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One of Jacksonville, Florida’s fairgrounds transformed into a pop-punk, metal teenager’s wildest dreams.
Spread across a field, five stages called massive crowds of teenagers, 20-somethings, and adults alike. Although America is the bastard child of hosting solid music festivals (lol wat m8—ed.), Vans Warped Tour is our only saving grace.
Britain’s As It Is was one of the first of the day to play. Their set featured guest vocals from their stage manager and the amusing sight of a birthday cake smashing their guitarist in his face. The set was lively, peppered with “pop-punk jumps” and singing in the crowd (I’m not sure if the security guards were totally on board…)
Despite PVRIS’ year-old album White Noise as their sole source for set list material, the trio was still able to slay their time on the main stage. Mirrors was a crowd favorite, and lead singer Lynn Gunn’s voice boomed live, just as good as on disc.
I had never seen Pierce the Veil before, and after the security guard gave all the photographers strict rules for the set, I was quite terrified of what was about to happen. In the first song alone, PTV shot off both confetti and smoke guns into the crowd of sweaty, sunburned, moshing fans.
Bassist Jamie Preciado had a smile on his face during the entire set – I’d never seen anything like it. (It was the opposite of the stoic, emotionless faces of PVRIS.) There was also a sturdy line of security guards arming the barriers to save the numerous crowd surfers from the mass of bodies.
Pierce The Veil // Alexandra Shimalla
When Set It Off plays a show, they don’t merely sing (Duality in this case). The band literally perform. Cody Carson shifts from lead singer to actor. Drummer Maxx Danziger stands on his seat periodically to bang on the bass drum or the rims. It’s as if the songs have been re-mastered to sound better live, vocals and all.
Of course, a Florida summer prompted rain showers right before the last band due to perform. Even so, I left sunburned and happy as the fifteen year old who dreamed of spending a day at this musical summer camp.