Earlier this week I once again traveled to the beautiful coastal city of Ventura, California to attend the annual Vans Warped Tour festival. My long-time readers will remember my post on last year’s show, and all the sunburns that accompanied.
Like every year, Warped Tour mixed things up. Whereas last year’s event focused more on hardcore and similar genres, this year was a bit more light-hearted and upbeats. Well, with the exception of a few bands like Hundredth, Being As An Ocean, and Senses Fail.
This year I was able to refrain from spending too much money on the hopefuls walking the lines peddling their EP’s. Although I DID purchase an instrumental album called “Comfort is the Death of Creativity” from an up-and-comer called Slowing Inertia. If you’re a fan of bands like Animals As Leaders, I’d recommend checking them out. Not as technical, but still really good.
As I waited in line, two hours prior to the gates opening, I made sure to soak up the atmosphere around me. The excitement of the regulars was just as potent as that of the first-timers, and even some of the parents/chaperones of the younger kids seemed happy to be there.
Sometimes things that happen in line while you’re waiting to get in can be just as entertaining as the musicians themselves. For instance, there was a group of about six guys that were making their way down the line. Two played acoustic guitar, two sang in a rhythmic speaking manner, and the other two were contortionists who did their thing while the music played. It was definitely a sight to behold, that’s for sure.
I also met a traveling monk while in line. That was pretty cool, actually. He was super nice, and even greeted me with a fist bump.
What was a major relief for me this time around was the schedule. Last year it seemed like everyone I wanted to see was playing at the same time. Luckily this year everyone was a bit more spread out, which allowed me to enjoy the day a bit more rather than stress out about seeing everyone.
This also allowed me to acquire an insane amount of merch. I purchased a ridiculous amount of shirts, as well as CD’s. What really excited me was the fact that some vendors had Vinyls! Anyone who follows me on Instagram (ThatMusicJunkie_ ) knows my love for collecting vinyl records.
Even though we were on the coast, it was still June in California, so the heat was intense. All around me I could see people fanning themselves and applying sunscreen for the tenth time that day. Luckily, there were plenty of food and beverage vendors, as well as shaded places to sit and take a break. Otherwise people would’ve been dropping like flies!
For me, one of the best things about Warped Tour (aside from the music and the merch) is running into artists as you’re walking around. More often than not, these guys and gals are always happy to say hi and snap a quick photo with you as they prepare for their set. Just make sure to be respectful of their time.
There were a lot of notable sets that day. I’ve been a fan of Motion City Soundtrack since I was in Junior High, and seeing them live at Warped Tour this year was awesome! The Wonder Years had a fantastic set, and event the lead singer’s other band Aaron West and the Roaring Twenties put on a great show in the acoustic tent.
Catching sets of bands that are new (to me) is always a blast. I got to enjoy performances by Candy Hearts, as well as an impressive show by Night Riots.
Of course, not everything about Warped Tour is awesome. There’s always the Beatport Stage where DJ’s and rappers perform, but more often than not it looks like a ghost town over there. The saddest set had to go to someone named Chrisb. There were, literally, only two people in the crowd for his set. Two little blonde pre-teens dancing to club music. Not the best moment of his career, I’m sure.
Then there was Riff Raff. Why he was there, I’ll never know. To his credit, there was a decent turnout for his set. Which just raises more questions, in my opinion. But I digress.
Overall, I had a blast at Warped Tour 2015, and I cannot wait until next year’s tour!Did you attend this year’s show? Share your Warped Tour stories with us in the comments!
Check out our Instagram page for more photos from the Tour, and be sure to give us a “Like” on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @TheMusiJunkie8