Vans Warped Tour Takes ABQ by Storm

Over night, Albuquerque population increased by a thousand people, rolling into town tucked away on tour buses with tinted windows. The small army set up their base camp just south of town, in front of Isleta Amphitheater. A black twisting path leads into the theater with open seating to six different stages. Tents lined the walkways and the grassy hill, as anxious patrons wait to clamor in the gates. Music, fashion, Buddhist, and non-profits collide in this all-day event. The masses arrive early to line up at the tent of their favorite band for the signing events that would be going on throughout the day. There is also plenty of shopping to be done in-between and at the band tents. Kids and adults alike burst through the gate scattering across the massive sprawl that is the Theater. Two Write on Her Arm is the first tent we make a pit stop at. This nonprofit operates solely off your donations to help people of any age who are contemplating suicide or other destructive behaviors. They work with connecting people to crisis prevention lines in the area and are actively trying to change the preconceptions of mental illness in this country. Heart Support, who has a booth further down the way, is also a non-profit who is reaching out to people and trying to help them through tough times. Both of these organizations provide people a safe place where they can speak with others who are going through the same trials. “It’s pretty awesome for us to be out here this year it’s our 20th birthday as well as Warped Tours 20th birthday. So we are all getting old together, it’s nice, it’s lovely. It’s a good vibe out here haven’t down the whole tour since 2004 so it’s good to be back.” (Jeff – Bowling for Soup). The wind begins to really pick up in Albuquerque, which is no surprise to the locals. The road crews manning the tents are hanging from them to keep them from blowing away, while making the tents shorter and shorter. The rain is coming, because it only rains in the desert during large outdoor concerts and Balloon Fiesta. “This is only the fourth day of Warped Tour, so I’m still trying to meet everybody, but it’s a great chance for us tour with our friends and with bands we normally wouldn’t go out with for a tour.” (Less Than Jake). Even with the storm threatening, people are still filing in through the gates of the park. There are signs taped to the black top telling you what band will come on what stage at what time. Food and drink vendors open their windows to dish out hot dogs and hamburgers. There is little shade to be had and no misters, but they are giving away free water in all corners of the theater to combat the heat of the day. “I started tour at 15. I finished high school on the road while touring.” (Nathan Young – Anberlin) Music blares from every corner of the theater now that the show is in full swing. Six stages – three running at a time with metal bands, punk bands, and DJ. There is a little something for everyone. A light rain falls for a few moments, but blows over quickly restoring sunshine. The rain has done nothing to dampen the spirit of the day. “We respect our fans and won’t change our sound. It is who we are and we are comfortable with that,” (Nick – Bayside). The Warped Tour has steadily grown in size over the last 20 years, adding more events and bands. Even on the hot asphalt, it was worth coming out and checking out the latest and greatest bands for a day long adventure. Check out more at New Mexico Entertainment Magazine

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Filed under Albuquerque, Entertainment, Music

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