Warped Tour will forever be special– whilst it’s only a taster of its American counterpart, the UK show consists of a variety of new and old talent that is key to keeping the alternative music scene thriving. We had a blast this year, seeing a whole host of different bands and artists from a mixture of genres.
First up, we caught the fantastic Rob Lynch and he’s not just a pretty face. Armed with his full band for the set, Lynch’s crooning vocals were a cut above the rest as he sang heartfelt songs that really struck a chord.
The prominent accent in his vocals was endearing, if anything making the set feel more personal which the crowd lapped up eagerly. Despite an early set, the energy was still high and Lynch’s voice was able to carry him above the sounds of the band, making sure that he wasn’t going to drown amongst the riffs.
“We’re not metalcore, but thank you for being here!” Lynch called out to the crowd, and that statement in itself proves a lot. Though usually taking to the stage on his own, for a primarily acoustic artist to gather such a crowd and receive a positive response at a festival aimed towards the harder side of alternative music, that really says a lot.
Next, the pop-punk wonders of Man Overboard were keen to show their relentless behaviour. Nothing can compare to their energy– like a kid on too many E-numbers, the band stormed across the entire stage, making the most of what they had to work with.
Though pop-punk is a somewhat niche genre – too many bands spilling out the same kind of droning crap – Man Overboard are a breath of fresh air because they are far from generic. Unfortunately, with a sound that’s too cram-packed it was sometimes hard to differentiate the vocals amongst the mix, but the crowd didn’t care in the slightest.
Despite being granted a much earlier slot to what they’re probably used to, it didn’t seem to matter as the band were clearly enjoying themselves, which reflected onto their fans.
Although, the highlight of not only our day, but probably the day of plenty of Warped Tour goers, were the California pop-rockers, Metro Station. Sadly, it wasn’t a highlight for a necessarily good reason but there was plenty to remember at least.
Smoke billowed out onto the stage before the infamous vocalist Trace Cyrus and the rest of the band took their positions. Before he even said a word, dressed in a ridiculous leather waistcoat and sunglasses indoors (did nobody tell him that this is a fashion faux par only acceptable for the blind?), Cyrus oozes plenty of arrogance which is an immediate turn off.
Credit must be given for his attempt at crowd involvement, however. There were plenty of girls willing to throw themselves in his direction so encouraging them to sing along wasn’t too hard, and probably a good thing considering his own vocal performance was lacking considerably. Halfway through the set, the band themselves drowned out his voice but there weren’t any complaints from this end.
The music itself seems to be far too young for them; the band appear to be stuck in their 2006 phase as they continue to sing songs about a girl liking girls, giving off a terrible attitude towards women in general.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, he only went and took his shirt off– the desperation was strong and made the performance laughable. Considering it was their first time in the UK in six years, they really should have stayed in America.
Another act that were a dip into those haunted teenage years was Never Shout Never. Christofer Drew can sing– that’s something that nobody could argue against, even if his genre of music isn’t to their taste. Armed with a little ukulele, there’s something oddly nice and exciting about him. He’s confident, yet not cocky, and he’s not afraid to slow down and sing a powerful, heart-wrenching ballad that sends a chill down the spine.
Of course, to then mix up the acoustic sounds with a reggae tone, it’s brave but it worked. The typical stoner kid persona fits him to a T, but the mellow approach to the stage makes him enjoyable to watch and he’s not just designed for the younger adolescents anymore.
Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! were truly one of the most enjoyable bands of the day. Nipping across the Channel from Paris, they proved that Europe could offer up a great melodic hardcore band too.
Kicking off with Haters Gonna Hate, Chunk! were determined to mark their territory in Alexandra Palace. Chugging out the strong riffs straight away, head banging was sure to ensue before the remarkable vocal performance blended in perfectly. It’s hard to imagine such a powerful dirty vocal could leave the lips of singer Bertrand Poncet, yet it only proves the saying to never judge a book by its cover for the small statured man packed a hell of a punch.
The entire crowd was swarmed with pits and fans surfing along to the stage; not once did the movement stop and Chunk! made sure of this. They had everyone in the palm of their hands, controlling them like little puppets and making them latch onto every single word. The set almost felt like a blur as it appeared to come to a close far too quickly, and when you have people aching for more, you know you’re onto a winner.
Through unfortunate train times and the risk of being unable to head home, we weren’t able to witness either of the two headline acts which came as a great shame. However, with the amount of fans that were sporting the signature Black Veil Brides war paint, there was no denying that they were the one act that most were excited to see and we don’t doubt that they put on a fantastic performance.
Warped Tour, you really did yourselves good this year and we can’t wait to return – here’s hoping UK fans will be able to get their Warped fix in 2016.
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