atlanta warped tour
I remember when I posted the first blog post about Warped Tour when we were on the road, Zach laughed and said I’d written a novel. I guess this would be the sequel.
On Thursday, I went to the Atlanta Warped Tour date with my brothers Trevor and Will, my mom, and my good friend Erica—the first time Trevor and I have been at Warped since the accident.
We start off the day like any other day by volunteering with our friends Alana and Luke, passing out promotional bags to people walking in the gates. Then they take us to meet Kevin Lyman, the founder and director of Warped Tour. We’d met him several times before (really nice guy), and he thought Zach’s “Where is Kevin Lyman—I need to talk to him” shirt was really funny. One time, Kevin even introduced Zach to his family because of the shirt.
So we meet Kevin and the rest of the production team (Lisa is the tour manager and is incredibly nice), talk for a bit, and they give us VIP Warped Tour laminates to keep so that we can go anywhere we want. We had always wondered how we could get laminates, and came up with a thousand plans to try to get them. Nothing that would have ever worked. But we finally got ‘em didn’t we Zach? And all because of you man. If I could, I would give you mine.
We got to see a lot of our really good friends from the tour again, which was really great. The guys from the band Author and Finisher are some of our closest friends we made on the road (they’re doing the same thing we were), along with Wade and Erin who had been with Monster Aesthetics. We were also able to say thank you to the bands and other people who have shown us support over the past few weeks, like the Sleeping with Sirens crew and the guys from Bayside (they lost their drummer in a van accident in ‘05, so talking to them was comforting in the sense of having someone else who has been in such a similar situation). Seeing how the Warped Tour community came together for us after the accident has been one of the most inspiring things I’ve ever seen, and I’m just glad I got to see these people face-to-face again.
Occasionally throughout the day, random people would commend me for being out there in the heat all day with a neck-brace on, or make a joke with me about not moshing too hard. It made me realize that sometimes the reasons behind things are deeper than we know or even want to know, and maybe it’s good to just joke along with things. Or maybe it’s just a good reason to show love to everyone, because you never know what they’re going through.
That night, we went to the Warped bbq, where all of the bands and staff hang out after the show for the day is done and grab some burgers and such. There’s always a “bbq band” in charge of the food, and three “drink bands” in charge of the alcohol. I think that shows that everyone has their priorities straight.
Apparently this kind of thing doesn’t happen that often, but we were lucky enough to be there for a drum-off between drummers of all the bands. We got to see absolutely amazing drummers face off against each other, throwing all of their tricks into the few seconds they would play at a time, back and forth until the host (who was Yellowcard’s drummer) called time. Then everyone standing around would cheer loudest for whoever they thought did better, and the winner stayed while the other drummer was swapped out for the next challenger. It was amazing being there with such talented musicians—so many different kinds of people all brought together and enjoying the company of each other.
Sometimes it feels like a blessing to be able to experience all of these amazing events that most people never get to see, but it always weighs heavy knowing that Zach isn’t experiencing them with me. No matter what happened, we were going to be forging our way through this whole music thing together, come fame or failure—and now he isn’t here to be a part of all of these things. The reality of losing him hits me a little more each day. It would be impossible to stand if not for the love of thousands of friends and family—I rest in their hands.
all my love.