Lets Do The Warped Tour Again

By on July 8, 2015

 

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Andy Biersack BVB (Photo-Travis Failey)

The annual 2015 Vans Warped Tour arrived in Vinoy Park in Saint Petersburg just in time to kick off the 4th of July festivities and brought with it its own version of fireworks. With an eclectic variety of stages and bands, The Vans Warped Tour always provides the attendees with sounds to satisfy all appetites. But Warped isn’t all about the music, it’s also about the culture and the individuality of the fans. People of all ages attend and you will see that Warped is also a family affair as parents arrive with their kids and enjoy not only watching them rock out, but also getting into the mix with them. Another great reason for the parents to come with their kids is that one parent gets in for free with a ticketed minor.

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(Photo-Travis Failey)

For as long as we have been covering this tour, it has been held in July which is one of the two hottest months in Florida, with the other month being August. With hardly a breeze coming off the Gulf of Mexico, the heat took its toll on many, including most of the performers who mentioned it during their sets. Sure it was mad hot but with Monster Energy supplying some free drinks at their hydration and relaxation station, the show went on and it was a great afternoon of music.

 

Monster

Monster Girls (Photo-Travis Failey)

Starting off my Warped experience this year started like the previous ones, you arrive and hit the nearest map vendor with the stages and artist schedule. With nine stages of music, a comedy stage and band signings throughout the day, you have to pace yourself and set a schedule. You also have to get there early because the band schedule doesn’t get released until the day of the event and you can miss some bands you really want to see.

Kevin Thrasher Gruft

Kevin Thrasher Gruft (Photo-Travis Failey)

Catching the tail end of Escape the Fate was a disappointment as I was one of those who arrived a bit late and got bit by the schedule bug. They are not only an up and coming band but also great to photograph. The whole band, but especially vocalist Craig Mabbitt and the twin guitar attack of TJ Bell and Thrasher, played up to the crowd with the highlight being their hit “One For The Money”. The crowd was singing in unison with Mabbit and if you like high energy, catchy song writing and quality live entertainment, check out Escape the Fate.

Cody Carson Set it Off

Cody Carson Set it Off (Photo-Travis Failey)

After Escape the Fate and prior to Memphis May Fire, Set It Off, the hometown boys from Tampa brought a different sound to the dual main stages that would be heard throughout the day. A pop rock sound with punk influences mixed in and a lead singer in Cody Carson to command the crowd and to feed off of. With great energy and catchy lyrics, Set It Off is a band to watch as they rise in the Alternative landscape.

Jake Luhrs August Burns Red

Jake Luhrs August Burns Red (Photo-Travis Failey)

Levi Benton Miss May I 01

Levi Benton Miss May I (Photo-Travis Failey)

The two main stages would then turn into a showcase for a couple of subgenres of metal: metalcore and hardcore. I’ll never be able to figure out the difference between the two, but they seem to sound the same and the new generation of metal fans get it. For the next three hours, August Burns Red, Memphis May Fire, Asking Alexandria, Miss May I, Bless the Fall and We Came as Romans gave the “core” fans exactly what they came for. The music would change up a bit as but still remain “quasi metal” with Pierce the Veil and Black Veil Brides up next but prior to them, a change of scenery and sound was needed.

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Asking Alexandria (Photo-Travis Failey)

Matty Mullins Memphis May Fire

Matty Mullins Memphis May Fire (Photo-Travis Failey)

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Macy Kate (Photo-Travis Failey)

Traveling throughout Vinoy Park, two shining and standout female vocalists caught my ear. One of them in the Acoustic Basement stage area in Macy Kate and the other in Bebe Rexha. These two combine a perfect combination of sight and sound but do it a bit differently. Rexha is in your face with edge and Kate has the voice that can be described as “angelic”. They were a perfect break from the Shark and Unicorn stages and was example of why Warped is a great event to attend. Variety is a spice of life and speaking of variety, it lead me to the Beatport stage a couple times throughout the day.

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Bebe Rexha (Photo-Travis Failey)

La Castle Vania and Drama Club got the EDM crowd bouncing to a different beat. La Castle Vania did it in a more straightforward style with a couple of turntables then Drama Club. Drama Club incorporates not only turntables but the two performers, Zero and Andromeda play bass and drums to create their own style of electric house and shock pop. Definitely a must-see if they come to your town.

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Le Castle Vania (Photo-Travis Failey)

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Andromeda Drama Club (Photo-Travis Failey)

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Zero Drama Club (Photo-Travis Failey)

Throughout the day bouncing from stage to stage and taking in the music festival as a whole, the variety of spectators and their appearances was worth the price of admission alone. From super hero costumes, Speedos and some wearing leather from head-to-toe, Warped is where you can be who you are, if only for a day.  Sure you might get a double take from someone, but you are accepted.

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(Photo-Travis Failey)

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(Photo-Travis Failey)

Warped also provided the fan access to the performers at their tents for meet and greats and other artistic opportunities throughout the day. You will see this at other festivals but not at arena shows and never at the level of Warped. There are also a variety of charities and activists that have booths setup to recruit and engage the attendees.

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(Photo-Travis Failey)

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(Photo-Travis Failey)

With Drama Club finishing up on the Beatport stage, Emarosa would be on the Hard Rock Kevin Says Stage. Emarosa has been one of the most talked about bands via social media since the tour started and they didn’t disappoint. Vocalist Bradley Walden was a madman on stage, in the crowd and hanging from the rafters during Emarosa’s high-energy, aggressive set. They were one of the highlights of the day.

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Bradley Walden Emarosa (Photo-Travis Failey)

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Bradley Walden Emarosa (Photo-Travis Failey)

After Emarosa, It was back to the main stage where Black Veil Brides would tear up the Shark main stage with their own brand of metal that has evolved and garnered various awards and world wide fans. They have a great chemistry and Andy Biersack has taken his vision and his band to another level. Some old-schoolers may dislike their sound or they are jealous of their huge success, but Black Veil Brides studied what worked in the 80’s and tweeked it for a new generation. In support of 2014 self titled release which won the Alternative Press album of the year, Black Veil Brides owned this years Warped Tour.  For 40 minutes all the girls in the crowd wanted to be with them and the guys wanted to be them.

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Andy Biersack BVB (Photo-Travis Failey)

Ashley Purdy BVB

Ashley Purdey BVB (Photo-Travis Failey)

Black Veil Brides would be the last band that I would cover at this years Vans Warped Tour. I had planned on staying much longer and covering at least Family Force Five and the Karma Killers but two other Florida summer weather staples would roll in after the Black Veil Brides set. They weren’t on the Warped schedule but heavy rain and sky filling lightning would overwhelm Vinoy park  as many ran for cover as others stood while the bands played on.

Jaime Preciado Pierce The Veil

Jaime Preciado Pierce The Veil (Photo-Travis Failey)

Bebe Rexha 01

Bebe Rexha (Photo-Travis Failey)

This year’s version of the Vans Warped Tour proved once again why I love this event. You get to hear bands that you probably wouldn’t listen to and you walk away a new fan. There’s also the people and the way the treat others at the event. Haven’t seen a fight yet at Warped and the crowd surfing is out of control. Hats off to the security team once again as they have the hardest job in the business.

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(Photo-Travis Failey)

After this year I thought it might be time to pass the Warped Torch but there’s no way to pass up one of the country’s best festivals and one where a good time and a smile is always had and shared.

For more info and upcoming tour stops: http://vanswarpedtour.com/dates

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(Photo-Travis Failey)

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(Photo-Travis Failey)

Jinx BVB

Jinx BVB (Photo-Travis Failey)

Brent Rambler August Burns Red

Brent Rambler August Burns Red (Photo-Travis Failey)

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(Photo-Travis Failey)

Mike Fuentes Pierce The Veil

Mike Fuentes Pierce The Veil (Photo-Travis Failey)

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(Photo-Travis Failey)

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Macy Kate (Photo-Travis Failey)

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(Photo-Travis Failey)

 

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(Photo-Travis Failey)

Denis Stoff Asking Alexandria

Denis Stoff Asking Alexandria (Photo-Travis Failey)

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(Photo-Travis Failey)

 

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