Thousands drawn to Tinley Park for the rock festival of the year
By Paulina Pachel
September 4, 2013
One tour, one summer, hundreds of bands, thousands of fans. Warped Tour hit Chicago on July 20 at the First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, Ill.
After touring the country since June 15, the Vans Warped Tour bus rolled into Chicago with its rich set of musicians. This year’s lineup delivered a variation of genres from rock to electronic to hip-hop. In the midst of thousands of hearts hungry for music, there was something for everyone.
The hot summer sun could not keep anxious fans away from the gates; they waited since the early sunrise to rock out to their favorite bands. Fans moved from stage to stage to see different bands play, stopped by tents to meet their favorite artists and bought t-shirts and souvenirs.
“I love playing Chicago. We have a very strong fan base … They’re something special,” Christofer Drew of Never Shout Never said.
This year, musicians expected the drums to beat faster, the speakers to blare louder and the crowd to be much crazier and much edgier than ever before.
“Crowds have been way different,” Andy Glass of We Came As Romans said.
“A lot more tattoos—in the audience and on stage. You and I are so punk rock that we don’t have any tattoos,” joked John Christianson of Reel Big Fish, alongside band member Ryland Steen.
Juliet Simms was back on the stages of Warped for the sixth time.
“It’s become like a home—like a family for me. My fan base has grown and I see myself doing this…forever,” Simms said.
Famous for dominating the stages of “The Voice”, Simms gave some words of wisdom to her fans.
“Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t make it. You have the power to be amazing and incredible. Pursue your dreams and hold your head up high. I love you very much,” Simms told the crowd.
Some bands, such as New Beat Fund, Goldhouse and Young London were new to the Warped family. “This is our first time playing Warped. We are so stoked to be here,” Matt of Young London said. “Playing live inspires me. People in the crowd inspire me.”
With a mix of veterans and newcomers, the Warped Tour lineup delivered a mix of genres that caught the attention of the audience. Its broad range of musical styles made this event one-of-a-kind.
Since the early morning until the late-night glow, fans jammed out to music and danced until their feet were numb. Bands shot glitter and confetti from the stage while they strummed to their last farewell. As fans parted ways from the stages and the smoke dissipated, the only thing left was the memory of this electrifying night and the hope to relive it again next year.