Aside from probably being the oldest dudes there, the Vans Warped Tour was quite enjoyable for us!

We got to see an all-day festival with enthusiastic crowds (sold out a 20,000 capacity venue in San Francisco) that packed the place for literally every single band, starting at 11:30am. So, next time you hear someone complaining about how nobody comes to rock shows anymore, point out Warped Tour!

Still, the most refreshing part of it all was talking to the bands and seeing how well-tuned they are into the practices of today’s music biz.  Instead of lamenting over the pre-Internet “good ol’ days,” the Warped artists are using things like Facebook/Twitter and “illegal downloading” to push their scene forward and get more people out to their shows.

The Warped Tour crowd — at 11:30 in the morning!

Along with Anti-Flag and Iwrestledabearonce, we got to talk to a good chunk of the Warped roster.

First up was For Today frontman Mattie Montgomery.  Mattie explained how the relatively younger age range of the Warped fanbase makes it easier for the bands to wrangle fans via Facebook and Twitter (e.g. For Today’s almost 200,000 Facebook fans).

 

Next was Vanna vocalist Davey Muise, who told us exactly how Vans got 20,000 people to come out to Warped Tour, and how that affected the sets of lesser known bands on the bill.

 

After that was Chelsea Grin.  Vocalist Alex Koehler summed up the Internet Age attitude best:

If it weren’t for the Internet, bands like us wouldn’t be this big… As long as people are listening to us and digging it, that’s all I care about.”

 

And lastly, we had a great time talking to Of Mice & Men, who summed up everything we talked about with the previous bands and then added in their own two cents about the excessive number of sub-genre labels dividing heavy music today. (“It’s all rock & roll!”)

 

Moral of the story:  Don’t knock the Warped Tour scene — you can learn plenty from it!