The Vans Warped Cruise Is the Nostalgia Trip We All Need to Take
These days, there’s a themed cruise for just about everyone. Do you love cats? There’s a cruise for that. Knitting, perhaps? There’s a cruise for that, too. If you find yourself feeling nostalgic for the glory days of Myspace or spend your free time contemplating the feud between Taking Back Sunday and Brand New, the Warped Tour Rewind at Sea might be the cruise for you.
For those unknowing, Warped Tour is the largest traveling music festival in the United States. The man behind it, Kevin Lyman, has been championing punk music since 1995 — while even giving not-so-punk pop stars like Katy Perry one of her first starts. If you weren’t one of them, in its heyday Warped Tour served as a musical playground and safe haven of sorts for the mall-goth kids in your high school.
In late 2016, Warped Tour announced plans for their first nostalgia cruise with a carefully curated lineup of artists ranging from Less Than Jake (a band that has played the most Warped Tours in the music festival’s history), Face to Face, the Starting Line to Good Charlotte, among others. Full disclosure: I was one of these emo kids with mall-goth tendencies I mentioned in the paragraph above. Even before this story had come to fruition, I planned on attending based on the lineup alone.
I purchased a ticket with not a single clue as to what I would walk into — and I was greeted with sailor hats that starkly read “EMO,” studded belts, men with black side-parted bangs, and leopard hair-dye jobs. Activities on the boat ranged from a beer pong tournament with Less Than Jake, a belly-flop competition judged by Simple Plan, to Emo Night, the popular traveling dance party catering to the emo set. With endless drinks pouring, you would see bands on the dance floor doing beer funnels or members of Cartel would be singing and dancing on stage to their hit “Say Anything (Else).”
Benji and Joel Madden described it best during their final set to a crowded pool deck of adoring fans, “This feels like a big family reunion.” It really was. For four nights at sea, it was like 2003 all over again. As you’ll see in the photos below, nobody seemed to mind.