Photos and article by: Casey Steinmiller (in collaboration with Media World Inc.)
With only a handful of dates left on the tour, Bonner Springs, Kansas was one of the last to see the bands traveling with Vans Warped Tour. This event was hosted at the Cricket Wireless amphitheater, which has held the event for many years and drew in an extremely large crowd from Kansas City and the surrounding area.
Gates opened at 11 a.m. with a line wrapping around the massive parking lot several times. It was a cozy 94 degrees in the concrete pop-up city that was Warped Tour. After a mad rush into the amphitheater the crowd thinned out over the nine stages to watch the first bands scheduled that morning. Each venue is set up differently than the last, so every city has a different concert experience. Even the lineup changes daily – fans don’t know who plays when until they go into the venue to look at the giant inflatable schedule.
The day was full of many energetic and exciting bands ranging from Pop-Punk to heavy metal and post-hardcore genre types. Some of the highlight bands were We Came as Romans, Pierce The Veil, Memphis May Fire, PVRIS, and Riff Raff. Warped Tour draws from several crowds and has a wide variety of music appealing for almost anyone. The atmosphere is fun and energetic with a wide variety of acceptance of all different kinds of people. Many of the bands send out positive messages, like enjoying the company of others regardless of who they are.
Vans Warped Tour has been traveling around the U.S. since 1996 as a showcase for Punk and Hardcore bands, but has become much more musically diverse over the years. The popularity of the festival has been steadily increasing each and every year. Many bands rise to stardom and fame from the exposure Warped Tour provides; Artists such as Katy Perry and Green Day once played the festival early in their careers. Vans hopes to continue running Warped Tour for many years to come, providing a safe, but fun concert environment for everyone.
Sadly, Warped Tour only lasts one day a year for many, and as the sun went down on Bonner Springs the crowd left with the sad reality that they’d have to wait a full year before seeing the festival once again.
Vans Warped Tour is a festival worth the wait.