Warped Tour: Thirteen years of memorabilia to Cleveland

Brittany Moseley

Sold out.


Even though most show-goers were in diapers when Warped Tour debuted in 1995, a winding line of eager teenagers stood waiting to get inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Warped Tour exhibit.

To see the drum heads of No Doubt and NOFX. To see Bad Religion’s Brian Baker’s electric scooter. To experience Joan Jett’s latex, red-studded top from last year’s tour.

“Who would have thought this tour would have lasted for 13 years?”

Kevin Lyman, the creator of the Warped Tour, can talk forever about his motivation to start the tour. Ask him to talk about the influence he has made, and he seems almost surprised at the idea.

“I get a lot of kids who say they’ve been influenced by coming to shows and others who tell me I’ve ruined punk rock,” Lyman said.

Fortunately for Lyman, the people he influenced were the ones lined up to see the exhibit, not his critics.

“I’ve been going to Warped Tour for a couple of years, and this exhibit is long overdue,” said Michelle Monell, freshman fashion design major.

Doug Sakmann, producer of the independent film “Punk Rock Holocaust,” a horror movie about Warped Tour, went to his first Warped Tour when he was 16.

And at age 27, he still hasn’t missed a single one.

“(Lyman) has kept punk rock alive,” Sakmann said. “It’s the most punk rock thing anymore.”

Lyman found out about the exhibit last May, and didn’t know what it would contain except “a lot from his office.” He saw the exhibit for the first time Friday night along with everyone else.

Most of the items in the exhibit are in the first of the two rooms. The walls of the room are lined with black and white pictures of Flogging Molly, No Doubt, Rancid, Taking Back Sunday and Dropkick Murphys to name a few. In one photo, Tim Mcllrath of Rise Against stands atop two amps screaming into a microphone.

“Seeing the exhibit was really cool and it brought back a lot of memories,” said Jeff Smen, who traveled almost two hours from Erie, Penn. “They had stuff from bands I forgot I saw.”

As people walked around looking at the smashed electric guitar from Sugarcult and bagpipes from the Dropkick Murphy’s past Warped Tour footage playing on televisions throughout the two rooms, Steven Smith of Fuse’s “Steven’s Untitled Rock Show” was taping an episode of his show in the exhibit.

“If it wasn’t for Kevin, none of us would know what rock ‘n’ roll is,” Smith said.

The exhibit also features clothing from bands such as The Used and Paramore.

“They put the dress I wore in ‘Emergency’ right next to where Justin Timberlake used to stand, so that’s pretty sweet,” said Hayley Williams, lead singer of Paramore as she spoke to the sold-out crowd.

Paramore was the first band to perform and they’re also the newest additions to Warped Tour, joining the tour last year.

“For everyone that hasn’t seen us or thinks we’re some cheesy girl band well, we love you too,” Williams said before she and guitarist Josh Farro started their first song.

During their performance of “Emergency” Williams urged everyone to sing along.

“If you don’t know this song sing whatever you feel,” Williams said. “I want to hear Cleveland.”

The main part of the night was the concert, which featured the Bouncing Souls, Bad Religion, Paramore and Pennywise.

The audience was an eclectic mix of music lovers. In the front were the teenagers who were mostly there to see Paramore. The young fans were the ones desperate to start a mosh pit even though security prohibited it. Throughout the crowd were the older fans -ÿthe ones who were teenagers when Warped Tour started. The ones who remember every year of Warped Tour that Bad Religion played.

After Paramore, the Bouncing Souls played followed by Pennywise and Bad Religion. All of the bands talked about their love of Warped Tour and thanked Lyman for keeping the tour together.

Although some were surprised that Warped Tour would be placed in a museum, Lyman believes the exhibit will only help the tour.

“Some people were like, oh Kevin, the hall of fame? How can you do this?” Lyman said. “Still other bands were really excited. Now people will realize the impact of the bands that play at Warped Tour.”

Lyman doesn’t know how long Warped Tour will last, but his excitement for the tour has never stopped.

“It’s tough to be punk rock. It’s even tougher as you get older,” Lyman said. “The kids will really determine for how long I do this. I’d sure hate to have to go out and get a real job.”

Contact ALL reporter Brittany Moseley at [email protected].