Now that we're "adults," going to music festivals tends to involve more craft beer tastings than it does moshing. But back in high school, many of us could be found with our rubber bracelet-clad arms and Chuck Taylor-covered feet marching into the Vans Warped Tour. Oh, be still, my teenage pop-punk heart.
Us pop-punk fans in high school weren't exactly "punk," and weren't exaclty the stoner "sk8er" kids — we were somewhere in the middle. We had just enough angst that whatever color our hair was that month was totally valid. There was as much eyeliner as there were tears. In short, we had a lot of feelings in high school and we etched it all over our notebooks and playlists. Music, the mall, shows, spelling confusion with a "K", and mid-level trouble-making was our calling.
Anyone else still wistfully looking at their CD collection of The Ataris, Blink-182, Taking Back Sunday, Thursday, New Found Glory, The Starting Line, and Brand New and still wondering why you cared so much about the difference between pop-punk, emo, and screamo?
If you were a lover of Manic Panic and studded belts in the early 2000s, then this is for you. Because there are some things only us former pop punk kids can truly understand.
THESE were the places where you wasted your summer job money
and This was your Bible:
The Vans Warped Tour was the Pinnacle of your summer
you've had to deal with gross melting mohawk wax dripping all over you
Your ribs and eardrums have suffered considerable damage from standing on the rails
No chain wallet could save you from everything falling out of your pants when crowd-surfing.
Your prom dress or tux involved hot pink and/or was made from duct tape
There was a MAJOR difference to you between "Shows" and "Concerts"
A show happened at a YMCA, rec center, basement, church, or high school gymnasium.
It's still beyond you how Jordan Pundik actually had a job singing
And yet, you still own all of the albums.
You have a firm stance on the debate over whether mics are for singing or swinging
Sunny Day Real Estate, Lifetime, and Joy Division were required reading for you
These pens were for your Jansport ONLY
and This was on most things you owned
The titles of the albums you listened to basically described your emotional state at all times:
Most of the bands you loved came from New Jersey
you knew there was a VERY clear hierarchy of Drive Thru bands
And you debated it endlessly with your friends. (Everyone hated Home Grown.)
You shelled out a lot to see the Pop Disaster tour
Your AIM screenname probably involved the words "monkey" or "penguin"
When your feelings got the best of you (because you can have the best of me)...
...you listened to Dashboard Confessional
And cried into your Taco Bell.
You were really embarrassed the first time you had to ask what "sXe" meant
And you were judged. Hard.