The Vans Warped Tour has a long history of being the symbol of teenage rebellion. It’s the place where all the underage punkers gather to celebrate the music genres that make them feel good, the genres that allow them a voice in a world that otherwise shuts them down, the genres that embody their angst, raging hormones, parental pressure, and frustration, the genres that built the scene that brought together the punkers and all their friends. For one day in the summer, teenagers around the United States gather together in one (usually blisteringly hot) venue just to see their favorite bands, the bands they know on a first name basis and whose music they identify with and stand behind. Yes, for over 15 years, the Vans Warped Tour has been providing an outlet for moshers around the country, and on Tuesday, July 6, it’s coming to Indianapolis yet again.
|Video survival guide for the Vans Warped Tour; the Vans Warped Tour is coming to Indianapolis on July 6|
On July 6, the Verizon Wireless Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana will be swamped with a legion of youthful punks sporting black t-shirts, skateboards, wallet chains, multiple piercings, a few tattoos, and a whole lot of attitude. Though the tour comes around to Indianapolis every year, it’s still an Indianapolis event that Indianapolis kids come out for in the hundreds. After all, Indianapolis music venues don’t exactly grab the attention of nationally touring bands very often, and most of the good shows in Indy are 21+, so the Vans Warped Tour provides a unique opportunity for younger music fans.
|Video of Killswitch Engage performing “Rose of Sharyn” live at a Vans Warped Tour in 2007; the Vans Warped Tour will be making a stop in Indianapolis on July 6|
Yes, there are a few all ages venues in Indianapolis for teenagers to check out hardcore and punk bands, most notably The Emerson Theater, ES Jungle, and The Dojo, but the Circle City is virtually a wasteland for the young rock and roller. That’s why the Vans Warped Tour is such an important Indianapolis festival: diehard Indianapolis music snobs might sniff at the lineup — which consists mostly of pop punk, new school emo, and hardcore bands — but they can at least appreciate the relevance of the Vans Warped Tour for the repressed youth of Indianapolis.
|Video of The Devil Wears Prada performing “Hey John, What’s Your Name Again?” live at a Vans Warped Tour in 2009; the Vans Warped Tour is coming through Indianapolis on July 6|
The Vans Warped Tour first began in 1994, originally as a way to combine extreme sports like skateboarding with music. The Warped Tour started life in the United States, but by 1998 it had become an international phenomenon, touring both hemispheres at different times of the year. Not content to be just a music festival, the Vans Warped Tour also incorporates retail booths where Indianapolis bands and others can sell their t-shirts, albums, and other merchandise. Other Indianapolis businesses also get in on the selling action at the Vans Warped Tour, and at most destinations you can still find a half-pipe or two for some extreme Indianapolis sports action.
|Promotional video for the 2010 Vans Warped Tour, which is coming through Indianapolis on July 6|
This year’s lineup at the Indianapolis iteration of the Vans Warped Tour includes many fan favorites for the kids these days, including Alkaline Trio, Indianapolis musician Andrew W.K., Every Time I Die, I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody’s Business, Motion City Soundtrack, Parkway Drive, Sum 41 (they’re still around!?!), The Bouncing Souls, Reverend Payton’s Big Damn Band, The Dillinger Escape Plan, and many, many more. If you’re a hardcore, emo-core, or whatever-core fanatic, the lineup at the 2010 Vans Warped Tour will probably fulfill all your windmill kicking dreams.
|Video of Bad Religion performing “Honest Goodbye” live at a Vans Warped Tour; the Vans Warped Tour is coming to Indianapolis on July 6|
There’s been some criticism of the Vans Warped Tour by established punk acts like NOFX, Bad Religion, and Propaghandi in recent years, mostly about the corporate atmosphere of the festival. Prices can be outrageous, and there’s definitely no shortage of useless stuff to buy at the tour. In addition, a lot of trendy, vapid bands are showcased at the Vans Warped Tour, something harder working, more artistically minded bands can (rightfully) grow to resent. But all these cons don’t negate the fact that the Vans Warped Tour is a great place for kids to see bands they wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to see, right in their own backyard. If the teenagers attending the Vans Warped Tour know how to ignore all the consumerist hullabaloo surrounding it, it can provide a great afternoon of music for the little punk in all of us.
|Video of A Day to Remember performing “The Downfall of Us All” live at a Vans Warped Tour; the Vans Warped Tour will be coming through Indianapolis on July 6|
The Vans Warped Tour comes to the Verizon Wireless Music Center outside of Indianapolis on Tuesday, July 6, and bands start playing at around noon. Tickets are $30, pretty affordable to see over 100 bands in one place. There aren’t many other all ages Indianapolis music events going on around Indianapolis cultural districts at that time, so the Vans Warped Tour might be a welcome weekday distraction.
For more information on the Vans Warped Tour, including a full lineup, videos, news, schedule, and comments from those going, visit the Vans Warped Tour homepage.
Vans Warped Tour at the Verizon Wireless Music Center
Tuesday, July 6 at 12:00 p.m.
Verizon Wireless Music Center
12880 E 146th St
Noblesville, IN 46060