The kickoff party for the 18th Annual Vans Warped Tour was filled with activity – a brief press conference followed by interviews, portraits, a film screening and finally, a concert. Forever Came Calling opened the show after a screening of the new documentary “No Room for Rockstars.” Fans inside Los Angeles’ Club Nokia were excited to see both Falling In Reverse and Matt Toka. Dead Sara took advantage of the event by using it as their official record release party and performance.

The highlight of the evening for many in the crowd was the surprise performances by 2012 Warped Tour headliners Yellowcard and The Used. One lucky fan left with two backstage passes – good for the lifetime of the tour. But perhaps the biggest surprise of the evening was the announcement that, after 14 years, the Vans Warped Tour will return to Europe this November. No word yet on which bands will be flown across the pond.

This year fans will see the return of iconic Vans Warped Tour bands like The Used, New Found Glory, Taking Back Sunday, Yellowcard, Rise Against and All Time Low. This return was a conscious decision on the part of Warped creator Kevin Lyman. “I sat down last summer and really kind of thought where I was 18 years ago… maybe we’re getting so spread out musically on this tour it’s kinda hard to focus.” He refocused this year to blend together both new and the legendary artists.

Lyman told Rolling Stone that he turned to the tour’s illustrious history to book this year’s talent. “I looked at the 1995 tour, that was a pretty eclectic lineup – Sublime, No Doubt, L7, those are all different sounds,” he said. “This year I put it all in there. I think we’ve entered a new time of music, it’s closer to 1995 than ever. You leave your iPod on shuffle and you can go from Taylor Swift to Mumford & Sons to Kanye West to Falling In Reverse.”

One thing that has not been refocused is the tour’s dedication to charitable organizations. This year’s tour supports Keep A Breast Foundation and Invisible Children. Last year, $20,000 was raised in donations for MusiCares, an organization that provides financial assistance to music people in times of need. 67,000 pints of blood were also donated.

Many bands on this year’s lineup were in attendance to show their support – all seemed just as excited to be on the tour as Kevin was to have them. Singer / songwriter Owen Plant is looking forward to the camaraderie and “playing his ass off.” All-girl rock outfit Cherri Bomb, with an impressive list of show credits and an average age of only 13, is looking forward to “extremely cute boys” and “all the bands.”

warpedradke Vans Warped Tour Returns To Its Roots, Kicks Off With Adrenaline Filled Bash

Photo: Chelsea Lauren

When asked to describe Warped Tour in three words, veteran artists rose to the occasion. Guitarist Derek Jones of Falling in Reverse was widely agreed with when he said “hot, sweaty and smelly.” Neo Geo couldn’t decide between “running on adrenaline” and “running on fumes” – or perhaps some combination of the two. They men in the band finally settled on “sexy men sweating” after much debate – but made it clear that they were strictly speaking about themselves. Front woman Rainy Terrell of Neo Geo is looking forward to seeing “sexy boys naked.”

Vocalist Michael “Vampire” Orlando of Vampires Everywhere! knew his answer without hesitation – “blood, sex, rock & roll.” But, in the end, vocalist Moi Juarez of Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds may have best summed up the other answers when he said, with a slight wink and grin, “hot, spicy and sexy.”

Vans Warped Tour 2012 Dates

  • Sat Jun 16 Salt Lake City, UT
  • Sun Jun 17 Denver, CO
  • Wed Jun 20 Las Vegas, NV
  • Thu Jun 21 Irvine, CA
  • Fri Jun 22 Pomona, CA
  • Sat Jun 23 San Francisco, CA
  • Sun Jun 24 Ventura, CA
  • Wed Jun 27 San Diego, CA
  • Thu Jun 28 Phoenix, AZ
  • Fri Jun 29 Las Cruces, NM
  • Sat Jun 30 San Antonio, TX
  • Sun Jul 01 Houston, TX
  • Tue Jul 03 Dallas, TX
  • Thu Jul 05 St. Louis, MO
  • Fri Jul 06 Detroit, MI
  • Sat Jul 07 Chicago, IL
  • Sun Jul 08 Minneapolis, MN
  • Mon Jul 09 Kansas City, KS
  • Tue Jul 10 Indianapolis, IN
  • Wed Jul 11 Cleveland, OH
  • Thu Jul 12 Pittsburgh, PA
  • Fri Jul 13 Toronto, ON
  • Sat Jul 14 Montreal, QC
  • Sun Jul 15 Hartford, CT
  • Tue Jul 17 Buffalo, NY
  • Wed Jul 18 Scranton, PA
  • Thu Jul 19 Boston, MA
  • Fri Jul 20 Philadelphia, PA
  • Sat Jul 21 New York, NY
  • Sun Jul 22 Oceanport, NJ
  • Tue Jul 24 Washington, DC
  • Wed Jul 25 Virginia Beach, VA
  • Thu Jul 26 Atlanta, GA
  • Fri Jul 27 Orlando, FL
  • Sat Jul 28 Miami, FL
  • Sun Jul 29 Tampa, FL
  • Mon Jul 30 Charlotte, NC
  • Tue Jul 31 Cincinnati, OH
  • Wed Aug 01 Milwaukee, WI
  • Sat Aug 04 Seattle, WA
  • Sun Aug 05 Portland, OR

For the full lineup and more information, visit

– Chelsea Lauren & Jay Tilles, CBS Local


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