When summer hits we all know what time it is- festival time. And one of the most well-known festivals is underway and in full-swing. That’s right, I’m talking about Vans Warped Tour.
In most years past, Warped Tour has featured some of the biggest names in punk, hardcore and other genres but also garnered a reputation of not bringing a lot of veteran acts on tour, thus keeping some of the older crowd at bay.
This year has been different, however, and very cool. The 2012 edition of the Vans Warped Tour has brought in the newer bands but is also bringing in some of veteran outfits as well. Rise Against, Yellowcard, The Used and more have all been part of this year’s Warped Tour and has seen seasoned punk rock fans coming out to the shows.
The first band I had a chance to check out was Forever At Last. These guys aren’t the biggest band in the world and they aren’t gonna bring in the tens of thousands each night, but they packed the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands Stage and put on one heck of a show. I was thoroughly impressed by these guys.
Next up was the Tilly’s Stage to catch Hyro Da Hero. There was a lot of buzz around the place about Hyro Da Hero so I made sure to catch his set and I wasn’t disappointed at all. Hyro combines rap and metal into one genre and it’s really cool to see done.
Next up it was time to catch the first Main Stage set. There were two Main Stages- the Kia Rio Stage and the Kia Soul Stage.
This time it was time to catch New Found Glory on the Kia Soul Stage. These guys have been around for awhile and I was really amped to see them. They really lived up to my expectations. I expected a high-energy, crowd-packed extreme show and they delivered. They definitely showed why they’re still going strong.
One band I really wanted to see was Vampires Everywhere! When I heard the latest record from Vampires Everywhere! I knew I had to see them. They remind me of an old-school Marilyn Manson, they have that dark, industrial metal sound that I’ve been craving and they delivered with their set.
One of the biggest surprises for me was Blood on the Dance Floor. Don’t get me wrong, Blood on the Dance Floor is huge and has one of the biggest fan followings in music today- that’s unarguable. I’d never really listened to them before and I really can’t stand electro pop music at all, but these guys really had me intrigued. I’m now a huge fan.
All Time Low, Pierce the Veil, Sleeping with Sirens and The Ghost Inside all put on great shows as well. In fact, The Ghost Inside, playing the Monster Stage, had one of the biggest circle pits of the day- I was impressed and I’m a sucker for a good circle pit. I may not like to be in them, but I love watching them.
One band I was really looking forward to all day and all week was For Today; I love these guys. I discovered them at Cornerstone Festival last year and was instantly hooked. They’re an openly Christian band and they don’t care who knows it. They’re heavy, energetic and a whirlwind of awesome. I like to describe them as Christian war music.
When they were done, I wasn’t ready for them to stop, I wanted more. I guess I’ll have to catch them on their next tour.
The disappointment of the day for me was Anti Flag. These guys have been around for quite awhile and they’re definitely punk rock veterans.
The crowd didn’t seem to be too into the set and the band didn’t do a good job at working them at all. Overall, it was a slow, unimpressive performance that I couldn’t wait to be over.
The cool part of their set, though, was when the band took their gear into the mosh pit and played the final song.
Hoping to see a more interesting performance, I made my way back over to the Kia Soul Stage to catch a band I’ve seen a few times before- Falling in Reverse, the new band from former Escape the Fate frontman Ronnie Radke.
I’ve always been frustrated with this band and Radke. The band’s fans remind me of emo high school kids and I’ve always thought of Falling in Reverse as something Radke started out of spite after getting kicked out of Escape the Fate. Their lyrics aren’t really that strong and they seem to cater to the high school crowd way too much.
Somehow, though, they have an ever-growing fanbase and keep popping up at every big festival. It’s no wonder, Radke can definitely work a crowd and he’s pretty fun to watch too.
This was the case at Warped Tour as well. Radke couldn’t have been more energetic. He was doing cartwheels, running around the stage, throwing the mic around, it was pretty crazy.
After that performance, the night was almost done, it was time to catch Blessthefall on the Monster Stage for a set I was looking forward to all day. I’m a pretty big supporter of these guys. Their latest album, Awakening, was one of the best releases of 2011.
They put on a hell of a show, too. I was not disappointed.
I’m not horribly familiar with The Used but they were impressive. It was almost impossible to make my way down to the front, which, although frustrating, also gives me a big of an adrenaline rush.
The fans were insane, the band was amazing, and I absolutely loved The Used. What a way to end the 2012 edition of the Vans Warped Tour.
[button link=\”http://thefrontrowreport.com/photos/2012/Warped%20Tour/\”] To view photos from Warped Tour click here[/button]
To hear interviews with the Warped Tour artists, click the links below:
Hyro Da Hero
To Write Love On Her Arms