Tuesday, July 31, 2012

'Vans Warped Tour' rockets to finish in Orlando

     The Vans Warped Tour 2012 soldiered on through a breakneck tour as it arrived at the Central Florida Fairgrounds in Orlando, Florida on Friday July 27. A fast paced musical gauntlet burning through a record setting heat wave couldn't stop the multitudes of fans and bands from rocking out.

     Along with headlining acts like Yellowcard, New Found Glory and Taking Back Sunday, was a plethora of up and coming groups with dedicated followers. Over 75 acts performed at multiple stages creating the typical chaos atmosphere that come along with outdoor music festivals.

     The relentless summer sun baked the live music fans in attendance, but cooling areas and a high number of EMS workers helped concert goers beat the heat.

     Austin Carlile, lead singer of the group Of Mice & Men performed late into the concert and paid homage to those that couldn't take the high temperature. He demanded that everyone in the audience to take a knee to honor those that have fallen out due to the heat. This was quickly broken up during several insane mosh pits during the next thrashing song performed.

     “I thought this year was great because it was so sunny out,” said Chelsea Bixler, attending her sixth Warped Tour. “Last time I went there was a torrential downpour.”

     Another notable performance was from Florida natives, Yellowcard, a commercially successful pop-punk band from Jacksonville, that attract a strong reaction from fans when they gave props to the state they grew up in.

     Though this tour is based on skateboarding and punk rock culture, this newest tour featured a wider variety than in years past.

     “I’ve been to three Warped Tours before, and I think this year had more laid back bands then recent years,” said Brooke Scruggs. This attributed to a younger crowd who were less aggressive than in years past, making the whole experience more enjoyable for her.

     On top of hard metal, ska punk, emo and more, their multiple stages offered freestyle rap battles, smooth jamming reggae beats and much more. And like years past a classic vans half piped featured up and coming skateboards grinding rails and showing off their kickflip maneuvers near the two main stages.

     “He’s only nine-years-old and the kid can really rip,” said Katt Tracy, talking about her son Christian Frazier. This was his second year skating at the Vans Warped Tour and she hopes he will be the next big name professional skater because he is a solid competitor at skateboard competitions.

     Many bands also capitalized on merchandise sales with vendor stands scattered throughout the fairgrounds. Many young fans after seeing their favorite bands live rush to pick up keepsakes to remember the experience, be it a sticker or a T-shirt.

     As summer concerts go, the Vans Warped Tour has been loved and hated just like most live traveling concerts. As music genres evolve, so will the selection of featured acts for this annual music tour nearing 20 years of providing punk rock music and more.

By James Tutten

(Photos by James Tutten)

Frontman, Tomas Kalnoky, (Left) rocks out with other members of Streetlight Manifesto.

Alan Ashby, a rhythm guitarist for the group "Of Mice & Men" on stage in Orlando.

Group of live music fans packed in front of the main stages at "Warped Tour" in Orlando.


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