So you want to be a rock 'n' roll star and be a part of the best punk rock summer camp?
Don't be speak so soon, as we got the lowdown on what it's really like being apart of the Vans Warped Tour from two musicians who grew up in the Valley of the Sun. Singer Craig Mabbitt from Escape The Fate shares some of his favorite Warped Tour stories and New Years Day Drummer Nick Rossi offers some real talk about the not-too-glamorous aspects of being out on the road. Rossi also told us about New Years Day's involvement in the eigth annual Vans Warped Tour Charity Bowling Tournament.
Not even scorching 111 degree weather could stop kids (and some parents) from making the trek out to 2015 Vans Warped Tour to check out their favorite bands. The weather, however, did play a factor, causing gates to be pushed back till 12:45 due to an excessive heat warning. New Years Day drummer Nick Rossi vomited all over the stage as the band wrapped up its opening 1 p.m. set on the Journeys stage. It wasn't only band members struggling to stay hydrated, as fans were dropping like flies as well. If you were a Warped Tour veteran all of this was old hat, as it's the same story every year with these types of punk rock casualties. What Warped Tour does best is keep prices on tickets and concessions very affordable; where it struggles is when a band plays after dark and there is very little stage light and no-to-minimal production. This was the case during Black Veil Brides 8 p.m. set, where they pretty much played in the dark because the two lights on each side of the stage aren't nearly powerful enough to light the stage. Luckily the band had smoke stacks shooting out of the stage to create some sort of vibe.
Earlier in the day Escape The Fate frontman and Valley native Craig Mabbitt briefly reunited with his former band Blessthefall on "Guys Like You Make Us Look Bad," which was one highlight during the band's balls-to-the-wall set. Singer Beau Bokan really has this metalcore thing down, as he had the kids in a frenzy. While it's great that so many bands get a chance to show off their skills at Warped Tour, there is definitely a quantity over quality factor that should be noted. Many of the bands on the tour were hard to differentiate from one another and the whole "having one band member that screams and another member who sings the chorus of every song" thing has just been beaten into the ground, which was the case with The Amity Affliction and the band that played before them, Being As An Ocean, on the Monster stage.
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The coolest experience available at Warped Tour is the workshops they have made available to fans where they can learn everything from guitar technique with Kevin Thrasher of Escape The Fate, marketing with Ash Costello from New Years Day, to Youtube 101 with Bryan Stars. These workshops won't break the bank either, as they were only $25 per person. Though Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman can't control the heat each time the tour makes it's way through town, he has revolutionized the music scene for kids and that's why they keep coming back each year.