As the Vans Warped Tour makes its final full run across the country, fans and musicians come together to celebrate the end of the alternative music festival.
For Northeast Pennsylvania-born metalcore band Motionless in White, a stop in its hometown makes the already poignant tour bittersweet. During a recent phone interview from Charlotte, North Carolina, lead singer Chris “Motionless” Cerulli credited Warped Tour with being the band’s launching point.
“It’s absolutely one of the biggest parts of our story over the past 13 years,” said Cerulli, a Pittston native. “I kind of feel like, without Warped Tour, I’m not really sure the band would have achieved the level of success (it has). That’s amazing to us to be part of the last Warped Tour … (to) help say goodbye to the tour and show our appreciation.”
Motionless in White, along with more than 70 other acts, will storm the Pavilion at Montage Mountain on Thursday, July 26. Gates open at 12:30 p.m., and set times will be announced that day. Tickets start at $45 and are available through the box office and livenation.com.
Before Motionless in White won the chance to play at Warped Tour in 2008 through a Battle of the Bands, Cerulli and fellow band members played at area venues including the Staircase, Cafe Metropolis and Jessup Sports Dome.
During the band’s two-week stint on Warped Tour 10 years ago, a member of another band on the tour offered to manage the group and introduced it to a record label. Since then, Motionless in White has recorded four full-length albums; toured the United States, Europe, Australia and Asia; and signed to Roadrunner Records.
Coming home means a lot to the band. Cerulli recalled the 2016 Warped Tour as the largest crowd the band has ever played to in Scranton. Fans packed the area in front of the stage and were incredibly welcoming, he said. While some fans sang along to every word, others held up signs that read, “Welcome Home” and “570” — the name of a Motionless in White song dedicated its to roots.
“Playing ‘570’ to the Scranton Warped Tour was one of the most insane moments to me,” Cerulli said. “A top moment of my career for sure.”
As for the upcoming Scranton stop, Cerulli noted many friends and family members will attend. That combined with playing for fans will create a memorable experience.
“(The Scranton crowd) will probably see a grown man cry for a few minutes,” Cerulli said, laughing. “I know that it’s going to be [an] insane, overwhelming combining of emotions. Playing [‘570’] will be one of the hardest songs to get through that we’ve ever, ever performed live.”
When Warped Tour ends, Cerulli said, the band plans to take the rest of the year off to focus on writing and recording a new album. With everything on the horizon, Cerulli feels humbled to look back at the band’s roots. Playing the final Warped Tour in its hometown is a perfect way to do that.
“We’re grateful to play to fans new and old and grateful to be given this chance,” he said. “We’re proud to be from this area and spread the word about the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area.”