Tuesday, August 9th, I went to Warped Tour in San Diego. It was my third time taking part in the Warped festivities and probably the most fun yet. My first Warped was ‘07 and it was cool but I wasn’t there to see anyone. I just went to go and check it out. The best part about it was that was where I discovered P.O.S. an became a fan of him and Doomtree. My second Warped was ‘09 which I attended to see P.O.S. That one was fun because Stef (P.O.S.) guest-listed us (Katie, Logan, and I) and we got to hang with him. He put on an awesome show but the only other music I checked out that day was ADTR (who I became a fan of from that Warped). Getting in for free, and hanging with Stef was cool but the whole show wasn’t really that great. Well this year definitely took things up a notch.
I went with my gf Katie, Katie’s brother Colin, Katie’s sister Becca, and their friend Miles. Once we were there we met up with my brother Logan, our friends Jesse, Steven, Jeff & Nancy, Sally, and Kass. So we had a pretty cool group of homies there to see different people. It was fun having everyone there to share time with, and everyone having their own unique experience.
Throughout the day I watched numerous bands but I was there mostly to see August Burns Red, A Day To Remember, The Wonder Years, Set Your Goals, The Acacia Strain (kind of), The Expendables, Paramore (for Kt), and The Devil Wears Prada. I saw almost everyone I wanted to except for The Expendables, most of The Wonder Years’ set, and Set Your Goals (they played the same time as TDWP). August Burns Red was good. They played earlier in the day so I wasn’t 100% in the mood to mosh, but I got some pit time in. They played a good set though. The Acacia Strain surprised me. I’m not too into their music, or the message within, but their set was full of energy and I was into that. They played a brutal set, and I walked away a bigger fan than I was before. I got to see two songs by TWY before I headed to TAS’s meet and greet. They were killing it from what I could tell.
The most impressive part of the day musically was the mainstage lineup. The last four bands to play were, in order: Gym Class Heroes, Paramore, ADTR, and TDWP. I was severely disappointed with GCH. I used to be a big fan of them before they went the mainstream, bubblegum, autotune route. Paramore was fun, and played a good set, but (and this is the one negative to the day) I let Kt down in a big way. As some of you may know Kt is a little on the short side. Because of this she was relying on me to hold her on my shoulders to watch Paramore (the only band she was really stoked for, who she also has never seen before) but i was at the TAS meet and greet and missed almost the entire set. She was fairly bummed to say the least and I felt pretty bad. I’ll make it up to her though I promise.
A Day To Remember had the biggest crowd of the day, but the pit wasn’t that fun. There was so many people that the pit couldn’t really create enough space so the moshing was terrible. And for some reason, maybe that I’d seen them three previous times, they didn’t really excite me like they used to. They played a good set, and they had the crowd into it, but I was definitely more excited for TDWP. As for the Prada guys, they set it off! Easily the best performance of the night. Their live energy is incredible, and they sound just as legit live as they do on record. And the best part, Loge and I opened up the first pit and were in it the whole set. I had guys shaking my hand, and thanking me, and giving me props, it was by far the best mosh pit experience I’ve ever had. I split up one fight, but I heard there was another. But besides that, it was awesome. They were the band I wanted to see the most, and at the end of the night they were the band I was most excited to have seen. I’m even more stoked for their new album now.
On another note, I had a cool experience meeting Vincent Bennet from TAS. I had actually set up to meet him to trade two pairs of my Jordans to him for some TAS/Diamond Cut merch. I know it seems weird, but the Js were a size too big for me and I didn’t want to hassle with selling them, so knowing that Vincent was a sneaker head I made the offer and he said it was cool. I traded him two pairs of kicks for shirts, short, and hats and we had a cool conversation. I know TAS gets a bad rep for their negativity, and what not, but Vincent is quite the opposite. He was nice, funny, and open minded. It was cool meeting, and chatting with him. This was just the icing on the cake for the whole day. In terms of merch I came up on some good stuff. I got Defeater’s Lost Ground EP, and some straight edge shorts from the Bridge 9 Records tent. I got a sweet windbreaker from the TDWP merch booth. And of course all the goods I got from the TAS tent.
All in all, August 9th, 2011 became one of my favorite days of the year. Friends, good music, good moshing, good merch, and overall good times made this Warped my favorite so far. We’ll see who comes around next year.
Thanks for reading.