Sunday Vans Warped Tour rolled in to Hartford, CT. I went only because I wanted to see Simple Plan (it had been 8 years since I last saw them!) and fortunately they were playing on one of the stages in the ampitheatre so I was able to sit in there all day and be out of the sun and madness elsewhere.
From 12:00 – 6:40 or so I sat in the same seat and watched bands alternate on the AP/Tilly’s Stage and the Nintendo 3DS Stage. I have to say I strongly preferred the bands that were on the AP stage – they were a bit more “my style” while the bands on the Nintendo stage were a bit too… screamy for me.
4pm Simple Plan took the stage for their 30 minute set. They played Shut Up, Can’t Keep My Hands Off Of You, Jump, Thank You, Welcome To My Life, You Suck At Love, Addicted & I’d Do Anything. I was glad they did a decent amount of older songs because I haven’t had the chance to listen to their most recent album yet. But that performance definitely made me remember why I love them (and their lyrics). Pierre said they’d be going on a fall tour so hopefully they will hit up CT and it will be at a venue I am cool with. (Read: Webster Theater)
After nearly every song, Pierre was thanking the crowd. 15 minutes in the woman behind me thought he was saying a “thank you and goodnight!” type of speech and was like “THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ON 15 MORE MINUTES” haha. The American bands didn’t say thank you quite as much (though most bands did at least once!)
We left after Relient K did 1 song – fortunately it was one that I knew. (Although the name escapes me now) I would have liked to stay for the rest of Relient K’s set and some of The Ready Set – but my brother wasn’t feeling well. He got caught in the middle of a pit and got elbowed in the stomach. He ended up getting sick all over the kid that elbowed him.
I also would have liked to gone to Simple Plan’s signing, but the bands my brother wanted to see were playing at the same time and I wasn’t sure I could handle a large line on ground that was made up of rocks (unstable). Warped Tour is really not designed for those who are disabled. I’m not really sure how they could modify it though. But at least I saw SP’s set and hopefully I can catch them when they tour in the fall.
The bands I ended up seeing were:
The Dangerous Summer
I Set My Friends On Fire
Dance Gavin Dance
The Wonder Years
If you are attending Warped Tour, I have a few tips.
1. Bring Water. Most of the venues allow 1 UNOPENED bottle of water to be brought inside per person. They also have a Klean Kanteen set up where you can refill your water bottle for free.
2. If you did not bring water – buy a bottle. They have made a deal with the venues so water will be $3 instead of the usual $5. Once you have the bottle, you can refill it for free. The important thing is to stay hydrated and start hydrating before you feel thirsty.
3. Buy a schedule – or at the very least, write down who you want to see and where they are playing. The perk of the schedule is that it has a map on the back of it. A lot of kids were coming in the ampitheatre thinking it was the main stage. The mainstage is outside so there is more room for people. Schedules are $2, which is pricey for a sheet of paper, but I find it worth it. Keep in mind there might be last minute schedule changes as well.
4. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes. I wouldn’t recommend flip flops! Light colors are probably best too. Black shirts will make you that much hotter.
5. Wear sunscreen! Put it on while you wait to be let inside and reapply it throughout the day. Even if it says it lasts even if you are sweating, reapplying it every couple of hours will help make sure you’re protected at all times.
6. Bring or buy ear plugs. The music is LOUD. You can still hear it with the earplugs in, but you’ll protect your hearing. Trust me – later on down the line you’ll be grateful you don’t have a constant buzzing in your ear. Earplugs are sold at various tents for various prices ($1-$3 was what I saw) but you can also pick up 4 pairs at a dollar store before you go and share with friends.
And don’t bring your baby!!! There was a couple there who had a baby who could not have been more than one. The poor thing had nothing protecting his ears.