Call it a traveling circus, a place for discovering new music, or the new Woodstock. Make no mistake the Vans Warped Tour is all of the above. And for the past 15 years the festival has been bringing great music, artists, merchandise and crazy times to a city near you.
Much like most summers, the tour hasn't disappointed fans. "We are a rock band and we want to play live that is the whole thing. We just want to tour," said Jamie Perkins, who plays drums for the band, The Pretty Reckless.
Vans is a hotbed of new music including the band "The Pretty Reckless." Chances are if you haven't heard of the band, you probably have heard of its lead singer, Taylor Momsen of "Gossip Girl" fame. Momsen has taken a hiatus from the TV show to pursue her singing career and she is backed by a team of seasoned veterans.
"Music is the best. Music is self expression. You kinda can't go wrong there," said Momsen, lead vocals, The Pretty Reckless. "Music has totally saved me and all of us here. That is why you do it."
The groups first release "Make Me Wanna Die" is on the soundtrack of the Movie "Kick-ass" which you can already download on iTunes. The album "Light Me Up" drops on August 30th in the UK but doesn't have a US release date yet.
Momsen credits the greats like Zeppelin, Oasis, The Who, Nirvana and Pink Floyd as musical influences for the band whose sound is all rock 'n' roll. "I write about my life. I write about things I've done, the things I've seen, the things I know," said Momsen. "So everyone lives their lives a different way. Mine has been an interesting one I guess. So it's something to write about."
This is the first time Reckless has been on the Warped tour and the band is making the most of it. "Well it's such a musical community kind of a vibe. So many bands, so many great artists out there and people come to see music," said Mark Damon, bass, The Pretty Reckless. "They don't necessarily come to see one band. There are maybe a couple that entice them. They are there the whole day. They are going to check out some new artists, check out some new music."
"We are still new to the warped tour scene," said Momsen. "It hasn't been that long yet but so far it's been awesome." As for the future of Momsen's character Jenny Humphrey or Little J on "Gossip Girl," from what we can tell it's on hold because this 17-year-old really loves being with The Pretty Reckless. "It's all up in the air. I ever know what tomorrow brings. But right now we are touring putting out the record and that is the focus," said Momsen.
Now if The Pretty Reckless isn't for you, you can always check out the Brit import of You, Me at Six. This is the second year the band has been on the Warped Tour and they are loving every minute of it. "We always wanted to do Warped Tour, as well, as a band," said Max Helyer, guitar. "We never imagined we would get to play Warped Tour and to do it two years in a row. We're all stoked to be here."
And so are the fans, many lined up early to get autographs from Chris, Max, Josh, Dan and Matt. The band already has two albums under their belts and despite their young age, are festival veterans, already playing Download, T in the Park and other UK shows but they really love Warped.
"It's becoming a massive festival now. It's definitely one of the best in the whole of America," said Matt Barnes, base. "The way it travels, everyone becomes like a family and a unit. You travel together, you're hanging out with the same people , 50 nights in a row. It's just like - it's pretty mad." The band has also toured with Fall Out Boy, Paramore along with Angels and Airwaves but this is their second round of Warped.
"It's a legendary tour as well. You've only got to look at the other bands that have done it like Blink 182 and even on this tour you've got 741, Alkaline Trio," said Dan Flint, drummer. "You've got crazy bands on the tour so it's just a privilege to be a part of it." While You Me At Six is getting ready to headline its own around the world tour, they love playing across the pond.
"When things started to take off for us in the UK we sort of had a few goals and we met those goals," said Flint. "And then we set ourselves new targets and slowly it's just grown. And then the USA has now become part of our target."
Pretty Reckless "Miss Nothing"
You Me At Six "Liquid Confidence (nothing to lose)"