I went to the Vans Warped Tour today to hang out with my boyfriend, whose band Koo Koo Kanga Roo has been along for the whole ride. I’ve never been to Warped before, despite the fact that I have generally always liked Vans shoes and music that makes mom mad. For whatever reason, I missed out on the sensation that is being an alt teen at Warped. As a total outsider to the whole shebang, here is what I observed.
1. The Music is Generally Good
The final act I saw was a band called PVRIS, powered by a magical girl who looks like a tiny, very edgy Kristen Stewart with pipes like Sia. We all looked her up and saw that she was born in 1994 and her name was Lyndsey Gunnulfsen. We felt angry that she was born in 1994 and talked about it for about five minutes. Between them and the other bands I’d seen (Baby Baby, Hundredth, Family Force 5 and MC Lars) I found myself remarking, “It’s going to be ok. Teenagers still like cool music.”
2. Less Moshing Than Expected
There were signs everywhere that said “You Mosh, You Crowd Surf, You Get Hurt, We Get Sued, No More Warped Tour.” I loved that sign. That’s great copy-writing. Straightforward and to the point. Instead of moshing, kids were running around in a ferris wheel-type shape in a way that looked fun. God I sound old.
3. At One Point I Was Told 27 Was a Perfectly Fine Age to Get a Bellybutton Piercing
So that’s still an option for me.
4. I Learned What Teenage Girls Wear Now
Shirts are super out. Instead they wear these things called “bralettes” and jean shorts of all colors. When I was a teenager I totally would have loved getting in trouble in class for exposing my midriff in such a way.
5. Side Note: Teenagers Are Smaller Than I Remember Them Being
When you don’t actually see real-life teenagers, you start to think they look how they do on TV, but that’s not true. The ones on TV are played by actors who are all 27-29, and have fully completed puberty. Real teenagers are actually, visibly exiting childhood and thus have smaller bone structure. It made me realize that when I was in high school, not only did I feel pressure to be tiny, but I felt pressure to be semi-childlike tiny! Being in your twenties is nice.
6. A Lot of People Were Wearing Vans
They know their target, I guess. I also learned the answer to “What would I wear those cool space Vans with?” The answer is a bralette and tiny jean shorts.
7. I Saw Riff Raff Up Close
One day while talking to my boyfriend on the phone, I said, “What is that noise?” and he said, “That’s Riff Raff, riding around on his scooter. He always does that.” This made me laugh a lot but today I saw that it was true. He does ride around on his scooter, followed by a guy on a bike in a Riff Raff shirt.
8. The YouTube Stars are the Most Famous People There
They had a line that went on for four city blocks. We should all become YouTube stars if we want to succeed in the bitcoin economy of the future.
9. It Was Generally Fun
If someone who forgot what teenagers looked like enjoyed it, you probably will too.
–Becky Lang is going to go watch The Good Wife