Who doesn't love a good roadtrip with friends? Being the concert junkies we are, my friends and I decided to go for it and plan out a three-night trip to go to Warped Tour this summer. And honestly, it was one of the greatest experiences I've ever had!
My friends and I live in the-middle-of-nowhere, Nevada which is about 6 - 7 hours away from the Bay area. (We were going to the Mountain View show.) We knew we didn't want to wake up extremely early the morning of Warped and drive there the same day. A. We would be way tired. B. We didn't wanna risk not being in line in time for my VIP and for when doors opened. (Oh yeah. Cool story, I won a VIP pass from taking the Reporter's surveys which allowed me early entry to scope stuff out. I'll get to that later though.)
So we decided to head out the day before. My friend Lena let me drive for the first hour or so which made me feel all important. Anyway, later on, we hit a rest-stop in the wilderness on our way to M.V. and decided it was a good time for a photo-op.
(There are toilets just to the right of us... But who cares 'cause we're goin' to Warped Tour! Woo-hoo!)
Anyway, thankfully we didn't get eaten by bears and we quickly resumed our journey. The drive was long and relatively uneventful. We blasted Warped Tour bands all the way up to prep ourselves for the wonderfulness to come. Once we reached wine country (I've never been before so it was really cool), we made a stop at a little farm/fruit stand and bought fresh fruit and homemade goodies. (AKA: Fresh raspberries, strawberries and for me, jordan almonds.) Afterwards we continued to drive on. We made a stop at a McDonald's and a gas station on our way, but that's about it.
Anyway around 4 or 5ish we made to M.V. and checked into our hotel. We were so tired of driving that we celebrated when we made it to our room with our own little dancing-and-jumping-on-the-beds-party.
Once we freshened up a bit (and I made use of the swimming pool), we decided to drive around for a bit. Our hotel was just a few miles from Shoreline Amphitheater, where Warped was going to be so we decided to sneaky-sneak around to see if we could scope anything out...we didn't see much.
The rest of our night consisted of a trip to the drugstore to buy canned food to donate at Warped, buying a disposable camera, and watching a middle-aged man fall in line at the Sizzler. (No worries, he's okay!) I took the liberty of making sleepy-time tea for everyone back at the room to ensure that we all got a good night sleep. (We still didn't. Between the people above us laughing and stomping, the teenagers on our balcony, and the guy who sounded like he was playing the bongos a few doors down, sleep did not come easy for us.)
But regardless, the next day we awoke with smiles on our faces because it was finally the day we'd waited so long for...Warped tour!
Lacie, Lena, Haley and I got ready, ate a delicious continental breakfast, and took a cab to the venue at 9. (First cab ride I've ever taken. It was pretty cool!) They helped me find where I needed to be for my VIP entry and then we soon parted ways. There was quite a bit of waiting around on my end, but finally all the VIPs were herded together and led into the venue early. It was an okay experience. I mean, by the time I made it in, there wasn't a whole lot of extra time to go check out all the merch booths for free things, and there unfortunately weren't any band members just casually walking around like I had fantasized. I did, however manage to get information on signings for The Summer Set and Forever the Sickest Kids which were the two bands I was probably most excited for, and got myself a free Fearless sampler.
Soon enough, the floodgates were opened and kids came pouring in from all sides. Frantically, I reached for my phone and gave Lena a ring.
"Where are you guys?!"
Luckily we managed to find each other without a lot of hassle and all four of us quickly made our way to main stage to watch The Summer Set play the first set of the day.
(Not the best pictures...the sun was high in the sky put a bad flare on my lens.)
After The Summer Set's set (they were flawless, by the way. Check them out if you get the chance!), we perused the Fearless tent, TWLOHA tent, and the Allstar Weekend tent to see if there were still signings available for Haley and Lena. Luckily there were! At this point, Lacie went off to meet our other friends, Amy, Christina and Liz who had driven up that morning and came a little later.
This next hour or so is kind of a blur for me. I don't believe we saw any bands or anything. We just walked around and scoped out all the tents and the overall layout of the festival. We took a water break and made our way into the actual amphitheater where the Tilly's and DOMO stage acts were performing for the day. We caught a bit of For the Foxes, and they're really catchy and adorable. So I highly recommend.
Afterwards, we ran into Lacie, Amy, Liz, and Christina who had all made it and briefly went over our plans with them. They were gonna go and watch Man Overboard and Anarbor (both of which they said were really good), while Lena, Haley and I headed to to TWLOHA tent for The Summer Set's signing. We waited in line for half an hour or so, but soon enough, TSS emerged and the line began to move. They were all very nice as they signed my CD. (I have a major girl-crush on Jess, the drummer, so I was a little starstruck when I got to her in line. She's adorable.) Josh, the guitarist, was super nice to us and made a point of how asking how we all were holding up in the heat. (I gotta say, overall, TSS is a real class act.)
After TSS's signing, we made a mad dash for the amphitheater to watch Allstar Weekend. It was close, but we made it. We got decent seats too! Haley and I dig Allstar Weekend and weren't ashamed to get our groove on. Cameron was adorable and Zach likes to shake his butt...
(Cameron wore a crown towards the end of their set.)
After this, we had another 45 minutes or so to kill, so we stayed and watched part of Tonight Alive's set. They were awesome. (And Australian!) Afterward, we took another water break and sat for a few.
Lena and I had the FTSK signing next, and Haley had her Allstar Weekend signing right after ours. So on our way to the Fearless tent, we met up with Lacie, Liz, Amy, and Christina once more to check in. We all agreed we would find each other at Go Radio's set later after our signings.
("Everybody, hands in!")
Haley, Lena and I then made our way to the Fearless tent and got in line for the FTSK signing. We got to listen to Motion City Soundtrack's set while we waited, and they were great! Just as we were starting to get really hot and a little impatient, FTSK came and the signing started. I had them sign their new album (WHICH IS ABSOLUTELY PERFECT AND YOU ALL NEED TO BUY IT AND LISTEN TO IT OKAY?!), and they were super sweet. Kyle, the drummer started messing with us and told us their set was at 9, which I almost fell for and started to panic and was like "but that's not what the schedule said!" And then he started laughing and said he was messin' with us. What a jokester, I tell ya. I laughed, turned to Johnathan and told him how excited I was for their set. He thanked me as I exited the line.
(Haley managed to snap good pictures of the signing, including Kyle and I laughing at each other.)
After the FTSK, we made our way to the Allstar Weekend tent and waited with Haley for her signing. We Came as Romans played main stage while we waited and I managed to see most of their set from the distance. Their music is a bit heavier than what I typically listen to, but I gotta say, I was pleasantly surprised. For what they do, they do it good. Anyway, I was getting a bit restless and tired of waiting in line, so I left Lena and Haley and walked around the area for a little while, hoping to spot Allstar Weekend. Finally they came, and I managed to get a few pictures.
(Finally, Haley's turn came and she even got a picture with them! The fact that her and Michael are matching is really adorable.)
After her signing, we made a mad dash to the amphitheater once again to catch Go Radio and meet up with everybody else. We missed the first song unfortunately, but caught everything else. They were great! if you love Mayday Parade, you'll love them! Unfortunately we never caught back up with the rest of our pals during their set, but via text message, promised to do so at the FTSK set.
After Go Radio, we had no where else to be until the SWS set at main stage later that night, so after a recommendation from our friend Stephen, we stuck around for Hands Like Houses set on the DOMO stage. Let me tell ya, I'm hooked!
After most of their set we made our way back to main stage and settled in for Sleeping With Sirens. It was Lena and I's second time seeing them, and they never disappoint! We absolutely love them! The crowd got a little crazy, but wasn't bad where we were. Unfortunately, it was late in the day and people were getting tired and thirsty and started dropping like flies during their set. Kellin had to stop a time or two between songs and check on some of the people in the crowd.
After SWS finished, we had maybe ten or fifteen minutes to kill before we absolutely HAD to head back to the Tilly's stage for FTSK, so we went to the other main stage and watched a few of Never Shout Never's songs, just to say we did. They're not my favorite, but they were actually pretty good live.
Once we made it back to the amphitheater, we finally met back up with the rest of the group and caught the tail-end of Goldhouses's set. They covered Rihanna's "We Found Love" and did a great job. Afterward, we soon found seats for the FTSK set. They finally came on and THEY WERE AMAZING. I was gettin' my groove on, especially when they played "She's a Lady." That's my jam.
With no one else in mind to see, Lena and Haley and I stuck around through the Early November's set and through The Story So Far's set with Amy, Liz, Lacie and Christina. Both bands were awesome, and definitely worth checking out.
After their sets, the Warped crew began to tear things down. We made our way through the quickly-diminishing merch tents one last time, but soon decided to call it a day. We exited the venue, got a taxi, and tiredly made our way back to the hotel to get some well-deserved sleep. The day was full of great music and moments, but unfortunately like all great things, Warped Tour 2013 had come to a close. So now I sit, typing away on this laptop of mine, reliving the memories, hoping they tie me over until next summer when I'll get to do it all over again.
[My friends and I also vlogged our little adventure, and all of that footage can be seen here!]