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Good faith

Greg Hetson never got his kicks doing ollies and flips. Instead of carving up sidewalks and pools like the other skate rats of the '70s California scene, he took out his aggression on the ice, playing hockey.

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Greg Hetson never got his kicks doing ollies and flips. Instead of carving up sidewalks and pools like the other skate rats of the '70s California scene, he took out his aggression on the ice, playing hockey.

That was before he discovered punk rock.

On Tuesday, the guitarist and his band mates in Bad Religion will bring their guitar gnarls and vocal snarls to the Fargodome as headliners of the Vans Warped Tour.

The annual traveling testament to the power of punk rock and skate boarding, the longest ongoing tour in America, will make its North Dakota debut with more than 30 bands, including the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Reel Big Fish, NOFX and Hot Water Music.

"When putting the bill together, I started looking at it like comfort food," explained organizer Kevin Lyman in the tour's press materials. "It's like the comfort Warped; it's all the bands you've really grown to love on the Vans Warped Tour."

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Using the hard-driving music as their soundtrack, a cadre of xtreme sport daredevils like skaters Steve Cabellaro and Neal Hendrix, in-line skater Brian Wainwright, BMXer Rick Thorne, mountain biker Daniel Drain and Moto X rider Beau Manley will add extra thrills when they ride throughout the day.

During Hetson's days in the legendary punk band The Circle Jerks (who played the Fargo Civic Memorial Auditorium and Kirby's in the fall of '86), the group employed skating pioneer Tony Alva as a roadie. The skate icon was one of the stars of the recent "Dogtown and Z-Boys," which documents the evolution of skating in 1970s' California.

Hetson acknowledges attitudes toward punk and skateboarding in the general public are changing, and that the two one-time subcultures are achieving growing acceptance.

"People aren't afraid of punk rock anymore. People behave themselves better at shows now. At the same time, the variety I saw as a kid going to shows is gone."

Though some of the danger once associated with the two lifestyles has passed, Hetson welcomes the "family" atmosphere the Warped Tour offers both bands and fans.

"We park our bus next to the busses of guys we've known for years, like NOFX and No Use for a Name. Plus it's nice to see guys who used to work doors for old punk shows now come up and run the tour."

The family-friendly atmosphere will be shared with the 6,000 to 8,000 expected to attend. Younger concert-goers can use the reverse daycare, an air-conditioned tent where concerned parents can cool off. There will also be a pirate-themed water park and scavenger hunt for use by both fans and parents.

For all the MTV Buzz Bands, there are just as many new tour acts looking for their big break like Sugar Cult, Quarahi and Riddlin' Kids.

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A battle of the bands sponsored by guitar-string manufacturer Ernie Ball will also give regional bands a chance to make a name with local crowds, and perhaps attract some national attention. The Arnies, Brookdale, Les Dirty Frenchmen and That's What She Said are scheduled to compete.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

John Lamb at (701) 241-5533

If you go

What: Vans Warped Tour '02

When: Noon Tuesday

Where: Fargodome Parking lot

Admission: Tickets are $24 for this all-ages event and are available at all Ticketmaster outlets. (701) 235-7171

For 20 years John Lamb has covered art, entertainment and lifestyle stories in the area for The Forum.
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