MANSFIELD — The Vans Warped Tour described in one word is usually this: hot. That wasn’t the case last week when the ultimate “punk rock summer camp” rolled through Boston and stopped in the Comcast Center parking lot. Instead of blazing, almost suffocating heat, the campers at this years Warped Tour were welcomed with all day downpours and showers.
Still, they showed up in droves. Fans of all shapes and sizes from preppy girls in flip flops and home decorated t-shirts to Warped veterans, decked in black and tattoos from head to foot. All trudged together through mud puddles, gawked at how expensive nourishment was ($7 for a hamburger and $5 convenience charge on ATMs “" I wanted to call my mommy too) surfed crowds in front of their favorite bands “" because as is the case in all Warped Tours, there was something for everyone.
Despite the dreadful weather, the Comcast Center parking lot was lined with tents of every which which color and every which purpose. Each band had their own merch tent, which hosted signings at various times during the day. Colorful emerging clothing lines like BANK, Glamour Kills and Baby Cakes each showed up to represent and show off their new summer lines.
Warped Tour also rolled in with its ever-increasing humanitarian and non-profit effort. From Music Saves Lives “" an organization that promotes blood donation by offering VIP tickets to concertgoers who donate blood before an event “" to Rock For Health started by Northeastern graduate Kristina Grossman to help educate and provide touring musicians with health care. Keep A Breast and there ever so popular “I Heart Boobies” shirts were also present as well as the constantly expanding Invisible Children group which strives to create awareness about the child soldiers in Darfur who are kidnapped from their homes and forced into combat.
Though there were no skateboarders on the rain soaked ramps, the music still played on at Warped Tour. This year’s roster ranged from punk badasses and long time Warped veteransBad Religion and NOFX to the poppier stylings of Sing it Loud and The Maine. The amphitheatre, which was split in half to accommodate the Smart Punk stage on the right and the Hurley.com stage on the right became one of the most popular spots of the day. While gaining some shelter from the rain, kids could join the pit or hang out in the chairs to watch Toronto synth-pop princess Lights, Chicago’s White Tie Affair or get hardcore with the likes of Therefore I am or Dear in the Headlights. The biggest sets of the entire day however, belonged to All Time Low, who joined the tour only two days before the Mansfield date, and Colorado sensations 3OH!3, who closed out the night on the Main Stage.
This year is the fifteenth anniversary of the tour, which was started as a dream of an idea by Kevin Lyman in 1994. The first year the tour almost completely ran out of money and musicians last mostly on beer instead of the elaborate vegan to carnivore buffet laid out every day now. Now it is known as one of the most successful summer festivals and continues to grow every year. To celebrate its fifteenth birthday, Warped will be hitting the silver screen at the end of its stint. On September 17th, selected theatres around the country will be showing the 15 year Warped celebration featuring NOFX, Pennywise, Katy Perry, Blink 182 and more. If the crowd in the theatre is anything as massive as the mob of sweaty, tired and wet kids throwing down during 3OH!3’s closing cult classic “Don’t Trust Me”, then it will be safe to say that over the past decade and a half Warped Tour has maintained its reputation as one of the must sees of the summer concert season.
Check out the Blast photos from the day and stay tuned for our one on one interviews with Sing it Loud, Hit The Lights, The White Tie Affair, and The Maine.