Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Why I Am Returning to Warped Tour

image taken from pegasus news
Three words: Taking Back Sunday

The announcement of one of my all-time favorite bands returning to the annual touring carnival of music known as The Vans Warped Tour was all I needed to hear. I immediately texted my PIC (partner in concert) and told her that we would be making a comeback.

The reason why I use the words “return” and “comeback” is because after Warped Tour 2010, I thought I was done. I had a good time, but the show seemed to be going through a transformation since my first stop in 2005 (and that was ten years after the tour’s inception so I can only imagine how it has changed in its near two decades of existence).

Warped Tour 2005 was definitely a different time in the music scene
I had a blast at the 2005 stop, when I was an 18-year-old recent high school graduate and the lineup was headlined by Fall Out Boy and All-American Rejects. Fast forward to 2010 and I can barely remember anything about the event because I spent the majority of the time going “who is this?”

The question I had to ask myself was this: Had Warped Tour truly changed or was I just getting older? No matter what decade it is, 18-year-old kids will still be under the influence of different artists than their 23-year old college selves. Hell, I can only imagine the music I will be listening to in another five years.

However, what I personally enjoyed about Warped was still there: the fact that for the price of admission to a regular club show headlined by one band and featuring maybe two openers, you get your choice of damn near 50 bands spread out all day. Granted, some artists would be at the same time - forcing you to choose - but making those sacrifices was half the fun.
And sometimes you have to make time for signings/photo ops, like here with Senses Fail singer Buddy Nielsen in 2009
But in the familiarity sat an unfamiliar tone. Where in the past I was overwhelmed by my choices - “Crap, Anberlin is playing here, but Jack’s Mannequin is playing over there” - it now became “Well... what are we going to do until Gym Class Heroes comes on?”

I’m not one to knock any kind of music in the sense of saying it shouldn’t be included because I truly feel if someone likes what you play then go ahead and keep playing it. But what I can say is that I was ready to stab myself in the eyeballs while sitting through the performance of Iwrestledabearonce. And my problem with that is similar bands were becoming more common. Unless it was just me being single-minded, the variety was gone.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not against ALL the screaming/singing music - just most of it. When your band name revolves around friends being on fire and your songs are a hot garbage consistency of throat vomit, your music is not for me. But if you have some talent behind your act (Underoath, Chiodos, Pierce the Veil) then the show is nine times out of ten a good one. 
Pierce the Veil, killing it in 2010
PTV is just one name that is bringing me back. Warped Tour ‘12 is going to feature New Found Glory and Yellowcard - two bands from my high school days that I have yet to see live. However, it was the announcement of Taking Back Sunday that made this year’s stop go from a “maybe” to a sure thing.

It’s fitting that Taking Back Sunday is bringing me back to this tour considering the parallels between the two. TBS exploded on the scene in 2004 with Tell All Your Friends, then went through massive lineup shifts before returning to the members who produced that classic for their self titled release last summer.

Ironically, with my first Warped experience coming in 2005, it came just after I started heavily getting into Taking Back Sunday. (Yes, for you purists out there - I didn’t become Team TBS until after the second album. But I’m still a fan so take your hipster criticism elsewhere).

Since that time, I’ve gone on to be slightly disappointed by offerings from both - 2009’s New Again; deciding to skip last year’s Warped altogether - but the spark of the two together is enough to entice this writer to give that crazy tour one more chance.

So this is me telling all my friends that Warped Tour this year is where I want to be. Will you be there too?


  1. If Warped Tour was anything like the Yellowcard/ All Time Low concert, you are going to feel old when you look over and see a 10 year old rocking out. Trust me on this- a total low point in my life that was. ;) And I'll say- Yellowcard disappointed me with their live show, even my sis in law who is a HUGE Yellowcard fan was waiting for it to be over. So I hope that with more time back on the road recently they will have gotten some game back for you.

    And I haven't been to Warped Tour since 1998. And that was when it was combined with OzzFest and I almost died watching Tool. It was worth it though. :)

  2. I remember going to Warped in 2005 and wondering, "When the fuck did I get old?" Seriously- there were ten year olds crowd surfing and face planting into the cement.

    While I enjoyed every Warped I've ever been to (many), the past few years I've opted out of not going. Why? I don't like the metal/screamo bands taking over, nor do I like the hip-hop types that have also seemed to make a place for themselves. I appreciate that they are artists and many others enjoy them, though.

    I am looking forward to Warped this year. Taking Back Sunday, Senses Fail, The Used?? All the bands that gave me my first taste of live music and my first loves in the genre. A lot of the kiddie-punk bands have been removed (with the exception of All Time Low- which I can actually handle) and my boyfriend (total metalhead) enjoys Chelsea Grin and Memphis Mayfire. I think it'll be a back to the basics for me. I'm stoked.

    1. Hey GMG, sorry I just now got to this comment, but it seems like you and I are on the same path? I'm not really a fan of today's "scene" but I'm not sure if it would be different if I was younger. Either way, I will be there happily staring at the youngins waiting for my turn to rock out to/with MY bands :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...