For those who have never attended a Vans Warped Tour, you are definitely depriving yourself of sensory overload. Seven stages of bands popping off every 30 to 60 minutes means that you’re definitely not going to catch everything there. Instead, you key in on your favorites and immerse yourself in the (mostly) metalcore and neopunk onslaught; with a few toned down acts (Less Than Jake, 3OH!3 and Pepper for this experience) to keep yourself in check.
We caught up with Vans Warped on 19 July in Milwaukee on a disgustingly humid day with temps in the mid-90s and a heat index well over 100 degrees. It was just myself covering, and I was keying in on photos, so this is mostly a photo review. However, I do have a few comments for the remnants of the 11 bands I was able to catch. The Acacia Strain were the angriest to perform and it was not hard for them to coerce their fans into continuous middle finger salutes. Black Veil Brides easily elicited the most shrills from the younger female component. Enter Shikari might have had the most fun performing as vocalist Rou Reynolds got into the crowd then climbed upon the adjacent buildings awning, just before guitarist Rory Clewlow decided to surf the crowd during one of his solos. 3OH!3 had the entire crowd dancing and waving their arms with the 3OH!3 salute for most of the show, and also had most of the photographers in the pit singing and dancing as well–I’m guessing their photos did not turn out the best. Both The Devil Wears Prada and A Day To Remember took their 40-minutes on stage to the hilt and left all of it in Milwaukee; it was hard to believe their intensity given the heat. If press coverage is any way to gauge popularity, then Paramore were the artist of choice as we lined up in rows three deep to capture our 2.5 songs worth of images.
The best part about the show was it completely eclipsed Summerfest, which occurred a couple weeks earlier, in terms of fan base and entertainment value. The crowd appeared much larger, however it was also constrained to a somewhat smaller footprint. Either way, the energy of those attending (both fans and artists) definitely made for a much more enjoyable concert experience. The only downside was a lack of food options and food vendors that were open–the lines were long and the food mostly cold.
Head over to Sonic Rampage for in depth concert reviews and more photos.
Gear Used for this Shoot
Very limited Fine Art Prints are also available for many artists, buy one as a gift and help to support this site! Please contact us if you are interested in a particular image.
Purchase Some New Gear!
If you’re in the market for new camera gear or electronics, please follow this link to the B&H Photo web site. You’ll get the same great prices but your purchase will help me to cover more shows. While you’re at it, check out the rest of our partners.