That Place in Between – Vans Warped Tour 2014

Written by on June 26, 2014 in Gigs / Tours / Events, June 26, 2014, Live Reviews, News To Shout About! - Comments Off on That Place in Between – Vans Warped Tour 2014

This year Vans Warped Tour turned 20; that glorious in-between age where one is no longer a teen, but is also not legal to sit at a bar and order a drink. The future is set before them with tons of possibilities. On my lucky #3 trip to the Dallas stop at Gexa Energy Pavilion I saw the concept in reality. Sure, I could paint the picture and set the stage, but I think that point has been made.

This year there were less of the radio staple bands on the tour and it added freshness for this transitional year because several of the bands are on the cusp of exploding onto the scene in a big way. First up, is LA based band This Wild Life, two guys that possess an unassuming air, but bring to the table harmonies that melt into the music. Their sound is dripping with melodies and honesty that was a bridge to those that were unfamiliar with them. It should be noted that with a huge social media presence, they have created a fan base that is far reaching. Definitely stop by their tent because you can pick up their first album for a buck, and pick up their new album “Clouded”. If you want to get a feel check out their video for the single “Over It” and check them out on The Warheads Stage all summer.

Next up is Air Dubai, and the first word that comes to mind has nothing to do with the music… not entirely, but that word is sexy. With roots in Denver I was initially iffy; I wear it proud- I am not a Denver fan thanks to those Broncos but that’s another time another novella. However, these guys give the mile high city something to be proud about or than legalization. Their sound is that perfection that Travis McCoy creates when he marries his sound with Adam Levine, but this is in one band and they are pretty much a big deal. Their marriage of hip-hop vibe with a rock sound has never sounded so right. With this being their first time on Warped they performed as seasoned vets, and although the crowd was small they had them hanging on every word… especially the ladies. Their energy was too small for this stage and when they do hit bigger venues they are going to explode into the audience even more. What they bring as newbies is that wide-eyed excitement, thus taking the time to get to know and appreciate their fans. The best part is that if you stop by their tent you can pick up all of their CD’s for an exceptional price. Their new album drops July 1st, but before you get it check out their song “Soul and Body” , and catch them on the Journeys Stage.

Someone else to check out is English band NeckDeep their first time here was at South by So What, where they expected to come to Texas and have a “lay about,” however the weather did not cooperate and it was unseasonably cold. No troubles with that this time around. They are a bit green when it comes to the crowd interaction when starting and between songs, but when they are in the music they are unstoppable. The music has a little something for the fans that want to ignore the crowd surfing signs to the fans that are there for the music. I still contest they are going to be just as big on this side of the pond.

As for the staples of Warped Tour, Yellowcard was celebrating their twelfth year and ended the day in only the fashion they can. Falling In Reverse had the fans again breaking the mosh and crowd surfing rules. Yet, the band that deserves one of the biggest shout-outs is Saves the Day. Chris Conley has always been on the cusp and never made that giant leap for whatever reason, and it has shown in the evolution of the music. There is less earnestness in his voice that has come with age and acceptance. The new stuff is reflective and has less of an undertone of cynicism that produces realism and connections that Top 40 lacks. The layers are transcendent and it takes you on a journey of emotions that guide you through love, loss, and growing pains. As his single voice soars over the lyrics he tells our stories. This is a band that should be heard on the radio, and is beloved. Yellowcard even acknowledged before their single “With You Around” “Without bands like Saves the Day we wouldn’t even be here.” Talent is talent and it’s time they are not just a treasured secret for those in the know.

For being 20 Warped Tour is less indecisive as their human counterparts, but again there is a lot on the horizon. Always known for being the shuttle for many bands on their rise it would be great to see Warped Tour 21 with several of those artist coming back to make it the most epic. For example William Beckett and Gerard Way are doing their own things, but how exciting would My Chemical Romance and The Academy is… getting back together for the summer joined with Taking Back Sunday, Paramore and Blink182 be? Whether or not this occurs 21 is legal and it’s going to be crazy.