2018 was the final full cross-country run of Vans Warped Tour. Considering we went to different dates and all had different experiences, a couple of contributors got together to put together a mass review of the final tour.
July 13 – Camden, New Jersey
Warped Tour. The one date a year I looked forward to more than anything. My experience at Warped is one I will never forget. Its allowed me to have the chance to see and meet some of my favorite bands, make new friends, and create memories that will always be with me.
Everything all starts at 8 am for me, wanting to be one of the first people online, impatiently waiting for the gates to open. Then, rushing to the set board to plan out my day is one of the most exhilarating things I’ve experienced. With this being the final tour, it was very bittersweet. This year particularly I had a very full day. As soon as I got into the venue I was at a stage waiting for the first band of the day to play. After that set was over the game of the mad dash from stage to stage began. Since the line up was so amazing this year there were way too many sets I wanted to attended. Needless to say I made sure I was at every set. I also had the amazing opportunity to meet two of my favorite bands this year, We The Kings and Mayday Parade.
I had never fully made it though the entire day at Warped because of the heat or just simply because there wasn’t a set that I wanted to see, but this year I promised myself that no matter the circumstances I am staying from the first band on stage to the last. The experience of Warped is one that is hard to tell, that day meant more to me than I will ever be able to explain in words.
Warped tour is, was, and always will be a home for not only me but so many other people. Warped tour was a safe place, a place we could all be ourselves, where we could listen to and discover great music and meet amazing people. The memories I’ve made over the years are ones I will hold with me forever.
Thank you Warped Tour. –Nicole
July 14 – Holmdel, New Jersey
I grew up at Warped Tour. I went to my first one when I was fourteen years old and here I was, five years later, going to the last cross-country tour. There were so many things I wanted to do this year that I didn’t know how I was going to fit it all in.
Holmdel was one of the dates on the tour that had completely sold out, having 18,000 people in attendance, which means the place was packed. I had gone to Warped at the PNC Bank Arts Center before but I had never seen it this packed. The main lobby was filled from wall to wall as the crowd anxiously awaited to be let into the parking lot where all of the stages were set up.
I had the opportunity to see and meet some of my favorite bands that day including Mayday Parade, We The Kings, Palaye Royale, and Motionless in White. I was even able to see William Ryan Key play acoustic songs off Ocean Avenue on his last date on the tour. Since this was the last time Warped Tour would be traveling all the way across the country, everybody gave it their all. I didn’t see one set that was dull or boring. Even This Wild Life, who have a very mellow set and style, had the crowd dancing and having a great time. I wasn’t disappointed with anybody’s set that I saw that day.
Bowling For Soup was another special guest I had the opportunity to see and I must say that their’s definitely placed in my top three sets from the day. They were so much fun to watch and hearing them play their songs live took me back to when I was in middle school listening to “Punk Rock 101” and “1985.” They were hysterical to watch and made for an incredible moment during the day.
Leaving was very bitter-sweet. I had an entire day full of amazing experiences and great music but I knew it was most likely going to be the last time that Warped Tour would pass through the Holmdel, New Jersey.
Goodbye Warped Tour, thank you for letting me grow up with you. I wouldn’t have wanted to do it anywhere else. -Natalie
July 26 – Scranton, Pennsylvania
With Warped Tour wrapping up, I was truly expecting to have the absolute time of my life this year. So, my first mistake was having such high expectations. That’s not to say that I didn’t have a great time… it’s just for the final Warped Tour, I was expecting something more. When they announced who was performing, I already felt like it wasn’t going to be the glamorous end I had hoped for. This all came to fruition when I left the grounds and didn’t feel like anything had truly ended… no grand finale. Regardless, looking at this Warped Tour subjectively, it was everything I had come to expect.
Being a part of a scene that is so dynamic in nature and strives for community involvement and inclusivity has made me immensely proud. Between the musicians themselves and the nonprofit organizations present at the festival, Warped Tour created a space that I felt wholly electric, alive, and happy. New bands that are gaining ground, like Waterparks, brought in a wave of younger fans that hopefully can carry on the passion that was ignited here.
The highlight of my experience was for sure State Champs (who probably should have been put on the main stage considering the turnout for their set). As always, this band brought it all and the fans threw it right back at them. There was also the killer performance from 3OH!3 that made me feel like I was right back in my middle school days. However, the overall best of the night had to have been finally seeing Simple Plan, a band that has been an inspiration for so many. Their interaction with the crowd and genuine love for what they were doing proved to have Montage Mountain captivated as there was hardly any room left under the pavilion. -Alex
July 28 – Wantagh, New York
This year’s Warped Tour was truly one for the books for me. It gave me the chance to see a lot of my favorite bands for the first time (Grayscale, Sleep On It, As It is, State Champs, and Set it Off, to name a few), while also allowing me to see some old favorites like Mayday Parade and Simple Plan.
Grayscale, Sleep On It, and State Champs surprised me in ways I hadn’t expected. I knew they were three of my favorite bands, but seeing them live blew me out of the water. Being in their crowd solidified my appreciation for them – from their talent to their stage presence to the music itself, their performances were everything I could have asked for.
As It Is also brought an unmatchable energy to the crowd, not only with their music, but with Patty Walters’ speeches about both depression and equality for women. Hearing someone speak so openly and honestly to a crowd that ranged from adults to impressionable teens was refreshing and needed in today’s society.
Set It Off played my date and I was ecstatic to be able to finally see them. They know how to get a crowd fired up like no other. I was amazed by the crowds reaction to not only their old stuff, but their new stuff as well.
Seeing Mayday Parade felt like being home. They were my first pop-punk concert ever, so being in their crowd at the last Warped just felt right. There was something special about getting to singing along to “Jersey” at one last Warped Tour.
Simple Plan was the last band to play the last ever New York Warped Tour. In my opinion, they were the perfect band to close the night. There was something so surreal about watching Simple Plan, a band who has played Warped Tour a record of 12 times, sing “I’m Just A Kid” with the help of 3OH!3 and We The Kings while their drummer, Chuck Comeau, jumped off the stage into the sea of fans. I don’t think I will ever experience that kind of crowd reaction or the feeling of every single person in the audience singing along their last song, “Perfect,” again. Everyone there was connected in that moment and that was always the power of Warped Tour – bringing you together with people you may not have otherwise known, giving you friends and relationships you otherwise wouldn’t have had.
So thanks for the memories Warped, you will be missed. -Tori
August 4 – Tampa, Florida
This last Warped Tour believe it or not was actually my first. Warped Tour is always something I wanted to go tour since I saw episodes of Warped Roadies on Fuse and talked to friends who had gone before. I’ve just never had the opportunity to go until this year. When it was announced that this year’s tour would be the final cross-country tour Upon hearing the news, I made this promise to myself: I’m going to this year’s Warped Tour. No matter what.
I’ve spent the summer in Florida visiting family and I decided to go to the Tampa date as it was the closest to me. I have to saw, it was the best day of my summer. I saw so many of my favorite bands for the first time, was introduced to a bunch of new acts I’ve now been checking out, got to meet Kyle Fasel from Real Friends and got a signed CD of the band’s latest album Composure from him, and also meet a lot of cool people who came out to the tour. Overall, I had a fantastic time and I’m glad I can finally say I’ve been to Warped Tour.
Warped might be gone, but the spirit will never be. Long Live Warped! -Ian