Senior Year, 1997: Warped Tour OGs
by Stephanie Benson | September 10, 2012
Back in 1997, the travelling music/half-pipe circus known as the Warped Tour was on its third year and going strong. In the near-future, the sleek, mainstream pop-punk bands powering the summer festival would pretty much comprise their own genre, but in the mid-'90s, typecast as the younger bro-punk sibling to the artier, more sophisticated Lollapalooza, the 'fest was still trying to establish its identity - just like the pubescent punks buying tickets.
Because it merged music and extreme sports, the festival attracted skateboarders and BMX riders alongside the self-professed slackers and their Gwen Stefani-adoring girlfriends, all of whom could (mostly) agree on the radness of Deftones, Quicksand, blink-182, NOFX, Pennywise, Social Distortion and even Limp Bizkit (back before they started doing it all for the nookie). You weren't allowed through the gates without a pair of vibrant Vans (OK, that's not true, but if you were a real skater, you'd be sporting 'em), and because the O.C. brand sponsored the thing, there was a distinct So-Cal vibe: in the ska bounce of No Doubt and Reel Big Fish, in the pot-puffing vigor of Sublime, in the tough-guy bubblegum pop of Sugar Ray, in the funky metal of Fishbone, even in the weirdo loser rock of Beck (who did Warped in 1996, it's true). So dust off the Vans, wear a helmet (!) and relive the first three years of the Warped Tour.