Interview Editing: Josh Nagy
Photography: Ashley Allison
Wow, I never knew you could have so much fun in a parking lot. This year at the Van’s Warped Tour, Josh Nagy and Ashley Allison accompanied me for my first Warped Tour experience. I’d like to say this for those that have never been to The Van’s Warped Tour before, there’s no way you can see most of the bands. The stages are pretty much all simultaneously playing, so I will only be writing about those of which I did see play. The day started pretty well, as i soaked in the mass of people that were filling up this pseudo venue parking lot hybrid. The heat was beading down on us pretty hard, but once I worked my way up to the front of the Beatport stage it didn’t matter.
A few things caught my eye at first glance; wacky colored hair or an odd hair style was a pretty common attribute of the average Warped fan, there were booths everywhere, and there were plenty of precautions put in place by The Van’s Warped Tour to make the show a comfortable experience despite the heat. About the booths; I’m not talking about just merch booths, oh no. I’m talking about booths for everything from Peace Tea all the way to Trojan condoms. The precautions set by The Van’s Warped Tour were impressive; cheap water bottles, water bottle refill stations, a firehose spilling water on any concert goers seeking some refreshment, and even little booths filled with comfy seats in the shade, all of which was put in place to battle the scorching heat.
I can only speak for a few stages, the Beatport Stage and the Kia Motors Stage. Although there were more stages than these two, I had an agenda of artists I wanted to see. One very nice aspect I’d like to see at more shows was the way The Van’s Warped Tour kept to the schedule. Each stage had a specific schedule, which gets decided day of, and I don’t think they deviated from that schedule by over a minute. As you’ll hear in our interviews, there are positives and negatives to this way of running a show; personally I’d prefer them being on-time versus terribly late.
The Beatport stage was one unlike any other. While the Beatport stage was filled with signed Hip-Hop acts, they also had a side-stage for independent artists. When I heard that, I assumed that the independent artists would get blown out of the water by the monstrous Beatport stage’s speakers; I was wrong. The stages actually acted like an on and off switch, while the Beatport stage was playing, the independent stage was filled with artists getting prepared to perform & while the Beatport stage was in-between acts, the independent stage was free-styling and hyping up the Beatport stage’s upcoming act. These two stages were extremely respectful of each-other & created an intimate hip-hop atmosphere. Below are some pictures of each performance at the Beatport stage courtesy of Ashley Allison.
Another stage at which we spent a good amount of our time was the Kia Motors stage, as it had some wicked big-name acts. Although the Kia Motors stage had a larger crowd & a less intimate experience in comparison to the Beatport Stage, the crowd added to the fun; I even got the chance to participate in a hacky sack circle on my way into the audience. One of the hands-down coolest acts I got to see at the Kia Motors stage was Bowling For Soup. After seeing Bowling For Soup, I can confidently say that I’ve heard the Phineas and Ferb theme song live. Fun Fact: The lead singer of Bowling For Soup is the voice behind the redesigned Chuck E. Cheese mascot! They had a lot of fun on stage, managed to get condoms from Trojan to fall from the sky, and even stole a giant beach ball from the neighboring stage! We saw other artists perform at warped tour as well, such as Yellowcard, Beartooth, and Cute Is What We Aim For! Below are some pictures of each performance at the Kia Motors stage courtesy of Ashley Allison.
Now on to the interviews; which were all very fun. Going into this show, I assumed we’d have at least one artist that was too good to talk to us or would give us bs answers….I was so wrong. Every single artist we got a chance to interview talked to us on a personal level and answered all of our questions very insightfully. All editing credit is due to Josh Nagy.
Derek Sanders of Mayday Parade (with Dylan Dulberg of the Oakland Press)
Erik Chandler of Bowling for Soup
Jordan Witzigreuter of the Ready Set