoot” and “Higher Ground”, everybody was singing the lyrics. It was a show that you could bring your girlfriend to , have a couple of laughs, and maybe rekindle that romance. Bassist Bret Bollinger and guitarist Kaleo Wassman made jokes to the crowd about Philadelphia. They are just three down to earth guys who love to play music and have a hell of a time doing it.