Tess Dunn

Warped Tour '11

Photos COMING SOON! [check back on Thursday!]

My third year playing Warped Tour. And it was the best time, by far.

Located at the lovely Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, tons of people piled in to see bands of all genres. As Kevin Lyman said, this year was the most eclectic selection of bands so far, in terms of genres and bands. It was one of the best decisions for Warped that he has ever made, in my opinion.

But let's rewind to waking up in the morning [gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs....]!

I woke up at 7:30. Sasha, my lovely "sister"/crew member slept over, so we woke up and got dressed and started the day. Rory, my guitarist, and Ty, my drummer, met up at my house with our friend Lani, who also was a crew member, and my friend/other crew member Keith came around the same time. We exchanged passes, figured out the ride situation, and got on the road. Will, my bass player, was driving his friend, so he didn't meet up with us until we were in the parking lot at the Shoreline. My lovely mother/"momager," Siri, also came along.

We arrived around 9:30, and the lines were already extremely long, even though there was an hour before it actually opened. Tour buses lined the parking lot, along with vans and trailers. Luckily, there were spots for other things, such as a Pilot and truck :] We unloaded and brought the equipment to the Kia Kevin Says Stage, got our time [4:25 - perfection], and were off to the races! We met up with our friend Austin, who's like a little brother to me. Then Rory met up with his friend, Topher, and I lost track of him until I went onstage. Oops...

While Lani, Ty, Austin, and Keith all headed to see Relient K [which DID sound good, from the little bit Sasha, my mom and I heard], Sasha and I watched The It Boys! on the Kevin Says Stage. Not only are they the definition of an attractive band, they were amazing. Sasha and I met them at their tent, and the band members signed my sunglasses. Sasha and I also got a picture with them.

Next, Keith, Sasha and I saw Stephen Jerzak. With tons of energy and a huge smile, he and his bandmates [a drummer and a keyboardist] ROCKED it! He had everybody moving.

3OH!3 played next, and I wanted to go, but Sasha and I were hot and hungry, and our legs and feet were killing us. So Keith met up with Lani and Ty again to see them, while Sasha and I got some food. After that, we rested in the sun because I was feeling dizzy. Keith, Sasha and I then went to see Automatic Loveletter [aka just the lovely Juliet Simms and her guitar] do a quick, lovely, raw set.

Then we wandered. There was an array of tents for different bands and causes, such as To Write Love On Her Arms [a cause I am very much inspired by and dedicated to], MusiCares, Music Saves Lives, and Dear Jack. I am all for supporting causes, so I like to wander around those tents. At the MusiCares tent, I ran into someone who had gone to my music video filming at Ex'pression - shout out to Nigel! He let us sit behind and rest before our next band to see went on.

The three of us headed back to the Kevin Says Stage to see New Years Day play - they have been my favorite band for a VERY long time! It was exciting to finally see them live, and each band member owns their instrument. Austin, Keith, Sasha, Rory and I watched, then started getting ready. The Dance Party played before us, and they were very entertaining to watch - from their get-ups to their dance moves! Behind the stage, Austin, Lani, Sasha, Will, Rory, Keith, Ty and I all prepared.

And then, just like that, I was on. Our ensemble included a gold and glittery bass, drums, a guitar, a keyboard, a keytar, and three microphones. And to say the least... We. Rocked. It. Harder than I'd ever rocked it before. And the crowd loved it! I was so proud of myself. I blasted through six songs, enjoying myself every step of the way. I debuted Shame to See for the very first time, and it went better than I thought it would. Everything turned out perfectly. Before I knew it, my 25 minutes were up, and we packed up everything as if nothing had happened. However, people somehow liked me enough to come and meet me and get pictures and CDs and shirts and autographs. It was fantastic! I felt like a real star. I then got photos with my band and crew, before melting and walking to Ty's truck and eating sugar in the shade with everybody. It was a great way to end the anticipation of performing.

Next was Hellogoodbye. Sasha, Keith and I had the greatest time ever! They were so very dorky, in the most lovable way. They talked and played and danced and it was hilariously perfect. They closed with Here In Your Arms, one of my favorite songs, and their set could not have been anymore fun than it had been.

With two hours to kill until the next band started at 8, we waited. We ate. We walked around again, even though our legs were close to dead. We waited. And then....

Simple Plan was on! Everybody except Will, and Rory and Austin [who went to A Day To Remember, because quite unfortunately, they were playing at the same time] watched, and sang, and laughed. It was fantastic! Sasha and I met the lead singer, Pierre, beforehand, and got pictures as well. He was very kind, and not faking it, either. He seemed very nice, like you could ask for anything [including an autograph, photo, etc.] and get flustered and he'd be totally fine with it. Ty and Lani also stopped by, which was what prompted Sasha and I to get in line to meet him. [In line... that's really not a good way to put it. There are no lines at Warped, unless they are very long. Otherwise they are just clumps, and that is what it was.] Anyway, their set was great. Full of energy, full of appreciation of the fans [they welcomed newcomers to their "family], and Pierre ran out into the crowd a few times. It was a perfect way to end Warped Tour.

Then we packed up and drove home. It was a bit anticlimactic, but maybe that's because of the pain in our legs, the sleep deprivation, and the closing of what was a perfectly perfect day.

I cannot believe I did it. And I am SO very proud! I'm hoping this isn't the last year at Warped... my goal is to play the big stage someday, and to have the crowd that Simple Plan/A Day To Remember/Hellogoodbye/etc. had during their sets. I can dream, right? Right. So now it's just working to it.

Conclusion:

Warped is amazing. And you made it that way. Thankyou for all the support you give me on a regular basis. You keep me going - and you never let me down. You guys ROCK.

<3

~Tess

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