Over the past few years I've known plenty of people that have gone to Warped Tour, and I was even invited to go with someone for free at one point, but I never actually ended up going until this year. Usually there aren't many bands on the tour that interest me, so it's not worth the money, especially considering I have to take the day off work to go, however, this year was a bit different.
The main reason for my attendance this year was Paramore, who was playing select dates on the tour. A friend of mine who hadn't seen them before was dying to go, so we went together. Unfortunately Paramore was not playing the Carson date (about a half hour from my house), so to see them we had to drive down to Chula Vista, a city a bit south of San Diego and only a couple miles from the US/Mexico border. The drive down was not bad, but when we got off the freeway we were greeted with a two mile line of traffic leading to the venue, causing it to take a half hour just to get to the parking lot. Luckily we weren't late, so when we got through the front gates we had a bit of time to walk around.
After buying a schedule we went over to the Advent stage to see Winds of Plague. I've seen them three times in the past and they were always good live, but for whatever reason this time was a disaster. They had a good stage presence as usual, but their mix was horrible. The drums and vocals were way too loud, and on top of that Johnny sounded atrocious. Throughout their set I could barely hear the guitars, and if it wasn't for the fact that I was familiar with the songs I probably wouldn't have even known what was going on. That being said, their set consisted of five songs off Decimate the Weak
and only two new ones, so at least they know what the fans want to hear!
- Refined in the Fire
- Decimate the Weak
- Angels of Debauchery
- The Impaler
- One Body Too Many
- Drop the Match
After Winds of Plague finished we walked over to the mainstage to see August Burns Red. I've been wanting to see them for a few years now, but they're never on a tour that entices me. After passing up many opportunities, I would finally be able to cross them off my list. They were much better than I expected them to be. Their mix was great and they had a lot of energy on stage. The crowd was really into them the whole time and during "White Washed" a circle pit actually started behind us. The band was spot on and I was happy with their set list, although some fans might have been disappointed that they ignored the first album.
- White Washed
- Truth of a Liar
- Marianas Trench
- Poor Millionaire
- Back Burner
After catching a pick from one of the guitarists we met up with another friend of mine and decided to go over to the Monster lounge since there was no one playing that we were interested in. One of the girls working at the entrance commented on my Darkthrone shirt and told me how it was nice to see somebody who actually likes metal. At the lounge we enjoyed the air conditioning, although it actually wasn't that hot for this time of year. We all had two Monsters each and got more for later on. That probably wasn't the best decision I've made, but I couldn't resist free energy drinks. During this time Asking Alexandria was playing on the mainstage and we could see them from where we were sitting. It was actually pretty funny to watch them and their synchronized moves.
Eventually Asking Alexandria finished playing, so we went back to the mainstage to watch Against Me!. To be honest, I've never really listened to them before, but I've heard plenty of good things about them, so I wanted to watch them. I ended up being really impressed with them. Even though I wasn't familiar with their material I enjoyed their set. Unfortunately, it didn't seem like the crowd was too enthusiastic for them. From where I was standing I could only see people standing still.
- White Crosses
- Russian Spies
- Pints of Guinness Make You Strong
- Cliché Guevara
- White People For Peace
- I Was a Teenage Anarchist
- Because of the Shame
- Walking Is Still Honest
- Reinventing Axl Rose
- Don't Lose Touch
- Sink, Florida, Sink
We walked around for a while and eventually made our way over to the Advent stage again to wait for The Acacia Strain. When we got there Of Mice and Men was finishing up their set. It was weird to see them playing there, because I remember a couple years when they were just a local band playing at tiny clubs with no stages. I never really followed them, so I didn't realize how popular they've gotten since then. We sat down in the shade for a while until The Acacia Strain started to do their sound check. I wasn't really expecting much from them, since the last time I saw them they were mediocre, but I wanted to give them another chance. This time was no different. Vincent just doesn't sound as powerful live and he tends to get lazy and not scream all of the lyrics, opting to talk through them instead. The rest of the band sounded great though, so it wasn't too disappointing. Not surprisingly, a fight broke out during one of the breakdowns.
- The Hills Have Eyes
- Whoa! Shut it Down
- Dr. Doom
- The Impaler
Once they finished we headed back to the mainstage to get a spot for Paramore. After Gym Class Heroes wrapped up their set we were able to get a little closer, but it was still pretty packed. A little bit before Paramore came on stage a girl in front of us decided to get on her boyfriend's shoulders, successfully pissing off a fair amount of people. A few them dumped water on her and one person even through a half full bottle at her. Despite this, she refused to get down. However, moments before the band started playing we pushed our way past her, so we didn't have to deal with that anymore. After a couple songs a handful of people who hadn't anticipated being pushed back and forth were trying to find their way out of the crowd. There was an endless amount of crowd surfers and during "Careful" there was even a small pit. Eventually we ended up near the front and had a much better view. Hayley sounded spectacular, as did the rest of the band. If there was anybody that decided against seeing them after losing the Farro brothers, you made the wrong choice. They were just as incredible as when I saw them last year. Their set list focused on their more upbeat songs, and included a good mix of material. They brought back "Here We Go Again", a song that hasn't been in their sets for a couple years now. During "Misery Business" I crowd surfed and when I was pulled over the rail I noticed that I was completely drenched in sweat. It was the most fun I've had at a show in a while.
- That's What You Get
- For a Pessimist, I'm Pretty Optimistic
- Looking Up
- Here We Go Again
- Misery Business
I met up with my friend again and we sat down for a while until A Day to Remember came on. I've never been a fan of them, but we watched a few songs anyway. They actually sounded really good live, and inspired me to give them another shot. I wanted to watch Miss May I though, so we left to the Advent stage. Miss May I is a band that has never really clicked with me for some reason, but they were actually really impressive live. They were very tight and I was surprised that the bassist could pull off the clean vocals so well. After they finished their set Levi came out to take pictures with the fans, so I went and said hi to him and mentioned Brad and Cameron. He was told me to tell you guys what's up.
- Forgive and Forget
- Masses of a Dying Breed
- Our Kings
- Swing (Savage cover)
- Relentless Chaos
Next we walked to the Ernie Ball stage to see A Skylit Drive. I've been into them since they had their EP out, but this was my first time seeing them. Unfortunately, The Devil Wears Prada was going to start playing five minutes after they started, so I was only planning on watching a couple songs. I don't really like anything they put out after the first album anyway, so leaving wasn't a big deal to me. Luckily the second song was one from Wires...and the Concept of Breathing
, therefore I got what I came to hear at least.
- Ex Marks the Spot
- All it Takes for Your Dreams to Come True
- The Cali Buds
- I'm Not a Thief, I'm a Treasure Hunter
- Identity on Fire
- Wires and the Concept of Breathing
- Too Little Too Late
We got to the mainstage as The Devil Wears Prada was starting their second song. The last time I saw them I thought the clean vocals were their undoing, but they were excellent this time. Mike Hranica's screams might be the best in the scene, and he does them with ease live. The band was very energetic on stage and they sounded perfect. For this tour they played mostly newer material, which I was satisfied with. Their set seemed much too brief though. As the headlining band I figured they would get a longer set, but they played 40 minutes like all the other bands on the mainstage. Hopefully I will see them again later this year.
- Lord Xenu (end) / Danger: Wildman
- Dogs Can Grow Beards All Over
- Dez Moines
- Hey John, What's Your Name Again?
- Born to Lose
- Assistant to the Regional Manager / Survivor (end)
After the show we ended up getting stuck in the parking lot for an hour, but the drive home was fairly quick. Overall it was a great day at Warped Tour and perhaps I will go again sometime.
Thanks to Setlist.fm for the sets that I didn't catch.