Yesterday was the first date of the 2012 Vans Warped Tour. I had not been to the Warped Tour for about 2 years because of a lack of bands I actually wanted to see, so I was pretty stoked when I saw that there were over 10 bands I wanted to see this year. I took my youngest brother who is 14 years old. It was his first concert (other than local shows) so I was also really excited to take him and show him all these bigger bands.
I'll just cut to the chase and talk about each band we saw, in alphabetical order:
Four Year Strong - Half the dudes were wearing their soon-to-be-infamous Warped Tour exclusive Hawaiian shirts, and damn did they look good! We didn't stick around for very long during their set, but they had most of the crowd in the palm of their hands.
Hyro Da Hero - I've been dying to see Hyro Da Hero for 2 or 3 years. This was the first time he's come to Utah so I was really excited to see his performance. He's a rapper with rock roots. He and his band were crazy as hell. They never sat still. There were only about 20 people in his crowd because no one knew who he was. But all I can say is that this dude's going to blow up. Just wait. By the end of the tour, he's going to have a huge crowd. I'm calling it now.
Kris Roe (The Ataris) - The Ataris have been in my top 3 favorite bands since I was about 13 or 14 years old. So every time I see Kris Roe and Company, I am always just retarded with happiness. I saw The Ataris for the first time during my first Warped Tour, in 2001. It was cool that my little brother saw The Ataris (give or take a few members) for the first time at his first Warped Tour, as well. Kris played in the Acoustic Basement tent. He played the hits, told stories, and also played a Misfits cover. It looked like he just had a big set list of songs that he knows how to play, and then he just picked and chose which ones he was in the mood to play. Some of the songs he played were "In This Diary," "San Dimas," "So Long Astoria," and "I.O.U. One Galaxy."
Living With Lions - Typical Warped Tour performance, I'd say. I like the band, but they were nothing special to watch so we didn't stick around too long. But if you're into Canadian punk hardcore stuff, and you haven't heard Living With Lions, definitely check them out. They may become your new favorite.
Man Overboard - We only saw them play a couple songs, but they were fun. I'd never seen them before, but I know of their songs, so it was cool. Not much to say about them.
New Found Glory - I came in during "Truck Stop Blues, " which I believe was about halfway into their set. They also played "Summer Fling Don't Mean A Thing," a cover of "Basket Case" by Green Day, and they ended with "My Friends Over You."
Senses Fail - I only walked by their show to refill my water bottle, but I couldn't help but notice that they should have been playing on a different stage. They played on the small Tilly Stage, yet their crowd was enormous. Bump them up to the main stage, Lyman.
Stepdad - This was one of my most anticipated bands to catch. I'd fallen in love with their EP and their brand new debut full length album a few weeks ago, so I was really excited to check them out. They had a really small crowd, but (like I said about Hyro Da Hero) these guys are going to be huge by the end of the tour. Seriously. If nothing else, just stop by their show and oogle the lead singer's sexy body and dance moves. They opened with "Squares" and ended with "My Leather, My Fur, My Nails." If you're into electro-pop, similar to bands like Passion Pit, you'll love this band. Stop by their tent and grab some free temporary Stepdad tattoos.
Taking Back Sunday - TBS was the last band we saw for the day. They came out on stage with "Circle Of Life" from The Lion King blasting out of the speakers. Definitely the coolest intro to any band's show we saw during the day. They played what you'd expect them to play. At one point, Adam threatened to "pop" someone in the face for throwing a 5 Hour Energy drink at him.
The Ghost Inside - For being their first time on the Warped Tour and on a main stage, they had a great turnout. They put on a flawless performance. They never stopped. 100% energy for the entire 30 minutes. They didn't play "Overlooked" which was a bummer to me, but besides that, it was a great set. Heavy on Returners songs, with a couple new ones mixed in, and one or two oldies.
The Used - I hadn't seen this band in years. Not just because I've been avoiding them, but they just haven't played in Utah for a long time, which is kind of odd since this is their "hometown." I didn't recognize half the songs they played, but "Take Me Away" and "The Taste of Ink" were in there, and they closed with "Pretty Handsome Awkward." The highlight of their show is when original drummer Branden Steinekert came out and played drums on "A Box Full of Sharp Objects" which Bert claimed as "the best song ever written."
Transit - I missed their acoustic set earlier in the day, but I was able to catch a bit of their full band set. These guys just never disappoint. It's kind of crazy to think that this is their first year on Warped Tour.
Yellowcard - My little brother was most excited to see Yellowcard, and they did not disappoint. A week or so ago, you might remember Ryan saying that he had some stuff done on his foot so he'd be sitting down for the first few dates of Warped Tour, but he came out walking and jumping around, which was nice to see. He rocked out the best he could, but by the last song or two, he was hobbling around and saying "I'm probably going to regret this in about an hour." The highlight of their set was that they played their new song "Always Summer" and this was the first time they'd ever performed it live.
- One of my buddies was playing at the Bring The Beat Back (or whatever it's called) tent, and Tyler Glenn of Neon Trees was there watching, as well.
- Matthew Lillard from SLC Punk was there signing stuff.
All in all, it was a very successful Warped Tour experience. I didn't get too sunburned (thank you SPF 72) and the 90 degree heat didn't feel too unbearable. My little bro and I each had a great time hanging out listening to music. Thankfully, my brother has better taste than most of the kids there so I wasn't forced to sit through the laughable bullshit that Warped Tour has this year. I'm looking at you Motionless In White, Falling In Reverse, and Vampires Everywhere...... (Honestly, how do these bands get such huge crowds?)
Recap: DO NOT MISS STEPDAD OR HYRO DA HERO. Seriously.