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2015 Warped Tour:

A Sweaty, Musical, Happy Mess

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The 2015 Vans Warped Tour Made Its Stop Through Arizona, And Opened A Very Mixed Bag Of Fun, Way Too Much Sun And Musical Treats That Somehow Makes It All Bearable

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By Ryan Scott
Modern Times Magazine

June 24, 2015 — The Vans Warped Tour, the largest traveling music festival in the United States, took over the empty fields of Quail Run Park in Mesa on Tuesday and saw a staggering turnout despite the 114 degree heat.

Warped Tour is something of a right of passage for music fans in Arizona. Not only is it a way to see more bands in a single day than you can keep track of, but it typically stops through our lovely state in June or July, which anyone who has lived here for any period of time knows is dreadfully hot.

Tuesday was no exception and it truly was astounding how many people filled the empty space in front of the multiple stages set up around the park. That is, once they got to the park.

One of the biggest problems that hosting such a large event at a venue like Quail Run Park is there is no sizable designated area for parking. So, many of the days attendees, myself included, had to park nearly a mile away from the venue and walk to the front gates in the midday sun. By the time you get inside, you already feel as though you have no sweat left to give.

Once fans entered the park, though, it was a bit of a sensory overload. Thousands of fans in swimsuits and tank tops, merch booths farther than the eye can see, long lines that crossed into other long lines and of course, tons of music.

The lineup this year included Asking Alexandria, August Burns Red, The Wonder Years, MC LArs, Senses Fail, Matchbook Romance and many many more. Though, there was a noticeable change from years past.

All of the stages featured a sign that asked fans not to crowd surf or mosh so that nobody would be injured so that the tour wouldn’t be sued. Instead, fans were relegated to just standing and watching the bands with occasional jumping around. Given the heat, that decision was likely smart. However, things didn’t all go swimmingly.

During Memphis May Fire’s set in the middle of one of their songs, a girl collapsed in the middle of the crowd from what appeared to be heat exhaustion. Fortunately, fans were quick to make it known to the band so that lead singer Matty Mullins could direct the crowd and get the attention of medical personnel to get her out safely.

That isolated incident seemed to sum up the day. The appeal of getting to see so many bands for the price of what one would normally pay just to see a single headliner is too hard to resist. Though, the brutal factors of the environment can’t be ignored. The mind is often willing but the body is unable.

What is amazing though is that, if you presented all of these obstacles to people under seemingly any other circumstance, you couldn’t pay them to deal with it. However, the music is enough to make thousands and thousands of people come together and brave the elements to support their favorite bands. It is a bit inspiring, or maybe foolish. Perhaps it is a combination of the two that sort of encapsulates the spirit of Warped Tour.

In any case, as English rockers Asking Alexandria closed out the main stage a little after 9 p.m., there were still plenty of music lovers there to enjoy the show and with turnouts like this, those brave enough to do it will be able to enjoy Warped Tour for years to come.

Ryan Scott is a contributor to Modern Times Magazine. He lives in Mesa.
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