A Day to Remember, Black Veil Brides and Of Mice & Men: Warped Tour Memories
A day on the Warped Tour is an exhausting, unpredictable, exhilarating experience, due in part to the randomness of band scheduling - nobody, not even the bands, knows at daybreak who will be playing when. But once everything's posted on the giant inflatable board, the planning begins. Factor in the schedule of band signings at merch booths, the freebies, the food, the energy drinks, the skateboards, plus all of the other activities/opportunities throughout the punk rock tent city and the day can get crazy in a minute.
Which is just how much of the moshing, crowd surfing, fist pumping crowd likes it.
At the July 1 show in Pomona, California, bands got a slight reprieve from the blistering weather in Texas and New Mexico - it was only about 90 and breezes blew across the dusty fairgrounds throughout the day. But whatever the weather, they're all happy to be a part of punk's longest running caravan - a pop culture phenomenon created in 1994 by Kevin Lyman.
In fact, for many of the artists, their enthusiasm for the Vans Warped tour goes back to their days as fans themselves, as surf/skate punks who attended the shows while growing with dreams in their heads of one day playing a main stage.
A Day to Remember lead singer Jeremy McKinnon (whose band is headlining Warped this year) told Noisecreep that Warped helped changed his life - and his band's - about six years ago.
"We won a contest in St. Petersburg, Florida to play on the Ernie Ball stage at our hometown Warped show. That was amazing for us because we all grew up going to see Warped. That was the most awesome thing that had ever happened to us. So now, to have been playing the tour for a few years, what can you say? We always wanted to be a part of this and we'll do Warped as long as they'll have us. It's an amazing experience and this year, the crowds have been especially intense. Just what you want as a band. We're having a ball."
Of Mice and Men lead singer Austin Carlile also shared some childhood Warped memories with Noisecreep. "This is my first Warped tour, which is rad for me because it was a big part of my youth. My first Warped was at Invesco Field in Denver. I saw Yellowcard and a bunch of other bands I loved. I never forgot that day and when I see fans out here today, I just know there are bands watching that will be playing here one day."
Black Veils Brides bassist Ashley Purdy also cut his teeth as a fan at Warped. He told Noisecreep, "I grew up on Missouri so I'd go see Warped in St. Louis. The first time I remember seeing Pennywise, Rancid - I was a total punk rock kid so Warped was like heaven. This is our first time on the tour and it's hard to not think back about being on the other side things, as a fan as opposed to being a performer."
Based on some Noisecreep fan interviews throughout the day, this year's Warped tour is one of the best ever - an intense, heart-pounding rollercoaster ride through a musical buffet that only Warped can provide. To wander the city of Warped is to enter a world with its own pulse, rhythm and rules - where, even if just for a day, everything you love is never more than just a few steps away.
And this year, it's never been truer. Do not miss this installment of Warped.