2014 marks the 20th anniversary of Vans Warped Tour. For two decades, Vans has sponsored one of the most talked about music festivals, and made history by introducing people to bands on every level of the fame food chain at locations peppering the world. This year, Warped Tour hit over 25 states and two Canadian provinces, bringing music and debauchery along for the ride.
By 11am, doors opened and people scampered for maps and to stages to hear their favorite bands. First up on the Monster Energy stage was Chelsea Grin (★★★) who drew a thick crowd early in the day. They played through Recreant and Cheyne Stokes, complete with enough shrieks and growls to make all of their fans go wild. Next up was Every Time I Die (★★★★★) who put on a completely brilliant performance thanks to Keith Buckley going out of his way to get the crowd involved. He leapt off the stage, climbed the barricade, and joined the fans for most of a song. The entire band fully committed to their stage performance, and the crowd ate it up.
After a short break we moved to the Kia stages and checked out Mayday Parade (★★★★) who put on a solid, energetic show, and played through When You See My Friends and Jamie All Over. The crowd was thick for their set and stoked to see them play. Next up was Four Year Strong (★★★★★) who just destroyed it. These guys have boundless energy, know how to put on a show, and know how to rile up a crowd, which they did.
After a short break, Enter Shikari (★★★★★) took the stage and put on the single most mental show of the day. Rou Reynolds dominated the stage, took a huge leap off of some stacked amps, jumped down to the barricade to sing with the audience, and was a whirling dervish of energy. Rou also showed the crowd that he could deliver delicate, melodic vocals during Destabilise and Radiate, which stood in stark contrast to the his vocals through the rest of the set. This is undoubtedly a band to watch.
The Story So Far (★★★★) took the stage, and Parker Cannon reminded the crowd that he’s from Greensboro, NC to thunderous applause. They played through Things I Can’t Change and Roam to a crowd that went bananas. Right afterwards, Parkway Drive (★★★★★) hopped up on stage and enjoyed the crowd as much as the crowd enjoyed their set. These awesome Aussies put on a high-energy set, and you could see the joy on Winston McCall’s face throughout, especially when he asked the crowd to start a giant circle pit around one of the festival’s tents, which didn’t quite work out!
If you have not seen The Devil Wears Prada (★★★★★) live, you need to change that. Mike Hranica’s showmanship is tremendous, and this band commits to their performance. They played Outnumbered and Mammoth to a crowd that ate it all up. Next up was The Summer Set (★★★) who provided a nice break from the intensity of most of the bands on Warped Tour’s bill this year. However, their songs and Brian Dales’ stage performance were a bit cliché. George Michael would’ve approved of his outfit though.
Before leaving the Kia stages, we made sure to check out Yellowcard (★★★★★) who drew a thick, active crowd, and just destroyed it. Ryan Key and Sean Mackin make an incredible team on stage, and it must be said that Sean Mackin is a beast on the violin. They played Light Up The Sky and Awakening, and left the crowd wanting more.
Moving on to the Journeys and Warheads stages, we caught Bayside (★★★★★) who were tremendous in every way. They had fun, played songs for both new and old fans, and Jack O’Shea shredded relentlessly. Make Bayside a band to see! Next up was We Are The In Crowd (★★★★★) and Tay Jardine was absolutely on point for the entire high-energy set. Tay knows exactly how to engage the crowd, and she did a great job of it.
Volumes (★★★) took the stage next, and played a relatively short set, that was not particularly action packed. The set was solid, but Volumes failed to really differentiate themselves from the wealth of Metal and Hardcore acts at Warped Tour this year.
Cute Is What We Aim For (★★★★) was a breath of fresh air with their upbeat, pop-sensible lyrics and energetic set. They played to the crowd and had a great time on stage. Finally, Echosmith (★★★) closed out the evening. This very young band played an upbeat pop-rock set full of lyrics that lacked real depth, designed explicitly to appeal to tweens and young teenagers. Their stage presence also lacked in experience and authority, which made for an unremarkable performance overall.
Warped Tour is a marathon experience for both fans and bands, and despite this festival being 20 years old, it hasn’t slowed down. Whether you go to see bands you love or check out bands you’ve never seen before, Warped Tour is a festival that everyone should experience at least once. We’re already looking forward to checking it out next year!
- Photos: Chelsea Grin – Warped Tour 2014
- Photos: Every Time I Die – Warped Tour 2014
- Photos: MayDay Parade – Warped Tour 2014
- Photos: The Ghost Inside – Warped Tour 2014
- Photos: Four Year Strong – Warped Tour 2014
- Photos: Enter Shikari – Warped Tour 2014
- Photos: The Story So Far – Warped Tour 2014
- Photos: Parkway Drive – Warped Tour 2014
- Photos: The Devil Wears Prada – Warped Tour 2014
- Photos: The Summer Set – Warped Tour 2014
- Photos: Yellowcard – Warped Tour 2014
- Photos: Bayside – Warped Tour 2014
- Photos: We Are The In Crowd – Warped Tour 2014
- Photos: Volumes – Warped Tour 2014
- Photos: Cute Is What We Aim For – Warped Tour 2014
- Photos: Echosmith – Warped Tour 2014