Mariel Loveland Shares Her First Warped Tour Memories!

I’ve been rummaging through some old things lately and found some old photos from when I was 15. Back then, my sister was a punk rocker – she adored Avenged Sevenfold and Flogging Molly and had a homeade haircut that some girl gave her when she went away to summer camp. I was not. She begged me to go with her to Warped Tour and I was like, fine. If mom was going to let us do this, I better jump at the chance. I was mostly consumed with the idea of seeing Piebald and Thursday but didn’t really care what else was going on. Our friend Amanda also came.

Anyway, I did see Piebald, who had the unfortune of playing to 30 people right when the doors opened – something that I couldn’t believe because of how much I loved them. How could anyone not see that they should all be here? Even my Dad had agreed. This band was one of the only bands that mattered to me at 15 and the only thing that mattered in that moment, at least until I had a near death experience in a Thursday moshpit that I did everything in my power to avoid. Yes, I fell down and no one would let me up and as someone’s dad (who must’ve felt bad for me) pulled me out of the pit where I swear I looked for God but saw nothing but dirt, some little idiot undoubedly younger than me yelled “THIS IS WHY YOU DONT BRING YOUR 12-YEAR-OLD TO SHOWS, BRO.” Pretty much from then on I have stood in the back of every concert I ever have attended.

After that I got to meet Avenged Sevenfold. I waited in line forever with my sister. They were her favorite band. I was a little sarcastic music elitist at 15. I asked them why they didn’t smile in pictures and why they wore makeup. They said they were vampires. But really, why not smile?I didn’t get it and I thought that was pretty lame, but also that was kind of mean for me to say. I don’t think they wear make up anymore and they’re probably off headlining more festivals, making millions as my band is living on $50 a day sleeping on floors SO WHO AM I TO JUDGE?

Anyway, I saw this excellent band at warped tour that year, who’s name tragically escapes me. I wasn’t interested in the headliners. I was interested in the small bands playing out of little tents in the dirt. This was Randall’s Island in New York (I think) and the entire festival was a dust pit that made it really hard to breathe and it all stuck to my hair. This is the guy in that band below (I still have that track jacket and both those buttons).

Looking back now it seems sort of magical, because I can picture it through the eyes of those bands in that tent. The way I looked at them when I was 15, vs the way I look at them now (I was one of them breifly last year) has completely changed. They’re probably not those people hanging out on a bus all day, never having a care about money and are just doing what they love. They’re probably tired. They’ve probably driven all night to play for 20 minutes, they’re probably constantly worried about how to pay rent or how to even get to the next city, but they absolutely are still just doing what they love. I feel like it took me 10 years, but I understand them and it makes me appreicate it so much more. If I could go back I would buy all of their CDs and I would sign up for all of their email lists (using my Yahoo account of course). 8 or 9 years ago, or however long ago it was that I can’t remember, I wanted to so badly be like one of those people – one of those bands. And now, I guess I sort of am. Though, I wish it was my band going on warped this year (hint, hint powers that be).