It’s safe to say I was more excited for Warped Tour this year than I’ve ever. Since I wasn’t able to experience the early 2000s glory years, 2012 was set to be my glory year for Warped Tour. With bands like New Found Glory, Yellowcard, and Taking Back Sunday on the bill, this was the best of the best.
The day started off heavy with Sleeping With Sirens. Having only been a casual listener of their records, I was very interested in how the guys would sound live. Sure enough, Kellin Quinn is even better live than on the record. His stage performance is full of bravado and prowess – he owns the mic. There’s a reason why Sleeping With Sirens is quickly starting to be one of the biggest bands in the scene, as “Do It Now Remember It Later” and “If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn” sounded massive live. Stay on the look out for these guys – they’re taking over the world.
Of Mice & Men were up next, and I was amped to finally see them live. Simply put, Austin Carlile is a maniac. Taking the stage with an American flag raised, the frontman had complete control of the crowd. Surprisingly, the absence of Shayley Bourget didn’t hurt the band at all; Phil Manansala and Alan Ashby helped out with the clean vocals in superb fashion. Carlile’s dad even crowd surfaced during “Second & Sebring.” Frantic and energetic, Of Mice & Men is a band that needs to be experienced live.
After OM&M, I quickly ran over to the “Acoustic Basement” tent to catch Transit’s acoustic set. I only caught the first half of the set, but the guys played a fantastic version of “Long Lost Friends” that had the whole tent singing along. Something about an acoustic guitar just fits Joe Boynton’s vocals perfectly. The “Acoustic Basement” stage is easily one of the coolest things about Warped this year, as it allows for a special environment, different than the norm of the tour. It’s intimate and inviting, so definitely check it out if you get the chance, especially if Transit is playing.
I unfortunately had to cut Transit’s set short to head back to the main stage for Yellowcard. This year marked the first time Yellowcard have been at Warped in many years, so this was definitely one for the books. Having already seen them live this year, I knew what to expect from the boys – and they of course delivered. From the always-memorable guitar on the opening “Breathing” to the last words of the classic “Ocean Avenue,” this was Warped Tour at its finest, and a blast from the past at that. The guys were full of more confidence than ever before, so it shouldn’t be any wonder why Southern Air sounds massive in every sense of the word.
After YC, I ran to catch what I could of Senses Fail, having never seen them live. Buddy Nielsen sounded incredible live (he absolutely destroyed “War Paint”). “Calling All Cars” and “Buried A Lie” really brought back memories of why I fell in love with this type of music in the first place. If you’re looking for a band that just knows how to rock, hit up the Senses Fail set and scream your lungs out. Senses Fail have yet to release an unmemorable record in ten years, and their live performance really echoes this.
I made sure to see Every Time I Die next, because quite frankly, their live show is insane. Keith Buckley is an absolute madman on stage – and off stage, as he roared on top of the crowd throughout the set. Ripping into “No Son Of Mine,” ETID’s set was as intense as you’d expect. “Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space” sounds even better live, with Buckley’s range dominating every second. This is a band that knows exactly what fans came to see – and they put on the show you’ve always imagined seeing. Mic swinging, crowd surfing, and furious screaming all dominate the set, leaving no room for mercy or reserve, just rock music.
I headed to the California decked out stage to see Pierce The Veil next. They had the biggest crowd they’ve ever had, so it’s safe to say the set was quite a treat. Kicking off with “Besitos,” Fuentes and crew sound even better live on the record, every time. The ax-men make the show all the more exciting, commanding the fret board while spinning guitars over their head song after song. “Bulletproof Love” was exceptionally inciting live, while “King for a Day” really showed the band’s growth since I’d seen them in 2010. Unfortunately, Kellin Quinn couldn’t make an appearance, because he flew home right after SWS’ set to see his newborn daughter – I think it’s safe to say he gets Warped Tour’s Father of the Year award. Having a girl come up to be serenaded with “Yeah Boy and Doll Face” and “Finishing with “Caraphernelia,” Pierce The Veil really put on a show, easily being one of the most memorable acts of the day.
After this set, I went back to my childhood to see New Found Glory, who sure enough opened with my childhood anthem “All Downhill From Here.” Clad in matching NFG uniforms and sporting their “Pop Punk’s Not Dead” backdrop, New Found Glory were in their element in every way possible. Sticking namely to old tracks – “Hit Or Miss,” Understatement,” “Something I Call Personality” were ideal cuts – the Pop-Punk Godfathers stayed true to their roots, even quickly covering “Basket Case.” There’s a reason New Found Glory still dominate the pop-punk scene, and yelling out the words to “My Friends Over You” at Warped Tour makes it clear why.
I traveled to the other main stage to finish the day off with All Time Low. It was my first time seeing them live, but I can understand why people compare their stage banter to that of Blink. Jack was sporting a “Boner” t-shirt, while the guys continuously had girls throwing bras up on stage to them. They were comical and entertaining, while their music sounded even better live than on the record, especially “The Reckless and the Brave” and “Time Bomb.” Their live performance just allows for more energy and youth. They did play “Jasey Rae” thankfully, making their set one for old and new fans. As one of the biggest bands in the scene today, All Time Low’s live show is one for the books.
Seeing all those bands – although I did miss Taking Back Sunday and Make Do And Mend – made me fully aware why I love music so much. It was my 2004, my glory year of Warped Tour. Growing up on Ocean Avenue and Catalyst made seeing bands like Yellowcard and New Found Glory play the main stage make me aware of why I fell in love with this music in the first place – it brings fans together on a scorching hot day in the sun to experience music. All the great bands playing the two main stages alone make this year’s Warped Tour worth going to, so get going.
NOTE: Truth bears no responsibility for content created by third parties.
Warped Tour 2011 (Dallas, TX) - June 24, 2011 at Gexa Energy Pavilion
This year was only my second year attending Warped Tour, so I have no “glory days” of the tour to compare with. This was also my first year covering the show for AP, so I headed out to the show with excitement, as there were plenty of bands I was excited to see.
There weren’t a lot of bands playing early, so it was either start with Attack Attack! or Dance Gavin Dance; I chose the latter, as I do enjoy their music. The one the only Jonny Craig was clad in quite a unique outfit (see pictures for evidence) and angrily joked with the kid who had a “I want my MacBook” sign. Kicking off with “Lemon Meringue Tie,” the crew tore through the set. Jon Mess’ unmistakable screams contrasted with Craig’s wail quite well. Playing newer cuts such as “Elder Goose” and “The Robot with Human Hair Pt. 2 ½,” Dance Gavin Dance wasted no time packing the punches. The set was definitely enjoyable, so if you’re a fan of the band, I recommend catching them.
Up next I headed over to see Simple Plan, as I grew up on them and thought it would be fun to catch them live. However, I sadly had to sit through what sounded like dogs dying as I Set My Friends On Fire finished up their set. Having never listened to them, it was worse than I expected. Within the ten minutes I was in ear shot distance from them, I heard about 15 “are you coming yet” and “is anyone here pregnant” jokes and the likelihood. It was that bad.
Thankfully, Simple Plan came on still full of the same youthful energy from their early work, kicking off with “Shut Up!” They sounded just as good – if not better – than they do on the records, which is always a good thing. They played “Can’t Keep My Hands Off You” and “Loser of the Year” off their new record, but mainly stuck to the …Still Not Getting Any-era hits, which wasn’t a bad thing. Finishing with “Addicted” into “I’d Do Anything” was incredibly enjoyable and nostalgic. Oh and the fact that they didn’t play any Simple Plan tracks was a plus as well. Can’t recommend seeing these guys enough; it was a super fun set.
Following SP, I was incredibly anxious to see Moving Mountains, as Waves is one of my favorite records of the year. Gregory Dunn belted his lungs out to the crowd, while the rest of the crew played their hearts out. Tracks such as “Alleviate” and “Where Two Bodies Lie” were simply flawless, full of just as much emotion as on the record. The musicianship of the band was top notch, as each member played with full intensity, holding nothing back. As a band I expected to blow me away, Moving Mountains were stunning, and they were easily one of the best of the day.
The Dangerous Summer tied with The Wonder Years for the band I was most excited to see, and both exceeded my expectations in their own way. Beginning with “Where I Want To Be,” The Dangerous Summer started the set at full speed. Perdomo carried even more intensity live than on the record – which I didn’t think was possible – making him the most intense performer of the day. “Weathered” was also a massive highlight, as Perdomo held nothing back. They played three cuts off of the fantastic War Paint. “No One’s Gonna Need You More” was a lot of fun played live; it’s one of the most upbeat, fun tracks off the record. “Good Things” was solid as well, but it was the final “Work In Progress” that was even more breathtaking on the on the record. The intensity the whole band had throughout the song – especially during the climatic ending – was remarkable. The set was flawless. Just flawless.
Go Radio were up next, a band I was very excited to see as I’d never seen Lancaster live. Sure enough, the guys were solid. Blending Lucky Street hits with older material from their Do Overs and Second Chances EP, Go Radio were the full package as simply a fun, upbeat show. They even played the emotional “Goodnight Moon,” which was a great surprise. It was even better live than on the EP. Finishing with “Any Other Heart,” Go Radio weren’t going to let the 30 minute timer stop them, playing with full force and holding nothing back. As a huge fan of Lancaster-era Mayday Parade and Go Radio, this set was incredibly entertaining.
And then came The Wonder Years. And boy did they come out swinging. Having just as much emotion and intensity as on their records, The Wonder Years put on a splendid performance. “Local Man Ruins Everything” and “My Last Semester” were complete crowd favorites, as Soupy’s delivery was personal and intense. What stuck out most about the performance was how personal the band made the show. Soupy explained every song and what it meant, making the performance a very fan-based show, which was incredible to see. He even climbed into the crowd on the last track. Finishing with “Washington Square Park,” The Wonder Years killed it song after song. Easily one of the top sets of the day – between The Dangerous Summer and Moving Mountains it’s hard to choose – these guys are without a doubt a band to see, no questions asked.
For the last performance of the day I caught A Day To Remember, who probably had the biggest crowd of any band all day,on the main stage hoping to end the day with a bang. However, I was sadly disappointed in the band. It just seemed…messy. Sure, frontman Jeremy McKinnon knew how to get the crowd going and keep the intensity up, but it seemed they were more focused on the intensity of the show than the actual performance, as it wasn’t great vocally. The What Separates Me From You tracks reminded me why I was disappointed with that record last year, as the band played a majority of the songs from that, nearly all of which fell short. “Sticks and Bricks” lacked any memorable content, while “Second Sucks” and “You Be Tails, I’ll Be Sonic” sounded sloppy. It wasn’t all bad, though, as the opening “I’m Made of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?” was a good place to start. However, as the set progressed, it just seemed too build on exciting the crowd as opposed to focusing on the music, making the whole set fall short.
Although I ended the day on a mediocre note, unfortunately, I am incredibly happy with the bands I saw. I cannot recommend seeing The Dangerous Summer, The Wonder Years, and Moving Mountains enough, as each band is stunning live. I’d also highly recommend catching Go Radio for fun and Simple Plan if you grew up on them, as it was a trip down memory lane for me. I am sad I missed Relient K, as I’m sure they put on a great show. I also heard The Devil Wears Prada and August Burns Red killed it, so same goes there. Overall, it was a very fun day, and I couldn’t be more pleased with those bands. For the first day of the tour, it signifies that it should be a fun summer in the sun, as the good bands are great.
NOTE: Truth bears no responsibility for content created by third parties.
Although every year I know less of the bands at Warped Tour, the bands I do enjoy always kill. Yesterday, I attended the Dallas stop of Warped tour.
The band I was most excited to see was of course Every Time I Die, and my luck, they were one of the first bands to perform on the main stage. ETID played the perfect mix of old classics ("Floater") and new killers ("The Marvelous Slut"). Having never seen these guys live before, the show blew me away. Keith Buckley sounded amazing, better than on the records, and screamed his lungs out the whole time. Williams and Buckley also slayed on guitar, as well as Leger on drums. Every Time I Die is a machine, one of my favorite bands, and they sure put on a pristine, flawless show. ETID stole the entire show, as I couldn't get them off my mind all day. Yeah, they were that good.
Interested in how Jerry Roush (ex-Sky Eats Airplane) would sound, I caught the end of Of Mice and Men's set after ETID, and wow, was I pleasantly. Admittedly, I did enjoy their debut self-titled record. After seeing them live, it's clear that they are actually quite talented - Roush was a perfect fit for the band and sounded fantastic. The guitars, drums, and Bourget's clean vocals sounded great as well. Bourget is one of the best clean vocalist in that genre, hands down.
After OM&M, I thankfully caught the end of I Can Make a Mess Like Nobody's Business' set. Ace Enders sounded beautiful, and he ended playing one of my favorite TEN song, "Ever So Sweet." Packed with pure emotion and perfect vocals, the song was simply haunting. After I Can Make a Mess, however, one of my friends wanted to stick around to catch nevershoutnever! to my dismay. As there was no one else playing I wanted to see at the time, I decided to tag along to see what all the girls loved so much about this guy was about. Ugh, it was hard to sit through. I mean I'd read all of the trash about Christofer Drew on this site before, but after seeing the kid live, I've found every word to be true. Sure, Drew has lively stage presence; there's no denying that. But he's just obnoxious. From the constant bopping around to trying to scream weirdly in some of his songs to his arrogance, he's just annoying. I will give him one more positive though: he is entertaining and although his nasely voice is not for me, he can actually sing pretty well live. With his persona, I can sort of understand why all the girls adore him so much, but for most, he's just simply obnoxious.
After his set, I decided to check out In Fear and Faith to see how they sounded live; I did actually enjoy their debut record, Your World on Fire, for what it was, although I have yet to check out their latest, Imperial. Screamer Cody Anderson sounded surprisingly good live; however, clean vocalist Scott Barnes did not. His voice was very awkwardly high and almost unbearable to listen to. Honeslty, he made the entire set hard to listen to. Despite this, guitarist Ramin Niroomand and drummer Mehdi Niroomand sounded great and are quite talented. Anderson can sure scream his lungs out, making Barnes the only real hindrance to the band's live show.
After leaving IFAF's set early due to not being able to withstand Barnes' vocals anymore, I caught The Rocket Summer's set. Being a huge fan of Bryce Avary, I was very excited to see him. The man sounded great, kicking off with the infectious hit "Do You Feel." Avary sounded better live with his pure fervor than he does on the record. Period. Able to play every instrument, Avary is very multifaceted, making his live show great. The guy made up a song during the set, playing drums, piano, and guitar. I was unsure how TRS would sound live, since they were originally a one man band and are on records, but the guys sounded great. Avary's vocals are simply wonderful live, full of emotion, showing his love for music.
After The Rocket Summer's superb show, I headed to see Set Your Goals, interested in how these guys would sound live, because they're one of the best bands in their genre hands down. The band sounded really great, playing more songs of TWBTDOU than Mutiny, a good or bad thing depending on preference. Guitarists Aire and Flores played wonderfully, and Jordan Brown sang his lungs out. However, the other vocalist, Matt Wilson just did not compare to Brown on vocals; he sounded weaker, but maybe it was just a bad day for him. This did make the overall vocals unbalanced, but still, it was a solid show.
Directly after SYG was Massachusetts' Four Year Strong, in my opinion the best "hardcore influenced pop-punk" act in the genre. They completely outshined Set Your Goals. Kicking off with "It Must Really Suck to be Four Year Strong Right Now, vocalists Dan O'Connor and Alan Day packed so much energy and excitement into the show. They sounded phenomenal. The crowd roared throughout the entire set, as Four Year Strong played favorites off Rise or Die Trying as well as Enemy of the World. Their live show is absolutely insane and energetic. It was the second best show of the day behind ETID. If you think these guys rock on their records, their live performance is twice that.
And then it began to pour down rain as Pierce the Veilwere getting set up after FYS. Rain sure didn't stop them, they were full of energy, starting right into new found favorite "Caraphernelia." Vocalist Vic Fuentes sounded great as he wailed "what's so good about picking up the pieces" over lively guitarist Tony Perry screaming. Fuentes sounded great throughout the entire show, even playing a quick cover of Drake's "Find Your Love," which actually didn't sound half bad. Surprisingly, bassist Jaime Preciado was fantastic; he sounded great playing and had great stage presence. PTV were incredibly entertaining to watch, as they stood on tall boxes and played while Vic wailed his lungs out standing on the crowd in pouring rain. It was an awesome show, making me happy I skipped out on one of my most anticipated bands, Emarosa, to see Pierce instead.
The last band of the day for me was UK's You Me At Six. Now let's get on thing straight, their latest record Hold Me Down did nothing for me, in fact I found it boring and generic; however, their debut Take Off Your Colours is a favorite of mine, making me curious to check them out. I was not disappointed in the least. Vocalist Josh Franceschi sounded great and was the driving force of YMAS' live set. Even tracks I didn't like much on HMD ("Trophy Eyes" and "Stay With Me") were worlds better than on the album due to Franceschi's energy in his vocals. "Stay With Me" was one of the best of their set, while older "Save It For the Bedroom" sounded awesome as the crowd chanted "save it, save it for the bedroom" with Franceschi. Overall, it was a great way to end Warped Tour 2010.