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Warped tour offers something for everyone

Andy+Black+performing+at+Warped
Andy Black performing at Warped

Andy Black performing at Warped

Johnny Torres, Jr.

Johnny Torres, Jr.

Andy Black performing at Warped

Jason Turner, Staff

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On Saturday, July 1, the Warped Tour came to Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg. Since 1995, the Warped Tour has been bringing new and classic punk, metal, rap, and alternative music to the masses all over North America. This year was no exception.

This year’s Warped Tour hosted a diverse lineup on seven stages with four performances simultaneous. This made it impossible to see every artist, but people had a large selection from which to choose. Classic bands such as The Adolescents, Sick Of It All, Strung Out, and Gwar were joined by newer artists like Jule Vera, Sylar, Neck Deep and Knocked Loose. Rappers Futuristic and Watsky were also part of this year’s lineup. Attendees were also treated to a multitude of  booths from companies and organizations like Monster People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Truth and various food. 

Warped Tour is unique in a couple of other ways as well. For the St. Petersburg show, tickets were $43., which is cheaper than many concerts.. Also, tickets for parents of attendees 16 or under are free. They also have a “Reverse Day Care” tent where they can go to get away from everything. Another interesting aspect of Warped Tour is that there are no “headlining” acts that play longer than the others.  Each act gets 35 minutes and set times change each day so sometimes bands play early in the day and sometimes at the end. This is one aspect Matt Byrne, the drummer of Hatebreed, said he liked. “It’s a rotating slot everyday but [they] usually don’t play before 4 o’clock” and “[they] have a lot of fans coming out even though it’s a big festival tour and there’s like 96 bands.” Many bands such as Alestorm, Blessthefall, Bad Cop/Good Cop, Hawthorne Heights, War on Women and Anti-Flag, go to meet fans at merchandise booths and sign autographs and take pictures. Some, like Shawn Walker of The White Noise, even went out to meet hte people before they went in.

Fans seemed to really appreciate the atmosphere of friendship and camaraderie at the tour. Kaleb Sistrunk, a student and tutor at the Plant City campus, said he loved the festival and a couple of his favorites were I Prevail and Fire From The Gods. Johnny Torres, Jr. a student at Strawberry Crest High School, said, “It was the best day of my life; I got to meet my idol Andy Biersack [of Black Veil Brides and Andy Black] and take a picture with him.”

Even the bands themselves had a lot of fun on the tour. Byrne said, “the element is heavy metal summer camp.” He added, he got to see old friends like Municipal Waste and Stick to your Guns and check out newer bands. Laila Khan, from Manchester-based ska/dance hybrid band, Sonic Boom Six, said “[they] are getting on great. Warped Tour is about inclusion, not exclusion,” and “it’s kinda like holiday and you get to play gigs.” She did say that a big difference to what she is accustomed to is the warm weather, and that it was “very testing,” especially in Florida, which is nothing like England.

Many of the bands who played on this year’s Warped Tour are doing shows in the area in the near future. Some are Bad Cop/Bad Cop as part of the Fest (October 29) at High Dive in Gainesville, I Prevail (November 4) at Plaza Live in Orlando and (November 5) at Ritz Ybor, Carnifex (November 11) at the State Theatre, Barb Wire Dolls (November 12) at Jack Rabbits in Jacksonville, Hatebreed (December 6) at the State Theatre, and Neck Deep (January 27) at the Orpheum.

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Warped tour offers something for everyone