For the last segment of their Artist of the Week feature, Rishi from Eternal Boy wrote a reflection on Warped Tour and how it’s changed his journey in music.
Read Rishi’s reflection below.
It was the summer of 2002. A young Rishi spent his entire life savings at the time to purchase a coveted ticket to the Vans Warped Tour in Pittsburgh. There was something in the air that year, something in the air in the pop punk and punk rock scene that was ominous and contagious. The 2002 lineup was such an amalgam of different bands: from Simple Plan and Good Charlotte to Bad Religion and The Casualties, from the Metal Stage to the Drive Thru Records stage, there was something for everyone. It was during this summer, at this show that I realized how important one tour can be for an entire scene.
In many ways the Warped Tour personifies our music scene as a whole. Punks, preps, crust punks, dad punks, mom punks, emo punks, neon punks, and pop punks. There is someone there that is just like you. Every year in February, every punk rock kid waits for the unveiling of the lineup. Tours in the summer are routed and re-routed to stay away from the warped tour because we all know that is where the scene congregates.
I sometimes think about what the pop punk/punk rock scene would be like without it? Would we be a band? Would some of our favorite bands be bands? It is hard to quantify the extent to which the warped tour has affected our scene, because it is so profound. Warped Tour has given rise to some of largest bands of all time: Fall Out Boy, Blink 182, Green Day, in the punk scene, and Eminem, Katy Perry, Black Eyed Peas in the pop and rap scene. I remember waking up on the Warped Tour in 2009, and looking to my right in the parking lot only to see a massive tour bus with Katy Perry’s face on it and asking myself, “who the hell is Katy Perry?” This is the charm of the tour. You never know if that band on the tiny tent stage will break, or if the veteran band will steal the show. I guess you will have to experience it for yourself to see and feel that vibrato. Heck, maybe by the time you read this, Eternal Boy will be the band that broke. Unlikely.
~Rishi Eternal Boy