Warped Tour '18: Summer of Nostalgia

Warped Tour '18: Summer of Nostalgia

Where all my middle school dreams came true!


If I told a young person or school kid in the early- or mid-2000s (or really my middle school self) that I was heading to the final Warped Tour for the weekend, they would rightfully lose their minds. Warped Tour has been the epitome, the Mecca, of pop-punk and pop-rock music since it was first founded by Kevin Lyman in 1995. The tour took on Vans as a sponsor in 1996 and then the final outcome was born: Vans' Warped Tour. Since then, the Vans-sponsored tour has become a relic of music festival history and a reminder of the time 'scene' kids and Hot Topic fashion peaked.

I got my first taste of what would become my favorite genre of music when I was nine years old. My choice of poison (after hearing my cousin's extensive PC-game-playing background music) became Green Day, Coldplay, and Linkin Park. These bands quickly became my preferred online Solitaire soundtrack throughout long, otherwise-uneventful summer breaks. Even with my continued musical exploration through different genres, the Warped Tour-esque genre of music and culture comforted and excited me like no other.

The pop-punk gods answered my adolescent prayers (involving candles decorated with Gerard Way's face and repeatedly chanting the lyrics to every song from A Fever You Can't Sweat Out) and granted me the opportunity of a lifetime: going to the Last Ever Warped Tour. Erika, my friend and our lovely UCLA Odyssey EIC, made my week by inviting me to go with her to the tour stop in Mountain View.

I was a sweaty, sticky mess by the time we came out of the hour and a half wait that led us into the Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre and grounds. The max temperature of the day reached 96º and we. were. feeling. it. Enthusiastically, but exhausted, the first hour went by exploring band stages highlighting hardcore bands with meme-able names [see: Deez Nuts], and finding any food or drink available. I annihilated 5-6 large iced lemonades in the few hours that I was there. Upside: Shoreline has relatively clean bathrooms, thoughtfully accessible all over the grounds.

Short of sounding ungrateful (because I am thankful that I got to go), I didn't feel like I was at Warped Tour. Or, let me clarify. The Warped Tour that I had heard about and dreamed of since I was a little kid.

Looking around, I saw my fellow concert-goers and thought 'this seems just about right.' I was surrounded by kids and parents rocking matching mohawks and varying styles of colorful hair teamed with enough spikes, chains, and bolts to make a bike go "Goals..." I was with my kind of people and listening to my kind of music. What was missing? Something that would make Warped Tour feel unlike any other music festival that I had been to.

I am transitioning in life: from college to post-grad life realities coupled with the situational changes of moving back home. I made the executive decision that I would even cut off my green hair (which I have temporarily dyed purple) to add even more to my fresh, new start. The last step was to use the start of the summer to fulfill as many childhood wishes that I never acted on when I was younger to I can make room for new crazy adult hopes and dreams. I needed (quite selfishly) Warped Tour to be another aspect of that transition. Never having gone before and assuredly never going again, I needed the Tour to make my FOMO regrets into another experience for my nostalgia bank.

Like I said, the people there were my kindred spirits and the food truck foods fueled me throughout the day. But I didn't feel like I was at THE Warped Tour.

That is, until we reached the actual amphitheatre venue in the evening. Earlier, we had heard Mayday Parade and 3Oh!3 perform from a distance and, even though those were amazing, I felt more drained than energized to keep moving throughout the festival. We headed towards the protection of the canopy-covered seats to get ready for Simple Plan: our most-anticipated band of the day.

To be completely honest, we felt like we were through. I had an intricate backpack/tank top tan (I was lucky compared to other folk's raging sunburns), was somewhat dehydrated, and ready to rest my soul (and my soles). And that was incredibly disappointing for me because I actually had to drag myself to see one of my favorite bands for the first time ever. How crazy is that?

Feeling self-indulgently annoyed, something clicked when I walked into the amphitheater and saw the energetic crowd singing along with the artist on the stage. I realized that I had done the ultimate wrong: forgetting to love what I've always loved, and instead putting something on a pedestal. Just like Shane Gray from the classic coming-of-age musical, Camp Rock, I'd forgotten about the music. There's no way that anything, anything at all, could hold up to more than 12 years of wistful romanticization. I needed to change my mindset quickly and just enjoy the moment that I was lucky enough to be a part of. Or that's what I would end up regretting years later.

Walking into the seats, I didn't know what to expect.

What greeted us: an entire happy, content, joyful (and every other synonymous-verb) audience singing along to Aussie singer and band, Tonight Alive. There, I felt, for the first time in that day, unity. The crowd jumped up and down and screamed lyrics and resorted to waving their arms wildly when the words escaped them.

I got caught up. In the energy, in the crowd singing in harmony, and in the pure adrenaline that radiated from the stage as the band poured out their hearts. I didn't know any of the songs, but I got swept up and found myself poorly singing the choruses anyways.

This rush continued through the performance and the next act, The Maine. After another great set, including the showcasing of an audience member's singing (hyping) talents on stage, we mentally and emotionally readied ourselves to truly enjoy Simple Plan.

We were severely and grossly underprepared for the life-changing set that we were gifted. Partially, I was energized from getting a kick out of looking over and seeing Erika lose it every time they announced the next song in their set. However, most of my further-developed appreciation of the band came from the dedication they showed on stage. The lead singer welcomed us with gusto, the drummer both sang and crowd-surfed, and they even had Travis from We the Kings perform on stage with them.

I finally, since I stood in line at 11:30 a.m. in the sweltering sunshine, felt like I was there: at THE VANS' WARPED TOUR.

When We the Kings performed right after, Travis conducted the audience in an acoustic rendition of "Check Yes Juliet" that caused him to tear up and take down his tied hair. I looked around the people around me—the excited fangirls to my left, the married couple who were slowly dancing together on my right—and all felt right. When we walked back after that set, towards the cars that would take us home, the sun was setting over the grounds and the hills surrounding them. All that we could say, over and over, was, "that was the perfect way to end Warped Tour."

Another goal has been met on my bucket list and I am thankful for it. I hope that as many people as possible get the chance to visit the tour before it is over for good. I am so glad, for middle-school me, that I can finally say that I went to the Vans' Warped Tour!

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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10 Places From Movies And TV You Can Visit In Real Life

It's like stepping into Hollywood!


I am constantly so enamored by the world of Hollywood and by going to visit places I have seen on screen. It's always such an unreal feeling to see where my favorite pieces of entertainment were shot. Here are 10 places from some of our favorite movies to see and visit in the real world!

The High School from "10 Things I Hate About You"

If you have ever wanted to dance on the same stairs as Heath Ledger or just stand in the same courtyard as Julia Stiles then you're in luck! Along the water in Tacoma, Washington, Stadium High School is located which was used both inside and out as the high school from one of the greatest teen movies of all time. This school is massive and so beautiful it's almost Hogwarts level stunning.

Pacific Coast Academy from  "Zoey 101"

Growing up I always dreamed about going to Pacific Coast Academy and being best friends with Jamie Lynn Spears and one of those things can (kinda) become a reality! Located in Malibu is a beautiful campus called Pepperdine University and it is the school they used to shoot scenes of Zoey and the gang at PCA. It is a christian based college and is prestigious in it's own right so if unlike me you are smart enough you can live out my dreams.

Central City Police Department from "The Flash"

Have you ever wanted to show up to Detective Joe West's place of work? Well head to the Vancouver City Hall in Vancouver, Canada and you will recognize your surroundings as the Central City Police Department! If you are lucky enough to show up on a filming day, you might even seen the man himself — Barry Allen.

Forks High School from The Twilight Saga

Personally, I am more invested in Bella and Jacob but for all my Team Edward ladies (and gentleman) you can visit the real-life school where Bella and Edward first met and their love blossomed into whatever obsessive weird thing it was. They also used the parking lot at this school to film the infamous scene where Edward saves Bella from getting crushed by a car. The school is called Kalama High School and is located in Kalama, Washington

Max And Dani's House from "Hocus Pocus"

Anyone with taste loves the movie Hocus Pocus — that's just facts! And I have some good news for fans of the film...you can visit the infamous Denison house! Located in none other than Salem, Massachusetts you will find this beautiful home where my favorite siblings once lived.

Silent Hill from "Silent Hill"

I will say before talking about this place that visiting it is EXTREMELY dangerous as just like in the movie the town as been burning from below for years and years. This small town is called Centralia and is located Pennsylvania and has a roaring population of about four people.

Hobbiton from "Lord Of The Rings"

I am personally not a fan of Lord of the Rings but I know a lot of people are so I wanted to include this super cool place on the list. If you ever find yourself in New Zealand you can visit Hobbinton from the movies and spend a day living like your favorite characters.

Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter Series

Now this place will unfortunately be packed with muggles of course but you can find it at King's Cross Station in London! If you are anything like me and are obsessed with these magical movies this is a dream destination just don't run too hard at the wall if you're a muggle it will probably end in a concussion.

East High from the High School Musical Saga

Located in Salt Lake City Utah is the real life East High that was used in the filming of all three High School Musical movies. It is my absolute dream to attend this high school and walk the halls of the greatest high school of all time. They used both the outside and inside and the school so every inch of the school will remind you of these great teen movies.

Gus and Hazel's Bench from "The Fault in Our Stars" 

If you ever wanted to visit the site of this kiss between star crossed lovers you're in luck! Located along a canal in Amsterdam is a bench that is clearly marked by all the fault in our stars graffiti. Recreate this cute picture with your significant other and use a quote from the movie — then you'll just win in life.

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