Written by: Marisa Young
Photos by: Julia Gawle
Last Thursday, July 19th The Vans Warped Tour came crashing through Massachusetts at the Comcast Center in Mansfield. The tour was more than half way through its course with 26 dates already under its belts and only 14 more remaining. As usual, the day brought over 100 bands playing on over 8 different stages, and drew hundreds of teenaged attendees. Unlike the past few years Warped Tour has come through MA, the weather couldn’t have been better with zero rain and a nice breeze to keep the masses cool (although several sunburns were spotted as the day carried on).
The first bands began playing around 11:45am after the majority of the crowd hustled in through the opening gates. At this point, many people were anxiously running around the parking lot and amphitheater trying to grasp their bearings as well as determining which stage was where and what bands were playing at which times.
This year, the tour brought several Boston based bands along with it, including Four Year Strong, A Loss For Words, Vanna, and Transit to name a few. It was no surprise the crowd was thrilled to catch the sets of their locals, as large crowds and overly energetic fans appeared for each of these bands. It was evident the native bands were thrilled to play for their hometown fans as well.
Every year the Ernie Ball Stage is awesome to watch, featuring local battle of the band winners to perform on the stage throughout the day. This stage is a great place for upcoming local bands to showcase their talent and draw the attention of concert go-ers who haven’t yet heard their music. Post-hardcore band Actor|Observer were among the first to take on the Ernie Ball Stage. Plowing through intense guitar riffs and catchy choruses A|O brought the crowd to their feet, shouting along to the lyrics.
New to the Warped Tour scene this summer was the presence of The Acoustic Basement, an oversized shady tent where crowds could get away from the heat for a bit and enjoy some of their favorite acoustic acts. Acoustic Basement founder and performer, Brian Marquis, drew one of the largest crowds of the day for this stage as fans flocked into the tent to sing along to tunes off his new Snow Damage EP.
As the day carried on, the line for the Kleen Kanteen free water station was growing with tired and sweaty fans trying to stay hydrated. The presence of kids walking around with “Free Hugs” written on their shirts and people covered in paint became increasingly overbearing, yet fortunately there were still plenty of enjoyable acts to come.
Florida natives Yellowcard also drew a sizeable crowd, many excited to hear the band’s oldies, but goodies “Only One” and, of course, “Ocean Avenue”. Later on in the day Warped Tour veterans New Found Glory took the same stage, bringing back remnants of the punk roots that the tour was originally known for. NFG singer Jordan Pundik bantered with the crowd, talking about how Warped Tour is the only fest where set times change daily in order to keep all the bands on the same level.
New Found Glory
One of the last bands to grace the Warped Tour presence was crowd favorite Taking Back Sunday, who played against a slowly setting sun around 8pm. The upbeat indie rock band ran though a setlist filled with new tunes and old favorites. Although the mosh pit action was fading, tired supporters belted along with the band to “A Decade Under the Influence” and finale “MakeDamnSure’” to show their appreciation.
Taking Back Sunday
As the exhausted fans piled out of the Comcast Center around 9pm, the littered ground and empty merch tents proved for another successful Boston Warped Tour. For more photos, check out the photo stream here. You can also check out our interview with A Loss For Words here and our interview with Taking Back Sunday here. Stay tuned for interviews with Tonight Alive and Actor|Observer!