Vans Warped Tour 2015 causing a bit of a stir when they announced the Black Veil Brides as headliners. A really rather unusual decision for a festival that has been known to usually feature some of punk rocks biggest players. Sadly the day did not live up to the level of expectations which punters have come to expect for this longstanding touring festival starting with delays entering the venue, the domino effect of which saw performances not starting on time or, even worse in some case, bands having to cut their sets short.
Inside the venue, the first thing that caught my attention was the abundance of extremely young fans who were clearly here for the Black Veil Brides. How could I tell you ask? Simple, the makeup and the accompanying parents who looked like fishes out of water. Thankfully for the parents, organisers of today’s festivities had planned well for this eventuality by providing an area dubbed the adult crèche, an area filled with comfy sofas and a coffee bar. Well played Warped tour, well played!
Onto the music then. On the Monster stage was Ghost Town. Sadly the disappointment for an opening act will always be the sight of a half filled venue due to an army of fans still outside filtering their way in. Nonetheless, Ghost Town hit the stage hard and did a tremendous job getting the growing audience psyched for what was to come.
Despite the failings of getting things up and running, one thing that was organised well was the stages. Split into two so as soon as Ghost Town closed with "Life Cycles", Man Overboard hit the stage along with screams of adoring fans that, if you close your eyes, could have easily been mistaken for a One Direction concert! Next up was a band recommended by a friend - Metro Station. These guys have not have not graced the shores of the UK for six years so fans are treated to a fantastic blast of pure pop punk with the band reassuring their fanbase that it won't be so long before they're back.
Attila kept the energy strong even encouraging a circle pit around the sound desk - not as dangerous as one might expect as this was nothing more then a selection of audience members jogging around the desk rather than the familiar sight of a thundering stampede of those in the midst of the mosh pit.
With so much to take in I had little choice for the rest of the day but to bounce from stage to stage and catch snippets of sets by the likes of Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes and Reel Big Fish.
Co-headliners Asking Alexandria, along with new frontman Denis Stoff, played an impressive set all backed by pyrotechnics. Following straight after was the unusual choice for headlining, Black Veil Brides who, like Asking Alexndria before them, were backed by a eyebrow-burning pyrotechnics display and strong support from the very young crowd. Despite a well-played show, Black Veil Brides did not, in my opinion of course, do justice to the always popular Warped tour.
In all, the day had some great bands but you still left with something of an unfulfilled disappointed feeling. Expectations were high for the return of Warped to the UK and, while the 2015 event could be seen as something of a disappointment, it will not be hard for the Warped organisers to outdo themselves in the future.