Music enthusiasts of all ages flooded the Central Florida Fairgrounds for the 18th annual Vans Warped Tour. The July 27 stop in Orlando was the first Florida date of the tour, and it consisted of a very eclectic mix of bands.
Notable acts included: Yellowcard, New Found Glory, All Time Low, We the Kings, Bayside, Streetlight Manifesto, Falling in Reverse, Taking Back Sunday, Mayday Parade and Senses Fail.
For We the Kings, Yellowcard and New Found Glory, the Orlando show was a welcome homecoming. Hailing from Bradenton, Jacksonville and Coral Springs, respectively, the bands were elated to be back in their home state.
Ryan Key, vocalist/guitarist of Yellowcard, remarked that their new album is heavily influenced by Florida.
Despite the brutal heat, festival-goers were enjoying themselves in the tightly packed pits. People wearing costumes or normal clothes danced and thrashed about to the numerous sets.
New Found Glory performed on the main stage, donning matching blue and yellow basketball jerseys. Lead singer Jordan Pundik flung himself into the crowd, thrusting the mic toward incoming crowd surfers.
Another popular act, New York rockers Taking Back Sunday, also played an explosive set. Frontman Adam Lazzara danced about, whipping his hair and the mic about him. Singles like “Makedamnsure” and “Liar (It Takes One to Know One)” had audience members off their feet and moving.
Just because the other stages were smaller, didn’t mean that they were any less notable. Southern hardcore band Every Time I Die put on a powerful performance. Characterized by its hard strumming
and intense vocals, Every Time I Die shook the very foundation of the stage.
Old school emo rock group Senses Fail returned to Warped this year. Vocalist Buddy Nielsen may have been sporting a new look — a handlebar moustache with short hair — however, the group’s passionate performance was reminiscent of the 2009 Warped Tour.
Pop-punk band Yellowcard found itself brimming with pop-punk energy on the show’s main stage. They played old familiar hits such as “Lights and Sounds” and “Ocean Avenue." Yellowcard was on hiatus from 2008-2010, and toured very sparingly, so fans were relieved that it came to the widely accessible Warped Tour.
Once again, Warped showcased a wide variety of musical talent. Many bands present on this year’s lineup were bands that were popular when many current college students were in middle school and high school, and it was refreshing to hear a little bit of nostalgia.