We were lucky enough earlier this month to head out to New York and to the Long Island stop of the Vans Warped Tour at the Jones Beach Ampitheatre.
As the name suggests the venue was right by the beach and whilst it was hard not to just go and sunbathe we managed to drag ourselves away from that to squeeze in seeing as many bands as we possibly could do in what’s a relatively short timeframe. Holding the festival in a car park when it’s 35+ outside makes for a very hot sweaty day, oh and did we mention that we forgot to take sunscreen? We’ll come back to that later on.
As we made our way in after waiting in line for what seemed like ages we managed to stumble upon While She Sleeps ploughing through their short 25 minute set. It’s not their first time in the USA and the crowd certainly gave it their all considering the intense heat. The band joined the crowd on the floor for the last few songs which resulted in absolute carnage and one of the biggest circle pits the Monster Stage saw the whole day.
We made a list of bands we wanted to watch, which totalled around 15-20, in reality it’s really difficult to see all of them due to stage clashes. The beauty of Vans Warped is that the stage times are announced on site each day so if you don;t show up when doors open you might miss your favourite bands. Next up we managed to catch the last few songs of The Wonder Years before Miss May I popped up on the next stage, the pit opened up instantly and didn’t rescind until the band walked off stage.
If there was two bands that we didn’t want to miss out on seeing that day it was Pvris, and Asking Alexandria. Firstly because Pvris are incredible and secondly because we hadn’t yet got to witness the reborn Asking Alexandria with new singer Denis Stoff. Luckily for us there were no clashes and we got to see them both. First up was AA, There’s no real words other than the fact that they played a set that comprised mostly of old songs and Denis killed it!
It’s no secret that we’ve been big fans of Pvris since we first heard their album WHITE NOISE at the end of last year. It featured in a lot of our staffs end of year album lists and is a regular topic of conversation in the office. They’re honestly one of the most solid performing bands we’ve seen. Every song was perfectly executed and Lynn really does command the stage like someone who has years on her. They were our band of the day.
At this point we were already feeling defeated, it was too hot and we were on our 3rd ice cream and looking like a lobster. But then we overheard what sounded like Pierce The Veil, so we ran around until we found the source of said noise and it turns out it was actually Pierce The Veil and we’d already missed two songs. They rolled through all of the hits and before we knew it they were gone! The crowd went totally nuts, probably the biggest crowd of the day for an individual band and definitely the loudest of them all.
Things we learned
1. It’s really hard to see absolutely all of the bands that you might want to see in just one day, the solution is go to multiple dates, in the New York area there are a few within a few hours of Manhattan.
2. Wear sunscreen and drink plenty of water. Unfortunately we did neither and basically ended up like thirsty lobsters by the end of the day.
3. There’s loads of non profit organisations present at Warped dates which you should check out. It’s good to do something good and support some charities helping to raise awareness.
4. Warped is awesome! The format of the day, the number of stages and artists, you’ll never have a better chance to meet some of your favourite band members just wandering around and hanging at their merch tents.
5. It’s merch heaven. There’s so much to choose from that you’ll be saving money all year just to buy stuff from your favourite bands.