Vans Warped Tour delivers on every level in Indianapolis

With this year’s Vans Warped Tour just underway, the bands have caught their stride and two weeks into it adjusted to the crazy tour schedule and firing on all cylinders. This year’s Indianapolis stop landed just two weeks or so into the tour.

Last year in Indy, the weather was dry, hot and it was obvious it hadn’t rained in weeks- if not a month.

This year couldn’t have been more on the contrary. The night before saw a torrential downpour that lasted hours upon hours, just adding to the three days of nonstop rain; needless to say, Indianapolis’ Warped Tour was muddy and cool.

The day started early with one of the most energetic and chaotic sets of the day at 11:45 a.m. and Letlive., who were hard to wrap the mind around. With frontman Jason Butler sprinting and jumping around stage and throwing everything in sight, it was one hell of a start to what ended up being a great Warped Tour.

After Letlive. finished up it was time for August Burns Red to take the stage right next door at the Kia Soul Stage and they didn’t disappoint one bit and were the perfect follow-up to Letlive.

With their positive message, high-octane set and great interaction with the crowd, plus their latest record- Rescue & Restore– out just a week earlier, it was the perfect time for ABR to be on Warped Tour. Their excitement and energy was undeniable and they put on one of the best sets of the day.

Whilst there were more bands than you could process playing on nine stages this day, it was clear the Kia Soul stage was the place to be at 1:20 when Blessthefall came on front and center.

Their last record, Awakening, was by far the biggest of their career and their forthcoming Hollow Bodies is even more anticipated so the crowd was unbelievable and Blessthefall didn’t let them down one bit.

While they were playing, The Chariot were playing on the Monster Energy stage at the same time. The Chariot, if you haven’t seen them, are one of the most extreme live bands there is and their set was exactly how you would expect.

It’s hard to tell how they’ve kept so much energy and kept their set as high-fueled as they have after so many years but this year may have been one of the strongest sets they’ve put on so far. With their latest record, One Wing, proving to be very successful, they have a few albums under their belts now and they played a set that featured material from almost every album.

With more than half the band crowd surfing during the set and Jason Butler from Letlive. taking the stage with them for a song, if you don’t check out The Chariot on this year’s Warped Tour, you’re robbing yourself.

Next up was Chiodos, who recently brought back drummer Derrick Frost and frontman Craig Owens and who have a new record coming out very, very soon.

The crowd was loaded with diehard Chiodos fans who were dying to get a glimpse of their chemistry and they got more than they could have wanted.

It was almost like no time had gone by whatsoever and the band’s cohesiveness spoke volumes. They also played some new material which will blow fans’ minds and stands right up with their old stuff.

Following Chiodos were Never Shout Never, Bring Me the Horizon and We Came as Romans, among others, who all played solid sets but didn’t quite live up to the expectations put upon them.

Relient K took the stage later on in the day and had quite the crowd, many a Relient K fan who have stuck with them through the years showed their loyalty by screaming every word along with the band, who sounded better than ever and pulled out every hit for the fans.

After outstanding sets from Memphis May Fire and Like Moths to Flames and a solid set from Black Veil Brides (it doesn’t matter how much you hate these guys, they usually put on an entertaining set), 3OH!3 took one of the two main stages for a set that was only enjoyed by their fans.

3OH!3’s music in itself is overly annoying and offensive and is typically enjoyed only by teenage high school girls who haven’t discovered any substitute of decent music.

Their set was subpar and the only ones who seemed even remotely into it were, as stated earlier, high school teenagers who only came for 3OH!3 and who didn’t seem even the least bit interested in the other bands- very similar to Black Veil Brides.

Sleeping with Sirens were up next, as one of the final two acts to play on the evening and took the stage to a deafening reaction from the crowd. Their latest record, Feel, just released a month prior and has been met with an overwhelming positive response from press and fans and they played a lot of new material including Matty Mullins of Memphis May Fire.

Their set was strong, dynamic and impressive but lacked that final power punch that would put them over the top.

Finishing up the night was Reel Big Fish, who are possibly the most seasoned Warped Tour vets on the tour this year having played the traveling festival numerous times, much like Relient K.

Decked out in flashy apparel and an entertaining level of banter with the crowd, Reel Big Fish were the perfect way to end the Indianapolis stop of this year’s Warped Tour.

As a whole, Vans Warped Tour 2013 has been more organized, better planned and just ran smoother than 2012 did. Definitely a Warped Tour to remember.

-Reggie Edwards

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