Friday, June 20, 2014

Warped Tour 2014!

This summer, my favorite band announced they'd be playing at Warped Tour. Imagine, if you will, my reaction when I read the Bowling for Soup article. Needless to say, I may have made some unnecessary noise and ran to my computer to buy tickets.

For those of you who don't know, Warped Tour is a big outdoor music festival. 50+ bands come, perform, sell merch, and it's just...overall, very fun. I had never been before but I was excited. Especially since I didn't think I'd ever get a chance to see BFS(Bowling for Soup) playing live, let alone get them to sign stuff for me. (Two CDs and my t-shirt, don't hate.)

Also, for those of you who don't know Bowling for Soup, for shame. They're a twenty year old band and I've been listening to them my whole life. You're really missing out. They're amazing guys and they've got some pretty great music. Look them up. Right now. RIGHT. NOW. I'll be waiting right here. Go. Go on. It's fine.

Anyway, the festival started at 11 A.M. I arrived with my brother and my very good friend at 11:30, we were as prepared as we thought we needed to be because five minutes of research told us the venue would take care of the overheating people.

Disclaimer: Take care of yourself first and never, EVER expect that they'll take care of you.

Anyway, we make our way around this huge venue to try and find my BFS merch tent. It took FOREVER but I finally found it and rushed over to find that no one else was flocking around it. FOR SHAME. I also wanted to figure out when they'd be playing, signing, and all the jazz. Come to find out they played at 1:45. HECK YESSSSSS. Didn't have long to wait! I bought a CD, left the tent, returned shortly after to buy a jelly bracelet, let to find shade and camped out at the stage where they'd perform.

It was just as amazing as I hoped. I got as close as I could and I had a blast. Signing, dancing, being a downright fool. I wish, I WISH, I had had enough sense to actually break out my camera 'cause I didn't get ONE picture. But my brother did, so I'll have him send them to me ^-^

They were funny, every song they played, I knew, so I was prepared. The heat was completely forgotten as I watched and listened to my favorite band play. Their set was over far too soon for me but as soon as it was, I made my way over to the merch tent, bought a Live CD from one of their Manchester shows and a T-shirt before getting in line for signings. The line was soooo long but I was willing to wait!

My brother and I were in line for about...oh, twenty minutes, half an hour, standing in the sun, before I started to feel just slightly dizzy.

Now, backstory, I was VERY familiar with this feeling because of a medical condition I have that causes my main bundle of nerves to suddenly relax when triggered, making the blood rush from my head to my feet, knocking me out in a matter of seconds. It's only happened a few times, but I've come to recognize the signs. Hearing the fades, tunnel vision, the inability to think, jelly legs, loss of motor function, them BAM, down.

This was a bit differently because my normal trigger was not the cause. Heat was the cause. I panicked, pulling my brother out of line and making a beeline for a stand that said 'Water, Gatorade.' I figured, if I could get a cold drink quick enough, I could fight it off and run back to the line.

I waited behind two people, the world beginning to spin as I waited. Finally, it was our turn and all I could do was lean on the cart. The last thing I remember happening was my brother asking how much for a Gatorade and the vendor replying '5 dollars.' I lifted my head and simply said '5 dollars? WHAT?' and over I went. Completely passed out and bowled another person over. (Sorry!)

Apparently, I was only down for a moment before I was sitting back up with people around me, waterbottles galore. I drained one quickly, feeling beginning to return to my body and head. My brother was in my face, concern etched on his as he tried to make sure I wasn't dying, I didn't need to go to the hospital. I was beginning to feel much better but still not perfect.

Then, a woman approached, crouching beside us and informed us that, there was room in their tent for us to use some shade, we were more than welcome to come over.

So, we did. And another Warped Tour adventure began.

The tent was for a band from Mesa that had been selected for Warped Tour's Battle of the Bands. I hadn't paid much attention to that, admittedly, but after sitting in the shade for a while, I asked. Starcross was their name. I listened to one of their songs and, come to find out, their genre is RIGHT UP MY ALLEY. HECK YES.

My brother and I bought t-shirts and got two free CDs, which we listened to at least twice on the way home from the festival.

I was a little worried at the beginning that I was being a burden by being there but after Band Mom(Hi!) insisted I was fine, I made myself comfortable and my brother right along side me. We chatted, we joked, we People-Watched. I like to think that we made some pretty talented friends. But what stood out most to me was how kind everyone was. They didn't know me from any other overheated kid but when I needed help, they were right there to make sure they did everything they could.

I felt genuine kindness from complete strangers that day. (Of course,  I felt it from my band when I finally got signings as well, but this was different.) After a while, it felt like I had a standing invitation to invade on their space whenever I felt uncomfortable or wanted to just chat. Now, I don't know about you, but I don't meet many people like that in such a setting. I might chat with people here and there but then we go our ways, never to see each other again.

I think...I would be extremely sad if I never saw these guys again. They're so talented and so kind, I would be foolish to give up the friends I've started to make. I firmly believe that these people, had I not met them that day, I wouldn't have had nearly as much fun at Warped Tour. Sure, I met my band which was my ultimate goal, but after passing out, all I wanted to do was go home. I didn't want to be there anymore because I was embarrassed and scared.

They saved me that day. Maybe not as drastic as one might think, but they left a huge impression on me and my brother and I wouldn't have it any other way.

So, Trish, Kenneth, Sam, everyone else I'm ashamed to admit that I don't remember your names, thank you so much. You guys rock and I am so glad to have met all of you, I wouldn't change a thing about that day. Planning to be there for the EP release! :D