SCRANTON — Thousands ascended Montage Mountain last week for the final Vans Warped Tour stop in the area.
The music festival, which has visited Scranton since 2005, announced last year that 2018 would be the last cross-country tour.
“I must admit hearing that 2018 would be the final Vans Warped Tour was a blow to me, but at the same time I respect Kevin Lyman’s decision to go out swinging,” Mitch Evans said.
Evans, who serves as the lead vocalist of Scranton-based band Anytime Soon, said he has been attending Warped Tour for 11 years and has always liked the camaraderie among concert goers.
“Every year offered a mix of different music, a little something for everyone in an intimate setting,” he said. “In my experience, everyone’s looking to have a good time; no one’s looking to kill anyone in a mosh pit, just good vibes all around.”
And the last event was no different, although the road to the festival was packed at times. Eager to capture as much of the day as possible, dozens of patrons abandoned their cars along the side of the mountain, walking to the festivals entrance to avoid sitting in traffic. While Montage Mountain Road was backed up for a lot of the morning, those who ditched their cars were left with tickets at the end of the day.
People were hopping into cars that had empty seats making their way up the mountain, and even in truck beds. This type of generosity isn’t uncommon for the festival, Deidre Filchak said.
“Every year, I would make friends with strangers with similar interests and get to meet some of the bands,” she said. “It was always neat to just be walking through a crowd and have a random person say, ‘Hey; I like your tattoos!,’ or even better, offer you water if they see you sitting on the ground tired from the heat or helping you up if you fall in the pit.”
For Filchak, Warped Tour represents more than just friendships.
“The music of Warped Tour is how I met my husband,” she said. “We often joke about how we actually were in the same mosh pit one year for New Found Glory and never knew it. To see it come to an end is like losing a friend.”
The impact of the festival was front and center the whole day, with high-energy performances from Reel Big Fish, Issues, MyChildren MyBride and Northeastern Pennsylvania natives, Motionless in White.
As soon as MyChildren MyBride left the stage, everyone’s attention was focused on the stage right next door, where Motionless in White addressed the crowd.
“It all started here 13 years ago,” lead singer Chris “Motionless” Cerulli said.
And it was a moment 13 years in the making.
Cerulli wore a “570” tank while playing old favorites and new music to a packed crowd.
“Warped Tour has been quite integral in our success in that many of the bigger moments that have come of the band have been the result of Warped Tour,” Cerulli told a Weekender reporter last week. “Each year seems to be a different positive outcome for the band, whether it’s just seeing fans showing up and supporting the band, helping to keep us motivated that we’re doing something right, or taking it to the late 2000s, being ‘discovered’ on Warped Tour.”
Throughout the years, Evans said he has been able to meet countless artists, including Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams. This year, he said he was able to speak with Lyman.
“I shook his hand and thanked him for doing this as long as he has,” Evans said. “Being around the event and meeting all these people definitely encouraged me to get into music and playing in my own band.”
While Warped Tour has come to an end in NEPA, Evans said it isn’t all bad news.
“On the bright side, it brings opportunity for new tours to rise and take its place,” he said.
Reach Brigid Edmunds-Lawrence at 570-991-6113 or on Twitter @brigidedmunds.