Vans Warped Tour has been hitting cities across the country since 1995 bringing bands and fans together for a daily dose of the world’s best Summer Camp. The tour has been a way for bands to reconnect with cities they don’t get to regularly visit. The mix of genres and styles created a place for new friendships to be built. This year’s fest featured bands like The Used, Black Veil Brides, Underoath, 3OH!3, and The Maine. The massive lineup was packed warped veterans, newcomers, local talent, and international sensations all into one awesome show. By the Barricade caught Bonner Springs stop of the final cross-country tour and loved every second of it.
For 2018, the venue had both main stages on completely opposite sides of the festival grounds. It was an interesting feat to try and get between crowds as people moved from set to set. The hustle and bustle of Warped Tour always has been one of the most enjoyable parts of the festival as hundreds of people passed by. Before gates even opened fans had a chance to connect with bands Yungblud and The Maine bright and early as they walked the line with organizations like PETA. By 9:00 Senses Fail started the hot and humid morning, drawing a large crowd to the White Lightning stage. Despite the heat, the crowd moshed along to hits like “Rum Is for Drinking, Not for Burning.”
Issues were the next band on this writers’ list. As always, the Atlanta rockers put on a show worth braving the heat. Despite performing as a four-piece instead of a group of five was interesting. Having guitarist AJ Rebollo and bassist Sky Acord take over the screams really illustrated how the members have grown as musicians. The Maine came next with their red dress pants and obviously had a dedicated fan club in full force. The Arizona group started with “Don’t Come Down” and transitioned quickly into an old favorite “Everything I Ask For”. The band’s onstage energy only intensified as they continued. Their set concluded with “Girls Do What They Want” and some onstage backup from the crowd. After getting through the bottleneck between merch tents and the water slide, it was a quick walk to the Owly.fm stage to catch rising pop punk band Grayscale. A sea of fans waited eagerly to hear songs from the band’s latest release “Adornment”. They were quick to belt out all the words making for an amazing set. Following their set, it was back to the Left Foot stage to catch State Champs. This was Champs’ first time back in the area since the release of their latest album Living Proof and it was well worth the wait. They only played three songs off of Living Proof during their set but fans were packed from front to back ready to party. The entire amphitheater went off to songs like “All You Are Is History”, “Criminal”, and “Mine Is Gold.”
Later that day the Florida group Mayday Parade hit the stage and made it obvious that they love their jobs. The band’s limitless energy, never-ending smiles, and crowd interactions just exude gratitude. With a fair mix of songs off their most recent album and a couple of returning favorites like “Jamie All Over” and “Black Cat” Mayday Parade was the band that ended Warped for this writer. It was beyond great to go out on a high note. While on the uphill walk to leave the venue, Real Friends had the amphitheater in front of the Right Foot stage packed, singing along loudly to songs like “Get By”, and “Summer”. Overall, the Kansas date of Vans Warped Tour’s final cross country run was fantastic! Over two decades later Warped still provides a day full of fun and summer memories that are worth sharing. Long live Warped Tour and the memories that are tied to it. Check out Elizabeth Porch’s full gallery from Vans Warped Tour here!