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article imageVans Warped Tour stops in Connecticut Special

By Kathleen Creighton     Jul 16, 2014 in Music
Hartford - Vans Warped Tour shared its 20th Anniversary edition with the greater New York City and Boston areas during the past week. The gypsy caravan pitched its tents at the Xfinity Music Center in Hartford, CT this past Sunday morning.
This year's Warped Tour features headliners Yellowcard, We The Kings, Bowling For Soup, Less Than Jake, Of Mice And Men, Devil Wears Prada, Enter Shakari and Breathe Carolina. On some of the smaller stages but no less noteworthy were Warped veterans Bayside, Saves The Day and Every Time I Die. The tour provides the proof that there is still excellent pop music with The Ready Set, Courage My Love and We Are The In Crowd. The Beatport stage brought the new elements of DJs and electronica to the tour. It was an interesting choice that was well-received. Once again Kevin Lyman and his team assembled a great line-up with something for everyone.
The weather was pretty much perfect with a cloud cover most of the day and a breeze. The Xfinity Music Center offers some amenities not enjoyed at other stops of the tour by artists and crew along with attendees. The tour takes over the main amphitheater for the two medium stages (sponsored by Journeys and Warheads) by splitting the main stage. This offers an indoor space to watch performances and to use the restroom facilities, refill water bottles from the drinking fountains and procure concessions. The only drawback is that most of the activity takes place in what is usually the parking lot of the venue which, on a dry day, results in a lot of dust. But that didn't put a damper on crowd enthusiasm.
The Hartford stop was the homecoming show for the Marquis brothers — Brian, who manages and plays the Full Sail Acoustic Basement stage and Shawn, the bassist for hard rock band Vanna. Other Constitution State natives in the house were Coley O'Toole of We The Kings and Peter "JR" Wasilewski of Less Than Jake. The ska band from Florida welcomed another local musician to play in with them. Chris Rhodes of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. He and Wasilewski are the founding members of New Haven's ska icons, Spring Heeled Jack. Rhodes regularly plays in with Less Than Jake when they are in the area if he is available.
Speaking of Less Than Jake and Warped traditions. It's just not Warped Tour without an on-stage marriage proposal and Sunday's happened during LTJ's set. She did say yes!
Along with almost 10 hours of great music, Vans Warped Tour includes numerous non-profits. Inside there were booths for Shirts For The Cure, Keep Abreast and MusicCares while fans earned cut-the-line passes before entering the Xfinity Music Center by donating food or money to Feed Our Children NOW!. One local organization at the NY, NJ and CT stops was Spaghetti Arms. The group is based in CT and is raising money to fund research and hopefully find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Founder Shawn Quigg, although wheelchair bound by DMD, not only helps man the tent but also took time to enjoy some of the music throughout the day.
Most of the artists this reporter spoke to this year were "Team Summer Camp" as opposed to "Team Boot Camp." All agreed that the tour becomes a family over the summer. They enjoy the opportunity to tour with artists they wouldn't normally be paired with. Artists use their time off stage time to enjoy all the different varieties of music occasionally finding inspiration for their own creations. One band has found an almost healing quality relaxing in others' performance having just completed their own current album. Everyone noted that they were surprised and saddened by how quickly time is passing and that the tour is half-over.
Vans Warped Tour continues its route through the Midwest and east coast before heading west, wrapping up in Denver on August 3rd. For all information including purchasing tickets visit the Vans Warped Tour Official site.
More about Music, Vans Warped Tour 2014, 20th anniversary, alternative rock, Punk rock
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