You know summer has officially arrived in the Bay Area when the Vans Warped Tour makes its annual roll through Mountain View’s Shoreline Amphitheatre. Dozens of acts spread across 8 stages and a few tents with no preset schedule meant that the line to get it was obscenely long well-before the doors opened, as if seeing it all was even a remote possibility. If you’re going in cold, here are a few acts worth checking out:
- ’68 (Monster Stage): Two guys … one on guitar, one on drums … making a whole lot of noise. For us they were discovered through a random fly-by but you now have no excuse not to see them. At times they seemed like they were totally winging it but after watching them not miss a beat while a tech swap out a kick drum pedal in the middle of a song, there was no doubt that these guys possess a whole lot of kick ass.
- Icon For Hire (Journeys Left Stage): IFH found themselves in the unenviable time slot going up against Black Veil Brides who were playing at the exact same time on the main stage. Those that made the wise decision to head over to the Journeys Left Stage at the end of the day were rewarded with an energetic set that got them up close and personal with vocalist Ariel and her commanding style. There’s a very good reason IFH is making a return visit to Warped.
- Attila (Unicorn Stage): Another returning act from 2014, Attila received a much-deserved bump up to the main stage. The rap/metal weirdness fronted by the always-colorful Fronz hosted a jumbo-sized beer pong game using red trash cans on stage and white beach balls. Drinking games aside, the crowd ate it all up … no doubt one of the rowdiest sets of the day.
- August Burns Red (Shark Stage): Arguably the heaviest act of the day, the crowd ate up this no-nonsense metalcore and dished it right back at them. Head-banging aside, when else do you get to see a dude shred on guitar while wearing flipflops?
- Never Shout Never (Shark Stage): The backdrop with a cat shooting rainbows out of its third eye pretty much summed up the country-love weirdness that is Never Shout Never. Obviously hard to describe, this is one of those oddball acts that endear themselves to the audience (mostly female, in this case). It’s probably a safe assumption that they were the only act the used a ukulele all day.
And if you need more suggestions, TAT and Senses Fail are always a guaranteed good time (if only there were more hours in the day). And if all else fails, there are pictures to look at … lots of pictures …
August Burns Red
Icon For Hire (photos: Katie Snodgrass)
Never Say Never
Bless The Fall
Escape The Fate
Miss May I
New Years Day
Pierce the Veil
The Wonder Years
We Came As Romans (photos: Katie Snodgrass)
While She Sleeps
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