There are a ton of names associated with the Warped Tour over its two-decade-plus history that either already were or went on to become really big.
Green Day. Katy Perry. Fall Out Boy. Social Distortion. The Black Eyed Peas. Bad Religion. No Doubt. Blink-182. Kid Rock. My Chemical Romance. The Offspring. Avenged Sevenfold.
“People forget just how many [notable] bands have played on Warped Tour — from all different genres,” said Trent Falcone, director of marketing for Live Nation Salt Lake City. “It’s unbelievable to think about where some of their careers have gone.”
It’s even more unbelievable to some to think about the Warped Tour being gone.
After it debuted in 1995 and became an institution every summer since, Warped founder Kevin Lyman announced this past November that the 2018 iteration would mark the last cross-country trek, due to declining revenue.
Its final appearance in the Beehive State comes Saturday at USANA Amphitheatre in West Valley City — a venue change even Falcone can’t quite believe.
“At first, I thought it was a typo. When you first think of the Warped Tour in Utah, you think of the State Fairpark,” he said, invoking the festival’s longtime home. “Although I was at the very first one in Salt Lake City at Saltair.”
Indeed, the man now responsible for trying to get fans to come out one last time knows well the experience of attending.
Among his favorite highlights over the years, Falcone mentioned seeing Anthony Civarelli, then late of the hardcore outfit Gorilla Biscuits, appear with his new straight-edge band, CIV (“We thought he’d made it,” Falcone recalled with a laugh); catching a blistering set from Sacramento metal band Deftones; and being pleasantly surprised to discover that all the advance hype for Utah County-based emo group The Used was, in his estimation, completely deserved.
One other singular moment he cited seems an oddball choice, but is, he insisted, actually a Warped rite of passage.
“The moment when I realized I was too old to go to the Warped Tour anymore is one of my best memories. I’m glad I get to work it now, ’cause it gives me an excuse to be there!” Falcone said. “I remember being there with my girlfriend at the time, looking around and seeing thousands of kids everywhere, and just saying to her, ‘Do you have that feeling we’re too old to be here?’ And she said, ‘Yup!’”
That said, Falcone and Lyman, the tour founder, expect that, “too old” or not, a great many longtime fans will be showing up one last time.
After all, there will be plenty of “legacy acts” to get the nostalgia flowing among the old-timers about the first time they saw a certain, then-young punk band. Meanwhile, there will be, as always, no shortage of up-and-comers more familiar to younger audiences.
“Though the tour and the world have changed since ’95, the same feeling of having the ‘best summer ever’ will live on through the bands, the production teams, and the fans that come through at every stop,” Lyman wrote. “… I truly look forward to seeing as many of you as possible during this final cross country run, and getting to thank you for your support on this wild adventure.”
For his part, Falcone said that even if he weren’t selling tickets for it, he would encourage anyone thinking of going — whether for the first rime or the 24th — to just do it.
Because you won’t get another chance.
“Nothing will ever replace the Warped Tour. It’s hard to imagine anything being like this again. It’s hard to see anything having that kind of longevity,” Falcone said. “… It’s a unique show, a unique environment, there’s a big festival atmosphere. The doors open at 11, and they’re ready to roll right from the get-go. It’s a long day, it’s a hot day, but it’s a cool thing. I just love it.”