This summer I got the opportunity to experience a behind-the-scenes look of the Vans Warped Tour. As an avid music fan, especially of the punk-rock genre, I was stoked to see some of my favorite bands perform and get to hang out with them backstage in-between their sets. I attended two of the tour stops in Holmdel, NJ and one in Uniondale, NY, where I got the behind-the-scenes scoop on what it's like being in the hot sun all day all summer, surrounded by music.
It was my first year attending a Warped show so I wasn't sure what to expect. New Jersey's date was a hot one and I focused on catching some of my favorite band's sets and shooting photos. We Are The In Crowd kicked off my afternoon with a high energy set and All Time Low's Alex Gaskarth joined the pop-rockers on stage to sing their single "Kiss Me Again". From there I caught Mayday Parade, Breathe Carolina, We The Kings, All Time Low, and experienced as much of Warped as I could. I met two upcoming bands backstage, Chasing Vegas and Lost In Society, and caught up with our good friends Derek Sanders and Jeremy Lenzo aka Cabbage from Mayday Parade and We The Kings' Travis Clark. From the free water refill stations to the fashion witnessed on the concert-goers (lots of bandeau tops, neon, and body paint!), it was definitely a full experience that left me exhausted by the end of the day.
The next week I attended another date in Uniondale, NY, where my concert companion was Lenay Dunn, the host of MTV's 10 on Top and the face of American Rag. My Warped experience continued as we hung out with All Time Low's Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat, Breathe Carolina's David Schmitt and Kyle Even, Taking Back Sunday's John Nolan, and We The Kings at the American Rag tent where they signed autographs for their fans. We caught an acoustic performance from We Are The In Crowd and scoped out the fashion tents including Samii Ryan's jewelry and feather designs and Jac Vanek's bracelets and apparel.
Check out photos from the tour as well as the video diary I made exclusively for you guys including shout-outs from We The King's Travis Clark, Breathe Carolina, Mayday Parade, Lenay Dunn, and clips of the performances I caught throughout the afternoons.
J-14 Editor Nicole
Check out our Warped Tour Video Diary below:
Warped Tour is very much like a traveling circus. Over a hundred bands with their buses and trailers line empty parking lots for one day before moving on that night to the next tour stop. They're also supplied with not water bottles -- but Monster cans that aren't full of sugary energy drinks but what they call 'Tour Water'. Also, set times and stages often vary. No one knows their set times until the morning of the show where such information can be found once doors open on a huge red inflatable.
We Are The In Crowd was the first set I caught at the Jersey date. They always put on an energetic show and sang their hits like "Guaranteed to Disagree" and "Kiss Me Again". Check out a clip of them singing with All Time Low's Alex in the video above!
We always have a great time hanging out with this red-haired crooner -- We The Kings' Travis Clark. After a set that had kids screaming and crowd surfing, we met up with Travis to discuss their new single and what's next for the band. Find out in our video diary!
Mayday Parade is the epitome of a band that truly loves what they're doing. I can't get enough of their new tracks "When You See My Friends", "Oh Well, Oh Well", and their debut album's "Jamie All Over".
I had a great time hanging out with MTV and American Rag's Lenay Dunn. We posed for fun photos at the American Rag Tent, rocked out to some great sets, and hung out backstage with All Time Low, Breathe Carolina, and Taking Back Sunday all day in Uniondale, New York.
Here's a couple shots of Lenay interviewing Breathe Carolina and All Time Low backstage for American Rag. Both bands were super excited to be on the Vans Warped Tour this year and we couldn't wait to see their sets.
Lenay chatted with fans and people in line for the We The Kings' signing at the American Rag tent. She even did some filming for her own home videos on her website. Check them out here.
Lenay and We The Kings are pals who even traveled to Brazil together to shoot the cover and a spread for American Rag's Ragged Mag. Check out their latest issue for free here!
As soon as doors opened that morning, the free wristbands to meet We The Kings' immediately sold out. Later that afternoon, dozens and dozens of excited fans waited in line for the chance to speak with and get a few autographs from the pop-rock group. We watched the experience from the sidelines under the American Rag tent, full of smiles and even some happy tears as fans got to meet their idols.
You would never tell that anything was 'off' from Breathe Carolina's performance in Jersey where they performed their catchy singles "Hit and Run" and "Blackout", with a fog machine that coated the stage. But when we met up with David and Kyle backstage a week after in New York they told us they were sick as dogs with the stomach flu. Catch their shout-out to J-14ers in our video diary.