The Warped Leto High School Class of 1991 Reunion Tour
July 29, 2001 by Ryan Clements
It just so happened that my ten-year high school reunion and the Tampa stop on the 2001 Vans Warped Tour were scheduled on the same weekend. I didn’t know how detrimental these combined events would be on my physical condition until Monday morning when I woke up at 4:45a.m. to give my mom a ride to an appointment.
Let me just go ahead and get it out of the way. Bottom line, the reunion was an excellent time. If you haven’t seen my piece on being skeptical about even attending my high school reunion, these ramblings will make more sense if you go back and read it.
Every single former classmate that I encountered was pleasant to talk to, had interesting topics of discussion, and had accomplished something worthwhile in the ten-year allotted time frame. I have to throw some props out to Jason Quintero and Erik Evensen (a couple of old ‘mates I knew from honors classes) for attaining the high caliber positions of attorney and physician respectively. Those two guys were throwing claimers in high school and I’ll be damned…they did exactly what they said they would do. You really have to respect that, no matter what path one chooses. Apparently the losers that used to clown me in school couldn’t afford a weekend at the beach or were too busy with their shifts at Subway. Sorry guys. Enough said, but I encourage everybody to attend similar functions if given the chance. Plus, if you like to consume alcoholic beverages, there are plenty of willing purchasers. If these people drink on a regular basis as much as they did last weekend, I don’t know how they even made it past community college.
So after nearly two days of beachside partying, suffering from dehydration and a decent sunburn, I awoke Sunday morning psyched to know that I’d be tearing it up at the Warped Tour in a few short hours. Upon arriving at the USF Soccer Field, I realized that Barry had crossed all of his t’s and dotted his i’s, because the Skatepark of Tampa tent was in full effect. Click the photos for the visuals.
I don’t know how we do it every year, but it always seems to turn out eventful. Some of my personal highlights included watching Jesse Fritsch, Mike Frazier, Anthony Furlong, Dan Ehara, and the amazing Jon Comer (the guy with one leg) skate in some serious mid-day Florida heat for the several thousand onlookers. Scotty, Giles, and a slew of others propelled water balloons at the anticipating crowd and anyone within 25 ft. of the SPoT tent was drenched with super-soaker water pistols. At least the kiddies are allowing the legacy of us nearly 30-year-old former troublemakers to live on.
Unfortunately, the boxing matches (Fight Club) were cut short. But not before the crowd of about 200 witnessed a brutal brawl between two heavyweights and the comedy of chicks knocking each other around. I may have been mistaken, but I took it upon myself to assume that maybe we should discontinue the boxing when the Warped Tour’s main man, Kevin Lymon, and his sidekick head of security shoved me from behind and called Barry and I some obscenities. Kevin informed us that we weren’t welcome back. After attending the Tour for seven years straight, I will be very disappointed if we can’t come to terms by next year. Just for the record, each match consisted of three, one-minute rounds that were refereed by a trained fighter, not to mention a paramedic was on site. Either way, the fights ceased. Needless to say, security laid the hammer on us a bit at that point. In turn, the tent was immediately cleared of all non-SPoT locals and placed under control.
The day flew by in one big blur, as if I was a 175lb guy trying to maintain composure in the Bouncing Souls pit with several 250+ pounders. Oh yeah, I was doing that. Hence the reason that my prescription shades now rest crooked upon my face. Not to fret though, I just consider it part of the deal. It was only hours before I was picking Mom up, but the lack of sleep and exhaustion were entirely worth it.
Thanks and appreciation to everyone that drank, shook hands, and just hung out with me this weekend. I have a great life.
I’ve been going to the Warped Tour since its inception, which I think was around ’93 or ’94. I went yearly for the first 10 or so, but I’ve missed the last few due to traveling. And boy have I aged in those past few years.
As is the Skatepark of Tampa's tradition, a gigantic posse went out to Warped Tour to spray people with water guns, heckle, grill out, get dudes to box each other, and spray paint the Park's logo on bodily parts.