For most punk rockers young and old, the last 25 years has meant making a
pilgrimage to everyone's favorite traveling punk rock summer camp the Vans Warped Tour. With owner/founder Kevin Lyman as the camp councilor, the last two and a half decades have brought the biggest and best up-and-coming as well as established artists in the rock world together for one day of music and mayhem. Artists like Eminem, blink-182, Katy Perry and Fall Out Boy have all played the traveling circus, getting their start on the tour. Check out my video on "Bands That Played Warped Tour Before They Were Famous" HERE!
This year celebrated the the festival's 25th anniversary, with last year being the last cross-country venture for the tour with dates in Ohio, Atlantic City and Mountain View California. It featured over 40 artists who have performed over the last 25 years of the Vans Warped Tour history playing two-days on the beach. The festival also brought back fan favorites with the best of BMX, motocross and skateboarding, including bands like 311, A Day To Remember, blink-182, Taking Back Sunday, The Used, Bowling For Soup, Bad Religion at the Atlantic City show.
The night before Day 1 of the Vans Warped Tour was just as amazing as the first day with the Pre Warped Party at Bally's Hotel and Casino on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. It featured a FREE karaoke pre-party with a live band known as The Emo Band where fans/patrons could sign up to sing their favorite punk rock favorites on stage with the band. A very special performance from Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties who is Soupy from The Wonder Years side-project with the show closing out with more punk rock karaoke.
The first day of the show started off amazing with thousands of fans flocking to the Atlantic City boardwalk, lining up for the 12pm door time. The venue was amazing, it was like a punk rock circus featuring 4 giant stages, a wrestling ring, BMX/skateboard halfpipe, dirt ramp for motocross and even a canon for the human canon ball to be shot out of.
The first band I was greeted to hearing was Save Ferris on the Vans main stage who I had a chance to talk to a few weeks prior at the Back To The Beach Fest in Huntington Beach CA. That interview is right HERE! One of the things that I've learned from with the last 15 years of going to Warped Tour myself is to hydrate, or find a way to stay cool in the blistering summer heat. With that said, we found shelter in the Atlantic Ocean for the next few hours, cooling off listening to Tatiana DeMaria, Less Than Jake and Travis McCoy of Gym Class Heroes. It was incredible to watch a band perform from the ocean, if you ever get the chance, put it on your bucket list.
Once we got out of the water, I was greeted to the sounds a gathering crowd in the ocean, it was there that a full blown wrestling match was going on, in the water! The fighters took the match all the way to the ocean and back to the ring where I hung out and watched some high flying professional wrestling action. During the same time, Andrew WK was getting ready to go on, and I knew, I had to party. I hung near the back watching some vert skating action while the party animal tore up the stage.
The weather forecast for the day promised nice weather, but we would soon learn that you should know better than to trust the weatherman. As Atmospheres began their performance on the main stage, the PA system cut, lights went out and a service warning to evacuate the show was in order. 20,000 plus people were ordered off the beach and to seek shelter in either the hotel or boardwalk shops and to keep an eye on the official Vans Warped Tour social medias for updates. Over an hour went by before we got the okay to enter which was like a controlled stampede of people storming the beaches.
The show picked up right where it left off like nothing had ever happened, I guess weather is the price you pay for having outdoor events and in Atlantic City, that's a gamble I'm okay with taking. By the time we got back, Good Charlotte had taken stage. We had all wanted to see A Day to Remember who was the headliner, so we pushed our way to the front of the main stage where Bad Religion and 311 also performed. By sundown ADTR was ready to take the stage and put on one hell of a show. They are a band that sounds exactly like their albums, flawless. With many thanks to the Warped Tour, the band closed out their set and it was time for our hour commute back to our hotel for the evening for the following day.
To be continued...
Vans Warped Tour Social:
The Pop-Punk Dad features bands from all around the globe.
Email me awesome bands at: ThePopPunkDad@gmail.com