Van’s Warped Tour 2011 (Camden, NJ)

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Tuesday, August 2, 2011

If there’s one thing that’s become synonymous with Warped Tour over the year it’s HEAT. With an unprecedented heat wave setting records all up and down the east coast Camden, New Jersey couldn’t escape the trend. With the day’s high temperature registering around 108 with a heat index of roughly 120 degrees, it was one of the hottest days I’ve ever experienced. It also made shooting an all day festival where the majority of stages are constructed on asphalt all the more fun.

Unwritten Law:

Unwritten Law was the band I chose to start my day with, mainly because I’d never seen them before. I’ve never been a big fan of UL; always liked them, but I’m a much more casual fan than many of the others who turned out to watch their set.

They were by far one of the most talented bands on the line up as far as technical skill, despite not getting as good of a turn out as they deserved. The band did happen to play a few of the songs I knew including “Save Me” and “Seeing Red”, which definitely made the set more enjoyable for me.

Vocals: 8
Crowd Response: 7
Overall Sound: 8
Band Activity: 8
Overall Rating: 8

Setlist:

1. Mean Girl
2. Nevermind
3. Celebration Song
4. Up All Night
5. Seein’ Red
6. Starships and Apocalypse
7. She Says
8. Save Me

Attack Attack!:

Despite a relatively new vocalist, Attack Attack! was out to open this year’s Vans Warped Tour and they started it off right. Opening the main stage is never an easy task – you’ve got to battle through relatively small crowds as fans continue to funnel into the venue and try and figure out where every stage and band they want to see are playing. This was no exception for Attack Attack!, but they were up for the challenge.

After chants of “USA! USA!” and “FUCK BIN LADEN!” started; vocalist Caleb Shomo came out waving around an American flag to raucous cheers and applause. Despite not being a big fan of Attack Attack!, and not seeing them since the departure of original vocalist Austin Carlile, I was very impressed with the bands energy and stage presence. Even though they were the main stage opener, a huge crowd had gathered by the end of their set and the crowd never seemed to diminish in size until after A Day to Remember finished off the set.

Vocals: 8
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 8
Band Activity: 9
Overall Rating: 8.5

Setlist:

1. Pick a Side
2. AC-130
3. Sexual Man Chocolate
4. Last Breath
5. A for Andrew
6. Hot Grills and High Tops
7. Stick Stickly
8. The People’s Elbow
9. Turbo Swag
10. Renob, Nevada
11. Smokahontas

Asking Alexandria:

After missing Asking Alexandria at Rock on the Range this past May, I was definitely not going to miss them at Warped Tour. Their crowd was beyond massive and was clearly bigger than everyone’s – excluding ADTR. From start to finish there was one giant circle pit after another forming within the mass of bodies. How anyone didn’t die from heat stroke is beyond me.

The band themselves were incredibly energetic and showed just how things are done on the other side of the Pond. While they didn’t sound the best out of all the acts I was able to catch that day, they were definitely one of the most entertaining bands I was able to see.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 9
Overall Rating: 9

Setlist:

1. Welcome
2. Closure
3. Not the American Average
4. Breathless
5. A Lesson Never Learned
6. To the Stage
7. I Was Once, Possibly, Maybe, Perhaps a Cowboy King
8. The Final Episode
9. Morte et Dabo

Less Than Jake:

Despite being one of the odd-bands-out (slightly less than 3OH!3) on the main stage, Less Than Jake put on one hell of a show. I’ve been a big fan of ska for many years now, so finally getting to see one of my favorite ska bands was definitely a treat for me.

Despite the joke-ish antics of guitarist and lead vocalist Chris Demakes, bassist Roger Manganelli and saxophonist Peter “JR” Wasilewski, you could still tell the deep musicianship between them and all the other band members on stage. After our three songs were up, the band decided to take a kid from the crowd with incredibly long hair, bring him on stage and shave his head into a Mohawk. Definitely one of the classiest things we saw in our time on Warped Tour!

Because most of Less Than Jake’s songs are relatively short, they’re able to fit a much larger batch of songs into each set list compared to most bands on the bill.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 9
Overall Rating: 9

Setlist:

1. Automatic
2. Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts
3. All My Best Friends are Metalheads
4. Soundtrack of my Life
5. The Science of Selling Yourself Short
6. Animaniacs
7. Spongebob Squarepants
8. Sugar in Your Gas Tank
9. Help Save the Youth of America from Exploding
10. Look What Happened
11. Plastic Cup Politics
12. Goodbye Mr. Personality
13. The Ghosts of Me and You

August Burns Red:

Like the majority of bands on the main stage, August Burns Red’s style of music isn’t really my cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great live – and even better to photograph – but I never really find myself listening to them after I’ve seen them live.

That said, I never get tired of seeing them live. Their energy on stage is contagious and vocalist Jake Luhrs has one of the best and strongest voices in their genre. Most of the main stage band vocalists would start losing their voices by the end of the set, with the exception of Luhrs. Bassist Dustin Davidson was constantly running around the stage, screaming at fans to pump the crowd up – not that they needed much help.

August Burns Red was definitely one of the highlights of Warped Tour for me this year and I definitely recommend you to check out their new album, Leveler.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 9.5
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. Composure
2. Empire
3. White Washed
4. Truth of a Liar
5. Meddler
6. Divisions
7. Marianas Trench
8. Poor Millionaire
9. Back Burner

Pepper:

Pepper is a great band musically. Great party vibe, but were really out of place on the main stage. Vocalist and guitarist Kaleo Wassman and vocalist and bassist Bret Bollinger have a great way of being mellow and energetic at the same time.

The crowd was definitely feeling them, despite the odd placement. They definitely got the crowd going when they starting playing their biggest hit “Give It Up”. I would definitely recommend them to those who haven’t seen them live.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 8.5
Overall Sound: 8
Band Activity: 8
Overall Rating: 8

3OH!3:

By far the most out of place band on the main stage was Colorado’s 3OH!3. They had quite a crowd turn out, but it seemed weird to have a rap group on the main stage between the likes of The Devil Wears Prada and August Burns Red. Still, I will admit that I was pleasantly surprised by them. I’d looked up a few songs and wasn’t too impressed by them, but live they’re definitely a lot easier to take in.

Dual vocalists/MC’s Sean Foreman and Nate Motte are an entertaining group on stage. One is tall and lanky while the other is short and built. Overall their performance was a nice break from the constant growls and breakdowns of the previous batch of bands, but still left a little to be desired. I can at least appreciate them more now in a live environment than I ever could on CD.

Vocals: 8
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 9
Overall Rating: 9

Setlist (partial):

1. My First Kiss
2. Don’t Trust Me
3. Rich Man
4. Robot
5. Starstrukk

Blood on the Dance Floor:

I’m finding it a lot harder to write about this band than I thought it would be. Honestly, the only thing worse than their music was how unbelievably obnoxious their fans are. After 175 + concerts I felt I lost more of my hearing from their shrill soul-piercing screams than all of the other shows combined.

With that said, the two-man group had a lot of energy on stage and were certainly adored by their fans – more so than most boy bands were circa 2000. After listening to a few of their songs on Youtube, I have an even lower opinion of them than I did before.

While I’m glad I saw them – strictly due to how photogenic they were – I wish I’d spared my ears the trauma of their set.

Vocals: 6
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 5
Band Activity: 9
Overall Rating: 4

Setlist:

1. The Untouchables
2. Ima Monster
3. Star Power
4. The Loving Dead
5. Bewitched
6. Sexting
7. Scream for my Icecream

Enter Shikari:

Enter Shikari was incredible at this stop, just out of this world. On CD I’m not a fan, but live – wow. They’re definitely one of the few bands that sound way better live than on CD.

Theatrically, they’re one of the best bands I’ve ever gotten to shoot. At any point during their set one of them was doing something crazy. You might see vocalist Roughton “Rou” Reynolds was climbing one of the giant signs/billboards out in the crowd or doing chin ups from the beams holding the stage up, bassist Chris “Batty C” Batten would be climbing up his amps just to jump off them or perhaps you’d see guitarist Liam “Rory” Clewlow hanging upside down from the stage roofing or doing push ups in front of the crowd. It was insanity from start to finish but the fans, myself included, ate it up.

While they may not be the greatest band on CD, they are definitely worth the price of admission to one of their shows.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 10

Setlist:

1. Destabilise
2. Mothership
3. Zzzonked
4. Havoc A
5. Quelle Surprise
6. Sorry, You’re Not A Winner
7. Juggernauts

The Devil Wears Prada:

I’ve seen TDWP on just about every type of stage there is – major festival, Warped Tour and tiny club. I have to say, this was a happy median. They were able to command an incredible crowd of their die-hard fans, new and old.

Vocalist Mike Hranica has a commanding presence on stage and was constantly slamming his foot down and howling to the point I thought his head might explode. The rest of the band were constantly sprinting from one side of the stage to another and jumping around, and they were definitely worth waiting for.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 9
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. Danger: Wildman
2. Dogs Can Grow Beards All Over
3. Escape
4. Anatomy
5. Dez Moines
6. Hey John, What’s Your Name Again?
7. Outnumbered
8. Born to Lose
9. Assistant to the Regional Manager

A Day to Remember:

A Day to Remember was one of the two bands I came to see and by far one of the best bands of the day and easily deserved to be the main stages headliner. This band has blown up so much over the last few years it’s still hard to believe, but it’s completely justified. On the heals of the release of their newest album What Separates Me From You, the band has been touring their asses off all across the globe.

Despite a few exceptions, I loved their set list, especially “A Shot in the Dark” and “All Signs Point to Lauderdale”. Vocalist Jeremy McKinnon has a great presence on stage and has a way of conveying the angst in his lyrics that very few front man seem to have. A Day to Remember were phenomenal in every sense of the word and definitely left a strong impression on everyone who caught their set at WT ’11.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 10
Band Activity: 10
Overall Rating: 10

Setlist:

1. I’m Made of Wax, Larry, What Are You Made Of?
2. A Shot in the Dark
3. My Life for Hire
4. All Signs Point to Lauderdale
5. Mr. Highway’s Thinking About the End
6. 2nd Sucks
7. Heartless
8. All I Want
9. The Plot to Bomb the Panhandle
10. Have Faith in Me
11. The Downfall of Us All

Simple Plan:

Simple Plan was the other band I really wanted to see. Simple Plan has been one of my favorite rock bands for close to a decade now and they never get old. Behind the release of their newest album – Get Your Heart On! – the band was back to rock Warped Tour in a big way. Playing a set list of their greatest hits from all of their albums except their self-titled one, the band put on one hell of a show.

Vocals: 10
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 10
Band Activity: 9
Overall Rating: 9.5

Setlist:

1. Shut Up
2. Can’t Keep My Hands Off You
3. Jump
4. Thank You
5. Welcome to my Life
7. Addicted
8. I’d Do Anything

Photos (Bands Listed in Alphabetical Order):

Leave a Reply