It has been several years since the Vans Warped Tour has visited the mainland in Europe. The travelling skate music festival has reached legendary proportions in America, so it was about time it kickflipped his ass to the other side of the ocean. For all the people who really doesn’t know what I’m talking about, here’s a brief explanation. With the rise of punkrock in the mid nineties a guy named Kevin Lyman had the idea of a travelling skate/punk music festival, which eventually ended as the Vans Warped Tour. So after the brief explanation here’s what we at Metalrage think of the festival itself.
On every Vans Warped Tour the line-up of the bands are announced on the day itself. This means that you can’t make any sort of plans in front and you’ll have to be there on time. Of course a great idea considering beginning bands. Unfortunately in Eindhoven the security was clearly not up to the task controlling the huge amount of people that showed up in a short time notice. As a result waiting times of two hours just to enter the venue became very normal.
Upon entering the venue we get to see the Ernieball Battle 18 Miles play on the Monster Energy South Stage. These guys have earned a spot on this edition due to this competition but if you did not know you would think this is just another American band on the bill. The only thing giving it away is the Dutch announcements in between songs. The band clearly loves the fact they are playing here and move around full of energy. They play a solid form of metal core and can be added to that list of Dutch bands to keep an eye on. (Buzzin_Hornet)
When I finally got into the Venue, Skinny Lister was playing on the Kevin Says Stage. This was a band that you wouldn’t expect on a metal festival, but for me this was a perfect band to hear when you entered the venue. The reason was that this British folk band played very tight and because it was this early, and we were waiting in line I wasn’t hoping for a brutal metal band yet. You could call this band misplaced, but more people seemed to enjoy it and it is definitely a band you should check out some time. (Tukker)
After such a relaxed show, it was time to wake the fuck up. If you ask why, you probably weren’t at the Vans Warped Tour (yet), or standing in line because this was one of the best bands of the day. It is great to see this band perform live once again, because they showed how much they grew in about one year. Some things won’t change because the sound mixing still wasn’t perfect during The Charm The Fury, but some other things certainly change. Caroline definitely took more vocal lessons, while the band just played tighter. The mosh-pit on the other hand was quite strange, some hardcore moshing, metal moshers and bouncing hipsters were at the same spot. Of course this resulted in some painful moments for some people, but come on don’t stand in the moshpit at a hardcore band if you can’t handle it. Nevertheless, CHECK THIS BAND OUT IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY. (Tukker)
John Coffey has taken over not only the Netherlands in the past year but they have proven themselves all over Europe. After playing dozens of shows including some big festivals the band now gets the change to convince the Vans Warped Tour audience with their live show. Instantly when they hit the stage the crowd explodes with some person throwing big amounts of confetti into the air (during three of four songs) and in front of the stage the masses starting to move. On stage the band does what they do best, run around, scream along and pushing their energy into the audience. They even add 10 extra minutes to their short set including the hit ‘Romans’. When the band starts this song the crowd is screaming the lyrics along with the band. They once again did it. (Buzzin_Hornet)
Since we entered the venue and started running around to see some of the bands we decided it would be a great idea to grab something to eat and take a little stroll across the merchandise area. Little did we know it would take for over an hour to do so. Reason, quite simple. Both the restaurant parts and merchandise area was in the same hall. There where only two food stands, which limited the food to Pizza Pasta, Hamburger, Fries or a fried Snack. Oh I forget the Vega stand but considering it was tucked away in some corner of the venue says enough. Well on to the next band. (Niamen)
And it just wasn’t another band, it was the best band of the day in my opinion. One of the reasons to come here was to see Crossfaith once again, because they impressed me when they played together with Bleed From Within and Bury Tomorrow in the Baroeg. Today there wasn’t “only” 200 people to see them, but the Monster Energy South Stage was packed. When the band came up you could see that some of their performance was studied in, but their energy and show was great to see. Two walls of death In one song? Sure why not! Great performance, great energy from both the band and the crowd and I can’t wait to see these guys again. You want to check them out? They perform on some dates with Skindred on their European leg, I will see them in the Melkweg! (Tukker)
Like we all know Dave Grohl is some kind of drum whore that picks out cool music projects to drum to. That’s exactly what he did with the Washington DC based RDGLDGRN. The combination of indie rock and funk is something I don’t listen to every day but it did put a smile on my face during their performance. Considering the amount of people dancing in front of the stage, I wasn’t alone in this. (Niamen)
One of the major problems I have with a huge amount of screamo and metalcore bands nowadays is that they all sounds pretty much the same. Some guitar riffs, some breakdowns here and there, add some scream vocals with melodical parts and we’re done. Memphis May Fire couldn’t not break my judgement. Next! (Niamen)
Like a lot of other visitors I went to see Billy Talent as soon as they struck their first chords. My reason was quite simple. I had a reason to escape Memphis May Fire. Considering the huge amount of Billy Talent shirts, I guess these people really came to see the guys live. So when the guys started with ‘Devil In A Midnight Mass’ the audience started to dance and probably didn’t stop till the band played their first tune. All well performed but the poppunk infused rock couldn’t hold my attention for the entire set so on to the next band. (Niamen)
The Color Morale.
After entering the Kevin Says Stage I was pretty overwhelmed by the bulldozer sounds of The Color Morale. Brutal metalcore parts with an really active stage performance. With in the half hour they got the venue by the throat, dragging us up the street and tossing us around. Leaving us behind in disbelief. Great show, great performance but the preaching about not cutting yourself and not having the weight of the world on your shoulders certainly took the show down a notch. (Niamen)
After walking around a bit and eat some more fries, I stopped by to see a little skate training together with some music from We Came As Romans. This is a perfect example of a band that you hear somewhere but doesn’t have to pay much attention to. The band didn’t play awful or something, in fact they are quite good, but for me a little too emo and I didn’t want to mosh to this music or something. Therefore the combination of seeing some skating and this band was a perfect rest moment for me. (Tukker)
Hacktivist surprised me last year with their EP Hacktivist. De combination of two vocalists that are not only good rappers but also capable of singing some nice tunes is not one that you come across very often. Certainly not when its combined with djent guitarparts, ditto drumming and electronics. Since I witnessed only two of their song during last years Fortarock, I had to see them once again. Well it was pretty obvious, they saw, they came and they conquered. Great show, great band and I can’t wait till they get their full-length out. (Niamen)
To be honest I had never heard any music from this band, but a few people said that this might be something for me. So when Like Moths To Flames began I was surprised of their music. This American metalcore band only exists for three years, but that is enough time to get people to this stage and sing along. During their first song, there were quite some breakdowns but no movement so I wanted to walk away. When the second song started, the movement started also and their music was even more enjoyable. The clean vocals weren’t terrible, but weren’t superb either. Nevertheless this is a band I would check out in the future probably. (Tukker)
I saw Wasted Bulled playing earlier this year when they were supporting Killswitch Engage at Dynamo and I was digging them back then. Today they are replacing Escape The Fate which results in a sweet spot on the schedule playing one of the bigger stages at 6 PM. This young hardcore band manages to get a decent reaction and attracts people from not looking at the skate ramp which is only a couple of meters from the stage. Great replacement if you ask me! (Buzzin_Hornet)
And now, for something completely different. After having folk, hardcore, metalcore, reggae and even some more genres, it was time for some hiphop. The two rappers Watsky and Wax combined some things for this show. When Wax started, you could see that he is a good rapper, enjoys the people that were there and also brought a good band. When you can keep people to the stage while you are a rapper at a metalfestival you definitely are a good rapper, there is no discussion about that. But when Watsky took over from Wax, the best member of the band, the bassplayer, also left and the bass was played on the keyboard next. Also Watsky makes more mellow hiphop and lacked the energy that Wax had. Result? People weren’t kept at this stage but were leaving to another stage. He certainly wasn’t bad, but he definitely was misplaced here. (Tukker)
In 1996 Sublime lost their original singer to an overdose of heroin right before they would perform in our little country. So we where never able of seeing this band live. Nowadays the guys are back with Rome Ramirez as their frontman, which explains the name. To me it was fun to see the guys onstage. Not that I’m a big fan but it was nice to hear some of their tunes live. The only problem is that I’m already in my thirties and I discovered them even after they broke up since I was too young. But on the Vans Warped Tour I’m practically an old fart so you could say that a lot of the people present weren’t even born when the vocalist died of an overdose. That explains why there’s only a handful of people watching these guys perform. Although it’s pretty undeserved it is the harsh reality.
For me probably the best show of the day. On the other hand I never caught these guys giving a bad show. They love what they do and that’s exactly what they show onstage. Considering the fact that even new songs like ‘Dark Days’ and ‘Wild Eyes’ are sung along by a huge amount of the crowd is a huge compliment to the band. 20 minute into the set it suddenly all turned around. At least that is what I expected when the fire alarm went off al all the lights went on. A lot of security guys started walking around nervously but the band never stopped playing. Great way of crowd control I might say. In the end nothing seems to be wrong since light dimmed 10 later and Parkway Drive could finish their set in style with confetti, cause nuthin is more metalcore then confetti…
Overall conclusion. I certainly had a great day, but it certainly could have been better. The combination of merchandise and food in the same hall was not quite clever. Maybe they could use the balcony of the venue instead. While they’re at it they also could add some tables so you can sit down while your eating.
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