This past weekend I took a trip to the Vans Warped Tour.
See, when I’m not blasting weeb music through my head phones or car speakers, there’s a good chance I’m listening to either classic country/rock, or angsty late 90’s & early 2000’s alternative rock. The Warped Tour is something I’ve always wanted to attend, as it showcases many of the great 90’s and early 2000’s bands that I listen to.
In the past, plans to go always fell through for one reason or another, but not this time. Knowing that it was now or never, one Weeabro set out to see the show he had put off for far too long. Thus begins the tale of Derek’s summer at the Warped Tour.
This may come as a surprise to
none many of you, but as the primary manager of an anime review blog, I don’t get out a whole lot. Every psudeo-introvert, however, has at least one extroverted friend that “encourages” them to go out and do things.
Enter Amanda from travel blog No Home Address. She’s also partly responsible for my interest in blogging, but I digress. Along with our third friend, Noah, we headed downstate toward the Detroit area.
The first thing you come to learn about a sold out-show is that there’s a great deal of patience required to actually get in. We arrived at the gates shortly after 11:00, made it in by 11:40, and OF COURSE, one of the bands I wanted to see had already started.
There were six stages, each with several bands throughout the day. This made for over 60 performances total. The interesting twist, though, is that they don’t release the schedule ahead of time. Rather, it’s posted on a giant inflatable sign the day of.
Following the distant sound of Mayday Parade, I hastily lead our party toward the Journeys Left Foot Stage. We were able to weasel our way up fairly close, and catch maybe two-thirds of the performance.
I thought we might have time to chill for a minute afterward; I was a fool.
We wandered over to the schedule and discovered that Falling In Reverse was about to begin at the Journeys Right Foot Stage. This was, of course, another band that I really wanted to see. This was inherently a good thing, but the problem was that the venue was huge, and we didn’t know how to get to the stage. We eventually followed the major flow of people and found the main amphitheater. Regrettably, we were a little late to this one, too, and couldn’t get quite as close.
After Falling in Reverse, we made a tactical decision to stay at the same stage for half an hour in order to be right up front for the next band, Simple Plan. Doing so proved to be a wise decision, as the performance was FAQUING AWESOME.
I apologize in advance. I’m apparently a shit cameraman.
After Simple Plan came Bowling For Soup. These dudes are awesome, and it was great to be able to see them live.
Fun Fact: For those of you familiar with the Disney Channel, Bowling For Soup is the band that produced the opening theme for Phineas and Ferb (good show btw).
Then, at the unfortunate expense of We The Kings, it was time to grab a ($10) beer, because no summer festivity is truly complete without a can or bottle of Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy.
Next came the Senses Fail concert. This one was slightly more rowdy than the previous shows, and totally rad.
Following Senses Fail we made our way back over to the complete other end of the concert grounds to see Less Than Jake.
These dudes were awesome as well. They even got some of the crowd to form a circle pit around one of the security guards.
After that, we waited in line for to get some quality fair food. Having stood in line for 40 MINUTES (hence missing one of the bands I would have liked to see), and STILL not making it up to the counter, Amanda sacrificed herself and stayed behind so that Noah and I could go see the start of Reel Big Fish.
Man, what a great group. We even got a picture with them after the show.
About midway through said show, Amanda appeared with the food. Cactus Matt, this pic is for you.
Later, we perused the merchandise tents for a while until 3OH!3. Amanda was really looking forward to this one, but it ended up being a bit of a bummer because two people passed out on two separate occasions—each requiring EMS to retrieve them from the heart of the crowd. The incidents took up close to half of the 30-minute show time. Still, everyone made the most of the limited number of songs.
We finally had a little time to sit down after 3OH!3. At this point, it was like 18:00, and we were entering the “heavier” block of headliners. We sat for a while then ventured over to MyChildren MyBride.
They were a little much for Amanda’s taste, so she and Noah ventured elsewhere while I gave myself whiplash for a good 15-20 minutes. Fun Fact: MyChildren MyBride is actually a hardcore Christian metal band. They sound somewhat menacing in passing, but the guys are actually quite amiable when just talking onstage.
Lastly, the evening ended with Silverstein; it was a good way to wrap things up.
All in all, Warped Tour was a great experience made even better by great company. It’s sort of a sad realization, though, that my first Warped Tour is also likely my last. This Tour was to be the final one; after 23 years, the cross-country run is coming to an end.
The moral of the story here, folks, is to just do it. Whatever “it” is for you, make a plan to acquire it and go for it.
And don’t just take it from me. In the words of our beloved Water Goddess, Aqua
The Weeabros don’t own any of the music or images used in this post, bro. They belong to their respective creators, licensors, and distributors. Please support the official releases.