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MXPX, Offspring to warp Gorge

Chris Kornelis Correspondent

The Warped Tour has always been more of a punk rock revue than a standard rock ‘n’ roll tour.

The show – now in its 11th installment – has been something of a right of pass into top 40 success, and not just in the punk rock community.

Bands playing at the Gorge Amphitheatre on Saturday with the annual summer tour will number no less than 40, and set lists are unlikely to break 30 minutes – just enough time for attendees to form an opinion of the act.

Here’s a look at a few acts on this summer’s roster.

MXPX

Bremerton’s MXPX is the quintessential Warped Tour act.

Though the band has attained moderate success – major label records, minor hits, Super Bowl commercial – it hasn’t been able to conquer the charts or establish itself as a headlining act. But through several spins with Warped Tour and low-scale tours on its own, the trio has amassed a steadfast following.

Through no fault of its own, the band’s level of success means Warped Tour continues to make sense, and the event is almost incomplete without a few minutes of “Chick Magnet,” “Responsibility” and “Punk Rawk Show.”

The Offspring

The Offspring have muddied the boundary between alt-rock and punk since exploding onto top 40 radio with “Smash” in 1994, on the strength of hits such as “Come Out and Play” and “Self Esteem.”

The band managed to follow the record with a string of successful efforts: most notably 1997’s “Ixnay on the Hombre” and 1998’s “Americana,” which featured the hit “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy).”

Feeling something of a hiccup in commercial success, the band that always has managed to return with that surprise hit, needs new Warped Tour fans to latch onto its three-chord arsenal.

My Chemical Romance

New Jersey-based My Chemical Romance is quickly becoming a favorite among rock ‘n’ roll brass and critics alike.

The band’s high-energy, pop-sensible songs make for sweaty mosh pits filled with tunes that are accessible to the MTV crowd.

The band is touring behind its latest release, “Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge,” the follow-up to 2002’s “I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love.”

These acts hope to join those sitting in the public opinion’s Warped Tour Hall of Fame:

Blink-182, last Warped Tour: 1999

Blink’s Warped Tour shows became standard in the ‘90s and ended in ‘99 while the band was cruising on the success of “Enema of the State.”

Once the platinum-selling power trio realized they could pack venues with hits such as “What’s My Age Again,” “All the Small Things” and “Dammit,” the Warped Tour lost one of its biggest draws.

Now on a possibly permanent hiatus, fans probably won’t be treated to the band’s panty-obsessed hits for quite a while.

Green Day, last Warped Tour: 2000

It’s true; Green Day is suddenly every Subaru owner’s favorite politically charged rock act, compliments of 2004’s “American Idiot.” But there was a time, and it wasn’t very long ago, that the pop-punk pioneers battled the summer heat, paying their dues on the Warped Tour.

“Dookie,” the band’s bazillion-selling breakthrough in 1994, was about adolescent foolishness and became a template for a generation of would-be Warped Tour participants.

Even in 2000, the band seemed to have outgrown Warped Tour constraints. Now the band packs arenas – this summer with Jimmy Eat World.

Eminem, last Warped Tour: 1999

Remember learning Cypress Hill had dropped off the bill for Warped Tour ‘99 at Seattle’s now-imploded Kingdome?

The replacement was a little-known rapper who was white – a characteristic the public still makes a big deal of – named Eminem.

This, of course, was before the Slim Shady explosion, and Mr. Mathers stuck to “My Name Is,” “My Fault” and other selections from 1999’s “The Slim Shady LP.”

Eminem now measures album sales by the tens of millions and isn’t spending his summers in the nation’s parking lots with the Warped Tour. His evenings are booked with protégé 50 Cent, this summer headlining Anger Management Tour 3.

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