Tales From the Tents: An Insider's View From the Final Warped Tour Stop


Warped Tour is almost all over and now it's all a blur. Actually it is all over, because the time I finished my blog everything happened that quickly. I'm not sure how it happened, but I am wondering how the 24th annual cross-country trip is literally past the last day its existence. 

Sure the State Champs were here and I saw Falling in Reverse with Ronnie Radke stay out for extra days, and yes, I do have a story  Teen Wolf Tyler from PVMNTS helping me move my tent for my main stage gig. I do know that were a lot more nuts and bolts to holding the tour together. Yes. The glamorous part it all that no one sees, and that is what I want you to grasp after reading this.

Let's take Jacksonville, which was the smallest Warped Tour show my time in this cross-country excursion, yet one the most successful for the underdog. Although Kaiser Solzie and I played for about 15 people, we got all the great promo that big time bands get, and it surely was the day that it was all falling apart. Much different than a sold out hometown Holmdel gig where I played the amphitheater. Let me explain Jacksonville.

Pennyswise didn’t play. The chicken tenders woman and fries girl asked me for like four t-shirts to get some free food. The rainstorm was so bad that Small Talks and Chaser (our neighbors in the Jacksonville parking lot) didn’t get to play. They drove really far to be there, and then they had to drive home. I guess that is how it ends up sometimes. Not all Warped Tour shows are packed out sing-alongs.

Now that the tour is over, everyone online is more self reflective than usual. I saw Kevin Lyman the other day in that 20 day run on his bike watching a sunset, realizing that this will be the last sunset he ever watches from that specific parking lot. Then I saw him taking the final pics with his daughters, his wife and the tour manager Lisa Brownlee, knowing that it was the last picture moment backstage. Some us went to the Shore with our family. Some us, like myself, did wrestling tournaments with my parents. The Lymans do Warped Tour every summer.

So what tales from the tents do I recall the most? For me, I recall moments like leaving my laundry at the Jacksonville production fice, performing my unknown hit song "Sauce Daddy" with 3OH!3 for a few thousand people in Tampa, or counting the amount people that thought my Hebrew Warped Tour merch was Japanese. I recall doing punk rock Shabbat, where I managed to do Shabbat dinners with 30 kids in the city Dallas in the midst a rainstorm.

For some people, the entire world teen angst and pop punk is ending as we know it. I am just another interesting rapper existing in the world it all, so I don’t really grasp every moment as a true fan the scene. I am one the exceptions like Riff Raff and Twiztid, or MC Lars, Pr and even Eminem back in the early days. Us rappers are part the circus, so I always looked at Warped Tour as yet another amazing arena where I could perform my tricks that I have learned and earned along the way. 

One trick I learned is that I am not important at all. While writing Tales from the Tents, I wanted to come up with things that might be perfect for people to grasp what Warped Tour is really about. After writing a few these, I finally figured it out.

Warped Tour is about the lead singer  Kaiser Solzie, who has been homeless f and on for 15 years. Since he started this year, he got sober with MusiCares and has set up regional stages and booked multiple acts through America on the Full Sail University stage. It is about him having the opportunity to not only play, but learn a new way life. 

Warped Tour is about the hundreds thousands pounds food it raises  Feed Our Children, and FEND, which is now close to 40,000 downloads their app creating awareness the opioid epidemic.

Warped Tour is about artists Adrian Estrella, lead singer  Assuming We Survive, who works with organizations like Can You Hear Me? and A Voice for the Innocent in the midst his touring career.

Warped Tour is about Timmy Grins and the Cool Suppliers, who literally sold tens thousands vegan ice pops on tour in the blazing heat to get a chance for his employees like MC Bravado and Justine Markman to perform on the Transform stage alongside Bless Brando from the LIE Crew, who was building stages on set up crew, selling schedules, and performing and curating a fully operating stage. Timmy started on the same stage as a rapper in 2004 and provided opportunity for the next in line.

Warped Tour is about Pennywise dedicating the last song the tour at West Palm Beach, "Bro Hymn," to their lead singer Jason Thirsk from 1996 who tragically took his own life. At that same moment, I realized my friend Jon Zakim, who came to see me perform in 2015 in West Palm Beach, isn't here to meet me again, because he has since died. 

Warped Tour is about the bands in the parking lot like Losing Streak from NJ, who busk every night with no microphone and serve on catering to make it happen with dreams catching new ears.

Warped Tour is about the all women team behind Kevin Lyman that help the tour get up and running every day.

Warped Tour is indeed about family. For that reason, let's give it back to the Lyman family as us artists, bands, agents, managers, and fans have borrowed Kevin Lyman for way too long for our summer dreams and summer jobs. 

Hoped you like this. If not, we'll do better next year.

P.S. Thanks Kev.

​Kosha Dillz has a new song out now (above) and a Warped Tour playlist you can stream below. He was sad that England didn't win the World Cup and did Punk Rock Shabbat every Friday on the final Warped Tour.