2014 Vans Warped Tour Preview

by Johnny Hardcore

Well it's that time of year again. School is out for summer and thousands and thousands of young music fans are descending on Warped Tour which kicked off one week ago in Houston, TX. This is the Warped Tour's 20th Anniversary and if anything - The tour is a bigger freight train than it has ever been. Boasting 10 stages and over 70 bands and artists….Yes, that's right TEN stages. No wonder the Warped Tour Roadies are celebrities! Warped is no doubt the biggest team effort in music history. And it is no wonder they are celebrating 20 years. It truly is a massive effort on a daily basis that puts this together. My hat is off to all of them.

Now Warped isn't just for the young rockers. As I explained to my editor before we started this piece, "There are A LOT of very viable bands that do this tour. Everyone from Social Distortion to Black Veil Brides has found themselves on these stages at some point in their careers" For many bands, this is the tour that gives their careers a kick in the ass. The whole thing is just too darn big to not look into or ignore. I can say that first hand as well as I attended last year's event in Chula Vista, CA. And it absolutely lived up to the tour motto. "The Best Day Ever" It was just a blast. I took my daughter Grace last year because she begged and begged - but she earned it at the end of the day because of her great report card…but that is getting off the subject. It really was just a blast. The bands seriously get face to face with the crowd. It's a VERY personal experience. A lot of bands will walk through the crowd and talk to the kids and sign whatever they want signed.

It's really really cool. Not to mention as the day transpired, the message from all the bands across the board was a very positive one. They make sure that each kid knows they ARE an individual….and don't let anyone tell you, you can't do something because you don't have whatever it may take"…You have to understand….and this is a guess, but I am pretty sure about it…..These bands were all told they couldn't make it. They know what it's like to be kicked in the face. Yet they struggled through…and wind up on Warped Tour telling all of their naysayers where they can "shove it"! And personally, I adore that. That's why we have rock n roll. I think we ALL love that. Don't we? I sure hope so.

So that being said, we are off to Pomona, CA on June 20th for our now annual pilgrimage. I just can't wait. Big difference this year, I get to write about it. I get to take pictures from behind the scenes. I get to see way more blood and sweat. And get to hear even more great bands. I seriously am almost kind of scared, but it's a good fear to have. The folks on the tour have allowed me photo and interview access this year for antiMusic.com and I just want to make sure I do a good job. To me it's a responsibility. I guess on the other hand…I shouldn't stress…the day will take care of itself. As long as we are having fun, Warped takes care of all.

This year on Warped Tour we are going to feature a lot of bands. The folks ever at Epitaph and Fearless Records have been kind enough to contact me and try and set up some face to face time with some of the bands from their labels that will be there. Fearless has a very strong presence this year with Breathe Carolina, Motionless In White, The Summer Set, and Mayday Parade all having Main Stage duty just to name a few. Epitaph has a half dozen bands of their own that will be there with one of them being the great hardcore band The Ghost Inside hitting the Main Stage this year. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. Who knows who else we will bump into? The tour lineup is really strong this year. Tour vets Less Than Jake and Yellowcard are there. I also can't wait to see bands like Of Mice and Men, The Devil Wears Prada and Falling in Reverse do their thing. It really is ridicules how many great bands and artists are on this tour. See link below. Again, my hats off to this tour and ALL of the folks over at VANS who do this thing, you are amazing. We are going to get knee dip in whatever we possibly can. I can't wait. Now I feel…May I say, "Giddy" It's gonna be "The Greatest Day Ever"

Next Stop, Warped.

Check out this year's stage guide here and grab the tour dates and more info here.

2014 Vans Warped Tour Preview

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