Live blog: Vans Warped Tour
6:21 p.m. update
To see more photos, go to bonnersprings.com/photos/galleries/2011/jul/06/vans-warped-tour-2011/.
5:08 p.m. update
By the way, the festival is still going on, and will be until probably about 9 tonight. August Burns Red is performing on the Teggart Main Stage now, with Less Than Jake scheduled to take the stage at 6 p.m., Against Me scheduled for 7 p.m. and A Day To Remember scheduled for 8 p.m.
But there are also six other stages featuring bands throughout the evening. There is a large schedule posted near the Teggart Main Stage, and you can also purchase them at kiosks throughout the park.
4:23 p.m. update
Well, it's been a crazy day at Vans Warped Tour. So far, I have witnessed one knock-out, drag-out fight between a couple and what appeared to be an intoxicated concertgoer. No security in sight, by the way, to referee the situation, but it definitely drew a crowd. Having entered the scene in the middle of the squabble, I asked a crowd member what was going on, and he said the intoxicated concertgoer had been bothering the couple in some way.
The fight ended with the male part of the couple leading the seemingly intoxicated concertgoer away from the scene, in an uncomfortable-looking headlock, to what I'm guessing was the group of waiting security officers near the front entrance to the park. The crowd quickly dispersed at this point, but not before the crowd member told me, "That's why I don't drink alcohol at a concert."
Also not drinking alcohol were the three concertgoers I met today: Will Seabaugh, from Prairie Village; Andrew Feierabend, from Kansas City, Mo.; and Matt Robbins from Kansas City, Mo. These high-schoolers said they were there to see, among several others, Asking Alexandria and The Devil Wears Prada.
At the latter show, Feierabend and Robbins made a beeline (or as much of a beeline as they could make in the tightly packed crowd) to a growing mosh pit, while Seabaugh hung back. He said during the Asking Alexandria show, the three had moshed quite a bit, and someone had ripped the bottom of his backpack, making him lose important items like keys.
I almost became a starring member of a mosh pit myself as one began to form right in front of me. Though my toe got stepped on and I had to slam my hand against a mosh pitter's sweaty, shirt-less back to keep him from knocking me over, I managed to avoid the group of mosh pitters who were hurling fists at each other, slamming into each other and, strangely enough, doing leap frogs over each other's backs. THAT I had not seen before.
Seabaugh, Feierabend and Robbins say mosh-pitting is like a rush that intensifies the experience of watching a favorite band. After The Devil Wears Prada show, Feierabend said he had gone a step further than mosh-pitting by allowing himself to be hurled over the heads of the crowd. When I asked whether he was ever afraid of falling to the pavement while crowd surfing, he said, like mosh-pitting, it just made the music better.
The young concergoers spent the time in between performances walking around the park, meeting and greeting friends they knew, picking up something to eat and, at one point, trying to find Seabaugh, who had wandered off.
About midday the sun came out from behind the clouds and it started getting extremely hot, but Seabaugh, Feierabend and Robbins said dealing with high temperatures was worth it to see a favorite band, and not just because of the music. The three are also members of a band themselves, called Four Part Trilogy, and they say they get lots of ideas and inspiration from seeing a band perform they admire.
Still, Robbins acknowledged his physical discomfort at one point when he mentioned to Feierabend that, "I feel like all the sweat coming off me, it's not just mine."
More of Seabaugh's, Feierabend's and Robbins' experience at Vans Warped Tour will be in the July 14 issue of The Chieftain. Also keep checking in, as I'll be posting video and more photos from the day.
1:45 p.m. Update
Thought it was going to rain for a bit — there were a some sprinkles coming down — but the show is going on and the downpour I thought was certain has been averted.
The Devil Wears Prada is taking the main stage in about 10 minutes and I am heading out to talk to some concertgoers and see how they're doing and what bands they're here to see.
Check out the photo gallery I've posted here!
I'll keep blogging as I can so keep checking in.
First post, 12:14 p.m.
All right, I have been having some technical difficulties, but thanks to kind press coordinator, Bethany Watson, allowing me to use her computer, I'll be able to keep you updated as to today's goings on.
I just checked in about 45 minutes ago and though the festival only kicked off a little more than an hour ago, this place is already packed with excited, screaming, sunglasses-wearing and more than a few shirtless (male) fans. Looks like Larry & His Flask is on the main stage right now, and there are seven total stages being taken over by a multitude of bands today.
Come out! Or, if you can't, keep checking in as I'll be posting photos, video and live blogs throughout the day.