Preview by Kevin Miller - Photos by Sabrina Canup
For me, it all started in 2003 on a HOT summer day, dragging my dad and a good friend out to Asbury Park, NJ. Not fully knowing what to expect never being to a festival before but overwhelmed with excitement to see some of my favorite bands but also... to discover some new ones. That’s what warped tour has always been for me. In 2003, getting to see bands take the stage like the Used, Thrice, The Starting Line, Brand New, and more! The scene was THRIVING.
What seemed so new at the time, but quickly grew into a routine, we walked up to several different tents to see what some of these bands we never heard of were all about. All the hard-working musicians, pushing their art by talking and spreading the word of their set times. Compact disk players being handed over so you can take a quick sneak peek at their newest release. This is how I found some music that shaped me and helped me through some hard times.
Going to the festival year after year, it quickly became the staple of my summers. I have met so many people and heard so many stories of being on the road. Friendships have come and gone and some have proved themselves to be for a lifetime. I personally, CANNOT miss the last run and we here at Cloak & Dagger Media are STOKED to bring you coverage from four different dates in the upcoming week. (NASHVILLE TN – CAMDEN NJ – HOLMDEL NJ – TORONTO CN) a couple more in the following weeks (SCRANTON PA AND MANSFIELD MA).
When hearing this year would be the last, I cannot say that I was surprised. I did find entertainment in a lot of peoples negative comments toward the line up once announced. With it being the last year of the festival it seemed as if people were expecting the world. Thoughts and rumors circulated of all these big acts, like My Chemical Romance, that people thought would be booked to fill this year's line up. Wishful thinking...
To me, it seems as if a lot of people forget the roots of what the festival actually is. The festival was built on up and coming music. It never was a Coachella or a Bonnaroo. You never saw the BIGGEST names flooding the WHOLE entire line up. While many found the announcement to be disappointing, I think Kevin Lyman did it right. He stuck to his roots, has some of the BEST mid-major acts coming to town with bands like Movements, Mayday Parade, State Champs & more while bringing nostalgic acts (Story Of The Year, The Used, & more) even if just for a hometown date. Each date has a bunch of local acts (some signed, some not) giving artists an opportunity to showcase their talents to a network they never will be able to again.
There may be some tough decisions depending on your dates scheduling but here are two MUST see bands from each stage.
Journeys Left Foot
Journeys Right Foot
Mutant Red Dawn
Ice Nine Kills
Mutant White Lightning
As It Is
Many people are looking back and feeling nostalgic. To me it is still hard to believe that the staple of my summer, and many others, will not be coming back in 2019, but we shouldn’t be sad… we should celebrate! If you are sitting there complaining we don’t have acts like Eminem, Blink 182 or My Chemical Romance to enjoy, get off your couch and drag yourself to Warped Tour to discover some new music. That’s what this festival was built on and was always about. You may be surprised…. There may be a ton of bands that will peak your interest.
The things that this tour was able to accomplish is one of a kind. From bringing fans together, to building communities and networks, to inspiring people to get one the road and help make a difference in the world. So many people’s lives have been changed by Warped, whether it be artists, crew, fans. Everyone who has attended has fond memories, and its time to make one last one. Get out to your local date.
Warped Tour you will be missed. Keep a look out as our coverage starts TOMORROW! Follow @clkdggrmedia for all updates.