So I am quite behind in my writing this month, but better late than never, right?
I went to Warped Tour for the first time this year. In my 28 years of living I have always wanted to go, but living in Arizona, and Warped always being in August, well it just never seemed like a pleasant experience. My best friend and I decided that we had to experience Warped Tour at least once, and preferably before we were 30, and since she turns 30 this year, it was now or never. I will say, this was the perfect year to go. Arizona has had a mild summer, all things considered, and it was only 105 degrees and humid, but we had some great cloud coverage from the monsoon rolling in, so not all together terrible.
We got there much later than planned due to traffic and not really knowing the venue very well, we paid a fortune to park about 1.5 miles away, but hey, at least we got a little workout in before all the dancing.
We got there right at the end of the The Maine’s set, which really sucked because that was one of the bands we were really looking forward to seeing. I’ve seen The Maine more times than I can count, but they are always a delight to see. Bonus the “Make America Emo Again” campaign is truly one that speaks to my soul. Seriously, it’s the best campaign I’ve heard all year.
Since we based our day around starting with The Maine [the first artist we planned on seeing] We had about 2 hours to kill before our next show. We wandered the venue, found some merch tables to spend our money at, and of course people watch. I’ll be damned if we weren’t among the oldest people in the whole event, but seeing so many people sweating it out and enjoying the multiple stages of great music was definitely a treat.
The next band we went to see, and i’ll be honest, the band I was most excited to see, was The Summer Set. I’ve seen The Summer Set live more than any other band, and each and every show is better than the last. I will say their 30 minute set was the highlight of the entire day; I sang my heart out, danced until I thought I would literally drop, and I’ll tell you, I would have stood outside all day listening to them play.
Next up was We The Kings. Now, I’ve been listening to We The Kings for years, but I have never been afforded the opportunity to see them live. Oh I was in for such a treat. They played a great mix of new songs and older jams and really got the crowd involved. When they said “jump” everyone jumped. When they said “Dance like no one is watching” you better believe everyone danced their hearts out. It was great to see a band that only gets 30 minutes to play really take control of the crowd so quickly and effectively. There wasn’t a single sad face in the entire crowd, every single person was having the time of their life.
Mayday Parade. Oh how I will always love Mayday Parade. We stood towards the back of the crowd of this one, as the night grew on we realized we aren’t as young as we used to be and pushing our way to the front to be as close to the stage as possible was exhausting. Again, I have never seen Mayday Parade live before, but I will be the first to buy tickets to their next show in AZ. I got to hear quite a few songs from “A Lesson In Romantics” and my teenage heart is still swooning.
Yellowcard. Okay now here is yet another band I haven’t seen live, but have been dying to see since I was 14 years old. I have never had such an emotional experience seeing a band live as I did with Yellowcard. I got to hear so many newer songs of theirs that I never got to experience before, but lets flash forward to the last 2 songs of their set: Way Away, and Ocean Avenue. I got to hear Ocean Avenue live and I can officially die happy. Yellowcard is on the brink of disbanding, and they are going on their last tour starting this fall: THIS IS NOT A DRILL!! If you’re a slacker like me and haven’t seen them yet, a fan of music in general, or just want to treat yourself to a great show, go see Yellowcard when they come to a city near you.
The last band we saw was New Found Glory. Now New Found Glory is an interesting band for me. They are one of the first rock bands I ever listened to and make up a good part of my youth but they were never a prominent musical influence in my life, but my friend wanted to see them so we stayed. I am so glad I did. They owned the stage, had me singing along so loud to every song, and influenced me musically more than I realized. It was absolutely the best way to end the night.
I am so glad I went to Warped Tour this year. I have heard so many stories from friends who went and loved it. So many people who say that going to Warped Tour was one of the best decisions they made, and I can see why. I spent the entire day with my best friend, surrounded by such talented artists and the music that shaped who I am, the music that makes me feel understood, happy, whole.