Photos by Victoria Finnegan
The Jones Beach Amphitheater opened its gates at 11:00 am for the Vans Warped Tour (aka Punk Rock Summer Camp.) Fans lathered on sunscreen, popped in their earplugs, and sipped their water bottles as they paced themselves for over 50 bands, 8 stages, and 9 hours in the sun. Between sets fans walked around the festival shopped for cool merchandise, attended autograph signings, signed up for workshops, and learned about important issues.
Several advocacy groups had tents spreading the word about a variety of causes including health and body, environmental, animal rights, and human rights. These organizations encourage young people to make a difference, give back to the community, make smart choices, and learn about prevention. Buddy Nielsen from Senses Fail is helping Warped Tour’s newest non-profit group, Punkout LGBT. “I’m just trying to get them up and running, get them out to Warped Tour and get kids to know about them and help run discussion groups with some kids to identify and try to spread the word,” said Buddy Nielsen. With same-sex marriage and transgender prevalent in the media, Punkout LBGT is a great way to connect and support others.
To Write Love on Her Arms, is a non-profit movement that helps people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. Founder, Jamie Tworkowski, recently released a book called If You Feel Too Much. This book is a collection of stories and experiences that encourage those suffering to seek help and to be hopeful.
The Entertainment Institute offers workshops to aspiring musicians, singers, and photographers. Fans learned out to improve their craft alongside their favorite artist or industry professional. Who wouldn’t want to learn from their idols?
Several Warped Tour veterans took the stage at this years Warped Tour including Silverstein and Senses Fail. “Our fans tend to just stay the same age. The last tour we played kids were coming up to me who were 12-13 years old saying Discover the Waterfront is their favorite album. I’m like how did you even know about it, you were in diapers when it came out,” said Silverstein front-man Shane Told. Silverstein recently released their 8th studio album I Am Alive In Everything I Touch. Told stated, “we made so many albums at this point, I think every album we make now it is real important for us to make it special. We spent a lot of time with it. We really tried to work on all the things that make it its own piece of art and have it hold up. We are trying to make albums at this point that we can make a ten year tour for in ten years.”
Senses Fail also recently released, Pull The Thorns From Your Heart. Dan Trapp, the drummer for Senses Fail, described the new album as “the sound of Billy Joel driving his car against his house.” Senses Fail’s new album maintains their post-hardcore sound layered with deep and thoughtful lyrics. “It’s a natural progression, different song writers in the band, we wanted to evolve a little … a lot or whatever,” said Senses Fail front-man Buddy Nielsen.
Nielsen’s stage performance was just as animated as the two-piece matching tropical shirt and shorts he was seen rocking on stage. “Our vibe is a dads on vacation type thing, we want to wear something comfortable and not warm,” said Nielsen.
Warped Tour also had several young up-and-coming bands making a splash in the scene. Hardcore rockers Youth in Revolt had the crowd going wild during their cover of Lorde’s “Royals”. “The tour has been awesome, some of the dates have been hot and rainy, but the kids have been great, the response from the crowd has been awesome, the bands are really nice, no one really has any ego or anything” said Youth and Revolt’s singer True Arahill. Youth in Revolt will be releasing a new full-length album this summer; don’t miss it.
Other show highlights included performances by Asking Alexandria, Pierce the Veil, Black Veil Brides, We Came As Romans, and The Amity Affliction.