Review and Photography by Aaron Tamachi
Van’s Warped Tour is the kind of festival that almost every music lover can draw from. Many long term festival goers have life-long memories formed from experiences and years prior. As seems the norm, Toronto’s Warped date at Molson Flats was subject to the Curse of the Rainstorm which has put a damper on the festival several times over the past 5 years. Some say that the Toronto date has been cursed ever since moving the festival from Arrow Hall to the Molson Flats. Regardless of the rain, people came prepared to have fun moshing in the sand. Silverstein’s Shane Told commented, “Let’s not let it ruin our day”.
The festival would bring some of the industry’s most prevalent acts, including I Killed the Prom Queen, Asking Alexandria, Black Veil Brides, August Burns Red, Blessthefall, Never Shout Never, Pvris, Memphis May Fire, Miss May I, Family Force 5, New Years Day, This Wild Life, Hundredth, Senses Fail, Escape the Fate, Amity Affliction, Beartooth, ’68, Being as an Ocean, MC Lars and many, many more. My personal favourite, To Write Love on Her Arms, also was present during the tour.
This year’s Warped brought along two main stages and two Journey’s stages as opposed to last year’s single Journey’s stage. This year also featured a comedy tent, which was really cool, despite moments where comedians performed to a barely there audience. Fans young and old predominantly gathered around the main stages.
The Warped Breakdown:
With the exception of the weather and lack of Attila, the festival ran surprisingly smooth this year. The show opened on time, the majority of bands made it across the border without issues, the transitions between bands were seamless, and security was kept quite busy at all times as fans enjoyed the day moshing and crowd surfing – supposedly a no-no at the festival due to prior lawsuits. There was even a point in their performance where Pierce the Veil had to stop mid- song because the droves of people coming over the barricade were overwhelming. “I am going to need everyone to just take one step back please. You all are amazing, but these people up here are getting crushed” requested PtV’s frontman Vic Fuentes. Pierce the Veil was also the band who drew the largest audience on this day.
Asking Alexandria also came through with their new vocalist Denis Stoff. However, this came with fan speculation that Stoff was lip syncing part of the lyrics. We Came as Romans vocalist Kyle Pavone jumped into the crowd with a floaty and rode around on the crowd, which was actually pretty sick. Family Force 5 was arguably the most entertaining group to take the stage. Their charisma, energy, stage props and choreography made for amazing entertainment. Special shout out to Grey Gordon who performed at the acoustic tent and was awesome. He’s a DIY, hardcore roots artist with a Dallas Green tone. He spoke during his set about how young people don’t need to succumb to the pressures we experience today, that we are individuals and ultimately are important, regardless of our backgrounds.
The evening, like last year, closed with Never Shout Never on the main stage.
All in all, this year’s Warped Tour Toronto date was a success, due in part to the planning that went into this year’s to circumvent last year’s problems. The acts were solid and entertaining.
As the tour comes to a close, plans for next year’s Warped are already underway, and I have a feeling that next years Warped experience is going to be a doozy (however, I won’t be passing along the rumours I’ve heard surrounding Warped 2016 – we’ll let that be a surprise.)
Click on photos to enlarge.