The traveling circus that is Warped Tour came into town over the weekend. The long list of bands and the even longer lines of fans all gathered at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Saturday morning for the yearly installment. Some of the more recognizable bands on the roster were actually returning Warped veterans: Set It Off, Ballyhoo!, Mayday Parade, Reel Big Fish, and Tonight Alive.
As usual, Warped Tour had a little bit of everything. Sum41 has returned with their original line-up and a new record. If the brief set was any indication, the community is happy to have them back and this new album will be aiming high. We The Kings returned once again to give some much-needed pop to the tour, proving they can write hit after hit even after all these years. Real Friends, Mayday Parade, and State Champs are bringing the pop-punk to the tour on the Journeys stages and supporting their recent albums.
Also sharing the Journeys stage was Set It Off, who put on a killer performance complete with stunts and dance moves. Not to be outdone, Less than Jake had a mascot firing tees into the crowd and even State Champs brought inflatable arm men. The production quality of many of the bands’ sets was much higher than it has been in the previous years of Warped Tour. This made for a much better show and gave a better example of what it’s like to see these bands live on their own tours.
New blood Against The Current brought an energetic show to the Cyclops stage. If you are a fan of Pvris or Echosmith, watch out for this band – they are definitely going somewhere. Also gaining some much-needed attention were pop-punkers Broadside and Knuckle Puck. And definitely keep an eye on DC natives Staunton. This American rock band stood out with their Black Keys-like sound, which was very refreshing on a tour dominated by the familiar pop-punk genre. They are playing in Annapolis in just a few short weeks and are worth checking out.
Another Warped band that is swinging by soon, and sadly for the last time, is Yellowcard. They recently announced they would be splitting up at the end of their fall farewell tour. It was a bittersweet goodbye as they played songs from Ocean Avenue to a saddened crowd, many of whom knew that this was the last time they would see the band and hear their hits live.
Unlike last year, the weather was perfect for most of the show. It was sunny for the majority of the day with rain starting around 6PM. Luckily most of the acts had gone on by then, but the weather did not stop people from sticking around for acts like Sleeping With Sirens and The Maine. The bands seemed to like the refreshing downpour, stepping out from the stages to get a bit wet during their sets.
As usual Warped Tour did a fantastic job of bringing everything to Merriweather. If you have yet to go to Warped, it’s highly recommended. It’s very hard to beat seeing that many bands for such a cheap ticket. Plus many of these bands will be coming back to the area in a few months. Be sure to check back here as we review those shows and many others. For pictures of the show, keep scrolling down and also check out facebook.com/OwenPaterlinePhotography were more will be posted throughout the week.
All images provided by: Owen Paterline Photography.