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TRAVIS does The Vans Warped Tour

I’ve never been to the Warped Tour, it has always been a sort of punk rock promised land for me. The entire day kind of flew by, and the more I remained there, the more I got to see what it’s like being a part of the travelling circus called the Warped Tour. For the bands, it means showering less, sleeping in your van with all your bandmates and manager and the merch guy, and living in what Hey Monday described as a “snowglobe”. But that’s a small price to pay to make connections with fellow bands, play a ton of shows, and cross the country (despite not seeing more than the grounds you’re performing on).

I had a pass to the backstage and thus got a good look at how the Warped Tour operates. I’m not sure I could spend all that time being some sort of musical carny, but the camaraderie is charming. At meal times there’s an enormous line of musicians waiting and chatting with other musicians. I’m certain it’s these kinds of travelling cities that connections are made to make songs featuring another artist. Each band I talked to mentioned that they were happy to be on the tour (despite the rough and demanding lifestyle) because it was good to be back with all their friends.

I could do a ton of name-dropping, I met a lot of cool people who I’d never expect to meet. The Warped Tour is kind of like a massive local show. The kind where you see people you know are in bands and don’t feel star struck no matter how big they are. Band members are taking strolls around the grounds and sometimes taking over for their merch guy so he can go grab some food.

The Rocket Summer

It fascinates me what the bands feel about Warped. I know what it’s like for the fan: sick, brah. It’s fun to see a large collection of bands, have access to tons of merch, and have a good story about the day, whether it rained and was so muddy and wet that people stopped caring about getting dirty, or that it was so hot and dusty that… well, people stopped caring about getting dirty.

But what is it like for the bands? I saw Tyson Ritter of The All-American Rejects skateboard lazily across the massive conference center floor (that is home to countless shows year round), I watched Keith Buckley of Every Time I Die slowly prepare a salad from the catering services area. I saw Enter Shikari, freshly showered, wandering around the press area in towels, and I think I saw Lights. More about the Tour and lots more photos from performances by Every Time I Die, Sum41, The All-American Rejects, Alkaline Trio, Eyes Set to Kill, Motion City Soundtrack, Enter Shikari, Four Year Strong, and more after the j-u-m-p!

Eyes Set To Kill

Just looking at it from a press perspective, the bands are working pretty constantly to keep the tour afloat. They travel all night, get up, set up, get to their press-times, set-times, signing-times, and then get back on the bus to go by 11:30. Of course there’s time to mess around with your friends, but as Hey Monday explained, it’s almost easier when you’re busy. Otherwise you’re just waiting for what to do next.

The performers sleep on the grounds or in transit. Eyes Set to Kill laughed that they were more comfortable in their cramped van than in real beds now. Hey Monday agreed, saying that it was difficult to keep up routine, Jersey Moriarty, HM’s bassist, explained that trying to find the exit of each new festival site could be frustrating. Without cars, the band’s have to rely on borrowing their friends bikes if they choose to leave the tour, but in all honesty, the bands are all grateful to be there.

It’s a tough gig however there’s good friends, great memories, and music and praise from every angle that make it all possible.

TRAVIS does The Vans Warped Tour
Look out for my next few posts where I’ll give you a run down of all the performances I could handle at the Vans Warped Tour!


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