The Vans Warped Tour, presented by Journey®, announces the lineups for its bi-coastal 25th Anniversary events that celebrate the final showcase of the tour’s iconic culture. The unique music experience will stop in three locations including Cleveland, Ohio, Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Mountain View, California and caps off 25 years of history of the Vans Warped Tour.
“The Vans Warped Tour holds a very special place in our hearts and in our history.” explains Steve Van Doren, vice president of global events and promotions at Vans. “It was through the annual tour that we were able to bring music and action sports to youth across the globe for over two decades. We are really excited to partner with Kevin and the Warped team to put on a once in a lifetime experience to celebrate the tour’s final year.”
“Through the years the Vans Warped tour has always tried to bring you something extra, this year we have gone through the past archives and dug up many of our old friends to join us for these special events.” says producer Kevin Lyman. “The curated art experience will showcase our favorite moments over the last 25 years. So, dust off the old Vans and lace em’ up since you won’t want to miss a thing!”
Each event will also feature additional acts unique to its celebration. Cleveland will see the partnership with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame bringing to life an exhibit celebrating the 25 years of Vans Warped Tour alongside acts such as Hawthorne Heights, Emery, Chali 2na & Cut Chemist. Atlantic City boasts bands like A Day To Remember, Bowling For Soup, Glassjaw, Reel Big Fish, and hometown heroes Taking Back Sunday and Valencia. And Mountain View answers with The All-American Rejects, Dance Gavin Dance, NOFX, Sum 41, and The Story So Far.
Rounding out the lineups and staying true to its roots, the Vans Warped Tour is giving a nod to unique up-and-coming acts such as Bad Cop / Bad Cop, Elder Brother, Not Ur Girlfrenz, Stacked Like Pancakes, Silent Planet, Trophy Eyes and more.
In celebration of the final year, fans can expect the heart of the Vans Warped Tour experience to be intact but presented on a much larger scale. Each stop will feature 50+ bands across multiple stages, Vans iconic vert ramp with cameos by Vans skate team, and an art exhibit showcasing moments and artifacts from the tour’s history.
“Through the years the Vans Warped tour has always tried to bring you something extra, this year we have gone through the past archives and dug up many of our old friends to join us for these special events.” says producer Kevin Lyman. “ The curated art experience will showcase our favorite moments over the last 25 years. So, dust off the old Vans and lace em’ up since you won’t want to miss a thing!”
The Anniversary Events will continue to host a wide array of incredible non-profits and educational experiences for attendees. A Voice For The Innocent, American Red Cross, Can You Hear Me?, Down to Vote, Feed Our Children Now!, Headcount, Hope For The Day, Keep A Breast, Living The Dream Foundation, Musicares, To Write Love on Her Arms, and truth will all be involved this summer. Not only will fans see their favorite bands but they can learn more about these causes and what they can help.
The Vans Warped Tour looks forward to celebrating 25 year with its sponsors Cool Gear, Equal Vision Records, Ernie Ball, Fearless Records, Fueled By Ramen, Full Sail University, Pure Noise Records, Side One Dummy Records, Unified Music Group, and more.
VANS WARPED TOUR 25TH ANNIVERSARY EVENTS: 6.08 • CLEVELAND, OH • ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME 6.29 + 6.30 • ATLANTIC CITY, NJ • ATLANTIC CITY BEACH 7.20 + 7.21 •MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA • SHORELINE AMPHITHEATRE
For tickets and more information, fans can visit – vanswarpedtour.com
With the overwhelming number of bands at Warped Tour and the limited time, it’s usually easiest to try to just stick with the handful that you’ve known for years. While that can be fine, it can also be rewarding to branch out a little bit and get a glimpse at the next generation.
Speaking to Sydney Dolezal from Doll Skin was a joy. Though they may be young, the Arizona band are all excellent musicians (thanks School of Rock!) and magnetic stage performers. Their set was the only one I was able to catch beginning to end with no interruptions (thanks busy and strangely spaced-out interview schedule!) but it was memorable.
We talk about their full-length ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’, having their faces in unexpected places, slam poetry and character tropes, hiding bodies, the perfect doll-themed music festival and their ties to eastern Pennsylvania.
The last we heard from Unearth, they had put out ‘Watchers of Rule’ in 2014 and had done some touring. That seems par for the course but the landscape around them had shifted.
Most of their New England brethren had undergone some transitions: Killswitch Engage had reunited with their original singer and was starting to build back momentum, dusk fell on Shadows Fall and All That Remains charted a melodic-radio ready course that challenged their entire fanbase.
Unearth did some touring but really went silent in 2017. This was not a cause for concern, though, they just recharged their batteries and were quietly working on new material. This will see the light of day in fall of 2018 on Century Media Records in the form of a full-length called ‘Extinctions.’
I spoke to guitar wizard Buz McGrath about this, collaborating, challenging themselves, bowling, the legend of Jimmy Phipps and more. Interestingly enough, the band had an extremely small sampling of Warped Tour in the early 2000’s but had wanted to get back on for a full run ever since.
I was late to the Warped Tour party: my first one wasn’t until 2012. No particular reason but I had been perfectly content going to club shows to see 2 or 3 bands at a time. Baking in the hot sun for 10 hours to see abbreviated sets didn’t really interest me.
I finally relented and saw it as an interesting opportunity to knock out a few interviews and get samplings of a few acts both familiar and new.
In hindsight, that’s exactly what I wanted and exactly what I got.
While some felt that this year’s lineup didn’t acknowledge the earliest years enough, it really is a fair representation of what the tour has evolved into. There are some faces that have never left (Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish, come to mind) some long-running acts that never really got a proper run before (Unearth) and the next generation is still being given a big boost (Sharptooth, Doll Skin). There were some familiar bands who hopped on when they could fit it into their summers. While this was a nice bonus and led to some last-minute surprises, in many ways, 2018 was just another year of the festival.
If anything, this year was one of the least I was able to soak in the actual performances as my interview schedule and the layout made me less mobile.
With so many acts that have been on the tour over the years, there was no way to represent everyone and make everyone happy for this final run. Would the older crowd even turn up for a nostalgia-fest? Would the kids appreciate the history lesson? What about the acts that did it for one year, got huge and never returned? Would focusing only on all of the newest and hottest acts be financially feasible and even capture the spirit of the festival? If you think about it, there’s really no way to appeal to everyone. It’s been the same argument every year and that’s been one of the most consistent parts of Warped.
These last seven summers have been truly important to me. The festival has brought me scorching heat, pouring rain, the chance to see some bands I never thought I’d get to experience, introduced me to some new artists, allowed me to meet and interview some incredible people, made me push through some overwhelming crowds, and walk many, many miles.
No one knows what the future will bring. That’s not really important. What is important is the great memories we have already made and will fondly recall forever.
Besides, it’s not like music is going anywhere. There will always be something to lure us out for a day full of fun.
For the last 24yrs, the Vans Warped Tour has been been the largest traveling music festival in the United States plus the longest-running touring music festival in North America. Criss-crossing through the US (and the occasional parts of the UK and Australia), It’s been nicknamed the “punk rock summer camp” for veteran bands and those trying to making a name for themselves. The tour is not one for the weak willed. The grueling Summer heat, the traveling, vehicle breakdowns, an ever changing daily schedule, and time away from loved ones would push those to their limits. But for a lot kids (and young adults like me), this tour was a place where you can be yourself and be one with your tribe.
This year would be considered the final cross-country run of the Vans Warped Tour. Despite what everyone else keeps thinking, the TOURING part is over but not the festival. Who knows what the future may hold for this Summertime staple.
As I made my way through the production halls of the BB&T Pavilion in Camden NJ, a moment of melancholy loomed over me. This is the last time I’ll be getting lost in these halls for Warped. All of the friends I have made over the years in production I might never see again after this. After a moment of clarity, I pushed onward and met up with my writer for my shot list. (NOTE: I was originally collaborating with another outlet but a lot of the interviews that were originally approved ended up being cancelled that morning so I decided to share the coverage here instead.)
One of the first groups I shot was Tonight Alive. Us here at neostar//media have had a long history with with the band. Some of our first Warped interviews were with various members as they were on the rise. It’s still phenomenal to see how far their careers have soared over the years and they’ve always made time to hang out and talk to us whenever we’d run into each other at shows. This was their 4th time on the tour.
The next group I saw was Nekrogoblikon. There’s been a buzz over the last few months about this band. The crowds were too massive for me to fight my way through so I hopped up on the Monster Energy truck to try and catch a wide shot. This was their first ever run on the Vans Warped Tour.
Next, I made my way through to catch Wage War. I believe they were on the previous year but I never got a chance to see them until I caught their set during the Self Help Fest last September. Their album ‘Deadweight’ was hands down one of my favorite records of last year. This was also their 2nd Warped Tour run.
Next up was Four Years Strong. I wasn’t sure what to expect from FYS this summer. Probably a “hits” show since they’ve just released an acoustic record earlier this year Some of You Will Like This, Some of You Won’t so figured they’d just stick with fan-favorites (which they did.) This is their 6th year playing the Vans Warped Tour.
The buzz around Crown the Empire has been the departure of co-vocalist Dave Escamilla with Andy Leo taking over full vocal duties. You can tell that there was just “something” missing from their performance but over all, I think Andy did a great job. It was almost impossible to get a still shot of him as he kept jumping around on stage. This was their 4th time on the Vans Warped Tour.
We the Kings opened their set each day with the crowd singing along to Céline Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” before going right into “Sad Song” and kept the crowd singing along throughout their half-hour set all the way into their closer “Check Yes Juliet.” This was their 6th time on the Vans Warped Tour.
Another Australian band that has been making waves this summer was The Amity Affliction. The band has been gearing up to release the sixth studio album, ‘Misery’. This was also their 3rd time on the Vans Warped Tour.
Playing their 12th run on the Vans Warped Tour, the Canadian pop-punk band Simple Plan was also celebrating their 20th anniversary as well.
Falling In Reverse are no strangers to the Vans Warped Tour. This will be their 6th time returning to the tour.
I don’t know what else there is to say about Every Time I Die that hasn’t been said a million times before. They have become a Warped Tour staple over the years, they put on one of the best live shows, and their albums are phenomenal. This is Every Time I Die’s 9th run on the tour.
Hatebreed was a “special guest” on two of the East Coast dates of Vans Warped Tour. Today in Camden, NJ and tomorrow at Holmdel, NJ. In the previous year when I tried to photograph them, but a massive thunderstorm erupted over the skies above us causing us to seek shelter. This year, I finally get redemption. Within the first note, they did not let up. They tore right into old school fan-favorites. The majority of their set leaned more on the hardcore side of their catalog. This is the band’s 3rd time on the Vans Warped Tour.
Earlier this year, Senses Fail released their seventh album titled ‘If There is Light, It Will Find You.’ It was a deeply nostalgic and personal record written by vocalist and sole original member Buddy Nelson. The entire record harkens back to the sing-along feels of their landmark album ‘Let It Enfold You.’ But being around the same age as the singer, a lot of the songs on the new record felt uncomfortably too relatable. From growing up and getting older, dealing with the loss of close ones, and having kids. Just a few songs in, Buddy dedicates the song “Elevator to the Gallows” to his daughter Penelope (seen in the bottom corner along with his wife.) The main highlight of their set was the Nu Metal mashup of System Of A Down’s “Chop Suey”, Drowning Pool’s “Bodies”, Limp Bizkit’s “Break stuff” and Rage Against The Machine’s “Bulls On Parade” towards the end. This was their 6th year on the Vans Warped Tour.
We’re getting closer to the end now. Closing the Monster Energy White Lightning stage today is our very own Motionless In White. With the recent departure of longtime bassist Devin “Ghost” Sola, they called in the help of the group’s former guitarist, TJ Bell to fill in for the duration of the tour. This is also the band’s 10th run on the Vans Warped Tour.
Now officially finishing the night is Twiztid. I didn’t know what to expect from them. I’ve heard of them and have had friends been fans of them over the years but I knew absolutely nothing about them. But, their stage presence was a pleasant surprise. They came out onstage with a live drummer to be honest, hearing the clean drums with a backing track was a nice relief to the ears after eight straight hours of punishing breakdowns.
So as sad it is that the tour is over. I try NOT to dwell too much on it. In the last two decades, I’ve felt that I have found an identity associated with the tour and the music it encompasses. I have watched as bands begin from playing small stages to filling arenas to becoming household names, from touring in broken down vans to becoming icons. The tour might be over but the music isn’t. If anything, it just opens up doors for others to start their own movement. Summers won’t be the same again after this but in the end, the music will continue.
The entire lineup for 2018’s Vans Warped Tour, presented by Journeys, has been revealed today via a special announcement video, which can be viewed below.
It was previously shared that this would be the final cross-country run for the tour, now in its 24th year. On the upcoming shows, founder Kevin Lyman has shared: “I truly am happy to get the chance to travel around the country one more time to thank you for your support, and bring you another best day ever.”
For its final run, the tour is thrilled to welcome back countless bands who have rocked Vans Warped Tour over the last 24 years including Reel Big Fish, Simple Plan, All Time Low, Four Year Strong, 3OH!3, Less Than Jake, Underoath, We The Kings, The Used, Tonight Alive and more. Adding to this year’s lineup are up-and-coming acts such as State Champs, Trash Boat, Don Broco, Grayscale, Waterparks, Real Friends, and Movements.
Also returning this summer is the newly named Mutant Red Dawn and Mutant White Lightning stages, showcasing the best in heavy and hardcore music: Chelsea Grin, MY CHILDREN MY BRIDE, Every Time I Die, Knocked Loose, The Amity Affliction, Ice Nine Kills, etc.
General admission tickets will be available starting Thursday, March 8th. The 38-date tour will commence June 21st in Pomona, CA and end on August 5th in West Palm, FL.
2018 Vans Warped Tour Line-Up – Confirmed Performance Dates for each band and stage:
Journeys Left Foot Stage
Asking Alexandria (7/22-7/28)
Bowling For Soup (7/6-7/16, 7/18-7/21)
Frank Turner (7/24-7/26)
The Interrupters (7/14, 7/15, 7/17-7/19, 7/21-7/25, 7/28-8/5)
Knuckle Puck (6/21-8/5)
Mayday Parade (6/21-8/5)
Reel Big Fish (6/21-8/5)
State Champs (6/21-8/5)
SUM 41 (7/17)
Taking Back Sunday (6/24)
This Wild Life (6/21-8/5)
Journeys Right Foot Stage
All Time Low(6/22-6/24)
Falling In Reverse (6/26-7/16)
Four Year Strong (6/21-7/29)
Less Than Jake (7/18-7/20, 7/22-7/27, 7/29-8/5)
Real Friends (6/21-8/5)
Simple Plan (6/21-8/5)
The Maine (6/21-8/5)
The Used (6/21-7/10)
We The Kings (6/21-8/5)
Following the announcement that 2018 would be its final cross-country run, the Vans Warped Tour extended family has released a retrospective video celebrating the history and heart of the iconic tour. Fans can watch the video, which features founder Kevin Lyman, Vans VP of events and promotion Steve Van Doren, Fletcher Dragge (Pennywise), Silverstein, and more, here:
On the upcoming shows, Lyman has shared: “I truly am happy to get the chance to travel around the country one more time to thank you for your support, and bring you another best day ever.”
“I have spent half of my adult life traveling alongside Kevin on the tour, connecting with bands and fans around the world,“ Steve Van Doren recalls. “Bringing music and action sports to youth for over two decades has been a personal honor and I’m excited to hit the road on the last cross-country tour.”
Early Bird Tickets for the 2018 Vans Warped Tour, presented by Journeys, have gone on sale today at VansWarpedTour.com.Super Fan Bundles are also available and offer fans exclusive merchandise, including a limited edition poster, collector ticket laminate, and custom Vans Warped Tour Authentics.
As a bonus for early ticket buyers, the first 500 tickets sold for each show will be at the lowest price available and will include a digital download of the Official Vans Warped Tour 50-song compilation.
The line up for the 2018 Vans Warped Tour, presented by Journeys, will be announced this Thursday, March 1st. General admission tickets will be available on Thursday, March 8th.
The Vans Warped Tour is the largest traveling music festival in the United States and the longest-running touring music festival in North America. Originally conceived by founder Kevin Lyman in 1995 as an eclectic alternative rock festival, with a focus on punk rock, over the years the tour has grown to include a multitude of genres, including metal, hip-hop, reggae, pop and more. It remains one of the best tours to attend to discover emerging acts, to learn more about wonderful non-profits and companies who are working to make a positive impact on the world that surrounds them, and to meet like-minded friends.
Over the past two decades, Vans Warped Tour has built a legacy as themust-attendd summer festival for rock and music lovers alike. Since its start in 1995 it has provided a platform for established as well as up-and-coming artists, with past performers including blink182, No Doubt, Sublime, Beck, Katy Perry, NOFX, Limp Bizkit, Black Eyed Peas, Green Day, Eminem, Yellowcard, Bad Religion, and countless others.
In addition, the tour continues to host a wide array of amazing non-profits and educational workshops for attendees and 2018 will be launching The Preventum Initiative, focusing on youth and adolescent opioid prevention. Teens With a Purpose, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP), Donate Life New England, Planned Parenthood, Keep A Breast, Testicular Cancer Foundation, To Write Love on Her Arms, and Project HEAL will all be involved this summer, just to name a few. Fans can see their favorite bands as well as become educated on these causes and how they can help.
“I am very excited about the upcoming year. With it being the last tour, the non-profit presence will be as big as ever. Groups who have been out in the past will be coming out in more markets, and hopefully, we will attract new non-profits,” comments Sierra Lyman. “With more non-profits coming out there will be more options for our audience to hopefully get involved before, during, and after the tour. I am hoping that this last year encourages non-profits to partner with bands and for bands to partner with non-profits on their own events and tours once this summer is over.”
Early Bird Tickets and Super Fan Bundles for this year’s tour on are sale now and can be purchased at www.vanswarpedtour.com
The 38-date tour will commence June 21st in Pomona, CA and end on August 5th in West Palm, FL.
VANS WARPED TOUR DATES: 6.21 POMONA, CA
6.22 SAN DIEGO, CA
6.23 MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA
6.24 VENTURA, CA
6.28 PHOENIX, AZ
6.29 LAS VEGAS, NV
6.30 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
7.01 DENVER, CO
7.03 ST. LOUIS, MO
7.05 BONNER SPRINGS, KS
7.06 DALLAS, TX
7.07 SAN ANTONIO, TX
7.08 HOUSTON, TX
7.10 NASHVILLE, TN
7.12 VIRGINIA BEACH, VA
7.13 CAMDEN, NJ
7.14 HOLMDEL, NJ
7.15 HARTFORD, CT
7.16 PITTSBURGH, PA
7.17 TORONTO, ON
7.18 CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH
7.19 CINCINNATI, OH
7.20 DETROIT, MI
7.21 CHICAGO, IL
7.22 MINNEAPOLIS, MN
7.23 MILWAUKEE, WI
7.24 INDIANAPOLIS, IN
7.25 DARIEN CENTER, NY
7.26 SCRANTON, PA
7.27 MANSFIELD, MA
7.28 WANTAGH, NY
7.29 COLUMBIA, MD
7.30 CHARLOTTE, NC
7.31 ATLANTA, GA
8.02 JACKSONVILLE, FL
8.03 ORLANDO, FL
8.04 TAMPA, FL
8.05 WEST PALM BEACH, FL
While the last few years of Warped Tour have, to varying degrees, seemed to course-correct the festival’s reputation for chasing the latest trends, 2017 may have hit a high water mark. While different regions had some bands jump on and off (West = Goldfinger, Midwest = The Suicide Machines, for examples), Camden’s lineup was certainly packed with a load of heavy-hitters. There was some of the expected fare for the younger crowd (Attila, New Years Day, Beartooth and personal favorite Dance Gavin Dance, among many others) but veteran acts may have outnumbered the newer ones, which is a shocking change.
Having different experiences at the show, we decided to share both JJ and Henry’s experiences here. Sometimes they’ve crossed streams, and sometimes they were at different parts of the venue.
JJ: On a side note, this was my first time seeing the event at this location as Scranton is my usual location of choice. While that location has its advantages (my familiarity with the layout, easy and free parking, short lines to get in, and just a generally laid-back experience) this location had its own appeal. After getting the layout figured out (which did take a little while), the navigation here was easier than Scranton as stages were less spaced apart.
Henry: I’ve been to Camden a number of times. In fact, the first few Warped Tours were held at the parking lot of what was Wachovia Spectrum. I think they moved it to Camden back in ’97-’98 and have been setting up here ever since.
JJ: Anyway, after figuring out where the Hard Rock Stage was, I knew it was where I was going to largely camp out. I made it into the venue in time to see Bad Cop/Bad Cop, one of the bands I was most excited to see, take the stage. They plowed through their set which had a ton of new material from their just-released album Warriors. The new material really blended nicely with their older songs and, if anything, upped the intensity. If you didn’t pick up the CD at their merch tent for only $5, it’s time to start kicking yourself. As good as they are musically, they are even better as people.
Henry: Bad Cop/ Bad Cop was a band I definitely wanted to see. I’ve become a fan ever since seeing them play with Masked Intruder on the 25th Anniversary Fat Wreck Tour. I’ve even forced a few of my friends to watch their set and they loved every second of it!
Henry: I headed out towards the Mutant North Stage to check out Silent Planet. They’ve been a band that has played a bunch of shows here locally for years but for every chance they were in town, I’d end up missing their sets. I was happy to see that they’ve blown up over the last few years.
JJ: I wandered inside to the Skullcandy stage to see War On Women as they shouted their message of equality and making concerts safe spaces for everyone. This was followed by Save Ferris next door at the Journey’s Right Foot Stage (the stage placement is one bone I have to pick with this venue). Anyway, SF put on a tight, energetic performance that made everyone in the crowd move even if a lot of them weren’t even alive during the band’s initial run. Now THAT is how you come back bigger than ever. This seemed to an even peppier show than when I saw them in a club earlier in the year. After they finished, I had enough time to get my bearings and plan my next move which was right back to the Hard Rock Stage for….
Municipal Waste! I had never seen them before but it was everything I hoped for with maybe 15 songs being played in 25 minutes. You really get your money’s worth with them. It was nice to see drum-deity Dave Witte in person. A recent addition on second guitar, Nick Poulos really bolstered their attack and maybe it was because I was closer to his side of the stage, but his leads really were highlights of the set. It didn’t hurt that I was able give him a thumbs up and a fist bump later.
Henry: Inside, to tried to cover Memphis May Fire. Literally ever since they’ve been appearing at Warped Tour, for some reason, they always end up playing inside. I hate shooting inside. It’s dark. Very dark.
After a few feeble attempts, I gave up and decided to try and catch The Ataris on the Hard Rock Stage.
Henry: It’s been ages since I’ve seen The Ataris live let alone listen to any releases beyond ‘So Long Astoria’ (sorry, ‘Welcome the Night’ just never did it for me.) The band had just released a new record and is selling it at Bad Cop/ Bad Cop’s tent. No doubt was I curious. One of the highlights of their set was when they finished with the Don Henley cover of “Boys of Summer” and they replaced the line “Out on the road today I saw a Black Flag sticker on a Cadillac” with “…Dickeys sticker on a Cadillac” in reference to the band that stirred up controversy earlier on the tour.
Henry: The entire point of Warped Tour is to check out the bands that you’ve never heard of. Going with that notion in mind, I decided to run back inside to check out a Manchester, UK band that was pitched to me called Sonic Boom Six. They had an upbeat ska sound that you can totally skank to (do people even know what “skank” even means anymore!?)
JJ: After walking around some more, I came back to the Hard Rock Stage to see Sick of It All and….wow. Being familiar with their recorded material forever but never seeing them, these guys may have won the MVP award for the day. Despite being in the game over thirty years, their energy is beyond compare. They have a tight, loud, massive sound live that the early records, for all of the quality of many songs, don’t really capture. It’s hard to imaging them being able to keep that intensity up for an hour, but maybe they can or maybe they just go all out and make the most of their 25 minutes. No matter what, it was impressive and I got to shake frontman Lou Koller’s hand afterward and express my gratitude.
Henry: I’ve been a huge Sick of it All fan ever since I picked up a copy of ‘Scratch the surface.’ It’s weird to think that I was 13yrs old when I bought that. But music has been a rather huge part of my life. The last time I saw them live was literally 20yrs ago at Warped Tour 1997.
Henry: While walking around, I noticed my friend Sean up on the Full Sail University Stage with Courage My Love. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve been clueless to the fact that I’ve been conversing with Mercedes Arn-Horn off and on in FB comment threads for a while now. I’ve always just figured she was a friend-of-a-friend amongst my other music industry friends. It was actually rather cathartic to see her on stage performing with her band since I only knew her from chat threads.
Photo by: Henry Chung
Photo by: Henry Chung
JJ: I ventured over to the Journey’s Left Foot Stage (see what I mean about the layout?!) to see CKY. They are local favorites and the entire Margera family came out to introduce the band. After watching them on TV for years, it was a little bit of a thrill. Bam even came out late in the set to sing a G.G. Allen song. The real story is how the band has recalibrated with the departure of frontman Deron Miller. It’s Chad Ginsberg’s voice at the forefront and…the approach is different. Instead of Deron’s smooth croon, Chad has the vocal approach of a stoner-rock dude who just rode into town and is looking for a fight. After a few spins, the new album The Phoenix is a short and sweet tour of a lot of what the band does just with a slightly different approach. They only played one track off of that “Replaceable” but mostly stuck to tracks from Vol. 1 and Infiltrate. Destroy. Rebuild. Everything was enjoyable and the crowd was into it but the performance seemed a little listless. The band and their layers of sounds are probably best-suited to an intimate club.
Henry: I killed a little bit of time right after CYK. I needed to reorganize myself after all the running around I’ve done. I managed to catch up with a few tour friends along the way. Most were complaining about their lack of sleep (something I knew too well after my short stint a few years back). I caught New Years Day‘s performance over at the Journey’s Left Foot Stage. It’s funny. I can recall a time before they became a household name, when the band would hang out in the press area simply out of boredom and would sit-in during interviews.
JJ: More wandering ensued before circling back to the Hard Rock Stage for the Adolescents. Even though they’ve been at it longer than I have been alive and influenced even the mighty Bad Religion, they were still sharp live. Sure, it’s basically Tony and Steve bolstered by some younger musicians, but those two were always the engine of the band anyway. They had a great new album last year (Manifest Density) and showed that they can keep going as long as they want.
Henry: The Adolescents were one of those bands I just wanted to be able to stand back and enjoy their set. I think the only song any of the younger crowds recognized was “Amoeba” made famous by Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 game that we all obsessed over.
Henry: Back inside, one of the acts I was looking very forward to was William Control. I’ve seen him perform a number of times and in different configurations. Starting off with “Monster” and “Kiss the Girl”, he addressed the crowd “I know a band with synths is probably the last thing you’d expect to see here today at Warped Tour. But think of us as a bit of repreive. First we’re going to romance you, and then when Beartooth comes out after us, they’re going to fuck you all in the ass!” According to a few old-school Warped attendees, William Control was one of the new acts that they saw and fell in love with. Also worth mentioning was that ‘Revelations: The Red EP’ just came out today and is available at their merch tent for only $5 and is worth every penny!
Unfortunately, I had to run as the band was starting to launch into “Beautiful Monster” as blessthefall was about to start at the other end of the venue.
Henry: After fighting my way through hordes of Warped attendees, I finally made my way to the Mutant North Stage. The sun was starting to set and “golden hour” was upon us. As the band took the stage, frontman Beau Bokan sprayed the crowd with a bottle of Monster’s Mutant soda. I managed to dodge most of the spray but my camera wasn’t so lucky.
JJ: After this, I made my way over to the Mutant South stage to catch a little of Silverstein’s set. They had gotten a shipment of their new album Dead Reflection in a week early (it was officially released on July 14th) and were selling it at their merch tent. Don’t tell anyone. A few songs in, Beefcake The Mighty “killed” Billy Hamilton and took over on bass for a few songs. I wasn’t able to stick around long because….
Strung Out took the stage at the Hard Rock Stage! I’ve been crossing paths with them a lot over the last few years and as always, good stuff. Vocalist Jason Cruz’s voice sounded stronger than it had the last few times I had seen them and they can really do no wrong in my book.
Henry: By the time Silverstein came on, I was beat. JJ took off to catch Strung Out right after GWAR’s Beefcake The Mighty “killed” Billy Hamilton but missed when him on bass for “Retrograde” and “Still Dreaming.”
JJ: It was at this point in the day with clouds threatening and giving way to sun for so many hours before, that the rain finally delivered on its threat. A drizzle became a full downpour with gusty winds creating havoc as I tried in vain to put on my poncho. If it was just me, I wouldn’t have minded, but I had signed merch with me and was already down a backpack and pair of earplugs that evening. It was with a heavy heart that I had to miss the band’s last song as I ran inside for shelter to dry myself and assess the damage. Once solving this and realizing my poncho was torn and therefore mostly useless, I looked out to see the rain even heavier than before. It must have been an experience for those at the Mutant Stages who saw Hatebreed and GWAR through that.
Henry: I was caught in the rain during Hatebreed and GWAR. I tried to photograph Hatebreed’s set but by the time they took the stage, the clouds overhead looked like it was nightfall to my left and a hint of daylight to my right. I watched as production staff tried to keep the stage together as strong gusts of wind kept knocking over scrims. When the band rolled into “I Will Be Heard”, I guess I was too distracted singing along up front and shooting that I then realized it was just me and another photographer still standing enduring the rain. I bailed out by their third song “Looking Down the Barrel of Today” and watched as production hastily tried to cover up speakers as the onslaught gifted us with a torrential downpour.
JJ: I waited it out inside at the Skullcandy Stage again and was happy to realize this detour brought me right to the Street Dogs, one of the bands I wanted to see anyway. They burned through some familiar numbers including a cover of Joe Strummer’s “Coma Girl”. The crowd in front of their stage which included me, was modest but frontman Mike McColgan worked hard to win everyone over. In fact, he worked so hard, he spent just as much time if not more so in front of the crowd waiting in front of the Journey’s Right Foot Stage next door. They may have been there for Never Shout Never but they got a healthy dose of Street Dogs and I could see a lot of people in that crowd also really into it.
After the Street Dogs closed up shop, I headed back outside one last time to happily see the rain had ended. I took the walk back to the Hard Rock Stage one final time and was able to see all of Anti Flag.
There was something appropriate about them closing things out, especially given the state of the world.
Henry: I had to make a choice. Go see Anti-Flag, or stay and see GWAR. I decided to stay and watch GWAR. Words just aren’t enough to describe their clash of comedy theater/ rock show. It’s one that everyone has to experience first-hand to comprehend it. I was to tell someone that I had a great time getting blasted in the face by Blothar’s four penis’s, I’m pretty sure I’d be met with confusion and disgust. Still worth it!
JJ: All in all, it was an odd experience for me not being consumed by press and only able to get a sampling of performances. This is the exact experience a normal Warped Concert-goer would have and while different, was nearly equally enjoyable. I had already interviewed most of the bands I was there to see (in some cases multiple times) anyway, so with a few elusive exceptions, I was fairly up to date with a lot of them, anyway.
Henry: It was a marathon for me to try and cover as many acts as possible. But overall I was happy to see fans young and old showing up and actually having a good time together. I watched as men in their late-40’s/ early-50’s throwdown in a circle pit with kids half their age during Sick of it All. I saw concert goers in their mid-30’s develop a love for new acts. Acts that they’d never be exposed to on their own accord if it weren’t for the comradery and unity expressed throughout this tour. I saw numerous collaborations on stage that made me scratch my head (Big D and the Kids Table with American Authors, GWAR and Silverstein were the two big ones that came to mind) but they’ve made it all work.
JJ: Let’s also applaud the tour itself as it managed to strike an impressive balance of old and new which should make it a viable, relevant festival for even more years to come.
Written by: JJ Ellis and Henry Chung Photos by: the unstoppable Henry Chung