Holy shit. Warped Tour was even more than I anticipated. I’m in shock right now, I don’t even know what to say. It’s all too good to be true, and it’s hard even taking the time to tell the whole story. Anyway, let me explain what happened.
I arrived to Warped Tour around 12:30. I was a little nervous for the Wall Of Death during Chiodos’ set that I had heard about, but I couldn’t wait to see them.
Chiodos came on stage and I couldn’t see them at first because of all those darn tall people! Though, I could see a crazy mosh pit going on and surprisingly, I was pretty damn calm. As their set progressed Mackenzie scored us spots really close to the stage. Right when we get there, Craig said, “In 2005 a band called My Chemical Romance set a record of over 60 crowd surfers in one minute. I want to try and beat that record. So, as soon as this song starts you need to crowd surf because after this, it won’t be allowed.” “A Letter From Janelle”- my favorite song by Chiodos – started up and loads of kids were thrust into the air. My wee little arms could barely hold them up so I was often kicked in the face. To all the crowd surfers, sorry if I accidentaly groped you. It’s just, I couldn’t put my hands anywhere else other than your arse because that wouldn’t hold you up. I hope you didn’t mind too much. More and more kids were asking to go up into the air but would take a hard fall to the ground.
As soon as Craig said the words, “Wall Of Death”, Mackenzie, Ashley and I pushed our way out of the crowd. No way would we get caught in that. When we got away from the pushy show gazers I kept singing and jumping along. As soon as the Wall Of Death was over we squeezed back into the crowd and I sang the last of the lyrics and their set ended. It was amazing. Not exactly how I pictured it, but I promise I will see them again someday.
I had hopped I would see The Maine, but they went on at the same time Chiodos did so I missed their performance. I was a little upset, but I knew I would make it to their signing. Mackenzie, Ashley and I wandered around the merchandise booths set up everywhere. I bought a zombie Chiodos T-shirt and a blue Drop Dead T-shirt with the adorable cat head on it.
We finally found our way over to The Maine’s merchandise table to find out when their siging would start. It had started fifteen minutes ago but one of the guys at the table said it was still going on. “Where’s the AP tent?” I asked, eagerly. He pointed me in the right direction and I raced off. I got a little lost, but I found the AP tent, and within it sat John O’Callaghan, Pat Kirch, Garrett Nickelsen, and Jared Monaco, but no Kennedy. I found the end of the line and whipped out my camera. Mackenzie said she and Ashley were going on a quest to find food, so I stood in line alone. I didn’t mind at all. I knew I would meet John Ohh because I made it to the siging just in time to claim the last signing pass! (Also, there were a few guys who came over and talked to me, trying to sell me a CD. I asked them how many songs were on the CD and one guy said, “Eighteen songs if you play it three times. I’ll let you do the math.”)
I reached the table and handed over my signing pass. I set my white Maine T-shirt down on the table and Pat began to sign it. I was squeeling on the inside. The white shirt finally made it’s way over to John, and I leaned over and said, “I missed you guys at the AP Tour! They cut the line to the signing right where I was!” John smiled replying, “Aw.” Then I said, “I know this is gonna sound weird, but can I have a hug?” “Yeah, sure!” John said, now standing up. I walked over to him and I gave him a big hug! This could officially be counted as a great fucking day. To cut to the chase, I got a girl to take my picture with him and I will cherish it forever!
There wasn’t a band I wanted to see until 4:55, and that was Underoath. It was past two when I found Mackenzie and Ashley and we felt as if we might pass out. We walked over to a shaded grassy area and sat down, relieved. I was bored so I flipped open my phone and pulled up Twitter. Less than a minute ago Underoath had posted, “If you wanna watch the show from the stage today, be the first to meet Chris at our merch table and give him the code word: Quenton. Go!” I turned to Mackenzie and Ashley, grinning I said, “Do you guys wanna see Underoath from the stage?” Mackenzie and Ashley both replied, “Yeah.” “Well, I know how. Come with me!” With confused looks on their faces I dragged made them run all the way back to Underoath’s merch table. I told the girls the code word. We got to the table and shouted, “Quenton!” Chris smiled and yelled, “You guys are the winners!” and gave us hi-fives! Chris told us to meet him at the entrance on the left side of the main stage at 4:30.
As we walked away I heard the Chiodos Rock Band set. (It’s where they are the judges of the best “band”.) It ended and kids were leaving the tent. While people were clearing out I saw Jason Hale from Chiodos talking to a woman he must have known. It took me a second, but I walked over to Jason and tapped on his shoulder. He turns my way and I say, “Um, Jason? Can you please sign my shirt?” Jason smiles, blowing away smoke from his cigarette and says, “No.” “No?” I repeat. Jason smiles again and says, “Yes.” I pull out my Chiodos shirt from the bag and hand him a black Sharpie I packed for those just in case moments. “Thank you!” I say. Mackenzie says, “Sorry, we didn’t mean to attack you or anything.” “No, you guys are fine!” Jason replies, and by the way he said it, I could tell he was enjoying this. What was I thinking at that moment? Gee, he has a pretty smile.
I was feeling dizzy from the heat. I had been drinking water, yes, but it was food that I needed. Throughout the whole day all I had to eat was half a piece of peanut butter toast and three of Mackenzie’s nachos. We found the entrance by the main stage and practically fell to the ground. I kept checking my phone for the time because Ashley was constantly asking, “How many more minutes?”
Next to the main stage was a skate ramp. Now on that ramp was a six year old boy totally killing it! He was better than the 14 year old (I’m guessing) that was up there! Everyone who was watching him smiled in awe and cheered him on.
It was finally 4:30 and Chris wasn’t at the gate, Mackenzie, Ashley and I became a little fidgety, but Chris saw us waiting and waved us back. “These girls are with me,” he told one of the bouncers backstage. Chris told one of the bouncers to make sure we got on the stage (we were later given green VIP wristbands). I spotted Aaron Gillespie and I peeped to my cousin, “That’s Aaron Gillespie.” “Go over there and ask for a picture!” Mackenzie cheered. I was a bit starstruck so I asked sheepishly, “Can you come with me?” Mackenzie sighed and smiled, then walked over there with me. “He’s your lover,” Mackenzie said. I replied, “But he’s married.” Mackenzie shrugged her shoulders and said, “He can still be your lover.” That made me smile.
Backstage I saw people from loads of other bands. Wil Frances from Aiden, Craig Owens from Chiodos, Nat from 3OH!3, and Zack Merrick from All Time Low. When Mackenzie saw Spencer from Underoath she shouted, “Hey Spencer!” He turned around and she finished, “Can you sign my shirt?” “Yeah,” Spencer mumbled.
We were all rushed onto the stage and my heart pounded in my chest. I never in a million years thought I would be one of those kids. The ones who get VIP passes and such. It was extremely loud on stage but I was so grateful to be up there with Underoath! The words were muffled because the speakers were facing the other way, but I knew the instrumental so I was able to sing along a little. My favorite songs by far were “It’s Dangerous Business Walking Out Your Front Door” and “Writing On The Walls”. Both of these songs give me goosebumps. When the crowd would calm for those few seconds to sing, “I’m drowning in my sleep, I’m drowning sleep” or “I hope to God you come down. I hope to God you feel this now.” I felt so numb. This was real.
Sing It Loud were on at 6:15, but Mackenzie and Ashley wanted to see In This Moment who I don’t care for. I didn’t mind seeing Sing It Loud alone because I knew it would be a pretty tame crowd, so yes, I went alone. I managed to squeeze my way a little closer to the front than I expected. I snapped pictures and bounced around. It was fun, Sing It Loud were a fun bunch of people. When their set was over I found Mackenzie and Ashley and I left with heat exhaustion and a pounding headache.
All summer long I had been telling my parents, “Warped Tour is going to be amazing. It has to be.” And I also knew I would meet John Ohh and give him a hug. As crazy as that sounds, sometimes you can just feel it, ya know? So this is really where my summer ends, but it was everything I had hoped for, all of that and more. Now I fear I will try to relive those moments for the rest of the summer which is true. Though, I don’t mind, it’s better than living in the present.
Song Of The Day – “Some Will Seek Forgivness, Others Escape” by Underoath http://www.playlist.com/searchbeta/tracks#some%20will%20seek%20forgiveness%20others%20escape