Vans Warped Tour 2013

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Vans Warped Tour has been going on for over twenty years now and while it may have changed from its roots of being the “punk rock summer camp”, but it’s still one of the best tours of the year – year in and year out. One of the best aspects of the tour is how well they evolve while still staying true to what they believe the tour should be. The tour may lack the same abundance of punk that started its critical acclaim, but it will always be there in some capacity. This is one of the few tours where you could ever have The Wonder Years and Black Veil Brides on the same stage.

It’s an eclectic mix of genres and bands and I think that’s what makes it so special. I love being able to go every year and see twenty bands I’ve never seen before. In an age of repetitive tours and festivals, the Vans Warped Tour is a welcome sight for those who are sick of “the norm”.

Warped has a fantastic atmosphere. Sure there’s the occasional fan-clash, but for the most part there’s something for everyone and that weans down issues A LOT. There were tons of merch tents scattered around the grounds as well as a giant slip and slide to help with the heat.

It was also a crazy mix of weather between them. At one point or another it poured at each of my three shows, despite being in three different states and days a part for each one. Some were hotter than others (namely the Pittsburgh show) and some were “colder” than others (the Camden, New Jersey show). The latter of which was especially surprising since the heat index was over 120 at the date two years ago.

Like last year, we were fortunate enough to cover three dates of the tour, allowing us tons of time to cover as many bands as possible in both photos and interviews. While I did fewer repeats than previous years, I still did some so rather than writing up multiple reviews I’m just going to focus on whichever shows of theirs I preferred. Regardless, for each band I’ll be listing which date I’m reviewing. To make it easier to find the band you’re looking for, I’m going to do them in alphabetical order.

 

Architects UK (Columbia, MD):

Despite how many tours they’ve been on, I’ve never had the opportunity to cover the Architects until now. Something always came up that impeded my desire to see them. They were worth the wait. Vocalist Sam Carter was insane on stage – constantly running and jumping around. The fans tried to keep up with his intensity, but it was near impossible. Sadly, with how short Warped sets are, I wasn’t able to stay for more than half of their set because I needed to get to my next band, but I really hope I get the chance to see them again soon so I can see one of their full sets.

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

Set list:

1. Alpha Omega
2. Ever If You Win, You’re Still a Rat
3. Follow the Water
4. Black Blood
5. Early Grave
6. These Colours Don’t Run

 

August Burns Red (Pittsburgh, PA):

August Burns Red has always been one of those bands where I love seeing them live, but I would never listen to them in my free time. Nothing against the band, but I think they’re best taken in live. All band members are very energetic and their fans go nuts. It’s definitely worth it to check out their set.

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

Set list:

1. Back Burner
2. Internal Cannon
3. Meddler
4. Provision
5. Fault Line
6. Empire
7. Composure
8. White Washed

 

Black Veil Brides (Pittsburgh, PA):

I’m not a fan of Black Veil Brides. In fact, I can’t stand them. Their music is boring and their fans are incredibly obnoxious. But they are pretty solid live. Vocalist Andy Biersack has great stage presence and despite the majority of Warped fans not caring for the band, he handles it well. The only problem I had with their set (besides the soul-piercing screams of their fans) was that Andy’s mic was turned down for a portion of their set so his vocals were almost impossible to understand. Aside from that, a relatively good set from the most love-them-or-hate-them bands on Warped Tour 2013.

Vocals: 7
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 8
Band Activity: 8
Overall rating: 7.5

Set list:

1. I Am Bulletproof
2. Shadows Die
3. Let You Down
4. Wretched and Divine
5. Rebel Yell [Billy Idol cover]
6. Fallen Angels
7. In the End

 

Blessthefall (Pittsburgh, PA):

Beau Bokan is easily one of the best front men in his respective genre. The man has so much poise on stage it’s ridiculous. Blessthefall turned out to be one of my favorite bands at last years edition of Warped Tour and this year was no exception.

BTF’s crowd was insane. So much energy and security was overwhelmed by crowdsurfers. It was so much fun. Songs like “Awakening” and “What’s Left of Me” went over especially well.

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

Set list:

1. Awakening
2. Promised Ones
3. Bottomfeeder
4. The Reign
5. Guys Like You Make Us Look Bad
6. 40 Days…
7. You Wear a Crown, But You’re No King
8. 2.0
9. What’s Left of Me

 

Bring Me the Horizon (Pittsburgh, PA):

For years I’ve had a strong dislike of Bring me the Horizon. I have no idea why, but I just couldn’t get into them. That was until I heard their new single “Shadow Moses” – which I absolutely love and makes for one hell of an awesome set intro. Vocalist Oli Sykes has phenomenal stage presence and made me genuinely sad that I hadn’t really given them a fair chance until recently.

If you haven’t seen them, definitely check them out. They’re crushing it.

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

Set list:

1. Shadow Moses
2. Chelsea Smile
3. Go to Hell, for Heaven’s Sake
4. The House of Wolves
5. Diamonds Aren’t Forever
6. Sleepwalking
7. Antivist

 

Chiodos (Pittsburgh, PA):

If memory serves me, this is the first time I’ve seen Chiodos with Craig Owens back in the band (if not, it’s been a long time). It was amazing to see what the band was like with him back. Much like Bokan and Sykes, Owens is a fantastic frontman that helps his band both in talent but stage presence as well. The crowd went absolutely nuts during “There’s No Penguins in Alaska”. They were definitely one of the days highlights.

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

Set list:

1. The Undertaker’s Thirst for Revenge is Unquenchable (The Final Battle)
2. Thermacare
3. There’s No Penguins in Alaska
4. Expensive Conversations in Cheap Hotels
5. Two Birds Stoned at Once
6. The Words “Best Friend” Become Redefined
7. Baby, You Wouldn’t Last a Minute on the Creek

 

Defeater (Pittsburgh, PA):

I wasn’t really familiar with Defeater, but I’d heard during my first two dates on the tour that I needed to check them out. It wasn’t until right before the end of my final date on the tour that I was actually able to. They were pretty good. I liked their style, but the lack of crowd enthusiasm definitely hurt them in my eyes. Vocalist Derek Archambault had a solid voice while guitarists Jay Maas and Jake Woodruff had a pretty good amount of energy. Definitely worth a view if you’ve got some spare time between bands sets, but if you’re pressed for time, I wouldn’t stop.

Vocals: 8
Crowd Response: 6
Overall Sound: 8
Band Activity: 8
Overall rating: 7

Set list:

1. Warm Blood Rush
2. The Red, White and Blues
3. Dear Father
4. Bastards
5. Blessed Burden
6. A Wound and Scar
7. Cowardice
8. Empty Glass

 

Forever the Sickest Kids (Columbia, MD):

One of the few pop/rock bands on the bill, Forever the Sickest Kids definitely drew a fantastic turn out each time I saw them and definitely had the kind of energy to attract more fans. Vocalist Jonathon Cook has a great voice and even though they were slightly out of place given the majority of bands on the main stages, I was still very impressed by how big their turnout was. Songs like “Crossroads (I Guess You Can Say Things Are Getting Pretty Serious)” and “Whoa Oh! (Me vs. Everyone)” definitely went over well.

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

Set list:

1. Whoa Oh! (Me vs. Everyone)
2. Crossroads (I Guess You Can Say Things Are Getting Pretty Serious)
3. Chin Up Kid
4. Hey Brittany
5. Nice to Meet You
6. Believe Me, I’m Lying
7. She’s a Lady

 

Go Radio (Camden, NJ):

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by Go Radio. I had no idea who they were until I decided to shoot them during a lapse of bands, but they were definitely a fun band. More mellow than what I’d been shooting, but definitely fun. For how small their stage was, I was impressed by their turnout. Great filler band.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 7
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 10
Overall rating: 9.5

Set list:

1. Collide
2. Redemption in the Verse
3. Things I Don’t See
4. Go to Hell
5. What If You Don’t
6. Goodnight Moon
7. I Won’t Lie

 

Hawthorne Heights (Columbia, MD):

Hawthorne Heights was easily one of the best doses of nostalgia I’ve had in a long time. Few people didn’t enjoy their polarizing emo angst when they were in high school but after the tragic passing of guitarist Casey Calvert in 2007 and the demands of staying relevant in an horribly cluttered genre, Hawthorne Heights seemed to have completely fallen off the map for a few years. Behind a new album (Zero), Heights is making a comeback and I can’t think of many places better suited for it than Warped Tour.

The band had a fantastic turnout and had fans screaming along throughout their set, especially during classics like “Niki FM” and “Ohio is for Lovers”. If for no other reason, it was great to re-live some of my favorite high school musical moments but I’d say watch out for HH – they could be making a great comeback.

Vocals: 9
Crowd Response: 9.5
Overall Sound: 9.5
Band Activity: 7
Overall rating: 9

Set list:

1. Saying Sorry
2. This is Who We Are
3. Golden Parachute
4. Pens and Needles
5. Rescue Me
6. Niki FM
7. Ohio is for Lovers

 

I See Stars (Pittsburgh, PA):

I’m kind of ashamed to say that the only reason I even knew who I See Stars is was because of their short lived feud with Ronnie Radke of Falling in Reverse that happened a few months back. After shooting their set, I’m still not sure what to think of the band. While I enjoyed them live, after listening a few songs to help me write this review – I just don’t get what they’re going for with their sound.

Still, live they were definitely a fun band. Tandem vocalists Devin Oliver and Zach Johnson had some great chemistry and the crowd seemed to love them. They seem like the kind of band that will be moving up to main stage in a year or two.

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

Set list:

1. Filth Friends Unite
2. Endless Sky
3. What This Means
4. The Common Hours
5. The End of the World Party
6. Violent Bounce (People Like You)
7. NZT48

 

Juliet Simms (Columbia, MD):

Having seen her former band Automatic Loveletter a few times, I was familiar enough with Juliet Simms to want to see her perform on the tiny Kevin Says stage. I was absolutely amazed by the range of her voice. I wasn’t too familiar with anything she played, but I definitely enjoyed hearing her sing. I’m excited for her full length debut when it comes out.

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

 

Letlive (Columbia, MD):

Jason Butler of Letlive is one of the most batshit crazy front men in rock and I mean that in the best possible way. I was told to check out Letlive because they were crazy live but I had no idea they were *this* intense. Buttler never stopped moving. Whether he was doing cannonballs on stage (pictured in the gallery below) or just running around like a maniac, they were definitely one of my top five bands at Warped Tour.

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

Set list:

1. Le Prologue
2. The Sick, Sick, 6.8 Billion
3. H. Ledger
4. Banshee (Ghost Fame)
5. Muther
6. 27 Club
7. Renegade 86′

 

Like Moths to Flames (Pittsburgh, PA):

I just wasn’t impressed by LMTF. At least for some of the bands I didn’t particularly care for – like BVB or Defeater – they at least made up for it with entertaining sets, but LMTF didn’t sound particularly great nor did they put in a tremendous amount of effort into their set. Perhaps it was because they opened the stage, but it wasn’t a great start for them or a good first impression.

Vocals: 6
Crowd Response: 8
Overall Sound: 8
Band Activity: 5
Overall rating: 6

Set list:

1. The Worst in Me
2. Something to Live For
3. Learn Your Place
4. The Blackout
5. GNF
6. I Solemnly Swear
7. You Won’t be Missed

 

Memphis May Fire (Pittsburgh, PA):

I remember disliking Memphis May Fire a lot when I covered them at Warped tour a year or two ago, but this time was definitely different. For some reason, something clicked more so than it did before. They were nothing amazing, but substantially more enjoyable than before. Vocalist Matty Mullins was pretty solid though it was hard to hear him at times.

Vocals: 7
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 9
Overall rating: 8

Set list:

1. Without Walls
2. Alive in the Lights
3. The Victim
4. Jezebel
5. Legacy
6. The Sinner
7. Prove Me Right

 

Motion City Soundtrack (Pittsburgh, PA):

Motion City Soundtrack was definitely one of my favorite bands at Warped this year. They’ve never really been a flashy band in terms of theatrics, but they just sound so. Damn. Good. Live.

Singer and guitarist Justin Pierre is so well mannered that he almost seems out of place at Warped because of it but in reality that manages to make him seem even more likeable. Towards the end of our three songs, a fan in the middle of the crowd was beamed in the head but an almost completely full water bottle and Pierre says “whoever threw that – you’re an asshole. Well, I probably shouldn’t say that. Whoever threw that – you’re not very nice”. It seems impossible to not love the guy.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 9.5
Band Activity: 8
Overall rating: 9.5

Set list:

1. Attractive Today
2. Don’t Call it a Comeback
3. Her Words Destroyed My Planet
4. Time Turned Fragile
5. LG FAUD
6. True Romance
7. Inside Out
8. The Future Freaks Me Out
9. Everything is Alright

 

Never Shout Never (Pittsburgh, PA):

Well, now we’ve come to the epitome of the odd-band-out argument. Not even Black Veil Brides was more out of place than Never Shout Never. That’s not to say I didn’t like them – because I did – but boy did their sound not mesh with the rest of the main stage. They’re very mellow compared to the rest of the bill and as soon as vocalist Christofer Ingle came out with nothing but a ukulele and hands-free harmonica I knew it was going to be a different kind of set.

They had a phenomenal turnout though and their fans were singing along the entire time. It was a nice change of pace mid-day from all the screaming that we’d had to deal with. It was also fun to grab an interview with them in a bathroom at our previous date on the tour (interview below).

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 10
Overall Sound: 9.5
Band Activity: 5
Overall rating: 9.5

Set list:

1. Piggy Bank
2. Trouble
3. On the Brightside
4. Magic
5. California Slang
6. Coffee and Cigarettes
7. CheaterCheaterBestFriendEater
8. What is Love?

 

Oh, Sleeper (Camden, NJ):

I remember seeing Oh, Sleeper many years ago and absolutely loving their set and this show was no exception. Sadly I didn’t get to stay for much of it due to the torrential downpour that ensued a few songs into their set. I wouldn’t have minded the rain had I not had my camera with me.

Vocalist Micah Kinard was a monster on stage, stomping around and screaming his lungs out. It was definitely a sight to behold. I wish I’d been able to catch more of their set.

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

Set list:

1. Hush Yael
2. The Pitch
3. Endseekers
4. The Marriage of Steel and Skin
5. World Without a Sun
6. Son of the Morning
7. The Finisher

 

Reel Big Fish (Pittsburgh, PA):

Reel Big Fish was definitely another one of my favorites. I’ve been a fan of theirs for a long time and they always make everyone party. It’s just a fantastic atmosphere. Regardless of what band you came there to see – whether it was I See Stars, Black Veil Brides or Never Shout Never, you could come together at the Reel Big Fish show and just have a great time.

While they’re great musicians with some fantastic talent, I love that they don’t take themselves too seriously. It just makes for a great time. Definitely top five from Warped Tour. Their cover of “Call Me Maybe” definitely made for a fantastic time as well.

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

Set list:

1. Sell Out
2. Thank You for Not Moshing
3. Every Else is an Asshole
4. Your Guts (I Hate ‘Em)
5. S.R.
6. Another F.U. Song
7. She Has a Girlfriend Now
8. Call Me Maybe [Carly Rae Jepsen cover]
9. Beer
10. Take on Me [A-ha cover]

 

Silverstein (Pittsburgh, PA):

Sadly I caught the tail end of their set at my first show, terrible lighting for their second show but finally got it right on my third time. Along with Reel Big Fish and Story of the Year, Silverstein was one of the main bands that made me want to cover Warped this year.

I’ve loved Silverstein for many years but only been able to catch them a few times but getting to cover them a few times on Warped definitely made all the annoyances worth it. Songs like “Smashed into Pieces” and “Your Sword Versus My Dagger” were phenomenal live. One of the tours better sets.

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

Set list:

1. Sacrifice
2. In Silent Seas We Drown
3. Your Sword Versus My Dagger
4. Broken Stars
5. Stand Amid the Roar
6. Smashed into Pieces
7. My Heroine
8. Hearts [American Nightmare cover]
9. Smile in Your Sleep

 

Sleeping with Sirens (Pittsburgh, PA):

I found Sleeping with Sirens rather than boring. Most people are infatuated with vocalist Kellin Quinn but of all the vocalists on the day, I felt he was rather dull. The only thing that was entertaining about their set was Pittsburgh-native and Warped Tour alum Machine Gun Kelly coming out to perform their song “Alone” with them. Aside from that, I was just happy to leave early and beat some traffic.

Vocals: 7
Crowd Response: 9
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 8
Overall rating: 7.5

Set list:

1. If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn
2. These Things I’ve Done
3. Alone [featuring Machine Gun Kelly]
4. A Trophy Father’s Trophy Sun
5. Congratulations
6. Scene Two: Roger Rabbit
7. Tally it Up, Settle the Score
8. If You Can’t Hang

 

Story of the Year (Columbia, MD):

Story of the Year was the highlight of the tour for me. Not only was it a bit of nostalgia (their debut album Page Avenue is one of my all time favorite albums) but they were just fantastic live. Being the 10th anniversary of Page Avenue means the band played a few songs off of it leading up to their 10th Anniversary tour this fall, but they still played a solid list of songs from their other album namely “Wake Up” and “Our Time is Now”. Guitarist Philip Sneed was especially crazy, constantly jumping around and even doing a backflip off of his amp at one point (thankfully I caught it – picture below).

If you didn’t get a chance to check them out this summer definitely check out their fall tour. It’s one not to be missed!

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

Set list:

1. And the Hero Will Drown
2. Falling Down
3. The Antidote
4. Anthem of Our Dying Day
5. Wake Up
6. “Is This My Fate?” He Asked Them
7. Until the Day I Die

 

The Amity Affliction (Camden, NJ):

Much like Go Radio, I mostly saw The Amity Affliction because they happened to be playing when I was bored and waiting for someone else to play. They didn’t blow me away by any stretch of the imagination, but they were a pretty solid RoadRunner-style band. A predictable metal band, but I’m sure you’ll be seeing them on some bigger tours soon enough.

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

Set list:

1. RIP Bon
2. Chasing Ghosts
3. Youngbloods
4. Anchors
5. I Hate Hartley
6. Open Letter

 

The Black Dahlia Murder (Columbia, MD):

After shooting them a few years ago on Mayhem, I was hoping I wouldn’t have to see them again for awhile and I guess that was kind of true. Vocalist Trevor Strnad has one of the most obnoxious voices in metal and I could only stand listening to it for a few songs before I had to leave. They weren’t even that energetic either. Not a great combination.

Vocals: 5
Crowd Response: 9.5
Overall Sound: 9
Band Activity: 7
Overall rating: 6

Set list:

1. In Hell is Where She Waits for Me
2. Goat of Departure
3. Into the Everblack
4. Statutory Ape
5. What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse
6. Unhallowed
7. Funeral Thirst

 

The Chariot (Pittsburgh, PA):

Not particularly a fan of their music, but damn is The Chariot a lot of fun to see. Guitarists Brandon Henderson and “Stevis” Harrison were both madmen on stage; running around like crazy and eventually Henderson even jumped into the crowd and played his guitar while crowd surfing. It was definitely one of the more fun sets to not only photograph but see in general. Vocalist Josh Scogin was pretty energetic too and was even joined on stage by Jason Butler of Letlive to let him sing a song in honor of his birthday. The Chariot’s definitely worth a visit if you’re going!

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

Set list:

1. The Audience
2. Forget
3. Not
4. Teach:
5. Love
6. And Shot Each Other
7. Before There was Atlanta, There was Douglasville
8. Back to Back
9. The Deaf Policeman

 

The Early November (Camden, NJ):

I remember seeing The Early November many years ago at Bamboozle and absolutely loving them and today was no exception. Vocalist Ace Enders was phenomenal and the rest of the band added just enough energy (especially bassist Sergio Anello) to make the set one of the best of the tour.

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

Set list:

1. Baby Blue
2. Decoration
3. Frayed in Doubt
4. I Want to Hear You Sad
5. Tell Me Why
6. Fluxy
7. In Currents
8. Every Night’s Another Story

 

The Used (Pittsburgh, PA):

The Used used to be one of my favorite bands but have since fallen from that title. I still love them, but their last few outings have left me disappointed. Still, for a band that lacked live have definitely rekindled some of their on stage charisma; namely vocalist Bert McCracken, who was absolutely phenomenal at this show. Cruising through a fantastic set list of classics, this was definitely the show from The Used that I’d been waiting on for quite some time.

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

Set list:

1. A Box Full of Sharp Objects
2. Take it Away
3. Listening
4. The Taste of Ink
5. All That I’ve Got
6. Pretty Handsome Awkward

 

The Wonder Years (Pittsburgh, PA):

One of the few punk bands on this years bill, I was blown away by how great The Wonder Years was live. So much energy from them, it definitely translated to well with their huge fan base present for their set. Vocalist Dan Campbell was unbelievable live; fantastic voice, stage presence and energy. I hope that they are on the bill for years to come.

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

Set list:

1. Passing Through a Screen Door
2. Locan Man Ruins Everything
3. Woke Up Older
4. Washington Square Park
5. Dismantling Summer
6. Don’t Let Me Cave In
7. The Bastards, The Vultures, The Wolves
8. Logan Circle
9. Came Out Swinging

 

Tonight Alive (Columbia, MD):

A friend recommended that I see Tonight Alive a few years ago and I’m glad I did because they were amazing then and have really blossomed as a band. Vocalist Jenna McDougal is as beautiful as her voice and the rest of the band just makes them even more enjoyable. As someone who’s not a big fan of many bands with female singers, I can safely say that Tonight Alive is one of the best out there. “Listening” is a fantastic song.

If you get the chance to see them, I strongly recommend that you take it.

Vocals: 9.5
Crowd Response: 9.5
Overall Sound: 9,5
Band Activity: 10
Overall rating: 9.5

Set list:

1. Listening
2. Thank You and Goodnight
3. Starlight
4. Wasting Away
5. Amelia
6. The Ocean
7. What Are You so Afraid Of?
8. Breaking & Entering

 

Upon a Burning Body (Camden, NJ):

This band was…interesting. Better than expected, but I still wasn’t blown away by them. Certain songs went over better than others, but overall I enjoyed their set. I especially liked “Sin City”.

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

Set list:

1. Showtime
2. Intermission
3. Devil’s Advocate
4. Mimic
5. Once Upon a Time in Mexico
6. Game Over
7. Texas Blood Money
8. Sin City

 

We Came as Romans (Pittsburgh, PA):

We Came as Romans was probably my favorite “surprise” bands on this years bill. I’d heard great things about them from previous years, but I had never gotten the chance to check them out but they were well worth the wait. I love the chemistry between vocalists Kyle Pavone and David Stephens; that’s honestly one of the biggest reasons why I found We Came as Romans so enjoyable.

The rest of the band had a lot of energy too and they easily drew one of the top three sized crowds of the day at the main stages. Songs like “To Plant a Seed” and “To Move on is to Grow” were just monstrous. I can’t wait to see how much bigger these guys get over the next few years.

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

Set list:

1. Hope
2. To Move on is to Grow
3. Fade Away
4. Broken Statues
5. Glad You Came [The Wanter cover]
6. Roads that Don’t End and Views That Never Cease
7. Tracing Back Roots
8. To Plant a Seed

 

Woe, is Me (Pittsburgh, PA):

Woe, is Me has intrigued me for awhile now. Ive found songs here and there that I’ve liked, but I wasn’t sure how they would translate to a live environment. Luckily for me, they were early on in the day, but I was slightly disappointed by them. Great energy and breakdowns but I didn’t enjoy the songs live as much as I thought I would. They weren’t bad, but they didn’t blow me away either. I’d have to give them a second chance before writing them off, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to do so soon.

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

Set list:

1. A Story to Tell
2. Fame > Demise
3. Stand Up
4. Nothing Left to Lose
5. [&] Delinquents
6. I’ve Told You Once
7. Vengeance

Photos (Bands Listed Alphabetically):

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