News Column

Warped Tour brings hot, sweaty fun to Montage Mountain

July 17, 2013

YellowBrix

July 17--Scorching temperatures in the low- to mid-90s and more than 50 percent humidity made for sweaty conditions at Toyota Pavilion on Montage Mountain on Tuesday, but it wasn't enough to keep thousands of music fans from the Vans Warped Tour.

People of all ages flocked to the venue for the annual summer festival, which showcases dozens of bands playing pop-punk, hardcore, screamo and more.

Attendees tried to beat the heat in a variety of ways, from hydration stations to sprinklers, fountains and an oversized Slip 'N Slide.

"I've been drinking lots of water and hoping for a breeze," said Sydney Sanders, 18, of Philadelphia.

Katie Reingruber, 17, of Catasauqua, glided across the bright blue Slip 'N Slide and noted, "This slide is freaking amazing. It is a refreshing way to cool off in the blistering hot weather."

Despite the heat, bands like the Wonder Years, Alvarez Kings, Hawthorne Heights and Big D and the Kids Table drew legions of fans. The lineup also featured emerging genres and artists, including a dubstep deejay set by Shy Kidx and an emcee battle featuring rapper Spliff Hemingway.

Aside from the music, numerous tents lined the grounds touting a wide array of activist and educational efforts, spreading awareness of causes from suicide to veganism and music education.

Gina Cardino, 19, founded Rock Out Autism, a non-profit based in New York that made its second appearance in Scranton as part of Warped Tour. Miss Cardino said her goal was to build a name for her group by having a presence at the concert so that she can return to the area and raise funds for local autism awareness and programs.

"This is our demographic," Miss Cardino said, waving to the young people walking by. "It's amazing how many people come up and say, 'I have a cousin who's autistic,' or 'I'm autistic, thank you so much for being here.'"

Elsewhere, Keep a Breast Foundation's Girls Garage tent sold T-shirts, stickers and bracelets and offered guides to self breast exams and facts about cancer and early detection.

Overall, guests at this year's festival may have found numerous causes to believe in, but it was the music that lured them and kept them in sweltering conditions throughout the afternoon and evening.

"I come every year because it is not like any other show," said Marcus Stooley, 32, of Pittston. "It acts like it is its own type of culture."

"Tickets were cheap and the weather is nice, how can you beat that?" added Toby Eakert, 25, of Jessup.

Year after year, Warped Tour proves to be not only for the young, but also the young at heart.

Rose Williams of Windsor, N.Y., enjoyed the day at her first Warped Tour, to which she had brought her son and his three teenaged friends. But it was the 58-year-old mother who was found excitedly signing up for drum lessons at the Bandhappy tent.

For $40 per half-hour lesson, concertgoers received instruction on playing instruments or simply asked questions and got legal, marketing and music business advice from artists featured on the festival's roster, said owner Justin Gosnell.

Ms. Williams, a computer science educator and classically trained musician, was happy to discover she could learn something while her wards were off watching bands play.

"My son and I play together, and he's in a band," she explained. "He's into indie and post-hardcore, and I'm developing a taste for it. I'm reaching retirement age --it would be really fun to get a band together and just play."

Contact the writers: pwilding@timesshamrock.com, @jpetro@timesshamrock.com, @pwildingTT on Twitter

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(c)2013 The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.)

Visit The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.) at thetimes-tribune.com

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