Do you remember where you were the first time you ever went to Vans Warped Tour? A lot of us do! This year’s final farewell to twenty-five years of amazing music and shared experiences came to a close with some of our favorite Warped Tour artists, old and new, and it was a heartfelt goodbye. Ghost Cult Magazine got a chance to cover the Mountain View, California Warped Tour to celebrate with the most nostalgic of performers.
Four stages, one of which was divided into two stages: Blackcraft and The Full Sail Stage gave us performances by Lighterburns, Skating Polly, Doll Skin, Ozomatli, The Dollyrots, Whitney Peyton, to name a few. The Monster Energy Stage gave us high impact up, close, and personal performances by Sleeping with Sirens, I The Mighty, Set It Off, Wage War, August Burns Red, Twiztid, Quicksand, Memphis May Fire, Yungblud with a special surprise appearance by Machine Gun Kelly, Andy Black, and others.
The Main Stage, gave us performances by We The Kings, OFF!, Goldfinger, Less Than Jake, Simple Plan, Bad Religion, The Offspring, Circa Survive, Thrice, The All American Rejects, Sum 41, The Used, Jawbreaker, and finally the closing band NOFX.
Along with the music stages, we had entertainment from pro skateboarders, and BMX bikers, at the skate park, and some fun smack downs over at the wrestling ring.
All bands had a similar theme this year, and like I said it was a heartfelt goodbye and thank yous to Kevin Lyman for all the years he dealt with their shenanigans and made the tours possible. Some bands even teased and questioned if it was really the last tour, but even then, Kevin Lyman finally came out to the audience and laid that doubt to rest, confirming that this was, in fact, the last warped tour. The audience protested, but not for long, because what happened at the end of the 2nd night was the most epic farewell I’ve seen in years. I’ll admit that I had thought this whole performance had been planned as a goodbye to us all, but the real situation was that closing band NOFX was late and traveling as fast as they could to get to us. What happened next was the most entertaining way of stalling an audience, because not only did Kevin Lyman come out with his whole family, to share stories of Warped Tours past leaning towards stories of NOFX and Big Mike, he gathered the best vocalists, drummers, bassists, and guitarists of the entire weekend to actually practice last-minute and perform NOFX songs for us all.
It was extra special when one of the vocalists pulled two audience members from the crowd to sing along, and as they sang their hearts out we were all surprised as NOFX themselves walk on stage to just carry on as if they didn’t miss a beat.
This was a great weekend, with great food, entertainment, and nostalgia. What started off as skeptical, mixed feelings of hopeful concert goers of all ages, ended off with the closure we all needed to finally sail the Van’s Warped Tour ship off into the horizon and to say goodbye to what we’ve all come to expect and love out of summertime since 1995. Guess we’ll all have to find something else to do. Thanks for everything Lyman.
WORDS AND PHOTOS BY ISABEL UZCATEGUI