On March 14th of this year, I shared that I would be attending the final Vans Warped Tour. Like many others who looked forward to this music festival every year, the announcement that this was the last one ever caught me completely off guard. There was never any indication—at least as far as I saw—that the festival wouldn’t last for a lifetime to come.
I knew I had to see it go out with a bang. So, before heading off to Alaska, I bought my ticket and made arrangements to attend just a few days after returning. I attended despite the fact that the festival was an all-day affair the day before the driving test I should have been practicing for. This did mean that I missed the second half of the festival, but I am content with having attended at all.
Most of the time when I do my music posts, readers drop by to see if they recognise the bands I’ve posted about. However, I hope this post serves a similar purpose for you as Warped Tour has often served for me ie a place to discover new faces, new sounds, new loves. With that in mind, here are some of the acts that graced the Vans Warped Tour 2018 Journey stages in Atlanta.
This Wild Life
I didn’t actually get to see this band as I got to the festival a little late. I had worked the graveyard shift the night before and only managed to snatch a few hours of sleep before heading out. I am sorry I missed them though, as I like their playful and serene sound. Plus, the lead singer has a pretty epic beard, bruv!
I arrived while this band was on stage. They were pretty intense, but I didn’t know what to make of them and I only remember the guy’s colourful hair from the show.
This music video, however, is a much better representation of their sound as a band.
We the Kings
We the Kings got off to an interesting start when one of the guys came out on stage singing the Titanic song. I love it when a band has a sense of humour!
After that, the show picked up. I got a lot of clips from their show.
If none of these sound familiar, then you may know one of their most popular songs, Check Yes Juliet.
I really didn’t know what to make of this band. Below, I’ll share a quick clip from their show and then one of their official videos. Not a huge fan, but not a bad band if you’re into that sub-genre of rock.
This band is a real lesson in why you should never judge a book by its cover. When the lead singer stepped on stage in his average-Joe-getup, I was ready to be bored to death, but their intensity and the depth of their lyrics proved me wrong. So wrong.
The lead singer should really ditch that baseball cap more often. These locks deserve to be seen. Just saying!
You may remember Don Broco from the Selective Hearing Tour, when I saw them live as an opening act for one of my favourite bands, Our Last Night. Let me preface the clips I’m about to share by saying Brits truly have an interesting sense of humour, and it is often best when parodying American culture, which is ironically a parody of sorts of European culture. Food for thought? 🤔
I love seeing them live—especially when the lead singer starts dancing—but it can be difficult to get a real feel for their music, since their focus is more on entertaining the crowd and having fun than replicating their albums. Check out the video below; it’s as meaningful as it is striking.
While I was super excited to see Don Broco, the band I was determined to see before leaving was Simple Plan. To be honest, I loved Simple Plan when I was in high school, but after a while, one album started to sound very much like the next and I began to lose interest. Even so, as a symbol of my teenage years, they were that bit of nostalgia that reminded me why Vans Warped Tour had always been so important to me. These are the best clips I got from the show.
However, the song they are perhaps most well known for (the one clip I ruined) is Addicted.
I left at the end of their performance, in the rain. They were a great end to an experience that was as exciting as it was sad to me. It’s that feeling when your best friend moves away to a place you’ve never been and you know you will never see them again. Still, at the very least, many of these bands may make their way back to Atlanta on their own. And when they do, I’ll be sure to see them.
Is there a festival or other event you once attended faithfully that eventually came to an end? What was it like saying farewell? Did you ever find a worthy replacement?