I have been grateful enough to attend many a Warped. From when I was a younger adult drinking myself into oblivion and taking grass naps, to now as a 41 year old hippie smoking cannabis and taking grass naps. Vans Warped tour represents all those demographics that your Mom and Dad warned you about: the goths, the emos, the punks, the metal heads, the stoner’s, the thrashers. What your Mom and Dad didn’t know, unless they were totally cool, was that going to a Warped concert is like a right of passage. It’s an opportunity to crowd surf. A chance to party with your peers. It’s a day of freedom and musical expression. So to Kevin Lyman, I thank you for what you have done for the past 24 years.
Our day started as any other Warped adventure. We left with enough time but arrived late AF. Not because we lagged, but because traffic was horrendous. After a 5 ½ hour drive, we made it safely to the Shoreline and the hysteria continued. Myself and my partner in crime Zoran Theodorovic made our way to the check in booth as always do. Doing music media has given us the chance to interview some amazing musicians and we look forward to going backstage to connect each year. This year however, the girls working the VIP/Volunteer booth didn’t seem to be enjoying the day or their jobs at all,which is unfortunate considering its a freaking SOLD OUT SHOW and everyone is stoked to be there. Long story short, we got zero interviews for the first time in our attending. I was not able to go backstage at all and my partner was only given photo access, but we are a local company that uses videos and Youtube as our forum to help promote music. When things like this happen, you make the best of it and let’s be honest, we were still at the very last Vans Warped at Shoreline. You can’t be mad at that. So we went our separate ways, me to wander and watch and him to take photos.
Again, let me remind whoever is reading this that I am NOT YOUNG! I may look 23 (cough cough) but I am very much 41 so that of course will be a factor in my opinion. Truthfully, I waited in lines more than I watched bands. Lines to park. Lines to get in. Lines to the bathroom. Lines to get water. Lines to get food ( I gave up on that one after 20 minutes in the hot sun). Perhaps it was the MASSIVE amount of people who showed up for the last hurrah, which is a beautiful thing. But it seemed like the venue and workers were just not prepared. Still I found water being sold for $3 which at a concert is a BLESSING. And I saw seas of people having a great time, even if it meant sitting under big rigs for shade. That’s the beauty of music,the killer vibe.
I got to rock out to My Children My Bride.
I felt goosebumps when Unearth performed.
Senses Fail lead singer came out in a rocking ass pink jumpsuit and the BEST energy.
Simple Plan straight PACKED the grass and arena area. It was during this set that I saw the most displays of public affection and I am not gonna lie, it got me good in the feels. I love love.
Every Time I Die…..what can I say about these dudes that hasn’t been said. They kill. Every fucking time. They slay each set they play like its their first and they’ve been rocking for 20 years. Not only did they dedicate to those fans who have seen them at Ace of Spades in Sacramento and The Boardwalk in Orangevale, they did a song tribute to Vinnie Paul. Goosebumps returned.
The Used closed out the night, with colorful smoke bombs, rainbow sign, and encouragement from Bert to be who you are. The crowd surfing was real.
I’d have to say the band that impressed me most because I’ve never seen them before and this woman’s message literally could NOT be ignored was Sharptooth and lead singer Lauren Gashan. She reminded me of a 90’s feminist rocker only this chick was about equality. She was about telling her story, no matter how personal it was, or how uncomfortable it may make you. You have to respect someone who fights for what they believe in. Lauren spoke aggressively about rights for LGBT, trans, non binary and bi sexual individuals. She reached out to those who have been a victim of rape or sexual assault. And she advocated for mental illness, an issue that needs to be talked about. I salute you Lauren. I am grateful that my daughters have a woman like you as a role model and voice.
All in all, Vans Warped Tour rocked. Despite the lines and crowds, it was exactly the way it needed to be: chaotic and hot. Full of people who love music, who have no other agenda but to rock and to rock as hard as they can. Well done……Words by Amber Rose and pictures by Zoran Theodorovic