This year’s main stage Warped Tour bands make me feel so old.
I watched half these bands grow from their beginnings, from playing tiny club shows.
For context, my first Warped Tour was 2007. Underoath was actually around and conquering the world. The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus was exploding. Everyone could sing “Face Down.” Paramore caught everyone’s attention with Riot! and with a fiery frontwoman who was pushing boundaries.
All Time Low was on the SmartPunk stage, and Mayday Parade had just released A Lessons in Romantics and was breaking hearts with it. Hawthorne Heights were the scene kings.
Few people knew who The Summer Set, The Story So Far or Breathe Carolina were. Now they’re all headlining the tour.
It goes without saying that the point is that the passage of time is so weird. This period and stage of music is so intimately tied to my own personal stage of life where I was growing up that it lives in a nostalgic bubble. But that’s not unique to me. I was 15 in 2007. Kids who are 15 going to their first Warped Tour in 2014 (Have fun by the way. There’s nothing like it in the world) are going to have the same nostalgia, but just of a little different music. This is what irritates me about all these Warped Tour critics who say the tour hasn’t had a good lineup since __ year. They fail to realize that the music changes. They’re caught up in their own memories.
This scene chews up and spits out so many bands so quickly that it’s a testament to their talent that ones like All Time Low and Yellowcard keep going at it.
You know what doesn’t change over the years, though? Through jobs, school, broken hearts, new bands? I still get excited the night before Warped Tour like it’s my first time. I still look forward to that one day (or in more recent years, 3+ days) of the year like it’s Christmas.
It’s a rush I’ve never felt from anything else.