There are so many themes that ribbon themselves through my life. One is….I am always late to the party. Not the real party (I am the worst guest……I show up early to help and stay when it’s over to help…really. You have to tell me to go the fuck home. And, people have.) What I mean is….I am always discovering something “new.” I walk around on a cloud (I still possess some of that wide-eyed wonder of a child on Christmas morning) and am so happy. I want to tell everyone. The do not care. I stand around in bliss and think, “Eh…they will follow me down the road eventually.”
And, then….whatever it is….Sublime….discovered months later that they had already lost their lead singer. Friends….the tv show. I found it way after everyone else. I found Hootie and No Doubt and Matchbox 20….all on Behind the Music. If you are old enough, you know what that means……has-bands already. And, that is my point. I am always the last to know. Freddie Mercury died of AIDS. When I expressed surprise to my sister that Freddie was gay, she replied, “My God Bianca, the band’s name was ‘Queen.’” Rob Halford had been out of the closet….perhaps it was the movie “Rockstar” who spilled it for me. I could go on and on (you know I can)…but you get my point.
So…today it is with much sadness I find out that Van’s Warped Tour is going to be ending after it’s 24th year. …2018. Right? I found them in August. I have been raving about the Tour for months…to anyone that will listen. I blogged about it. And, I am going to miss it. We are all going to miss it.
It was a fantastic place where you could see and meet and take pictures with your favorite new bands. You could find new bands. And, if you don’t know…..it is a place where everyone is welcomed. I was awestruck as I looked around at the crowd this summer. So many misfits and kids that are hurting – you can just tell. Kids that perhaps do not fit in everywhere. And, all co-existing peacefully, happily. I am sure there was some sort of disturbance, but I never saw one. No loud, fighting drunks (almost every rock show I went to in the 80’s and 90’s when I was young and at the most recent Tom Petty – I miss you – show I attended.). Nobody openly doing lines (as I have witnessed in bars and bathrooms). Nobody having sex in front of everybody else (frickin’ everywhere). Nobody using the parking lot like a toilet (bars, concerts…). Nobody using duct tape to cover their nipples so they can walk around almost naked (Ozzfest).
I didn’t feel like I had to hide my kids eyes or have 420 discussions about “choices.” This was a phenomenal concert experience that I am sorry will be ending. Really sorry. I will definitely be attending the last event with at least one of the teenagers I live with. And, I will not be “rocking out at Warped until I’m in a wheelchair.” as I threatened to do when we left after the last band this summer. Bummer.
I would also like to give a huge shout out to Kevin (of course your name is Kevin…..) Lyman….Van’s Warped Tour Founder. What a fantastic escape you created for kids of all ages. I was completely impressed with the quality of bands, performances, and equipment. The whole “Parent Tent” – genius….if the idea was not yours, you executed it quite well. I didn’t spend much time there as I attended for the music….but, what a grea tidea for all these helicopter parents. And…I did love the A/C!!! I also loved that as a parent of a teen concert goer, you could obtain a free ticket to bring them in to supervise—– fantastic way to keep some peace at your concerts and for your fans…and..some of us don’t have a lot of $$$. This allows us to attend with our kids who may not be old enough to go on their own. Also….and, last thing….the ticket prices were ridiculously reasonable…again…THANK YOU.
I am sad, but I will see you next Summer.