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Vans Warped Tour ’13 – “Best Day Ever”

With all the years that I have attended Vans Warped Tour, I’d have to say that from both the perspective of a fan and media this year has been the best. This year Vans Warped Tour in Toronto took place July 5 at the Molson Amphitheatre, this is the second year in a row that Warped Tour has been held at this location. Despite the layout of the flats, the festival was way more organized than what it was the previous year at this location. There were more hydration centers, and some vendors gave out free drinks or food (such as popsicles.) Although the day was not a scorching hot day, I found this very useful and responsible of Warped Tour.

This year Vans Warped Tour added a new stage, Domo-kun stage. I found this pretty exciting being a Domo fan myself. Domo is already in his own way; a rock star with the show, memorabilia, and him being posted all over the Internet. I assume that Big Tent Entertainment decided to take Domo’s fame one step further with sponsoring Vans Warped Tour 2013. Domo made appearances throughout the festival where fans could meet the cute rectangular mascot, and there were some tents where you can share your love for Domo and get the loveable mascot airbrushed onto your skin.

Vans Warped Tour ’13 had the slogan Best Day Ever, this I can agree on. Despite what band or artist performed I found the overall atmosphere from the crowd and the performers were astonishing. Every stage that I bypassed during the day had a crowd in front of it, the crowds consisted 20 or 200 people if not more, I did not see one stage that was completely empty. I was happy to see that the Acoustic stage/tent was there again this year, big names such as Craig Owens (Chiodos) performed there as well as Beebs and her Money Makers. The tent was packed each time I passed it.

I was able to see quite a few bands this year, especially my favorites. The first performance I went to see was Black Veil Brides. Despite what some people might think of them, I am never disappointed when I see them perform live. Black Veil Brides performed songs from their latest album Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones and a couple from their previous album Set the World on Fire. They also sang their cover of Billy Idol’s hit Rebel Yell, which made me feel old when I looked around and was one of the few people who actually knew the words. The band was full of energy, Andy Six (lead singer) interacted with the crowd with having them finish off parts of the songs and he even went right up to the crowd. With the years that they have been performing the band has not lost their touch, Andy’s raspy hypnotic voice was as mesmerizing as always, and the girl fans still cried and screamed when they came on stage all throughout their performance. Each fan knew every single word of every song (except for their idol cover), all sang in harmony with the band and this made it quite the experience. I’m glad Black Veil Brides has made it this far and look forward to their future work.

The next performance that I went to see was Japan’s Crossfaith. The Toronto date on the Vans Warped Tour was Crossfaith’s first ever-Canadian show, and when speaking with them in my interview, they were very pleased with the turn out and the energy from the audience. Crossfaith is a Metal band from Osaka, Japan; and I knew right away that I would like them when I saw Ikegawa (bassist) put a Whiskey bottle into the air as if he was making a toast to the crowd and then went to chug quite a bit of the bottle back. The band consisted of five members each playing their hearts out. They opened with Monolith, which pumped up the crowd before Ken’s vocals even begun. Then they played my favourite song Jägerbomb, followed by a few other songs of theirs like Levianthe and Quasar. Their set was phenomenal, their stage presence and performance was remarkable, and I would definitely go see them perform again if given a chance. I am glad Vans Warped Tour let Crossfaith join the bill and I hope that they will be back for next years Warped as well. Check out their new album Apocalyze, coming out this September.

The third band I went to see perform was Hawthorne Heights. They played a lot of old stuff such as We are So Last Year, Saying Sorry, Ohio is for Lovers and Pens & Needles. Hawthorne Heights did not move around a lot on stage, regardless they still got a huge reaction out of the crowd. The band surprisingly sounded just like they do on album, which I think is nice to show there isn’t a lot of editing to the lead vocals and other vocals. Some band members were wearing patches with their latest band logo from their new album Zero. I’m glad to see Hawthorne Heights still performing, bringing a crowd back from their earlier days and more recent fans. The crowd enjoyed their set and so did I.

Saving the best for last is The Used. I could not believe how big the crowd was for The Used, I was very pleased to hear that Bert and the band got over the border with no issues this year, unlike the last. I can tell that the band was happy to be back as well. The Used came out with ski masks on their faces accompanied with an entourage of people in the same masks holding colorful powder that they threw into the audience when the band opened with Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit. Bert was letting out his inner Cobain, and by doing so the crowd went crazy; I have never seen so much energy in a crowd. Their set list consisted mostly of older songs such as Pretty Handsome Awkward, A Box Full of Sharp Objects, Take it Away, the Taste of Ink, and many more. They also played one new song entitled Iddy Biddy from their brand new EP The Ocean of the Sky. This was my first time seeing The Used perform live out of the nine years of listening to them, and they did not disappoint me one bit. I hope to see The Used come back to Canada and continue to perform for many years to come.

Vans Warped Tour 2013 was most definitely my Best Day Ever regardless of the rain; I cannot wait until next year and see what it has in store for 2014.

+ Victoria Church

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