Warped Tour rolled through Massachusetts yesterday and it marked a great start to summer festival season for me. It provided the typical diverse lineup which sets it apart from other festival and was definitely the best Warped Tour out of the two I've been to.
I got there around 12 after getting stuck in traffic for a little bit. My friends and I got inside the Comcast Center really fast and we immediately b-lined to the dude selling schedules. After buying my schedule, I found out that the only bands we had missed were Motionless In White and Falling In Reverse, both of whom I did not care about seeing in the slightest. I also lucked out for the most part in terms of seeing all the bands I wanted with the exception of the conflict between Every Time I Die and A Loss For Words (I was pretty bummed because I really wanted to see A Loss For Words, but Every Time I Die was one of only two bands I was going to choose seeing over them). New Found Glory was the only other band I wanted to see that I didn't get the chance to see, but it wasn't that big of a deal because I am not a rabid fan of them.
The first band of the day I caught was Man Overboard and I wasn't really impressed at all. Just like their studio stuff, they were just alright. I think they are just too sappy, even for pop-punk. I will say they did sound exactly like their studio recordings, so if you're a fan of their music you will love their live show. Not bad, but I couldn't really into their set.
There was a small gap in between Man Overboard and Every Time I Die, so I watched a terrible local metal band (really bad metalcore/deathcore hybrid). After that I went around and looked at merch and the many other tents that Warped Tour has and I ended up buying a pretty sick Every Time I Die shirt. Before too long, Every Time I Die took the stage and killed it. They were just as good and energetic as they were at Warped two years ago the first time I saw them. They played a set consisting of songs off their new record Ex Lives and older favorites from Hot Damn! and Gutter Phenomenon (Surprisingly nothing off of New Junk Aesthetic though). The new stuff sounded great live (Stoked to see "I Suck (Blood)" in there and "Underwater Bimbos from Outer Space" is a perfect set opener) and the older songs were equally enjoyable. I really hope I get to see them headline at some point in time, I need to see them play for more than a half hour. Definitely a contender for best set of the day. Stupid, but awesome side note: Keith Buckley was wearing a Free Randy Blythe shirt.
I went and watched Yellowcard for shits and giggles after Every Time I Die. To my surprise, they were actually pretty good! They were having a great time on stage and their singer sounded much better than on disc. It was kind of surreal seeing a band I listened to when I was 12 or 13 years old years later. The place of course erupted during "Only One", "Lights and Sounds", and especially "Ocean Avenue". Their new stuff definitely sounded weaker than the older stuff and I'm sure that's case even though I haven't listened to any of their records outside of Ocean Avenue. I'm glad I checked out Yellowcard, they were way better than expected.
I went back to the Monster Stage and watched For Today. They were alright, but they are a tad bit generic for my liking. Way too many breakdowns, but they have a decent vocalist and some solid riffs from time to time. One thing that pissed me off about their set was the Christianity rant the singer went on. I know this bands message is to spread the word of Jesus, but this was just ridiculous. He basically yelled at the crowd for 3 minutes about how we were all going to face Jesus and have a path to follow and whatever. I have no problem with someone being religious, but forcing your religious beliefs on others is wrong in my eyes. Other than that their performance was inoffensive, but I doubt I will check out their studio stuff or go out of my way to see them again.
I ventured over to the amphitheater stage to see Miss May I. I missed the first few songs, but they put on a solid show. Levi Benton really knows how to work a crowd and his vocals sounded pretty spot-on as well (I talked to him briefly and he seems like a really nice guy too). They got a pretty ridiculous reception as well and there was a shitload of people there to see them. It blows my mind how big this band has gotten in only a few years. These guys are really young (Most of the members are only a year or two older than me) and they have a long career ahead of them. I thoroughly enjoyed their performance and they're without a doubt a better live band than a studio band
Right after Miss May I, I went back out to the side lot and watched Born of Osiris. They were only band of the band of the day that slightly disappointed me the whole day. They were still very good, but they were ten times better when I saw them at New England Metal and Hardcore Festival last year. Ronnie Canizaro's vocals have definitely taken a bit of a dip since the last time I saw them, but he got better as the set progressed. The new guitarist played Jason Richardson's parts on The Discovery songs well. Those are big shoes to fill when you lose a guitarist that is that good, but he was up to the challenge and did a amicable job. I will absolutely see them again and hopefully they will better than this time around.
After the Burial was on next and they mightily impressed. They were the band I was most excited to see on the day outside of Every Time I Die and they did not disappoint in the slightest. The band was tight as hell and Anthony Notarmaso did a spectacular job on vocals (His low screams were especially impressive). The set was heavy on Rarefrom material which was awesome because that's easily their best album in my opinion. "Berzerker" has to be one of the best live songs ever. The intro comes across even better live ( Rhythm guitarist Justin Lowe was playing his parts behind his head!)and the breakdown in the middle is still the best breakdown ever written. They tore up the tiny Kevin Says Stage and the pretty big crowd was super into their set. I can't wait for them to release a new album and for their next tour. A toss-up between them and Every Time I Die for best show of the day.
Once After the Burial wrapped up I caught the last four songs of A Loss for Words acoustic set in the Acoustic Basement tent. I was happy that I got to see them after missing their regular set earlier and I enjoyed their performance, but it didn't completely fulfill my craving to see them. The tent was packed and I couldn't hear them that well due to all the other stages bleeding in from time to time and people singing the lyrics really loud. It was still cool to see them play acoustically in a really intimate setting and will hold me over until I get to see them play a regular set in the (hopefully near) future.
I caught Transit afterward to pass the time and they were pretty good. Their performance was definitely comprable to their set at the Glamour Kills Tour in March. The band was really into their performance and the singer even dove into the crowd during the last song. Just like the last time I saw them, the hometown crowd was going nuts for them and that definitely added to the experience. Their studio stuff still does nothing for me and there definitely better pop punk bands out there, but they still put on a pretty good show.
Next came the biggest surprise of the day: Four Year Strong. Holy shit these guys were fucking great! I never got into their studio stuff, but their performance yesterday makes me want to revisit that. They had some pretty killer riffs and their pop punk/hardcore hybrid was just so too much damn fun live. They were having the time of their lives on stage and were so appreciative of the hometown crowd coming out and showing their support. I am going to be honest these guys had a similar vibe to A Day To Remember and if the quality of their live show is any indicator, they are a better band in my opinion. I still can't get over how good they were and they were definitely in the top tier of performances for the day.
The Ghost Inside closed out my day at Warped Tour and they were quite good. Their style of melodic hardcore/metalcore is made for a live setting. They kind of remind me of a tamer, more melodic version of Hatebreed. The energy from the band and the crowd was relentless and it made for an infectiously fun performance. They got a huge circle pit going around the sound booth during their second to last song which put the rest of the circle pits for the day to shame. The Ghost Inside may not be the most musically complex band on the planet, but they are great at what they do and they closed out Warped Tour on a high note with one of the stronger performances of the day. Warped Tour was a great fucking time and I hope next year has a good lineup so I can go again.
3/14 Dropkick Murphys
4/10 At the Gates/Converge