E-Mail: [email protected] Written By: Steve Trager
Article: The Warped Tour has been a mainstay on the forefront of the summer concert caravan since it’s formation in 1995 with just 2 rotating stages and 10 bands for a full day of music surrounding the lesser known artists which at that time was a brilliant idea for a summertime blast especially like most of us music fans who, enjoy the live atmosphere of a festival type show. Since then it seems like just yesterday for Vans Warped Tour to still pack a punch with twice the latitude of bands spanning every genre’ out there to pack a full day of total enjoyment, yet how many bands can one tolerate in one day, obviously just a few would not be enough since the Vans Warped Tour now tops out at 10 Stages, and collectively showcases more than 100 Bands all in a single 8 plus hour concert event on a yearly basis.
The Warped Tour is no stranger to those lesser known artists that might not get the attention they truly deserve on say a top 40 format radio station jamming bands down your throat you might almost throw up listening to over and over in the course of a typical work day. While the Warped Tour has built its diversity built for speed with popular artists that sometimes stick out like a sore thumb seems to work for the brains behind the whole Touring skillet that each and every year Warped Tour comes back in full force with bands to feed your appetite for a live show during a sweltering summer day. The popularity for Vans Warped Tour seems to be a never ending infinitive line of admiring fans that sometimes exceeds a sold out event.
Each and every previous run of the Warped Tour is like a stellar rock show with endless stages surrounds the naked eye, it sometimes can leave you reaching in your pocket for a coin toss to which Stage to run to first when the gates open. I wouldn’t label the Warped Tour a festival, and I certainly wouldn’t call it a typical rock event, but I would call it a gigantic roller coaster ride for your musical taste buds.
This year the Vans Warped Tour collectively had what some might say an unparalleled diversity in bands spread out over the 10 stages in Camden New Jersey at Susquehanna Bank Center. While the entire venue seemed to be just another day in music paradise, there were numerous things you could do beyond running from stage to stage, shop for rock gear, grasp some way cool sunglasses and or even meet your favorite band all in a timely fashion of course.
Over the years attending several previous Warped Tours, I can’t remember an actual summer day where I never felt like I was locked in a sauna for 8 plus hours and chugging down a fist full of monster energy drinks to keep me sane, this was the first time in the history on shows where it was overcast and about 60 degrees. Although prior to even planning on heading to the event down pours left and right seems to put a damper on the whole visual event however, nothing stops the rock unless bolts of lightning start flashing then you might as well call it a day.
It becomes an overwhelming task to fulfill with every band tugging at your arm for some sort of press coverage especially knowing that they just might get it good, bad, or indifferent, still churning out some press from this event on a yearly basis can be a rewarding momentous fist pump or a mental slap on the head. While it becomes virtually impossible to cover every band at this event, one has to be totally selective on who gets what since the set times overlap drastically with every stage going at the exact same time.
The diversity of music surrounding this year’s Vans Warped Tour created a buzz with everything from Alternative Rock to Extreme Metal and even tossing in Punk, Hip Hop and Reggae Rock type bands which by far makes it a great mix of music for an entire day long concert event. But there was one genre’ missing in the fold here and that would be Alternative Country. Even if half these bands at this years Warped Tour are lesser known names as a whole, the vibe behind each performance still rocks, defiantly gives the fans a unique experience first hand in discovering new talent.
I found myself hanging around just a few stages to catch a few songs here and there from about a dozen bands from 5 stages rounding out my day of coverage’s. While the two stages of KIA RIO and KIA SOUL dominated the fan base with amazing performances they went so quick it seems much like a blink of an eye really. While the main ingredient for each performance is a simple 30 minute set, things move at a rapid pace if you venture out for moment to say smoke or grab food in the massive long lines you could easily miss a band or two in a single moment time elapse.
Every band on both rotating stages sounds great as thousands packed the general pit area to let loose and dive right into the music with great sets by Every Time I Die, Bless The Fall, Sleeping With Sirens, and Taking Back Sunday the crowd surfing commenced in a heartbeat, although this whole mosh and circle pit headache antics sometimes can put a damper on like minded fans who just want watch a damn band perform you want to grab on to some kids arm and yank them down or trip them as they come running through the photo pit, seems like a great idea as they sometimes take away every time sensitive moment in capturing great shots for one’s concert archives when every photo has to count.
While many stages are often spread out, mapping out key bands leaves one with very little time to just hang around one stage and just focus at hand with just a few bands. The diversity within the music and the genre’s we all love sometimes music fans can embrace the new faces like Rise To Remain on the Monster Energy Stage played a great set with material from their debut offering on the Century Media Group nothing sinking your teeth into some real fine choice metal from the UK making their USA debut at the Warped Tour this year.
Disney Records also put their hand in the cookie jar at the Vans Warped Tour by showcasing what could be the youngest all girl rock band who call themselves Cherri Bomb, a fitting name for a bunch of well skilled teen rockers performing in front of thousands in the mid afternoon. Props to Disney for bringing a fresh new ideal to this year VWT. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Disney band ever on the roster of Warped Tour until now. Truly a great marketing tool for fresh new faces prowling the massive Rock Scene these days.
Amongst all the bands on all the other stages, the greatest sets were done by Yellowcard, New Found Glory, All Time Low, and We the Kings on one stage. out of the public eye after 6 years not on the touring circuit in the USA and their first time on the Warped Tour fans welcomed with open hearts Lost Prophets, who also have a great new CD out and currently making quite a buzz during the summer run for Lost-prophets enjoying the warm embrace of the fans swirling around the mosh pit. Defiantly a thrill to see a great band like these guys shred Live.
As we the music fans can raise our fists to yet another great day chopped full of musical diversity here at Vans Warped Tour 2012, it seems to be a great day weather wise with the rain holding out for a blessed 8 plus hours even if looking beyond the unlimited skies, felt like a massive down our any moment to ruin one’s parade. Although this massive Tour is so far spread out, one does an awful lot of pounding the pavements from stage to stage, it just gives you that momentous feeling of a great day in music on a for the first time in the history of Van Warped Tours a picture perfect day where you don’t feel like you’re going to die from heat stroke.