On July 20-21, thousands of people descended upon Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA to say goodbye to the Vans Warped Tour at the final of three 25th anniversary events. It was a long weekend of music, skating, wrestling, and more.
People started moving into the event on Saturday morning and they were already excited for what lied ahead. For those that wanted to take in the whole festival, it was nice to get in as early as possible to navigate the festival grounds and check out the various merch booths, vendors, etc. before their favorite artists took the stage. This date featured performances from the likes of The Offspring, Bad Religion, August Burns Red, Wage War, Goldfinger, Simple Plan, Save Ferris, Anti-Flag, OFF!, Meg & Dia, Silent Planet, and tons more. These groups managed to bring in an unmatched energy that captured the spirit of the festival’s 25 year run. Every act was memorable for different reasons, whether it be The Offspring’s impeccable showmanship and comedic stage banter, Bad Religion’s killer musicianship, Anti-Flag’s inspiring words, or Wage War’s intense onslaught.
As day two arrived, there was no shortage of massive amounts of talent and positive vibes. This day included artists such as NOFX, who played an abbreviated set after some travel issues, Jawbreaker, The Used, Sum 41, The All-American Rejects, Atreyu, Andy Black (Black Veil Brides), Juliet Simms, Dance Gavin Dance, Thrice, Circa Survive, and more. Every artist had a different flair to them, helping to enhance the festival experience even more. This included the awesome dual vocal stylings of Dance Gavin Dance and Atreyu, amazingly powerful vocals from Simms, the entertaining and comedic nature of The All-American Rejects, the extremely energetic Sum 41, and the fun dancey vibe of Black.
Despite all these great things, the real highlight came at the end. NOFX’s flight got cancelled and they ultimately needed to get flown in on a private jet, before getting a police escort to the venue. However, they weren’t going to make it until 9:50, so organizer Kevin Lyman recruited a number of musicians to cover songs from the band until then. Members of Goldfinger, Sum 41, Thrice, Atreyu, The Used, The All-American Rejects, The Starting Line, etc. participated in the cool performance, which Lyman described as a drunken jam session, reminiscent of past Warped barbecues. They even had a fan, identified as Twitch, sing a song before Fat Mike ran out, much to the crowd’s delight.
Once NOFX took the stage, they powered through 11 tracks, before being told to stop, but it was awesome nonetheless. The band were hilarious, energetic, and they managed to give Warped Tour a proper send-off, regardless of the circumstances.
All in all, the whole weekend was a blast. There may have been a few hiccups at the very end, but it actually worked out by making everything even more memorable. The iconic “punk rock summer camp” has been bringing people together for 25 years and it ended the way it should have, with a community joined together by the power of music.