I am struggling with how to eloquently encompass the entire experience that is Warped Tour. You see, I knew leading up into the days before I would have a hard time fully portraying everything about it into one measly article. You could say I had very high expectations for my first warped tour; and thank God those expectations were met and far surpassed. The moment the Warped Tour lineup was released I sought out to learn everything about it. In the weeks and days leading to the tour I received tweets, text alerts, and emails telling me everything I would need to know. Right away I knew this was different from any other event I have ever attended.
From all the constant alerts that were informing me of sponsors and different charities at the event it was evident to me that Warped Tour was going to be far more than just a bunch of bands. When I arrived at the event I was met with nothing but a positive vibe and an incredible atmosphere. Hundreds upon thousands walking around with smiles on their faces; colored hair, tattoos, and piercings everywhere. Each individual eloquently expressing themselves in some form or another; already I felt at home. Walking up to the gate I was told there was an express entry where if you donated canned foods, an old cellphone, or five dollars you were able to get in early, all of these donations were going to the Feed Our Children NOW charity, and immediately I was already impressed at the concept of giving back. That all increased as I walked into the venue, seeing the amount of charity tents around: tents talking about animal cruelty, organizations talking about mental health, people walking around handing out cards with many different suicide hotlines, people helping and encouraging the young to register to vote, the amount and outpour of kindness and giving back was overwhelming; honestly it is unexplainable. I have never in my short span of life been in an environment filled with such outpouring of kindness and love. That kindness and love wasn't short lived though, it only increased as I went throughout my day. Seeing others, strangers, helping others who needed water, people helping security get others out of the pit, seeing the crowd during Sum 41’s set split in two so a man in a wheelchair could get right up front. Everyone radiated loved and kindness, and it left me longing for a world that was surrounded in nothing but this.
Let’s move on to the bands, now Warped Tour is phenomenal in the fact that there are so many bands to see, but disheartening in the fact that there is so little time. There are so many bands in which I could discuss or talk about but I will focus on my personal favorite four from the day.
The first act is The Maine, now I am not a diehard Maine fan, I enjoy their music and I know some of their songs, but I would be lying if I said I knew every word or every song they performed. I wasn’t sure what to expect when waiting but immediately the moment they stepped on stage I was in awe. It was evident that every member was excited to be on stage, each member giving their all in the performance. The crowd shouting along, smiling and laughing as John O’Callaghan (vocals) stated that this was the first performance in a very long time that everyone on the stage was performing sober. I laughed along as John brought a guy from the crowd on stage, giving over the mic to him and allowing him to lead the crowd in a song. And as their performance ended I knew this day was going to be incredible.
Reporting and photos by Maranda Risner
The next band is With Confidence. With Confidence is a small band from Australia that are still growing in popularity. And let me tell you if you don’t know who they are I highly suggest that you drop everything you are doing, yes stop reading this article, and check them out now. Now I was already a fan of their music, from the melodies, to the lyrics, to the pure punk rock vibe, I had fell in love with them a long while ago. But this performance would only help me to fall in love with their music all over again. With smiles on their faces they put on an incredible performance. From the guitar shredding, to the incredible vocals, everything about it was amazing. Watching them interact, asking the crowd to vote on which song would be their last, as Luke (guitarist) had “fucked up” some of the equipment, thus resulting in losing set time. Everything about the performance was beautiful. After their set ended they made their way over to their merch tent where I had the honor of meeting the entire band. As I waited my turn I talked with whom I only assume was their tour manager, talking over their trip and bonding over the fact that they had stopped in some random Walmart in Alabama the night before, (Pause: Did you know Australia does not have Walmart? Yes I don’t understand it either.) As it became my turn I was met with smiles and hugs. Jayden (vocalist) and I started bonding over the fact that it was both of our first Warped Tour experiences. All in all, I gained nothing but respect for this band and happily fell in love with their music all over again.
Waterparks is the next act I am going to discuss. Waterparks is a small band out of Houston, Texas, who again I highly suggest you check out. If you know me, you would know that Waterparks is in the top five list of my favorite bands. I was buzzing the entire morning knowing that I was finally going to get to see them perform live. Now I had heard stories of how nice and truly humble this band was, but I wasn’t sure how true that was, but it was made evident truth right away the moment I met them. You see as soon as I had walked into the venue that morning I had purchased a hat from their merch booth, and as I met them, asking them to sign my hat they all genuinely thanked me for purchasing it and liking their band. That humility only increased as I watched their show. I was in awe as Awsten (vocals/guitar) kept thanking the crowd over and over again for liking their music, each member talking back and forth with people of the crowd. The band genuinely loving every moment spent on stage. It was shocking to me that this band truly does not understand how incredibly talented they are. I smiled, singing along as they performed, laughing as Awsten tried getting people passing by to stay by telling them there was a crazed murderer on the loose. All in all I was not let down with this band, and I cannot wait for the day I am sitting in an arena, watching them perform as thousands upon thousand sing along with them.
The final band that I am going to discuss is State Champs. State champs is a band out of Albany, New York. Now I wasn't really sure what to expect with them, I really had no expectations if I’m being honest. But I can without a doubt honestly say their performance was the best performance I have ever seen in my entire life. From the buzzing atmosphere, to the ridiculous amount of crowd surfers, everything about their performance had me feeling an indescribable way. I could attempt to use words and form sentences to try and portray the phenomenal show that they performed, but I honestly can’t. All I can say is that if you have the chance to see them perform live, I highly suggest you do it. After the show ended I had the chance to meet them, and as I approached the band I was met with kind smiles and hugs from each member as I rambled aimlessly on about how truly amazing their show was. (Pause: It is a scientific fact that the members of State Champs give the best hugs.) The band’s kindness radiated off of them and it was evident they genuinely cared for every person there.
Overall Warped Tour was one of the best days of my entire life. And honestly this measly article can not truly articulate the flawless experience that is Warped Tour. I suggest... no, I beg of you, if you have the chance to attend, do it. I honestly can say you will not be let down. I am already counting down the hours until next summer, and I only hope that by some miracle I can get a job on this tour next year so that every day of my summer could be spent surrounded by the positivity and love that is Warped Tour.