HomeMusicAnd It’s a Wrap...Photos From The Final Warped Tour in New Jersey

And It’s a Wrap…Photos From The Final Warped Tour in New Jersey

Pop Break Live: The Final Warped Tour in New Jersey – PNC Banks Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ

Words & Photos by Patrick Gilrane

Holmdel New Jersey, July 14, 2018 – it was a typical mid-July day here in New Jersey. The weather forecast calling for temps in the mid 90’s and blazing sunshine. As I prepared to hit the road on the 1.5 hour ride to the festival grounds (PNC Bank Arts Center) my mind wandered a bit. I began thinking of past Warped Tours — the bands, crowds, the atmosphere and how different this day’s event would certainly be.

While in past years attendance has fallen a bit, this day’s show was sold out with over (18,000 tickets sold), which coupled with the heat would make for an interesting day. I arrived two hours early and there were already several thousand raging festival goers in queue waiting, clearly this group came to play hard.

The Warped Tour was founded in 1995 by Kevin Lyman and has the distinction of being the longest running traveling music festival in North America. Vans became the main sponsor of the festival during its second year of existence and has been so for its duration. The tours main focus on the outset was the alternative music scene but shifted to a more punk-centric theme as time went on. The current make-up sees a more balanced approach including metal, metalcore, hip-hop, punk and ska, as well as other genres.

Warped Tour has been a spring board for many upcoming artist, directly responsible for the success of bands like Blink-182, Paramore, Limp Bizkit, Avenged Sevenfold, Less Than Jake, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, The Interrupters, Black Veil Brides, Green Day and the list goes on and on. It would be safe to say that no other person has shown more musical artist the promised land than festival founder Kevin Lyman.

Kevin Lyman and Warped Tour have been generous supporters of charities both National and local, raising money and awareness for a list of issues ranging from cancer treatment, sex crimes in the music scene, mental health issues and feeding the hungry. On this date his organization held a food bank, collecting 14000 pounds of food for local food banks!

Doors opened at 11am, 18,000 fans made their way into the PNC grounds, the final Warped Tour date in New Jersey was underway. With seventy-four bands / artist playing at seven different locations choosing who to see was really difficult, being a punk, ska and hard core kinda guy helped with my choices and I was off to my first set.

The scene at the PNC was simply electric, the capacity crowds surging forward, consumed by the moment. With the diversity of musical genres represented, you could clearly see the difference in the crowds depending on the band. Seeing 18000 people acting with total reckless abandon was a surreal experience, circle pits and extreme crowd surfing were the norm, keeping the security staff at the barriers on their toes.

As the day went on the weather was becoming more of an issue, specifically the heat. The event organizers did a commendable job of having a large population of EMS staff on site to deal with emergency situations, it proved to be a very busy day. There were seven stages in use, all of which had dedicated first aid stations providing care to attendees in distress and depending on the energy of the crowd were overwhelmed.

For me the day had a few high points, and a few surprises. I love being exposed to new music and always try to look beyond my current likes / dislikes. Music is like a relationship, some are long term and some are short term, but both have their place. First, the high point for me was The Interrupters, a SoCal ska band that always delivers. Fronted by Aimee Allen and backed by the Bovina (Kevin, Justin, Jesse) brothers on instrumentals and vocals, this band is always a crowd favorite. Via Aimee’s infectious smile, distinct vocals and sonic jams The Interrupters are simply a fun band to see live. Now the surprise, not one to be really into the metal / metalcore scene I really connected with this genre today. Bands like Every Time I Die, Motionless In White, Simple Plan and Ice Nine Kills really stole the show today delivering high-energy sets that had the crowd totally involved. There were certainly a few new musical relationships started today, only time will tell if there long term or short term.

As I packed up my gear for the long ride home I couldn’t help but think of the vacuum created with Warped Tours departure, and what the future will hold for the festival scene here in the States. With mega, multi day festivals the norm in Europe will this be our future? Only time will tell.

In closing I would like to thank Kevin Lyman and the entire Vans Warped Tour staff, both local and not for their hard work and dedication to our National music scene. Stay tuned for a possible 25th anniversary show from Vans Warped tour in 2019.

Pop-Break Staff
Pop-Break Staffhttps://thepopbreak.com
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.

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