July 20, 2016 Vans Warped Tour Epic In Return To Jones Beach, NY 7-9-16
Celebrating twenty-one years, Vans Warped Tour is the longest running music festival in North America. Impressive, considering the shift in the music industry over that time, when Vans Warped Tour comes to town, it is the one day a year most music fans look forward too. It is the day where they can meet their favorite artists, listen to their favorite artists, and even find a new favorite artist.
The 2016 edition began on June 24th and will run through August 13th, making a lengthy list of stops all across the United States. Going back to their roots, as founder Kevin Lyman put it, 2016’s Warped Tour lineup consisted of a mix of both experienced Warped Tour artists, as well as some new bands to the lineup. In addition, the tour really goes back to its Pop Punk and Rock roots, and thus has been a major success. With a total of ninety-four bands spread out across seven years, it provides music lovers with around eight hours of non-stop music, meet and greets, but most of all memories that will last a lifetime.
A tradition to visit the Long Island, New York area, when the tour stopped at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater on Saturday, July 9th, the sky was dark and rain was threatening from the moment the crew set up in the early morning. Usually a day where the sun is so hot, one could fry an egg on the pavement, hopes were high that the rain would hold out, and with that, fans of all ages lined up as early as 9:30 AM anxious to get within the confines of the wondrous world of Warped Tour.
Four Year Strong
Kicking things off at 11:30 AM on the Journey’s Right Foot stage were Pure Noise Record’s artist Four Year Strong. Formed back in 2001 in Massachusetts, this band has made a big impact on the Pop Punk and Hardcore world. Even though they were the first band to play on one of the main stages this year, fans rushed to the stage in order to grab a good view of Vocalists and Guitarists Dan O’Connor and Alan Day, Bassist Joe Weiss, and Drummer Jackson Massucco.
With a Christmas themed set, the guys in Four Year Strong took the stage to a Bing Crosby cover, and then it was go-time. Driving up the energy with “We All Float Down Here” and “What The Hell Is A Gigawatt,” everyone went crazy when Day jumped off stage and into the crowd. During “Maniac (R.O.D),” Santa Claus made a special appearance and the excitement from the audience shot up even more before the band finished off their set with some old songs and new. A delightful beginning, Four Year Strong set the pace for the rest of the day, and fans knew, it was going to be a good day.
We The Kings
Starting things off on the Journey’s Left Foot Stage, We The Kings took their places at 12 PM with a sea of fans waiting for their set. As Drummer Danny Duncan, Bassist Charles Trippy, Guitarists Hunter Thomsen and Coley O’Toole, as well as Vocalist Travis Clark took the stage, the cheers from the crowd could be heard through the parking lot of the Nikon Theater at Jones Beach.
Start their set off this “Say You Like Me,” and “Love Again,” We The Kings started their party off right. Before starting “I Feel Alive,” Travis asked the entire crowd to kneel down, and when he sang the words, “I feel alive,” he wanted everyone to jump up and swing their arms around. This was an amazing sight to see since the crowd timed it perfectly. A few songs later, the band played their new song, “Sad Song,” off their new record, So Far. Ending on a high note, they concluded with the classic “Check Yes Juliet,” which left the crowd wanting more. Those looking for more, So Far is out now!
Up next on the Journey’s Right Stage were Sydney, Australia natives Tonight Alive. Since forming back in 2008, this band has made a huge impact here in The States. Fans were ready to see Vocalist Jenna McDougall, Lead Guitarist Whakaio Taahi, Rhythm Guitarist Jake Hardy, Bassist Cam Adler, and Drummer Matt Best take the stage and put on a show they would not forget.
Beginning with “To Be Free,” from their latest album, Limitless, Tonight Alive came out swinging. Their energy was high and the fans responded. Jenna mentioned how Warped Tour was a safe place; a place of acceptance and where you should not have to hide who you really are. Continuing to play both new and old songs, Tonight Alive played some of their biggest hits including “Lonely Girl,” “Listening,” and “The Edge.” Tonight Alive fans received another amazing performance from the Aussies that revisited the fond memories to last all summer long.
When 1:30 PM rolled around, it was time for Tallahassee, Florida natives Mayday Parade to hit the Journey’s Right Foot Stage. Starting their set off with “Jersey,” Bassist Jeremy Lenzo, Guitarists Alex Garcia alongside Brooks Betts, Drummer Jake Bundrick, and Vocalist Derek Sanders caught the attention of this Jones Beach crowd immediately.
Playing songs off their albums, 2007’s A Lesson in Romantics, 2011’s Mayday Parade, and 2015’s Black Lines, the crowd was loving every second of Mayday Parade’s set. Ending their set with “When You See My Friends,” and “Jamie All Over,” Mayday Parade provided the Jones Beach crowd with a memorable set filled with classic Mayday Parade songs both old and new fans absolutely love. Be sure to check them out on Warped Tour all summer long before they make their way to Australia this fall.
New Found Glory
Back on the Journey’s Left Foot Stage, Pop Punk alumni’s New Found Glory were about to hit the stage at 2 PM, and the gathering in front of the stage was massive. Formed back in 1997 in Florida, Drummer Cyrus Bolooki, Bassist Ian Grushka, Guitarist Chad Gilbert, and Vocalist Jordan Pundik have been absolutely destroying the Pop Punk scene for the last 19 years.
Coming out like a house on fire with “Understatement,” the crowd was already giving it all they had in response. Lyrics were being screamed from near and far, and the energy was intense. Their set consisted of both classic and new songs from their latest album, Resurrection. “All Downhill From Here” and “Hit Or Miss” really got the crowd going, especially when Jordan made his way into the crowd to have some help singing. The intensity and energy from crowd never let up their entire set, and even seemed to be the highest when they finished their set with a fan-favorite, “My Friends Over You.”
Hailing from Albany, New York, State Champs was pumped and ready to go for their somewhat hometown show in Jones Beach. Taking over the Journey’s Right Foot Stage at 2:30 PM, the crowd packed in for their set. Playing a set consisting mostly of new songs off their latest album, Around The World And Back, these State Champ fans were ready to provide their voices.
“Shape Up,” “Elevated,” and “Perfect Score” were up first, and the crowd went wild. Guitarists Tony Diaz and Tyler Szalkowski, Bassist Ryan Scott Graham, Drummer Evan Ambrosio, and Vocalist Derek Discanio did not stand still for one second, and the energy that was coming was reciprocated from the crowd. Before ending their set with “Losing Myself” and “Secrets,” the crowd responded with amazement when bubbles started to appear when State Champs started to play “Simple Existence!” These Albany boys absolutely killed their New York homecoming show, and the response from the crowd proved that the State Champs have a big future ahead of them.
Sleeping With Sirens
Following State Champs on the Journey’s Right Foot Stage were Orlando’s very own Sleeping with Sirens. Formed back in 2009, Guitarists Nick Martin and Jack Fowler, Bassist Justin Hills, Drummer Gabe Barham, and Vocalist Kellin Quinn have had major success in the music industry, which was clear to see by the amount of fans that caught their 3:30 PM set.
Their set launched with “We Like it Loud,” and that is exactly what they received from the crowd. From the minute the first chord hit, fans were screaming the lyrics at Kellin and the rest of the guys in the band. Playing a mix of both old and new songs, this Sleeping with Sirens set gave their fans everything they could ask for. Energy was high during “Go, Go, Go” and “If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn.” The energetic set came to an end when the band performed one of their most well known songs, “If You Can’t Hang,” and gave it everything they in the process to show the crowd one hell of a time.
Performing on their 7th and final Vans Warped Tour, another Florida band, Yellowcard, was about to hit the Journey’s Left Foot stage at 4 PM. For some fans, they knew that this would be the last time seeing these guys on stage, so they were ready to give it their all. As special guest drummer Cyrus Bolooki from New Found Glory, Bassist Josh Portman, Lead Guitarist Ryan Mendez, Violinist Sean Mackin, and Guitarist and Lead Singer Ryan Key hit the stage, they were ready to give it their all. Playing a mix of songs from four albums, Yellowcard put on a show to remember.
Blasting forward, “With You Around,” “Lights and Sounds” and “Five Becomes Four” revved up the crowd as the circle pits were in full go mode.. Before playing “Way Away,” Ryan Key brought up the sore subject of the band breaking up. The crowd reacted as expected, but Ryan informed them that it was for the best and that for the next three songs of their set, the band and their fans were going to give it their all and make this a set to not be forgotten. Ending their set with the iconic song “Ocean Avenue,” Yellowcard fans were not disappointed with what will be the band’s final Warped Tour at Jones Beach.
Fresh out of Illinois, the boys from Real Friends having been making a name for themselves in the Pop Punk world since forming back in 2010. Guitarists Dave Knox and Eric Haines, Drummer Brian Blake, Bassist Kyle Fasel, as well as Vocalist Dan Lambton took the Journey’s Right Foot Stage at 4:30 PM, and the crowd was ready for them.
Playing a total of eight songs, these guys put on a show no one wanted to miss. Among those cuts were “Late Nights in My Car,” “Floorboards,” “Summer,” and “Loose Ends” which had the crowd singing and dancing along from start to finish. Those still unfamilar with Real Friends, be sure to check out their new album The Home Inside My Head which hit stores this past May.
Falling In Reverse
If there is one band absolutely no one wanted to miss on Warped Tour this year, Falling in Reverse should be on the top of that list. Formed back in 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada, the guys in Falling in Reverse put on one hell of a show. Drummer Ryan Seaman, Bassist Zakk Sandler, Guitarists Derek Jones alongside Christian Thompson, and last, but not least, Singer-Songwriter Ronnie Radke provided the Jones Beach crowd with a show everyone talked about for the rest of the day.
From the second Radke hit the stage, he did not stop moving and engaging the crowd. Playing songs from 2011’s The Drug in Me Is You, 2013’s Fashionably Late, and 2015’s Just Like You, Falling in Reverse had the crowd going crazy from start to finish. Before playing the favorite, “Bad Girls Club,” Radke asked every single person in the crowd to sit down. He said, “We’re not playing your favorite songs until every single one of you is sitting on the crowd.” As soon as everyone sat, he then asked the parents to do the same, and then proceeded with the set as soon as everyone obliged. Finishing the set off with “Just Like You,” Falling in Reverse provided the Jones Beach crowd with a performance full of theatrics, entertainment, and just downright good music.
Coming from Atlanta, Georgia, Issues has been taking the Metalcore scene by storm since 2012. In four short years, Drummer Josh Manuel, Guitarist AJ Rebollo, Bassist Skyler Acord, and Singers Michael Bohn and Tyler Carter have made a huge impression on this scene. Coming to the Journeys Right Foot Stage at 5:30 PM, the guys made their way to the stage to Rugrats and Catdog theme song before jumping into playing the Pokemon theme song, “Gotta Catch ‘Em All!”
Full of energy, Issue continues on with “Coma,” “Never Lose Your Flames,” and “Yung & Dum.” Carter and Bohn then gave the crowd a choice between them playing either “The Realest” or “Flojo,” both new songs of their latest album, Headspace. The crowd chose “The Realest” and went insane for it as lyrics were creamed right back at Carter and Bohn during the entire song. Finally, issues closed their set off with “Hooligans,” where Accord jumped into the crowd to finish playing out the set.
The Color Morale
Formed back in 2007 in Illinois, The Color Morale has since made a name for themselves in the Post-Hardcore scene. The crowd was patiently waiting for the band to hit the Monster Energy North stage at 6:20 PM, with some fans waiting for almost a half hour. As Drummer Steve Carey, Bassist Mike Honson, Guitarists Devin King alongside Aaron Saunders, and Vocalist Garret Rapp hit the stage, cheers erupted from the crowd.
The set started off with “Suicide;Stigma,” “Learned Behavior,” and “Walls.” During these first few songs, crowd-surfers were in full effect, just hoping for the chance to give Garret a high five, which some of them did. The energy was intense the entire set as Rapp moved all around the stage feeding off the crowds energy. The set closed off with “Strange Comfort,” which left The Color Morale fans satisfied with waiting almost the entire day to see one of their favorite bands.
Jumping back to the Journey’s Right Foot Stage, The Maine, who formed back in 2007 in Arizona, was about to hit the stage at 6:30 PM. Being almost one of the last bands of the night, the crowd was ready to see Guitarists Jared Monaco and Kennedy Brock, Bassist Garrett Nickelsen, Drummer Patrick Kirch, as well as Vocalist John O’Callaghan hit the stage.
First up was “English Girls,” “Like We Did,” and “Diet Soda Society,” immediately provoking a crowd reaction. O’Callaghan was in full-on performance mode from the minute he hit the stage, and the crowd was eating it up. Between the lyrics being screamed by the fans, the dancing taking place in the crowd, and the energy shown on stage, The Maine had one of the best sets of the day. Ending their set with “Girls Do What they Want” and “Growing Up,” The Maine did not disappoint their fans with a set that would surely leave the crowd talking for sometime.
Set It Off
Another band coming from Florida was about to hit the Journey’s Left Foot Stage at 7 PM. Set It Off formed back in 2008 and has since gained a huge fan base across the country. Made up of Vocalist Cody Carson; who is most known for his insane vocal range, Guitarists Zach DeWall alongside Dan Clermont, and lastly, Drummer Maxx Danziger, Set If Off was making its third appearance on the Vans Warped Tour this year. Their set started off with one of their newer songs, “Uncontainable,” and then jumped back into two of their older songs, “Wolf In Sheep’s Clothing;” which was accompanied by some catchy action between Carson and a fan who kept throwing a football on stage.
A crowd-favorite, “Forever Stuck In Our Youth” was up next, which got Carson so excited he actually jumped into the crowd for some of the song! Once Carson returned to the stage, he let the crowd know that their new album, Upside Down, was coming out in October and they were going to play “Something New” for them right now. The crowd reacted extremely positively to their new song, and the anticipation for their new album is clearly on the rise. “Why Worry” closed out the set for Set It Off, which allowed Carson to take a break from singing because when the chorus hit, the crowd immediately took over the vocals for him. Simply electric, Set It Off did exactly what their name implies.
The Story So Far
Closing out the Journey’s Right Foot Stage was California based band The Story So Far. This Pop-Punk band, formed back in 2007, hit the stage at 7:30 PM to end the crowd’s night on a high note. As Guitarists William Levy and Kevin Geyer, Bassist Kelen Capener, Drummer Ryan Torf, as well as Vocalist Parker Cannon made their way to the stage, they thanked the crowd for sticking around to close out the day with them.
Wasting no time getting right into the thick of things, “All Wrong,” “The Glass,” and “Empty Space” were played, and the crowd was eating it up quickly. To show their excitement, circle pits formed and crowd-surfers made their way to the front of the stage. In addition, Cannon did not stand still for two seconds on stage, even throwing in some mosh moves while waiting for the songs to kick in. Playing some more classics such as “Things I Can’t Change” and “Roam,” The Story So Far wrapped up with one of their most biggest hits, “Quicksand.” All in all, there was no doubt they put on a performance that was well worth waiting the entire day for.
The 2016 Vans Warped Tour stop at Jones Beach was one of the few dates where no rain hit, despite the impending threat all day long. Perhaps the gods shined down on Long Island, or perhaps it was just pure luck, more than likely the latter. An extremely enjoyable day for bands and fans alike, going back to their roots in 2016 was one of the best idea’s Kevin Lyman could have come up with. The bands that played gave a sense of nostalgia for the fans that have been attending the tour for years but also gave the newer bands an opportunity to get prime exposure, as well as tour with bands they grew up with. All that said, Vans Warped Tour has proven, time and time again, the importance of showing different styles of music on one platform, and this year was no different.