Article and Photos by Lana Nimmons
FULL GALLERY HERE
From Augusts Vandala Magazine – READ MORE ARTICLES HERE
Vans Warped Tour celebrates its 20th year anniversary with some of the music industry’s biggest and best bands and artists, and was back in MTL after one year of absence. Despite the dust, rain and wind, there was a crowd on the lawn of St. Helena. More than 50 groups, including Anberlin, Cute is What We Aim For, Every Time I Die, Mayday Parade and others, occurred in eight different scenes.
The event music punk rock Vans Warped Tour returned in full Saturday, July 5, on the ground floor of the Île Notre-Dame in Montreal. After a break of one year for the Montreal edition of the North American tour, the Vans Warped Tour, this time celebrating its 20th anniversary of existence and good rock.
Although some believe that the festival has lost ground in recent years, particularly due to changes in the programming, the Vans Warped Tour is a must for any fan of punk rock respectable. And even if we draw less popular at one time, the VWT pulls out of the game with a superb organization, always focused on its target audience, that is to say young people.
Who says young people also said small budget! The VWT has always considered its slim wallet festival, keeping ticket prices to $49.25 for the day. If we make a comparison with events such as Osheaga and Heavy MTL, there you pay double for one day.
Always with a view to reach its clients, minors may be accompanied by a parent free to enter the site. It convinces dad come to the festival, then we’ll have fun with our friends while he relaxes in a quiet area which is specially reserved.
Like every year, full time (hour by hour) is available only on the day of crossing destination. At the moment, it is impossible to know what will be the order in which the artists will play in Montreal. It retains the suspense until the last minute and thus ensures maximum attendance at the opening of the site in the morning. This is actually a pet peeve of mine. If I buy a ticket for a festival I want to know who is going to be playing that day. I wanted to see quite a few bands who were on the American bill, and because of the border or whatever did not play Montreal. I wonder why I never had any problems like this with Mayhem.
On the sparse grounds there were several kiosks also offer the chance to the most successful bands to meet some fans after their performance through autograph sessions and short acoustic performance- this was tres cool, and made up for the line-up mix up. The Vans Warped Tour experience becomes more complete.
SEE FULL SIZED PHOTOS HERE
This year, as opposed to the usual seven stages, there were 10 stages to choose from: two main stages displaying a variety of genres, a Warhead stage where you could find many indie/ pop punk bands, Monster Stage which featured many metal, hardcore, deathcore bands, a Hard Rock Kevin Says stage which showed off punk bands with a little thrash metal, Beatport for those electronica/dance fans, Lemmon stage featuring local and surrounding local talent, and Acoustic BSMT for those wonderful unplugged acts. With this, if the Vans gods are listening, stop selling the schedule for 2$- it’s annoying. Just put it up on your site, or have it on an app. I would prefer to donate that money towards one of the many foundations that were present.
While there was a multitude of bands to choose from, there were also several organizations present and in need of support. Feed Our Children featured a special deal where festival goers could donate 3 cans of food in order to proceed into the venue grounds prior to the rest of the thousands in attendance. Music Saves also participated, allowing individuals to donate blood before the tour date and receive a free backstage pass. Essentially, you could help to save a life while getting the best view of the festival.
As for the talent for this years Vans, there were a lot good and some sub-par. My schedule was kinda set before the date, and had to be changed day of due to only a selection of bands from the tour were playing MTL that day. Since it is not my first Vans roadeo I decided to mix it up, and see bands I’ve never seen before. With this I did catch, Motionless In White, Less than Jake, and of course Vanna, who once again, were all amazing. So here’s my short list of newer bands:
1) Every Time I Die: Not to sound unprofessional, but these guys are amazeballs. Their set was without a stale or recycled moment, they were energetic, having fun with the audience, and (even though most people don’t really care at festival), their tech guys did not turn up the sound to noise. I just love their heavy, southern-influenced style, every note, chords, vocals, and lyrics were to perfection- wait- these guys will be headlining a major tour within a year.
2) Parkway Drive: I literally was speechless after their act. This Australian metalcore band from Byron Bay, New South Wales, formed in 2002. As of 2013, Parkway Drive has released four full-length albums, Killing with a Smile, Horizons, Deep Blue, and Atlas, one EP, two DVDs a split album and one book; “Ten Years of Parkway Drive”. I have honestly never seen so many crowd surfers in such a short period of time, it was amazing. In fact there were so many the security had to kick out all the photographers, and videographers out of the pit for safety- that’s hardcore.
3) Mayday Parade: Good live band, wish they were shoes. From Tallahassee, Florida’s Mayday Parade have honed their patented style of catchy, kinetic pop-punk with an outpour of real rock energy. You can tell their fans are die hearts, they were fun, catchy, definitely a contrast from Parkway drive. Funny enough, they sell shoes as merch.
4) This Wild Life: As their bio says “Sketchy dudes, beautiful tunes.” And that says it all. But with all seriousness- I love these guys, they’re amazing. That being said, I felt the whole acoustic set out of place at Vans. I think it might be a MTL thing. Most people who go to Vans in MTL are EMO, punks, and metalheads. Our chill laid back people tend to go to Osheaga. They did have a very generous turnout, but with talent like they have, they deserved even more. Once again though- amazing. TY TWL.
All in all, Vans was great, new bands, and some bands that are quite huge but haven’t quite made their reach to Montreal until now. There was tons of things to do, see, and meet and greets. Thank you Vans for visiting us again, and looking forward to next year.