Vans Warped Tour Report From Vancouver, BC
Band Photo: Atreyu (?)
On Tuesday, July 12, the Vans Warped Tour ’05 rolled through Vancouver. Now I know the Warped Tour is a more punk-oriented tour but there’s usually one or two “heavy” bands on the tour. I have been to the past three Warped Tours and they were generally a lot of fun.
Like the other years, the Warped Tour was at Thunderbird Stadium on UBC campus. Doors were at 11am and the event started soon after that. There were two main stages inside the stadium, the Bishop and the Mike stages. Bands alternated on the stages, each playing a half hour slot. There were also four or five other stages scattered outside the stadium, far enough from each other so that the bands playing would not interfere with each other, and a bunch of booths everywhere so there is always something to do.
I spent most of my time inside the stadium and saw most of the bands playing on the main stages. Mest took the Bishop stage at 11:30, then it was Strung Out on the Mike Stage at noon and Hawthorne Heights on the Bishop Stage at 12:30. I didn’t really pay much attention to them because they’re not my type of music and because I was busy running around trying to get things organized.
Avenged Sevenfold hit the Mike Stage a little after 1pm. I have never seen them live before so I did not know what to expect. Nevertheless, I did enjoy their performance. Even though it was relatively early in the day, A7x gathered quite a crowd. A7x mixed in a few songs off their new album, City of Evil, such as “Beast and Harlot,” with some older songs. Singer M. Shadows had undergone throat surgery and was not supposed to scream so he sang pretty much all the songs. His vocals were a bit raspy and hoarse, but not as nasally or emo as it seems on the new album. A7x seems to be moving in the direction of the Gothenburg metal. I liked their guitar solos, which had a bit of an Iron Maiden and Children of Bodom influence in them. A7x ended their set after half an hour with “Unholy Confessions.”
Atreyu was up next on the Bishop Stage. They played songs like “Bleeding Mascara” and “Right Side of the Bed.” Metalcore is not exactly my type of music, but I am a sucker for melodic metal. However, Atreyu’s performance did not seem to wow me as much as A7x’s did. They just did not seem to be as energetic. Sadly enough, Atreyu had trouble getting some audience participation when the band tried to get fans to sing along to their cover of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a Bad Name” and to the words “live, love, burn, die” from their closing song “Lip Gloss and Black.”
The Offspring were headlining the Warped Tour but what really puzzled me was that they were scheduled to play at 3 in the afternoon. I liked the Offspring’s older material, but not so much their newer, even more mainstream tunes. However, they played a lot more of their old songs, such as “Come Out and Play” and “Self Esteem.” They also played their new single, “Can’t Repeat,” off their new greatest hits album. Unfortunately, I missed the last half of their set.
I checked Phoenix, Arizona’s Opiate for the Masses for a bit when I passed by the Volcom Stage. They are actually pretty heavy for a Warped Tour band. They sound like a mix of bands like Dry Kill Logic, Soil and Drowning Pool.
Dropkick Murphys are always a blast to see live. These guys add instruments like bagpipes and accordions to the standard guitar/bass/drums to skillfully blend punk rock with Irish music. Half the crowd in front of the Mike Stage was moshing while the other half was doing a jig.
I have seen Billy Talent three times before over the last two years, including an opening slot for the Offspring last year, so I knew exactly what to expect. The Juno Award winners know how to put on an energetic and fun show every time. Ben Kowalewciz is one of the most charismatic frontman I have seen. Guitarist Ian D’Sa throws out some really catchy guitar riffs. BT played a couple of new songs, plus some old ones off their debut album (“The Ex,” “Try Honesty” and “Line and Sinker”).
The Transplants (comprised of Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong, Rob Aston and Blink-182/Boxcar Racer drummer Travis Barker) were the main reason why I wanted to go to the Warped Tour this year. They mix punk rock with some hip hop. I personally do not like hip hop, but I am a fan of Rancid. I also wanted to see Travis Barker perform live. Travis Barker did not disappoint. In my opinion, he is one of the music industry’s best drummers. The Transplants were energetic and got the crowd going. Unlike Atreyu, the Transplants actually got a lot of crowd participation during “Tall Cans in the Air.”
My Chemical Romance was the last band to play that night. It was a long day for me so I did not stick around to see them.
Overall, the Warped Tour was a fun experience and, if you can put up with the little 10-year-olds who complain of being crushed in the mosh pit, it’s worth the money. The tour could have used less whiny emo bands though. Two of the major downsides to the show is that (1) each band gets to play for only half an hour and (2) there are multiple bands playing at the same time so you don't get to check them all out.
You can check out some photos from the show in the photo gallery.
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