Warped Tour and meeting Anberlin

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Although I've been to plenty of concert's in my life, I have never gone to a music festival. When I went to shows, it was to see some of my favorite bands like Panic! at the Disco, Black Veil Brides, Alesana, Dance Gavin Dance, and Jonny Craig. I didn't go because it was trendy, I went to enjoy the music. Therefore, music festivals were never something that I had wanted to go to before because it seemed like a lot of people were doing it for the hype. But yesterday, I had the privilege of going to my first music festival, Vans Warped Tour in Pomona. It was honestly one of the greatest things I've been to and an amazing experience.

In high school, going to Warped Tour was the thing to do. The only thing is, I didn't go even though I thought about it. After I graduated high school and started college, the thought never crossed my mind. It seemed that going to Warped was a thing you did in high school and I was too old to go. But once I discovered my love for Anberlin and that this is their last year touring, I immediately looked up tour dates. The one closest to where I live was the Warped Tour date in Pomona, CA. Once I discovered that, I knew I had to finally go to Warped Tour and see my favorite band before it was too late. 

Let me just start off my saying how underrated Warped Tour is. It really is, it deserves so much more acknowledgement than it actually gets. I didn't know what to expect. But once I got there, the area was full of vendors selling merchandise and handing out free stuff such as Warhead's candy and Monster energy drink. There were also many stages that all the bands got to perform on at different times. There were multiple food options and an area that you could refill your water bottles, which came in handy when it was 93 degrees fahrenheit. The area gave off a positive atmosphere. The people there were all nice, and you realize that you're all the same because you're there to enjoy the music. It's nice to see people who like the same musical taste as me because back at school none of my friends like what I listen to.  

The bands I ended up seeing were Bayside, Issues, The Ready Set, Anberlin, Cute Is What We Aim For, and Real Friends. Some I liked more than others. But the only one I was there to see was Anberlin.

When Anberlin went on, I couldn't believe it. I had gone early to their stage to be as close as possible, mission accomplished. The band I had been listening to for months non-stop was going to be right in front of me. I was about to see them with my own eyes. I don't think I've ever been so excited to see a band in my life. When they came out, I thought I was about to cry, I couldn't believe this was happening. They ended up playing "The Feel Good Drag", "Paperthin Hymn", "Godspeed", "Never Take Friendship Personal", and "The Resistance". They are so good live! Some bands when they perform live, you can tell they get auto-tuned in their albums because they don't sound the same. Not with Anberlin, they sounded as amazing as they do on their albums. 

After their performance, they announced they would be hanging out for a bit at their merch tent. When I heard that I knew I had to go; this would have been my one and only chance to meet Anberlin, and I was not going to pass that up. I ended up waiting around 30 minutes before I actually got to meet them. It was so worth it. I got to take a selfie with Stephen Christian, met Joseph Miligan, Nathan Young, Deon Rexroat, and had a small conversation with Christian McAlhaney. It went something along the lines of CM: Hi, how are you? BF: Hi, good how are you? CM: Good kind of sweaty. BF: Yea, me too. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, each one of them signed my Anberlin tank top. 

This was honestly one of the best experiences of my life. It's not going to New Zealand, but it's up there. I just find it great that bands are willing to meet their fans and be really grateful and acknowledge them. I made it my goal a couple months ago in my Anberlin post that I was going to go see them, I am happy to say I have accomplished that goal. I am so thrilled I got the chance to see and meet Anberlin. It's so sad that this is the last year they will tour and produce a new album. They are a truly amazing band that has written phenomenal music. When I listen to them, I just can't understand how good they are. Although I am sad I will never get the chance to see them again, just the fact that I can say I saw one of the best bands out there right now is all that matters. So thank you Warped Tour and Anberlin for an unbelievable experience I will never forget.  

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