Warped Blog 1 – 6/24
After the first day at Warped Tour, we were almost ready to give up. Here’s how it went down:
We get to Irvine around 6pm on the 20th and head straight for the first open mic night we have on our list at a coffee shop called Paradise Perks. After eating some Subway and half-joking about rationing our meals from then on, we play a two-song set at the open mic, and our music in that room is like marshmallows in a kindergarten classroom (people love it). We get to meet a bunch of awesome musicians (including a Simon/Garfunkle sounding guy who sang a song about Tupperware), and some people bought our CDs too.
The matter of where we slept that night (and the next) is a subject for an entirely different post, and we’ll save that for later. Let’s just say the bedroom floor we slept two nights ago felt like a goose-down mattress.
So then the next day comes—Warped Tour!! The epic tour of all tours, a construct-a-concert-venue-in-a-day collaboration of half of all of the bands we like and aspire to be like, and where literally everyone who would like our music goes during the day of their tour stop (ok, maybe not quite everyone). This tour is the Super Bowl of pop-punk, where the gladiators of the genre like All Time Low and Yellowcard rock their way into people’s ears. I think I’ve ranted enough about it.
After parking, we load up our Warped Suits—backpacks with CDs, stickers, notebooks to collect emails for our mailing list, headphones and iPods (actually, a Kindle and a couple smart phones)—and head out to the quickly building crowd of people around the entrance gate, with our guitars in hand (actually, only Zach had a guitar—I was free to flail around while I sang as I so desired). We quickly realize that people are mostly just going to stare at us while we play and then not do too much after that (with a few exceptions), so we learn that it’s best to just show small groups of people our music with the headphones. This way we get to talk to everyone on a much more personal basis too: see who they’re there to see, get feedback on our songs, or say that their shirt is rockin’ (one girl’s shirt has pictures of bears holding dangerous weapons. I’d buy that.) (also, one girl offers to buy the shirt I’m wearing for a high five. Tough bargain, but I have to turn it down.)
We meet a bunch of the other bands following the tour that day too, really cool guys (and one girl helping the band Amnesia Beach) who all make really cool music. Their CDs are pretty much all that we listen to in the car now. The only downside to having a bunch of other bands around is that sometimes we talk to people who have already bought two or three other CDs from the other bands, so they have to pass on ours. Such is life, I’d probably rather have the company in the end anyways (and the tunes). Some of the bands are just there for the California dates, but a few are following the whole tour like we are. After an hour or so, we learn that the cops are ticketing bands selling CDs for selling without a business license, something that apparently hasn’t happened at any of the other venues so far. Not to mention the smoking ban (not like we care, but a lot of people there were getting a little nicotine-starved as the day went on), and the fact that the venue is basically an abandoned airfield that looks like it’s only used once a year for Warped Tour.
By the middle of the day, we’re overheated, sweaty, thirsty, and exhausted from being in the sun for four or five hours straight. We decide to go hit up a Starbucks for the air-conditioning and wifi, and pretty much sit there for four hours making incoherent noises at each other. The guy at the cash register asks us if we were just at Warped Tour—probably because we’re all sunburned, in tank-tops, and dead-looking. He refills our gallon jug of water though, and wishes us good luck with the rest of the day.
We head back to the venue about 6pm, when people are starting to leave for the day. The later it gets, the more people are willing to talk to us since they’re mostly just waiting for parents to come pick them up at that point. We keep talking to people until around 10pm, when pretty much everyone is gone, and then we go wandering around the shutting down venue because the car line to get out is at a stand-still and literally a mile or longer winding through the inside of this park (but we do sell a CD to some girls rocking out to All Time Low in their car, and then they popped in our CD to listen to—score). Since all the gates and fences are getting packed up, we can pretty much wander where we want to—which for us means straight to the heart of where all of the stages had been earlier that day. We ask a random guy if he needs help loading out his equipment, and he gladly accepts. We find out that he’s the drummer for the band Born of Osiris (double score), and we help him carry his drums back to their tour bus in the band parking lot. Super nice dude.
We wander into the dark parking lot where two lines of buses stretch on for quite a while, and the first thing we notice is All Time Low’s guitarist Jack Barakat hanging out with a bunch of people outside of their tour bus—this combined with the fact that every other band on Warped Tour is suddenly right in front of us makes it incredibly difficult to keep from fanboying all over the place. It’s also hard not to be a little jealous of the twenty-times-bigger-than-a-car tour buses that these bands are riding around in (and the drivers that take care of the long drives between places), but we know that it’s a work in progress. Besides, it’s kind of nice having an excuse to not shower.
After walking back and forth a little bit and saying goodbye to our new-found drummer friend, we make our way back to our car, where the line of cars leaving the venue still hasn’t gotten any shorter. We decide to crash in the car until the line is gone, which surprisingly was only about half an hour later when a security guard knocks on our window and says that the line has finally cleared out.
And there we were, sunburned and exhausted, looking at only about six or seven hours until we needed to be up again for the next day of Warped at Pomona. I was miserable beyond words, and Zach was faring about the same (being the most sunburned of us all). Lucas for whatever reason is just a tank and isn’t affected by anything, so I’m pretty sure at this point he was just burping happiness and daisies in the backseat or something like that.
Thankfully, these things are cured with a little rest and some wonderful people offering up places to stay—Pomona went much better, and on our off day before Ventura we just lounged around a friend’s house all day enjoying the availability of a shower (something we hadn’t had since leaving Phoenix) and couches to lay on.
I could write for another ten pages about everything that has happened, so I’ll just throw out some highlights from the past couple of days now:
-Using our family-given gift card to Chik-fil-a to eat a real meal
-Midnight bonfire on the beach with our wonderful couchsurfing host Missy
-Finding fifty bunnies behind a Walmart
-Brushing our teeth in that same Walmart
-A SHOWER (thank you Bryson and family)
-Pitching a tent in a parking lot
-Meeting Brazilian girls (apparently it would do us well to tour down there, they said) and a very drunk Australian
-Picnic in the park with the cheapest deli meats we could find
-Talking with fellow AZ bands Sleepwalker and A Step Ahead
-Listening to Mayday Parade through the fence
-Singing Pierce the Veil songs with people in the parking lot
-Giving Kevin Lyman (founder of Warped Tour) one of our CDs, a sticker, and giving his family a CD—and having him recognize us every day because of our “WHERE IS KEVIN LYMAN” shirt.
-Meeting the drummer of blessthefall one day, and then the drummer of Born of Osiris the next
-Having someone (several people, actually) demand to listen to our music and buy a CD (usually we at least have to ask if they want to listen)
-Meeting a TON of people, and having almost all of them really like our music =)
-Typical reaction: “Wow, I was expecting you guys to kind of suck like those other people, but you’re actually really good!”
It’s about 5pm at the Ventura date right now, and we’re about to head back to the venue now to start our “night shift”, where we’ll be until 11 or midnight when everyone is gone. We drive to Bakersfield tonight to stay with good friends for a couple of days, and then the real test begins as we start to crawl across the hottest parts of the United States: San Diego (not too bad), Phoenix (oh god), and Texas (NO NO NO). If you know anyone on the Warped Tour path who would want to host us for a night, please send us a message on Facebook—we’ll take whatever floor we can get for sleep =)
Time for me to shut up and get back on the road. More to come later peeps, we love you all and appreciate your support more than we can say. If you’re going to be a Warped Tour date let us know and we’ll meet up sometime during the day.
Til next time, all our love to you <3
-Steven (and Zach)
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