Walking across the gravel grounds of the Hartford Xfinity Center, it is impossible to miss the screams of sheer excitement and joy from fans attending the Vans Warped Tour.
From nine-year-olds in Whitechapel shirts to elderly women in Sleeping With Sirens shirts, the country’s largest traveling music festival is open to all ages, and is more than just the best day of a fan’s summer. For some, they are about to watch their favorite band for the first time.
For the last 22 years, every summer Warped Tour has made the dream of seeing your favorite musicians come true. With over 90 artists traveling across the country, it’s safe to say you can’t attend a date of warped tour without a giant smile across your face.
This year’s Warped Tour followed a trend of having newer bands on one stage, and older bands on the other. The Journey’s Left Foot Stage, which included performances from New Found Glory, Reel Big Fish and SUM 41, was the focus for old school punk bands. The Journey’s Right Foot Stage, which had artists like Mayday Parade, State Champs and Real Friends, focused more on new school pop punk.
With main stage bands like Sleeping With Sirens and The Story So Far, it’s easy to say the crowds were huge. Redefining big crowds at Warped Tour however, is nothing new to alternative rock band PVRIS, who headlined on the Vans Warped Tour last year, but stopped by for a special performance at the Hartford date only this summer.
Besides their main stage performance, PVRIS’s lead singer, Lynn Gunn, made a guest appearance earlier in the day with Tonight Alive to perform, “Lonely Girl”. The excitement to see PVRIS only grew for fans as they watched the performance.
The hype and hysteria from fans and musicians around PVRIS’s performance led to PVRIS being the most watched band at the Vans Warped Tour in Hartford. With people packed shoulder-to-shoulder stretching as far back as the merch tents, it was clear PVRIS was the fan favorite performance of the day.
Following their performance were bands like Issues who were filled with crowd activity. Despite the large banners on every Warped Tour stage which clearly speak out against crowd surfing and moshing, fans seem to have minds of their own on the matter.
Whether it’s fans crowd surfing on an inflatable whale during The Story So Far, or fans crowd surfing over and over while watching punk legends SUM 41 and Yellowcard, it’s clear that the rule against moshing and crowd surfing is made to be broken at Warped Tour.
Watching bands on the old school stage like SUM 41 is amazing, because these are bands that have spent years together doing what they love, and they know their fanbase is a huge part of that. SUM 41 showed the most love and compassion for their fanbase by inviting three lucky random fans to watch their entire set from on stage, a memory the three lucky fans will never forget.
Another huge name on main stage this year, Yellowcard, who announced this summer that they will be breaking up, have set off on a final world tour following their performances on Warped Tour this summer. Despite their new album set to release in September of this year, Yellowcard made the focus of their performance to play songs off of their hit record, Ocean Avenue.
“We know you guys don’t want to hear any new stuff,” said vocalist Ryan Key. Saying this prepared fans to have the other half of Yellowcard’s set be songs directly from Ocean Avenue. In regards to their break up, Key commented, “a decision has been made.”
Despite the main stage bands this year, the tour included two Monster Energy stages which had hardcore bands performing like Whitechapel, Ice Nine Kills and Every Time I Die. Being known for fusing more types of music into the tour, this year’s Warped Tour included heavy bands like Cane Hill, to pop band Against The Current.
Albany New York’s State Champs closed out the Hartford Warped Tour, as it was as described by frontman Derek DiScanio as the closest warped date to their hometown. With the energy and excitement from the audience, they made out to be the perfect closer’s to a perfectly sunny, music-filled day.
SLEEPING WITH SIRENS
THE STORY SO FAR
NEW FOUND GLORY
FALLING IN REVERSE
SET IT OFF
AGAINST THE CURRENT