As you probably already know by now and have actually been dreading for months, the Vans Warped Tour is officially over. And no, not just over like it’s done for summer. The Vans Warped Tour is dead and it’s never coming back.
That’s right, after 24 incredible years out on the road, Kevin Lyman’s historic punk rock summer camp has unfortunately come to an end. And now, rather than telling you just how sad we are about all of this (because trust us, we can), instead, we’re going to take this opportunity to look back at the final year of Warped Tour.
While out the last ever date in West Palm Beach, FL, we were able to catch up with a few bands to learn all about their best and worst moments on Warped as well as who they unexpectedly became friends with. To see what artists like Crown The Empire, Wage War, Movements, This Wild Life, Reel Big Fish and so many more had to say about the final run of the Vans Warped Tour, be sure to see below. Afterward, for more Warped coverage, head here.
Andy Leo - Crown The Empire
Best Moment: Best moment on Warped Tour for me? I’d say last night. I think everyone knew that the end was close and that we could all let loose. There was like a Hard Rock Hotel & Casino next door [so] we all walked over there and no one seems to remember what happened [laughs]. But we all made it back in one piece, so it’s okay.
Worst Moment: I totally fell and ate shit on stage. There was a puddle [and] I went down hard. I was on my back, and you know, you just have to accept your fate at that point. So I just laid there and then my guitar player mounted me and just played the rest of the song and I was like, “This is my life.”
Unexpected Friendship: I think we’re clicky [laughs]. Are we like high school kids? [We hung out with] Palaye Royale mostly, the Issues guys a little bit and that’s pretty much it. Oh, you know what? Unearth, the guys from Unearth. I never thought I would ever become friends with them. Buz [McGrath, guitarist] comes up and we hang out and drink and he talks about his 10-year-old kid and stuff and I’m like, “This is weird, this is crazy!” But he goes harder than all of us, so that was a cool one.
Final Words To Warped Tour: We had a good run. A lot of sunscreen, a lot of sunburnt emos and hopefully something else comes back. Something new we can all hop on and hang out again.
Kevin Jordan - This Wild Life
Best Moment: Watching The Maine play because they’re the best band on the tour.
Worst Moment: The worst moment of Warped Tour was in Maryland when I was sick. I was skating to stage in the morning and I ate shit on a giant crack and separated my shoulder.
Unexpected Friendship: Real Friends because [their guitarist] Dave Knox moved out of Phoenix right when the tour started and it broke my goddamn heart but we remained friends nevertheless.
Final Words To Warped Tour: My last words to Warped Tour are thank you for all the memories as both a fan and a band. Thank you for being a platform for alternative music, punk music and for any dork that wanted to go watch bands or any dork that wanted to be in a band that could never make it to Coachella [laughs]. Here we are.
Jake Taylor - In Hearts Wake
Best Moment: My best moment would have to be riding the boat with our koala and the goblin from Nekrogoblikon.
Worst Moment: About 30 seconds later when the goblin and myself and the Koala all fell. It was pretty funny, but it was pretty bad [laughs].
Unexpected Friendship: I mean, I rode the boat with the goblin. So yeah, I didn’t expect to become friends with a goblin [laughs].
Final Words To Warped Tour: It was incredible to be a part of two Warped Tours. It’s been 25 years of Warped and it’s done so much for the community – for heavy music, punk, hardcore, rock – and it’s the last ever punk rock summer camp. The last day ever. I’m honored to be a part of it and I’m also ready, I think the whole Warped feels ready, to shed the skin and create something new.
Ahren Stringer - The Amity Affliction
Best Moment: Probably today ‘cause it’s over [laughs]. We’ve done three so I’m well-versed. It’s sad. It’s bittersweet [and] it’s always fun. But yeah, I’m ready to go home [laughs].
Worst Moment: Probably today. Like I said, it’s bittersweet. I can’t really think of anything bad that’s happened on this tour. It’s been super easy so we’re just stoked to be a part of it and sad it’s over, but also glad.
Unexpected Friendship: Probably Kublai Khan. They’re homies for life now. Really good band, super cool dudes. Yeah, we love them to death.
Final Words To Warped Tour: Thanks for having us, hope you had the time of your life [laughs].
Matt Honeycutt - Kublai Khan
Best Moment: The best moment of the whole thing happened before the tour [which was] finding out we were even going to be a part of it and get an opportunity to do it.
Worst Moment: I ran merch for our band so [the worst moment was] when people forget to bring me my dinner. It’s like nothing really bothers me – we’re doing this tour in a van [and] our trailer broke in San Antonio but we’re used to doing straight van tours so it’s not too big of a deal – but [not] eating is the one thing that bothers me. If I can’t eat I get real irritable. It happened today too at lunch. Nobody brought me my lunch and they brought over this delicious food and I’m like, “What the hell?! I’m the one sitting here. You’re not gonna bring my lunch?”
Unexpected Friendship: The Amity Affliction. Probably like the first or second day – their tour manager, we toured with his band when we went to New Zealand so I’ve known him for a long time. He’s really cool. So we got to talking and he does MMA stuff so he asked, “Oh yeah, we’re gonna do some fitness stuff if you want to join” and I was like “Yeah, cool.” And he was like, “Joel is gonna join us” and I didn’t think anything of it ‘cause I didn’t know who Joel was but he’s the singer of The Amity Affliction and he worked out with us. And it was cool ‘cause he acted like we knew each other forever [and] once they found out we’re in a van, probably two or three times a week, they let me sleep on their bus. I always find myself hanging out with them and even today we took a final photo and it was just our band, their band and Deez Nuts from Australia. Definitely didn’t expect to be friends with them ‘cause we’re absolutely nothing alike but they turned out to be some of my best friends.
Final Words To Warped Tour: It’s one of those things, I’ve only been to two Warped Tours in my life. And I was very vocal about the fact, the last [Warped] I went to was 11 years ago, and I said I’d never go back because of the heat, the people and all that shit. And I’m not real good in social situations like this but I said, “Unless we’re playing it, I’m not going back.” And honestly, it’s been the best summer I’ve ever had. A lot of memories and benchmarks have been set and achieved. I’m just happy to be here. I’m happy it went well. As sad as I am to leave it, there isn’t any better way to have done it.
Tobi Duncan - Trash Boat
Best Moment: Probably Chicago. The Chicago show was just like stupid good. It was as good as some of our UK shows back home and it just shows that we can have crowds that we’ve seen and we’ve come to expect in the UK in America, which is just insane.
Worst Moment: You know what’s coming with the worst moment. It has to be the four days we spent in the desert when our busses kept breaking down. But I’ll say the worst of the worst, like the pinnacle bad moment of that whole experience, was seeing all of our friends’ bands posting pictures to their Twitter and Instagram of them hanging out with puppies at the shows that we missed. We were stuck in the desert like, “Of course that’s the puppy day! Why would the puppy day be any other day than the day that we missed?” [laughs]
Unexpected Friendship: I mean only unexpectedly in the sense that we just didn’t know that they existed – we made pretty good friends with the guys in Capstan. We’d never heard of them before and they just kind of appeared on our stage halfway through the tour and we clicked. They’re cool guys.
Final Words To Warped Tour: I feel like a bunch of people are going to have a lot more heartfelt sendoffs. Tour blues are already hitting me and I’m struggling to grasp the scope of how big this tour is and how much it means to so many people. I’ve seen so many people uploading pictures of their old tour passes from like 10-15 years ago, like bundles of five or six of them, so it means a crazy amount to us and we’ve only done it once. We’re gonna miss it so much ‘cause just these six weeks have shown us this huge community and family vibe and yeah, we’re gonna miss it loads. So for people who have done this more than once, I can’t even imagine how they’re feeling about it. It’s going to be a big hole in the American touring scene and I just wonder how its gonna get filled. We’re gonna miss it.
Chris Gaylord & Stephen Kluesener - Wage War
Chris: The best moment for me was Hartford, Connecticut. I had a bunch of my family there, my girlfriend flew out. We played probably one of the biggest shows we’ve ever played. It was one of those special shows you’ll never forget.
Stephen: Probably Orlando. Same deal, hometown show. I had friends and family out and we played at noon before the rain hit so that was a beautiful thing.
Chris: This morning I had to go get our ice and it was this huge bag of ice and right as I was about to put it on our dolly, I dropped it on the ground just to break it up a bit and it just smashed all over the place right in front of Kevin Lyman. He kinda looked me up and down, laughed a little bit and he just goes, “Last day!” [laughs]
Stephen: Probably Vegas pushing our dummy cabs three blocks to the venue in 110-degree weather through the Vegas Strip. Yeah, that’s gotta be my worst moment.
Chris: I’d say, Kublai Khan. We had met Eric their bass player on previous tours but we had never met any of the rest of them before or toured with them and we became pretty close friends with them on this tour.
Stephen: I had no idea I’d be friends with Issues. I mean, those guys are great and we played one show with them a year ago but we didn’t get much time to meet up with them. We’ve had a lot more time this summer and they play a lot of video games and so do we. So that’s how we got to know each other.
Final Words To Warped Tour:
Chris: Sad to see it go. This is definitely a tour that has changed my life for the better. It inspired me when I was growing up to be a musician and be out here doing my thing in front of a bunch of other people. I feel like it’s done a lot not only for the music scene but for people in general to feel a sense of community for people who otherwise might be considered an outsider or are struggling with depression or whatever. It’s really like a no judgment zone out here. There are all types of people from all types of backgrounds. There’s metal kids, acoustic kids, there are the kids who like rap. I’m sad to see it go ‘cause I don’t know if you’ll ever see another running festival like this again where all these different types of bands play together. Thank you Kevin Lyman for doing everything you’ve done in the past. Sorry it has to end, hopefully we’ll have something cool to take its place soon.
Stephen: I can’t really add anything except for the fact that it sucks that we’re seeing – of course, all the bands aren’t gonna get together like this ever again – but also the other tents like Hope For A Day, A Voice For The Innocent, Heart Support. You know, a lot of kids come here and find their safe haven in those organizations and they find support and it sucks they don’t have that outlet anymore. All I can say is thank you Kevin for the opportunities. 2016 and 2018 were definitely memorable summers for us so thank you.
Rory Rodriguez, Mike Karle & Ramone Valerio - Dayseeker
Rory: The Warped prom was a pretty good time – seeing the goblin win prom king. And then we took a big crazy photo with a lot of the other bands, it was a lot of fun. Also, in Chicago, we unexpectedly had a really good crowd and our signing lasted too long – it was a good time.
Mike: There were a handful of best moments. Specific shows in Maryland, Toronto, Denver, and Chicago would probably be my top four best moments.
Ramone: The day of Warped prom, we got to go to a theme park for free. It was pretty dead, the theme park wasn’t packed, so we got to go on all the rides in a matter of an hour, so that was fun.
Rory: In St. Loius. There was something about the weather combo of the humidity and the temperature. It was one of the only times in my life I felt like I was kinda close to passing out while we’re playing.
Mike: Probably at the end of the first day, day zero, and we didn’t even play that day and I was dead exhausted [already] and I didn’t even know if I was gonna make it through Warped Tour.
Ramone: My worst moment, it was kinda like a “stay calm” moment for me, was getting left at a gas station with no phone or wallet in the middle of the night. I just stayed calm [and told myself], “It’s gonna be fine.” It was just like, “Fuck what am I gonna do?” I went to go pee and I don’t think our driver saw me leave the van. [Actually], he saw me but he forgot and got carried away. Eventually, he came back like 20 minutes later.
Rory: Nekrogoblikon. It was just funny– a satirical metal band. They’re all super nice. It’s crazy to hear about what bands they used to be in and play for before.
Mike: I guess the guys from Don Broco. Yeah, we listened to them a lot before Warped Tour and liked their music a ton and now we’ve become pals.
Ramone: Chelsea Grin, Crown The Empire and Wage War. I listen to all those bands so it’s kinda cool to hang out casually day by day and shoot the shit. So that’s been a really cool experience.
Final Words To Warped Tour:
Rory: Really excited we got to be a part of it. It’s an honor. It’s sad that’s it’s over but cool to be a part of this one.
Mike: Super thankful and grateful to be a part of this tour as a smaller band. It’s been an amazing platform for us to play to people who haven’t heard of us before. It’s an awesome opportunity. We’re super thankful.
Ramone: Thank you for letting us be a part of it. It’s been quite the experience and it’s been fun. A lot of work but it’s definitely worth it playing on stage and getting all these killer crowds every day.
Patrick Miranda - Movements
Best Moment: Best moment of Warped Tour was definitely, I think, all of our sets. All of the really awesome sets we got to play like Pomona, Boston, Chicago – the shows that were huge and that feeling of being a main-stage band finally. That was so, so fucking cool for me.
Worst Moment: Accidentally shaving my head bald, that sucked. For anyone who’s reading this that knows, it was not on purpose. Yeah, it sucked. It’s a long story but that was the worst part of my Warped Tour.
Unexpected Friendship: Honestly, Simple Plan. That’s one of those bands I have looked up to for so long and one of those bands who’s been really, really influential for me growing up. And now every time I see Pierre just riding around on his little mini-bike – like we bonded over the fact that we both have little mini-dirt bikes – and every time I see him roaming around its like, “Yo what’s up dude?” I eat lunch with him sometimes. It’s really fucking cool. Those guys are very sick so I’m really happy I got to be friends with them.
Final Words To Warped Tour: I’m so grateful for the opportunities that I’ve been given to be here. I’m so happy I got to be a part of this. I’m really gonna miss Warped Tour but I’m excited for the future. I’m excited to see what comes and either takes its place or maybe someday it makes a comeback. We’ll find out, but I’m just happy I got to be here.
Johnny Christmas - Reel Big Fish
Best Moment: Yesterday, we had a girl come up to us during an autograph signing and said, “I was in this terrible car accident a couple years ago and my family played me Reel Big Fish while I was in a coma” and she was all “I woke up listening to Reel Big Fish from my coma and I was surrounded by my family.” And I was all like, “I’m gon, I’m gon, I’m gon, I’m gonna cryyyyyy!” It was so beautiful that we have that impact, and this goes for every one of these bands that’s out here. It’s that you are the heart in the heartless world. You are people’s emotional processors and what we do is really really special and that was my greatest memory so far.
Worst Moment: There haven’t been any. The hardest thing on this tour for me is five bands playing at one time and not being able to get an ounce of quiet, that’s really the hardest thing for me to deal with day in and day out. I love all these bands but hearing five bands all play at once is exhausting on my psyche.
Unexpected Friendship: Nekrogoblikon. I mean it was so – we had no idea, we heard that this band was like theatrical, haunted house metal and they have a goblin. And so we all went out there and watched them. They are all super musicians and all super nice guys. We were also friends with Twiztid which was really surprising. We got to watch those guys and hang out with them. They’re a sweet bunch of gentlemen and it was a real pleasure.
Final Words To Warped Tour: We’re gonna miss ya. This is such a special thing we’ve been doing for 22 years or so and this is a people’s festival. This festival comes to the people, it doesn’t cost a lot and you see so many great bands that you may never have seen before. Like you get to see Reel Big Fish, you get to see Nekrogoblikon, you get to see Tatiana DeMaria, or Less Than Jake or We The Kings – all of these really fantastic bands and all on stages that you might never see them on again. Like Don Broco, you’re never going to see that band on a little tiny stage again. I think they’re playing Wembley Stadium when they go come, which is crazy it’s awesome. I got to see them on this little tiny stage, I got to see them in Atlanta on the main stage in the rain as the whole place was being evacuated. It was tremendous. Don’t give up on these bands. These bands that you love that you’ve seen out here at the Warped Tour, don’t give up on them. Go see their regular show. Just because you can’t go to the Warped Tour doesn’t mean you can’t go see live music. There will be other forms of the Warped Tour. It’s not going away completely. There’s no way it’s going away completely. But the traveling, the 40 days, that will go away. But there will be cruises, there will be other stationary shows, I bet. If you guys come back, we’ll come back and we would love to do it again. We’ll miss ya.