Day 2: Vans Warped Tour Says Farewell to Atlantic City
Vans Warped Tour 25th Anniversary
It’s summertime and you know what that means, right? Vans Warped Tour is back! This time for its 25th and final year. The longest running tour in history is back, but this time for three weekends only. The already finished Ohio Warped, Atlantic City. and California.
I found myself at the Atlantic City stop of Warped Tour, not in a venue but even better! On the beach! It was time for the second and final day and boy would this be a day filled with all kinds of emotions.
Fans of all ages invaded the Atlantic City Boardwalk for the second half of a weekend of fun in the sun celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Warped Tour and the final year according to the tours founder Kevin Lyman.
Growing up, Warped was what you looked forward to all year long, that summertime festival which brought you so many upcoming and well established bands and artists all on one line-up. Then in college it offered a break from the “real world” and test taking to let loose with your group of friends and just be free. Now even those in their late 20’s and 30’s look forward to escaping their day job and listen to some killer tunes from bands past and present.
Through the years Warped Tour has never let us down, it’s offered continuous glimpses into the legends and future of the skate, punk, hardrock and metal core scene. For the most part if you love a band, you probably discovered them at Warped.
Music fans and artists of all genres owe it to Kevin Lyman, everyone from Eminem and Halsey to Motionless in White and Blink 182 have graced the Warped stage at one time or another. Lyman’s dedication to the scene is responsible for many careers and experiences.
This year, like years past, New Jersey fans were treated to a heavy hitting line up featuring nostalgia, the future of music and a ton of motocross, BMX, skating and even wrestling along with some amazing food, drink vendors and clothing brands. The 2019 Vans Warped Tour featured 4 stages The Blackcraft Stage, The Full Sail stage, The Monster Energy Stage and The Vans “Off The Wall” Stage.
Day 2 bands included: The Offspring, Atreyu, Juliet Simms, Andy Black, Anti-Flag, The Story So Far, Man Overboard, Memphis May Fire, Circa Survive, Hyro The Hero, Four Years Strong, Thrice, The Menzingers, Set It Off, The Starting Line, Frank Iero, Dirty Heads, Sleeping With Sirens, The Used, Quicksand, Neck Deep, Taking Back Sunday, Reel Big Fish, Blink-182 and more!
Day 2 was filled with not only Warped veterans but also most of the line-up of the inaugural Rockstar Disrupt Festival, which we will be at in New Jersey next week. This was awesome for me because I got to get a little taste of what to expect at Disrupt. The rest of the line-up you couldn’t pick better bands to close out an amazing weekend and legendary tour.
The day kicked off at noon with fans all over the Atlantic City Boardwalk coming from all directions and making their way onto the sand. Kevin Lyman began the day once again by thanking fans for their support, reminding them to take care of each other and throwing in some jokes about day 1’s weather and even commending the crowd on how clean the Warped fans kept the beach.
Warped Tour is unlike any other festival; it’s brutal, long, hot and not for the faint of heart but rather the dedicated music lover. Nearly another 28,000 attendees got their tan on, listened to killer music, jumped in the ocean and watched bmx and skating on a vert ramp during day 2.
Unlike day 1, the weather was a much more manageable 83 degrees with a beautiful breeze coming off the ocean.
Our favorite performers of the day:
Atreyu: Let me start by saying, Atreyu absolutely destroyed the “Off The Wall” stage to kick off day 2. These guys brought the heavy and melodic in a way only these legends could. Vocalist Alex Varkatzas ran back and forth across the stage with fury, his voice was powerful and his stage presents demanded respect.
Bassist Porter McKnight dominated the stage with vicious backing vocals and violently flailing his guitar up and down, this band brought an energy to Warped which I feel from a viewer standpoint set the tone for the entire day in such an amazing way. The band performed earth shattering tracks “Becoming The Bull” & “Ex’s & Oh’s”. I’m highly looking forward to catching these guy’s again on the Disrupt Festival in a few weeks.
Juliet Simms: Juliet who is also on the Rockstar Disrupt Festival and married to tour mate Andy Black of Black Veil Brides was damn right impressive. Her blend of Bluesy, soulful Rock n Roll was a much welcomed addition to Warped Tour. Her incredible voice and showmanship caught the eye of festival fans and media alike. Her fresh take on bringing beautiful, sexy and cool to rock n roll is beyond perfect.
Her performance featured her latest single “Bad Love,” as well as disgruntled rock tracks “Take Me” and “Wild Child”. There is absolutely no doubt Juliet Simms is headed for super stardom. You will be captivated by her movements, he vocal abilities and her passion for her songs.
Memphis May Fire: Matty Mullins and company are always a must catch when they come to town, besides being amazing people, their music is filled with emotion and the music rumbles through you. Mullins is one of the most impressive and in my opinion underrated vocalists in Hard rock and metal.
The band dominated the Monster Energy stage but could have easily held their weight on the main stage. The crowd was massive for their mid afternoon set and had kids of all ages crowd surfing to their tunes. These guys are also out on the Disrupt Festival, so be sure to check them out if they’re coming your way!
Andy Black: The Black Veil Brides frontman brought his New Wave, pop-eque solo project to the Monster Energy stage and he didn’t disappoint. Black actually gave me a newfound respect for him and his music as he appeared really humble, friendly and he sounded phenomenal performing his solo work.
Without question he was a fan favorite on day 2 and drew a massive crowd to watch his evening performance. His performance was passionate and theater driven, taking the time to visit each side of the stage multiple times and connect with the crowd. His voice live was a lot stronger than I remember and at times offered a Broadway feel to his vocals. I look forward to seeing more from Andy in the future and look forward to checking out his latest solo album The Ghost of Ohio.
Circa Survive: I’ll start this pick off by saying wow, just wow! Anthony Green and company delivered an absolute whirlwind of high energy, high intensity and earth shattering performance. Green spent most of the first song on the barricade screaming face to face with fans, while beach balls flew overhead and bodies surfed past. By far one of the most intense performances of the day from start to finish. Best way to describe this set was pure chaos.
Circa was loving the Warped Tour crowd and the feeling was mutual as the two connected their energies to deliver one of the most memorable performances I’ve ever witnessed!
The Used: In my opinion one of the best bands on the bill, who I couldn’t imagine Warped ending without them being their is The Used. The band brought a set filled with their best material and was without a doubt one of the biggest crowd pleasers of the day.
Bert and the used danced, sang, smiled and brought one of the funniest, most energetic sets of the evening filled with classics like “Take It Away”, “The Bird and The Worm”, “All That I’ve Got”, “The Taste of Ink”, a dashing cover of Oasis “Wonderwall” and closed out the set with “A Box Full of Sharp Objects” with Disrupt Festival tour mate, Sleeping With Sirens frontman Kellin Quinn which sent the 30,000 plus crowd into a frenzy.
By far one of my favorite sets of Warped Tour, although I may be biased as The Used are one of my all time favorite bands.
The Offspring: I don’t know what to say other than holy nostalgia, seeing Offspring live is one thing but seeing them at Warped Tour one last time gave me goosebumps. I’m not sure if it was the setlist filled with ever imaginable classic song they’ve ever written, the set happening as the sun was setting on the beach, maybe it was hearing 30,000 people sing word for word the lyrics to “Self Esteem” or maybe it was all of the above.
Either way, seeing The Offspring play Warped was legendary in every way, hearing a ton of songs I forgot I loved while people crowd surfed from three hundred feet back all the way to the front while beach balls flew through the air and the ferris wheel on the AC Boardwalk lit up it was perfection. Dexter Holland,Noodles, Greg K and Pete Parada brought their West Coast sound to the Atlantic Ocean and it was incredible. These guy’s sound flawless live and were the perfect way to lead up to the end of Warped Tour.
Blink-182: I can’t think of any better band to headline the end of an era that is The Vans Warped Tour. Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker along with Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba are staples in this punk/pop music scene.
Blink’s set was as epic as you could imagine, The three piece played their historic Enema Of The State in its entirety as well as a variation of material through the years. Fans young and old let loose for one final time thanks to Kevin Lyman’s Warped Tour.
The 21 song set delivered laughter, tears, singing, crowd surfing, mosh pits and concluded with the song that started it all for Blink “Dammit”.
It was perfect, it was a salute to Lyman and all the people who have worked tirelessly summer after summer the past 25 years to bring something fun, different and new year after year to legion of music lovers around North America.
Just like that our childhood memories flashed before our eyes, the reason we love music and summer festivals was over in a weekend. I’m beyond thankful I was able to be a small part of it.
I’m grateful to the security who kept us all safe all weekend, to the Warped Tour staff including their security, stage managers, all the people behind the scenes who this would be impossible without, whose name you may never know.
Kevin Lyman, who believed music and the skate scene mattered, who gave a voice to those often silenced. The man who gave us a safe space to express ourselves and make friendships and memories that will last a lifetime, we are eternally grateful Mr. Lyman!