When I saw the article on my newsfeed, I instantly got sad but then a smile was on my face. It was announced that the Vans Warped Tour will do one final run around the country in 2018.
Warped Tour creator Kevin Lyman posted this on the tour's official website on Wednesday November 15th: http://vanswarpedtour.com/2017/finaltour/
In my very humble opinion, the Vans Warped Tour was one of the best things to happen to music as it allowed music fans of all ages and genres to be able to come out to an event and enjoy the music they loved. With the advent of the Internet during the rise of the Warped Tour, bands began posting their songs to the web which in turn garnered the attention of some kids who were sitting around at their home. It was later found out that that band is on tour with the Warped Tour, the kid then buys a $35 ticket, sees that band play at 1pm and in turn get to hang and see Rancid play later on that day.
Blink 182 even has a lyric about it in their song, "Rock Show." Many bands credit their rise to the Vans Warped Tour to their own success. A band like New Found Glory comes to mind.
For me personally, the Warped Tour was like a national holiday. The DMV area shows were held anywhere from the RFK Stadium Parking lot, the Nissan Pavilion grounds to Merriweather Post Pavilion. I was, well, I guess I still am, a pop punk kid who was able to see all of my favourite bands in one day but then get to see others on smaller stages who blew me away with their awesomeness. I would at this point list every band that I ever saw at the Warped Tour but then this would be the longest blog post in DC101.com history.
Rather, I will just say that I am a lifelong fan of The Eyeliners, Dance Hall Crashers, All American Rejects, New Found Glory, Ozomatli, Jurassic 5 (story and picture below), Anti-Flag, Save Ferris, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes (story below), Deftones, Bad Religion, The Start, Anberlin, Good Charlotte, The Used and many others.
There are some fun stories as well. One of my bestest friends to this day, Leeanne and I were at the 2003 iteration when it was at Nissan Pavilion (now Jiffy Lube Live) and the phrase "walk with a purpose" came into my life. I was there working with my old radio station and she said, "let's see how far backstage we can get." Ummm...we got so far backstage, that we were literally standing on the stage behind the drummer of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes and watched their entire set from there.
Another...I thought that I had sworn off hip hop/rap when I discovered the world of ska, pop punk and punk itself. Then, I heard these four MCs and their two DJs at the 2000 Warped Tour and I could not contain myself. It truly felt like a religious experience. That group of dudes were Jurassic 5 and let me tell you, I truly am a fan for life. Their show at the 930 Club in 2002 still resides in my top three shows I have ever seen. To think, I was just camping out because Green Day was going to play on that stage after J5. So I guess I need to credit Green Day for my reinstated love of hip hop and Jurassic 5.
One of the best things about the Warped Tour was that the bands made themselves available to meet their fans prior to and after their sets at their own tents. For a kid who would never think they could shake hands or take a photo with their favourite band, the Warped Tour was that place for them. I am an autograph/picture seeker and my walls when I was a younger Khan were filled with signed posters I got from the Warped Tour. Below is a happy Khan (with hair) circa 2000 as I got to meet Jurassic 5.
Happy trails Vans Warped Tour. What you did for me and many other music fans I do not think will ever be matched. You will always have a special place in my heart for strengthening my bond to being a fan of music and humanity. But there is always 2018...I will see you there!!!