Vans Warped Tour. On a boat. Yep, things got crazy. And we were there.
They say Warped Tour is essentially a punk rock summer camp, but now they’ve taken things even further. Warped Rewind brought the concept to the high seas, and invited around 2,000 people – plus some of the best bands from Warped history – to embark on a cruise from New Orleans all the way to Mexico for four crazy days.
As you can imagine, things got wild. And Rock Sound was there! Here's what we learned...
THERE'S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE
You want pop-punk? You got it, with appearances from Simple Plan to Madina Lake. How about Ska? The legends in Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake were along for the ride. Or maybe just straight-up good vibes? Bowling For Soup were on board, as well as pro comedians like Shiragirl and Amir K. You could even learn all about the history of the festival’s music with pop-punk legends The Starting Line and their one-time only ‘Storytellers’ set. Warped, you do spoil us.
GOOD CHARLOTTE STILL RULE
It doesn’t matter whether you’re at your very first show or you’re seeing these guys for the tenth time after years of listening - you’ll never, ever feel jaded at a GC show. It’s genuinely humbling to see a band who have worked their way up from obscurity to become the legends they are today. Their three shows on board could be some of the best shows Warped has ever put on, with the key highlight being their intimate acoustic set, with not a dry eye left in the room.
EVERY NIGHT IS EMO NITE
Literally. Which, by default, means that every night is a party. Sure, alt nights have been a thing for years now, but the Emo Nite phenomenon has breathed an entirely new lease of life into what pop-punk parties are capable of. Taking Back Sunday and My Chemical Romance may not have actually been on the ship, but the DJs and hundreds of emo kids screaming the lyrics back in unison in front of them sure made it feel like they were.
MAYDAY PARADE'S 'A LESSON IN ROMANTICS' IS STILL EVERYTHING
The emo heartbreakers got their big break thanks to Warped Tour way back when ‘A Lesson In Romantics’ was released, so it only makes sense that they got to come full circle on the cruise. Under the blazing sun, the band nailed their classic debut in its entirety. Is there anything better than singing along to ‘Jamie All Over’?
CARTEL ARE TOTALLY UNDERRATED
The pop-punk veterans have influenced everyone and they absolutely killed each and every one of their sets over the course of the weekend. Sadly though, with all members actively pursuing other ventures right now, don’t be expecting any new material any time soon, sad face emoji.
WARPED IS STILL BRINGING NEW BANDS THROUGH
Warped Tour is an integral place for breaking many of who go on to become the biggest artists around. While the main idea behind the cruise was to bring out some of the best artists throughout the festival’s history, a handful of newer acts were also given the spotlight. Competition winners Courage My Love impressed with their jaw-dropping harmonies, as well as brilliant sets from Riviera and Felicity. And, of course, there’s no forgetting current RS Breakout stars Chase Atlantic, who got the cruise dancing wall to wall in no time. Keep a close eye on these bands; Warped knows where it’s at.
Taking the stage in more ways than one, not only is comedian Shiragirl both hilarious and musically talented, she’s also the reason that a female-led stage at the regular Warped Tour was introduced to begin with - giving a primary spotlight to hugely important issues. She actually crashed the tour back in 2004 and while that may have seemed crazy at the time, she achieved her vision and positively impacted the entire scene as a result, respect.
THE ATMOSPHERE COULDN'T BE MORE ELECTRIC
Whether it was a seasoned Warped veteran or someone entering the Warped world for the very first time - we didn’t see one sad face the entire time (yep, even despite the amount of emo sad vibes). And that extended both on and off stage too, with each and every band expressing heartfelt gratitude to be there. Warped really is one big happy family and that’s a very special thing.
THOSE WE'VE LOST WERE HONOURED, TOO
One of the coolest surprises of the entire experience were special supergroups made up of bands across the bill covering bands whose members have passed away. Walking out onto a pool deck and hearing Aaron Gillespie and The Emo Band covering Nirvana is pretty surreal and seriously cool right? But the real tearjerker came in the form of Shiragirl alongside members of Story Of The Year and Felicity paying tribute to Chester from Linkin Park. A truly powerful moment.
KEVIN LYMAN IS A GENIUS
The Warped Tour founder has always had his finger on the pulse and given the scene some of the best, most exciting and forward-thinking platforms. But bringing all that to a cruise ship? Mr Lyman has stepped it up a whole other level. Shouts also go to Sixthman, who bring these music festivals on boats to life, and every single one of the crew. It can’t be easy to fulfil an idea of this magnitude, but they pulled it off without a hitch.