Vans Warped Tour rolled into Camden, NJ on Thursday along with 100+ degree temperatures that coupled with the high humidity, made it feel like 110. Not even the obscene temps could stop the Warped Tour. The bevy of bands, massive merchandising village, sponsors, skateboarders, and all the workers behind the scenes stuck it out in the heat along with tens of thousands of loyal fans that drank in the 10+ hours of music mayhem almost as quickly as the water and $6 bottles of Powerade.
Thankfully for the fans, media, and even some of the bands, there were water refilling stations that allowed you to turn a one time $3 purchase of water into a day-long canteen.
To say the heat was brutal is an understatement. Those who properly hydrated and sought out shade from time to time managed to have a wonderful time. Others over did it, or consumed alcohol instead of water, and paid the price.
Enough about the weather.
The list of bands playing the Camden leg of the tour was immense. No matter what your proverbial cup of musical tea might be, the Warped Tour had you covered, from metalcore to pop, hip-hop to alt-rock, emo to punk, and far beyond.
We saw every type of person, young and old, preppie, hipster, and punk rocker, over-dressed and under-dressed, tan and pale (and of course, sunburned), and even a few dads sitting around waiting for their kids.
Warped Tour bands don’t receive their set times until the morning of that day’s tour. A band with big name appeal could find themselves opening one day, playing mid-day the next, and closing on the third day. The beautiful part is, the same goes for the lesser known unsigned bands. With seven stages, and several other tent performances, it’s nearly impossible to see every band you’d like to see, but that didn’t stop us (and thousands of others) from trying their hardest to do just that.
Case in point, the bands that opened the stages were: Attack Attack!, Abandon All Ships, Relient K, Unwritten Law, Big Chocolate, The Baby Grand, and June Divided.
The closing sets were: A Day To Remember, Black Veil Brides, D.R.U.G.S., Simple Plan, Yelawolf, D.C. Fallout, and There for Tomorrow.
Even if we’d been in peak physical condition and used to 100+ degree weather it would have been hard to run from one stage to the next to catch one song from each band. Decisions had to be made, and they weren’t easy.
Asking Alexandria, Less Than Jake, and Gym Class Heroes played back-to-back-to back on the Teggart stage but staying there would have meant missing bands like We Came As Romans, Dance Gavin Dance, Lionize, Ill Scarlett, Sick of Sarah, Tat, and countless others. This is how it went, hour after sweltering hour. The only breaks coming as we ducked inside the backstage area to interview some of our favorite bands. Interviews you can watch from the comfort of your air conditioned dwelling. You’re welcome. It was our cross to bear.
The venue was expanded out of the Susquehanna Bank Center across the street (and River Link tracks) into the parking lots (where the majority of the stages and vendors were located). Because of this, we didn’t see a single person venture onto the lawn inside the venue. There was no need, anyone catching an act on the main stages (the main stage was divided in two) was able to get a seat.
Aside from the official interviews, we had the pleasure of talking to Warped Tour staff, band managers, dozens of merch tent workers who gutted it out in the heat selling their wares or band gear (like the guys at Verde Styles who help plant a tree for every t-shirt they sell), and several performers that we didn’t get on camera including Shira, Big Chocolate, Grieves, Stephen Jerzak, I Set My Friends On Fire, Go Radio, Sick of Sarah (thanks for the elbow bump, see you with Vanity Theft & Hunter Valentine at the M-Room in August), Moving Mountains, and countless others.
We also spent some time with Los Angeles based band D.C. Fallout in their tent and had a blast. These guys are 100% genuine and crank out punk for people that care about the state of our government and other real world issues. Check them out, in fact, check all of these bands out!
If you missed our lead-in Warped Tour interviews with The Devil Wears Prada, Asking Alexandria, and 3OH!3, you should probably make it a point to check those out. Go ahead, do it now, we’ll wait for you…
See, aren’t you glad you did a little extra reading?
While at the Warped Tour, we conducted interviews with members of D.R.U.G.S., Less Than Jake, My Arcadia, Relient K, Westland, Unwritten Law, and Simple Plan, as well as interviews with Kelsey, The Ready Set, and iconic designer Jac Vanek.
You can see ALL of our interviews by…
You can check out the rest of our photos by…
Warped Tour was a blast! If it’s coming to your town, we highly recommend checking it out, but remember, get there early, you never know when your favorite band will be playing! One final suggestion, that was echoed by band members across all genres of music… check out Bad Rabbits.
We’d love to see your Warped Tour photos! Check out our fan photo contest page!