Big Stories

PropertyOfZack Warped Blog : : Freshman 15 (Final Update)

by Zack Zarrillo - Jul 5, 2011

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From Freshman 15:

(June 28, 2011) Today was our second day off between the San Antonio and Las Cruces dates and to pass the time we’re going to the fourth annual Warped charity-bowling tournament. Pretty much, the way this works is that twenty-five or so bands all bowl against each other with the last member of their team being someone who won an eBay auction. It was a lot of fun and we got to hang out with our new buddies in Every Avenue, The Dance Party, and Shut Up and Deal among others. We got to meet the lead singer of Unwritten Law who was the nicest guy as well as Joe Marro of Hellogoodbye. Speaking of Hellogoodbye, they were the team that actually won the tournament beating out August Burns Red by fourteen pins. There aren’t really many, if any other instances where you will say Hellogoodbye and August Burns Red in the same sentence, which is why Warped Tour is as awesome as it is. After going back to the hotel that Every Avenue was parked outside, we pulled up behind another bus temporarily blinding the guys sitting behind it in lawn chairs. Lo and behold, those guys were members and crew of The Devil Wears Prada. Those guys are some of the nicest dudes and are really chill and down to earth. It was definitely one of those situations that you like a band but once you meet them and they’re great it makes you like them that much more. After blowing their bus drivers mind by showing him how we sleep in the van, we called it a night so we were all energized for our last two days on the tour.

(June 29, 2011) After our merch guy was being cuddled continuously all night by Davey, we woke up for our second to last day at Warped Tour at the New Mexico State University practice field in Las Cruces. One of the first things you notice is the heat here is really weird. It’s obviously hot, you can feel that, but unlike all of the Texas dates, you don’t really sweat much at all. The layout of the stages was a little bit confusing at first. We kept getting lost on the way back to our tent and for some reason continuously wound up at the Kevin Says Stage instead of ours whenever we went to look for it. The kids in New Mexico were awesome though, which quickly made you forget about the layout and blistering heat. We actually had quite a few different people come up to the tent and tell us that they came for F15 or that we were one of the main bands they were looking forward to seeing. It’s really cool for us, when we go to places like this that not only have we never been to before but we’ve never really even been close and there are kids who not only know who Freshman 15 is, but are really stoked on us.  Leo and Kyle started their day off by checking out our new buddies in TDWP and they absolutely killed it for a fantastic way to kick off the day. After handing out posters and free download cards for a couple hours, we wandered over to watch Of Mice & Men for a bit. They are really tight live and we could see why the kids were into them as much as they were. Next we went to catering which was great as usual, but we didn’t have much time to sit and eat because we wanted to catch one of our favorites from the tour: Relient K. They are so good live it is ridiculous. Every song sounds perfect and even when things were going wrong, you would have never known if they weren’t motioning to their crew to fix it. We played our earliest set of the tour today at 4:50 and unfortunately it was going up against a couple of the big dogs. We still drew a pretty nice sized crowd including one very awesome fan in particular. At some point in the day, the Daveys ran into Matt Thiessen of Relient K and just started talking to him and asked him to come check out the set. To the surprise of everyone, there he was right in the middle of the crowd to watch the whole thing. He even got into the joke of not clapping and pumping your fists instead. It was a dream come true for usand it was just crazy to watch him get into the set and actually enjoy himself. Mr. Thiessen is the man and we certainly hope that our paths will cross again sometime in the near future. To close out the night, we hit up Simple Plan’s set as we have every night that we’ve been on the tour and yet again they knocked it out of the park. I guess after doing it for so long you just get into a rhythm and are able to be the best every time, but its still nuts to watch them continuously be awesome every night. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do our usual hang out sesh with our new friends at the BBQ because the drive from Las Cruces to Las Vegas was a staggering eleven hours, so we packed it up right away and hit the road for what was certainly going to be a bummer of a day.

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PropertyOfZack Warped Blog : : Freshman 15 (Update I)

by Zack Zarrillo - Jun 30, 2011

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Today we are super stoked to reveal our brand new summer feature called Warped Blogs, which is a slight variation to our Road Blogs feature. We’re debuting the feature with Freshman 15 today, but we’ve got a whole slew of other great bands and companies who will blog in weekly on the road as well, so it’s going to be an awesome summer. Read Freshman 15’s first update below! 

From Freshman 15:

(June 23, 2011) After driving seven hours through the night, we finally arrived in Dallas, TX for technically our first day of Warped Tour.  This is the rehearsal day that you never really hear anything about. Pretty much all of the crew goes through the motions of putting together all of the stages without the time constraints that they will usually have to face every other day this summer.  It also gives all of the bands and organizations a chance to set up their tents and see where they are supposed to be setting up for this summer. Aside from setting up our tent, today is the day that all the bands get their credentials as well as the awesome Vans gift packages that we all get. Vans shoes are the absolute best and the only thing that could make them better (and did) was getting our first legit Warped Tour laminates with our faces on them. As kids that grew up going to Warped for so many years,  it really is a surreal moment to see your face on the back of an All Access pass. Not to mention the company that we’re keeping this year in Simple Plan, A Day to Remember, Relient K, and a ton more awesome bands that we will hopefully get the chance to hang out with for our week run. It was nice to see some of our old buddies like the dudes in Woe is Me, Go Radio, and our buddy Kyle who we met when we toured with The Years Gone By two years ago who is now doing merch for Every Avenue. After we went to all of  the mandatory meetings that told us the rules of the road and set us up with catering and what not, we finally got our sun burnt butts back to the van to get some rest befor the awesome day that’s waiting us tomorrow. 
 
(June 24, 2011) This is it, what we’ve all been waiting for since December: our first day of Warped Tour. We arrived at the venue to do our checking in and loading in at 7 am, which all of us haven’t seen in a very long time. It’s really cool to walk around this little makeshift village of merch tents, stages, and food carts. So great. We got our set time and realized that on our very first day of Warped, our set time would be competing with Relient K, A Day to Remember, and We Came As Romans. Needless to say, that was very sobering news especially at nine in the morning. There was already a giant line by 9:30 which absolutely blew my mind. We always showed up to Warped at about 11:15 and just walked in, so we figured that if we went to plaster posters with our set time all over the place we wouldn’t have too much trouble. False. These kids were not messing around and would not be shorted a band. We are sharing a tent with F15’s record label, Standby Records, who is also selling Black Veil Brides merch. This has showed me that kids today are a lot crazier than we ever were. You can’t count the amount of kids who walk up in solid black head to toe, crazy faint paint and make up, and hair cuts I had no idea were even possible to pull off in this insane heat. It’s 97 degrees out here! How are you not dying?! Working at Warped Tour is (obviously) so much different than just going to it. We thought we would watch everyone we wanted to with no problem, but we actually only watched only one band’s full set the entire day. When you’re doing Warped the way we are, you have to make yourself available and visible as much as possible. We all were walking around the venue all day long with Jasmine on our shoulders, trying to sell CDs and convince some people to check out our set, even if it was just for a little bit. Add on to that the lines for catering, signings, and actually playing a set you realize that even though this is an all day affair, you have very little time to yourself. The one band we caught a full set from was Simple Plan and they were phenomenal. Standing backstage watching them play to a packed our amphitheater was like being in a time machine back to ninth grade and we loved every minute of it. Everyone should go and check out one of the best bands on the tour for their 30 minutes every day. Our set time finally rolled around at 7:20 and to our surprise, there was about 20-25 people there. Of course, that doesn’t seem like a lot but when you take into consideration we were up against three of the biggest bands on this tour, who were sprinkled all throughout the venue, it was good enough. Another surprise occurred when the guys actually started playing. We don’t know why, but before you knew it our little stage area had filled up to around a hundred kids and people kept trickling in as our set went on and the others came to an end. It was insane being in Dallas, Texas, somewhere that we had never been before, and seeing all these kids stop to watch and a lot of them singing along to our lyrics. It’s super lame, but seeing that response for us really did make us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. After that overwhelmingly positive response, we actually had a really long line at the tent for autographs and merch. This is one of those things you probably don’t hear enough about, but that really hit us hard and the three of us could not have been more appreciative to every one of the people in that line. Our first day finally drew to a close with the customary Warped Tour BBQ hang out, which was just crazy to be a part of. It sucks that we only have five days left because this is already shaping up to be the best time of our life.

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Ernie Ball