Annual punk rock summer camp

Picture this: a venue with over thirty bands playing on several spread out stages. At this venue, fans from every area of rock music and the bands that they love can all gather together in peace and listen to the music that soothes their souls. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it? For 15 years, this hasn’t been a dream or nightmare for Warped Tour attendees but a reality. Each year, Warped Tour never fails to have a few thousand people attend what is sure to be an exhausting, yet worthwhile and entertaining experience. As Spencer Chamberlain, lead vocalist of Underoath stated, “Warped Tour is always good.”

Heat, exhaustion and a huge crowd? It sounds like a nightmare but musical diversity fills the ears and eyes of thousands of attendees. This year, fans saw hardcore bands like Underoath and The Devil Wears Prada, and pop-punk bands such as The Maine, All Time Low and Forever the Sickest Kids. For fans of Warped Tour’s roots, there was a Punk Rock Legends Stage with punk favorites such as NOFX and The Adicts.

Alex Gaskarth, lead singer of All Time Low, said that “[Warped Tour] gets you exposure to fans who might not necessarily go to a club show of yours. People can catch us here and decide that they like us then we get those fans.”

In Carson at the Home Depot Center, the gates opened and fans rushed in to see two of the first bands playing: Underoath and the Maine. Both bands put on amazing shows. Other honorable mentions throughout the day were All Time Low, This Providence, and Big D and the Kids Table.

Senses Fail and A Day to Remember hyped up hardcore fans as the lead vocalists screamed in the audience’s faces and caused a mass of people to crowd-surf. 3OH!3 ended Warped Tour with one of the biggest crowds screaming lyrics to their hit single “Don’t Trust Me.” Meanwhile The Adicts were on the other side of the venue with fans tossing around giant beach balls and running around in huge circle pits while the band played “Viva La Revolution.”

In-between sets, fans met their favorite bands at their tents or checked out some of the many non-profit organizations that were there. Dallas Green of Alexisonfire said his favorite organization is Skate For Cancer while Riley Breckenridge of Thrice had his eyes set on Invisible Children and Shirts for a Cure.

Breckenridge said, “It shows kids that you can make a difference. You don’t need a lot of money or skills. You can still make a positive impact.”

At the Rock Band tent fans played the videogame against some of the bands on the tour, such as Saosin.

The 2009 Warped Tour came to a close Aug. 23. It will be back in 2010 and this dream can still become a reality as it did for each Warped attendee. But what is essential to make sure Warped Tour ends as a dream and not a nightmare? As every band on the tour recommended: water and sunscreen.


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