So long and thanks for all the punk: The final Vans Warped Tour

So long and thanks for all the punk: The final Vans Warped Tour
I remember vividly my first trip to Warped Tour. There’s something cathartic about wildly flailing around in a group of sweaty, shirtless metal-heads. After a successful run, Kevin Lyman announced that the 2018 Vans Warped Tour will be the last, full cross-country trip. Since 1995, Van’s has sponsored Warped Tour. I also remember having a crowd surfer thrown on my face and having my nose erupt in a torrent of blood. All dynasties eventually fall. Blood, sweat, but no tears. But this year, will be the last year to soak in Warped Tour as we’ve come to know it. That’s worth the price of admission right there. Although its first year was labeled as an alternative rock festival, it began focusing on the punk scene in 1996. I knew I liked it but had yet to experience the face-melting noise coming off the main stage set-up. There are pop-punk bands like Four Year Strong and Fenix TX, Sum 41 for anyone looking for some early 2000’s punk, some August Burns Red and Beartooth for metalcore lovers, and of course, my favourite band of all time, Every Time I Die. It has been hinted that there will be a celebration next year to commemorate the 25th year of the tour. It was the summer before grade 11. That’s how the final Warped Tour should go. In 1521, the last Aztec emperor, Cuauhtemoc, surrenders to Hernan Cortes and the final city of the Aztec empire came into control of the Spanish. Vans certainly didn’t hold out on talent for their final tour. Horns up and rock on! An event like this is all about comradery. If you want to catch the tour this year, it’ll be in Toronto on July 17th. Be happy you got the chance to go in the first place. Was it ever. Overall, 10/10 day. Anyone who’s made the trek to the tour can hear the punk influence immediately. In 476 C.E., the last of the Roman emperors, Romulus, was overthrown by the Germanic barbarian Odoacer, putting an end to the 1000 year rule of the Roman Empire. Like minded people coming together to share in something that has been a musical institution for years. A traveling rock show with stops throughout Canada and the United States where fans can mosh and crowd surf to their hearts’ content. I was a heavy rock virgin at the time. A boy never forgets his first mosh pit either. So, it was with great grief that fans of rock and roll heard this would be the last tour of the annual music dynasty known as Vans Warped Tour. Ear piercing screams and low tuned guitars flood the airwaves in the venue. I distinctly remember getting punched in the face during The Devil Wears Prada set and thinking, “Yeah okay, this could be fun”. You can mosh like nobody is watching, revel in the sweaty bliss of rock and roll, but don’t be sad it’s over. Jean shorts, tank top and backward-fitted cap seemed the best outfit.