Written and photographed by Joseph Martinez
Vans Warped Tour
West Palm Beach, FL
July 26, 2014
The three words that send shivers down hundreds of metalheads and screaming teens everywhere: VANS WARPED TOUR! One would think you’d get bored or used to the same event every year, but there is always so much to see and enjoy at one of the most unique festivals to circle the country.
Florida is home to unexpected weather changes, but it is always heart-warming to see hundreds of fans ready to stick through the worst to see their favorite artists perform.
To the right of the entrance is the outer portion of the festival, with about 8-10 stages, hosting various genres of music, from hip hop, to techno, and of course, some hardcore rock.
First up in my line of sight was For All Those Sleeping, a band who packs a heavy punch, featuring some devilish vocals along with breakdowns and bass drops that left the crowd trembling. This was quite a wake-up performance, being one of the first to take the stage with an energy that kept my eyes glued to them through their entire set.
Soon after, on a stage not far away, was time for Cute Is What We Aim For to perform. They split but recently reunited, so their music was still very familiar. The soft lyrics accompanied by head-bopping guitar and bass riffs empowered by almost angelic vocals make this band a force not to be messed with. “Practice Makes Perfect,” “There’s a Class For This,” and everyone’s favorite, “The Curse of Curves” graced our ears, and I personally cannot wait to see this band again.
The sun was unforgiving as it beamed down like a match to my skin. Sleeping With Sirens had a crowd so large that it filled the entire roofed theater. Although the stage was divided in two, the crowd expanded all the way to the grass behind the seated area. For Today rocked on the same stage with one of the heaviest of hardcore forces I’ve ever encountered. Falling in Reverse took the same stage later on in the evening, causing some problems as the singer, Ronnie Radke tried picking a fight with a member of the audience whom wasn’t even watching them perform but simply waiting for the next band to come on stage!
On the outside stages, Motionless in White didn’t disappoint with their menacing goth style and piercing screams. A Skylit Drive showed off their new look, all clad in leather and short hair, along with a new singing style which I must say, was a huge difference compared to their previous three albums, but nonetheless, full of talent and innovation. Fit For A King were jaw-dropping with guttural screaming unlike anything I’ve ever heard, a surprising genre for a Christian hardcore band. My highlight was The Word Alive, being my favorite band, I had looked forward to seeing them for months. Lyrics that inspire you to be more, to never give up, followed by screams backed up by bass drops and even a mix of dubstep here and there, these guys are a new style of hardcore, and I can’t wait to see what they’ll have for us down the road.
All in all, Warped Tour is the one and only place where rockers of all types can come and scream alongside strangers, start circle pits and have random conversations about your favorite songs. I’ll forever desire Warped Tour to be a daily event, but the countdown begins yet again for Warped Tour 2015!