Words & Photos by Joe Calixto
Spoilers: Taking Back Sunday played this date. That was cool!
Dear Vans Warped Tour,
Thank you for bringing back one of my favorite stops on this cross country trip carnival. I really appreciate that a lot. Ventura has always been a personal favorite of mine because let’s face it, Pomona ain’t that great and it’s hot as all hell. The fact that this was one of the first dates of the entire tour to sell out speaks volumes on how amazing it is to be attending the Warped Tour in Ventura. So again, thanks for that.
Also, I’m pretty bummed that this is the last time y’alls are doing this rodeo. I mean there are rumors that you guys are still doing major city shows but it ain’t gonna be the same. I’m definitely gonna miss planning on going to 10 Warped Tour dates and only making it to 1.
I can still remember the first time I went to Warped in 2007. I’ve always wanted to go to your gig even before I moved to America. So when I bought that $20 ticket, I was super stoked! I remembered seeing Killswitch Engage, Haste The Day, I even skipped half of Paramore’s set to catch Poison The Well. Quite a day to remember in my opinion.
I’m gonna miss seeing the evolution of scene fashion through the years, I’m gonna miss all the khaki shorts, skinny jeans, olive green chinos, gonna miss all the people who wear Tom’s, TWLOHA shirts, all the people who dress all in black in 100 degree heat. Gonna miss people with huge hair, mohawks, pompadors, mop tops. People who dress like that Nevershoutnever kid, those who dress like they’d be the fifth member of Title Fight. The guys who wear Monster Energy tank tops and DC shoes, and would only watch if Pennywise or Bad Religion was playing, I’d miss those too.
I’m gonna miss all the bands who hustle and try to sell or give away their music outside before doors open. The overly expensive food. The $12 bowl of orange chicken, $9 nachos, $5 lemonade. I’m gonna miss the $2 schedules. I’m gonna miss all the free shit Epitaph gives away every year.
But the thing I will miss the most is making a fresh batch of memories summer after summer, meeting new people, building friendships, getting introduced to new bands, seeing a lot of my favorite bands in one day, seeing even the most cringe of bands, the thrill of the Ernie Ball stage or even playing the Kevin Says stage. I’ve never personally played Warped but I’m sure for a lot of musicians who have, that alone is tight as fuck. Yeah, gonna miss the fuck out that.
I’ve been lucky enough to have photographed Warped Tour 7 times and the amounts of friendships and acquaintances I’ve made through the years is just massive. I’ve shot along side friends, and some of my favorite photographers on this tour. I’ve seen people start their artistic careers shooting small stages and growing into amazing photographers/ videographers, touring with bands and becoming part of warped history. That’s pretty badass in my opinion.
So yeah, all thats left to say is THANKS. For giving us, the freaks, the punks, the rockers, emo kids, hardcore kids, ska kids, Oi! kids, the crust punks, skateboarders, bikers, people of color, the LGBTQ folks, people with disabilites, and Women, a place to be who we really are without anyone judging us, every summer. May it be one day or two, or all two and a half months of it.
I know it wasn’t all perfect in so many aspects but y’all tried to make it the best goddamn summer for everyone. Cheers to that!
Thanks for everything!
Another kid who will miss Warped summers
P.S. If you do return, PLEASE keep the Ventura date!
“I COULDN’T WAIT FOR THE SUMMER AT THE WARPED TOUR”