Vans Warped Tour 2015

Alexandra Palace, London, England

It is our first time at yet another one of the UK's favourite music events - the Vans Warped Tour. It takes place at the huge venue of Alexandra Palace, London, across two main stages and three smaller stages in the first hall. Leading up to the event the internet was awash with discussion about the line-up; many weren't happy about the bands chosen to play live and say the ticket wouldn't worth the money. Well, after reading all this, it is our mission to find out. Upon arrival we see that the bands are yet to start because of the delays getting the crowd into the arena. This meant that there were further delays on the main stage perfomances forcing bands to cut their sets short, which isn't a really impressing move by the venue.

As we head in, the bands start to play and after hanging around in the guest area for a bit we are thinking about giving it a go. We wander from stage to stage to get an overview of where each band is going to be performing and we can see that the Vans Warped Tour is definitely addressing a ridicolously large amount of young people.

Man Overboard is the first band to start the festival for us, we haven't heard  them before so it‘s intriguing to see what they have to offer. It is a five-man Pop-Punk band from America and it is quite relaxing to watch them. Their music is lively and kind of cheerful. Even though there are not that many people inside watching them, the few ones in are entertained enough to clap and dance along to each of their songs like “Where I Left You” or “Love Your Friends, Die Laughing”. Lead Singer Nik Bruzzese even manages to pull off a very tiny circle pit. It doesn't suit to their music really as they are reminding me a little bit of Blink 182 and the music is just too happy and melodic but as long everyone was having fun – fair enough.

Without even realising, Metro Station is starting their set without any break between both bands. Trace Cyrus announces that it is their first time being back in the UK after 6 years and he is obviously enjoying being back in the spotlight as he demonstrates by jumping around, taking off his shirt, posing and grabbing the microphone whenever he has the chance to. With dancy sounds and classic songs like “Seventeen Forever”, and me wishing I was still seventeen for a second, they are catching the attention of the crowd quite well. They finish the set with “Shake It” and finally get everyone to dance and literally shake it off.

The Rocket Summer kicks off with “Do You Feel” but they don't grab the attention of everyone because clearly, not everyone is that impressed by Bryce‘s solo music. But, to be fair, it is definitely hard to prove oneself with his music genre which is mixed with Pop-Rock and Power Rock in this quite heavy line-up. It is really nice and light stuff to listen and swing to. It's quite jazzy with the sounds from the keyboard and it also gets a bit romantic and loving with “Cross My Heart”. Bryce Avary's set comes to an end really fast but before ending his show he starts beatboxing and perfoming a song on his own as all his band members are already off the stage. That guy absolutely has talent!

Suddenly, the main stage area is getting really packed but no surprise because the next act is August Burns Red. Seeing them live before we have high expectations. Opening their show with “White Washed” it feels quite like getting slapped in the face after listening to the soft and chilled music before. Heavy riffs are filling the air followed by aggressive screaming and growling. Almost everyone is absolutely freaking out and turning into a bunch of monsters who are moshing and pushing each other around. Lead Singer Jake Luhrs with his theatric self-expressions during his songs is telling everyone how pleased he is to be here as it is the first time they are joining the Vans Warped Tour in the UK. After songs like “Martyr” which actually sounds like a Martyr slaughtering everyone in there and “Ghosts”, August Burns Red ended their set epically with “Empire”. These guys are absolutely smashing it and are paving the way for more aggressive and loud Metalcore in the upcoming show.

Attila have a really easy start; coming in with their Deathcore as the crowd is heated up already and are begging for more brutal sounds. They are throwing their sounds violently at everyone with their starter song “Outlawed”. After thinking the crowd couldn't get any more mental, they prove us wrong. The audience is screaming, fighting and pushing around with no mercy at all. Attila create such a belligerent atmosphere which stays alive until their very last song “Payback”.

After taking a small breather we accidentally walk in to see Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and being honest, we have never seen such an electrified and vivid show. Frank Carter being rude as always is delivering an amazing Punk show performing “Fangs” and “Juggernaut”. Inbetween the songs he has time to spit everywhere on stage or insult other people and bands. At one point while performing he just jumps into the crowd and initiates a hell of a circle pit while being in the middle of it. Photographers, sensing their chance for a good shot, joining the pit one by one. Chaos ensues and it leaves us kind of speechless. Frank ends his incredible set with “I Hate You” he leaves the stage by thanking the audience for being involved.

Whilst we wait for Young Guns to play, Anti-Flag are trying successfully to heat it up on another stage. Two guys have the perfect idea kicking off a fight and start punching each other. The band immediately stop playing and force those two guys to make up or they will not continue playing their set. To prove it, they have to kiss each other but believe it or not, they do. Anti-Flag jump back into the song and dedicate it to the two fighting guys. This is an absolutely brilliant move to stop a serious fight.

After all this chaos Young Guns start and we really didn't expect the hall to be this packed. They are a british Alternative Rock band and have an epic, mysterious and foggy entrance on stage. With a beautiful lightshow the drummer is coming first on stage followed by the rest of the band. Opening the show with “Daylight” the atmosphere is filled with energy as Gustav Wood jumps from one site to another like a fireball. Performing famous hits like “Speaking in Tongues” and “Bones” they keep the crowd energised. Repeating it after almost every song, they are really grateful having the opportunity to be a supporting act for Black Veil Brides and Asking Alexandria and how pleased they are being part of the festival. It is a great amusement seeing how much fun they have on stage which is making them really sympathic.

After the set we need some time to calm down and get ready for Black Veil Brides, so we head back to the guest area for a quick fresh up. After having one quick beer we wander back to the main stage and try to catch a good place without being run over by everyone. Sadly there are some sound problems and it depends on where we are standing because in some spots it ss really hard to hear a single thing Andy Biersack is singing or saying. It feels like the whole sound from the guitars is being swallowed by a big cloud. But this doesn‘t destroy anything of their show. With fire fountains during “Hearts of Fire” they ensuring the whole audience is watching. Classic songs like “Coffin”, “Last Rites”, “Rebel Love Song” and “Fallen Angels”  are performed. After “Fallen Angels” they go off the stage without saying any goodbyes so it is obvious that they will come back. And of course they do – with the last song “In the End” they blow away every single person in the venue. This time we are standing in the back of the area to get the best out of the sound and it works. Loads of fire fountains and a never ending glitter firework leaves almost everyone breathless or speechless. It looks absolutely stunning. After finishing their last song, Black Veil Brides get off the stage real quick again and the festival comes to a well deserved end.

Now it‘s time to get back to the guest area, meet the bands, and have a chilled afterparty and chat together. We absolutely loved the festival and we can not wait to go again.

Written by by Katharina Kreisel
Photos by Nici Eberl
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