Article and Photos by Andrés Alvarado
It’s a wrap, folks! The Vans Warped Tour has trekked through Indianapolis for a final time. For 24 years, Kevin Lyman was the architect behind one of the music industry’s most beloved and cherished festivals. Over the years, Warped Tour has served as the summer stomping grounds for up-and-coming artists and many established outfits. It gave us performances from juggernauts like Blink-182, Eminem, Limp Bizkit, and many many more. Moreover, Warped Tour also catapulted many newbies’ careers at the time of their performances — like Katy Perry, Godsmack, and The Black Eyed Peas. To say the least, this yearly affair had more than its fair share of artistic history. Naturally, the closing ceremonies for the Indy stop had to be monumental, a proper send-off, and that’s exactly what was done. Headlining the 2018 stop at the Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center was the Godmother of Punk, Ms. Joan Jett. Obviously, the intention of the day was to deliver a most unforgettable function.
With six stages hosting dozens of performances and a sunny day in Noblesville, IN, the setting was a go. Tens of bands creating a cacophony of melodies and roars, fans – by the thousands – strolling through merchandise tents and concession stands, and, of course, those iconic meet-n-greets that Warped Tour provided on a yearly basis.
The day ran long. Starting late in the morning and closing-out roughly ten hours later, the party in Indiana created plenty of memorable performances. Among those highlights were the crowd-walking exercises of Ice Nine Kills‘ Spencer Charnas, a successful engagement proposal during Frank Turner‘s acoustic set, the Nekrogoblikon ghoul hyping plenty of sets, the creepy antics of the Motionless In White bunch and, most naturally, Ms. Joan Jett blowing fucking minds.
Listen, I can recount every moment that impressed me on this day, but why not just show you? However, before I leave you with an extensive gallery, take a moment to acknowledge how impactful the Vans Warped Tour was over the years. The organizers not only delivered beautiful performances from amazing artists, but were also staunch supporters of social acceptance and openly embracing those suffering from mental illness. Sooner or later, someone will organize and run a new yearly gathering in the flair of the out-going Warped Tour. Nonetheless, there will never be another soiree quite like the one Mr. Kevin Lyman gave use for 24 years. Cheers!