Heat, sweat and dirt: yes, it’s Vans Warped Tour time

Unbelievably hot. Ridiculously sweaty. Indescribably dirty. Yup, Vans Warped Tour was back on the road once again this year, kicking off this summer’s festival season in true VWT form.

Setting up shop in Montreal halfway through the tour, the live music extravaganza could have opted for a better location than the awkwardly laid out portion of Parc Jean-Drapeau no one ever really uses (it escapes me why VWT wouldn’t want to make use of the same space other major festivals like Osheaga do, as it is on the same island, after all, but more conveniant and strategically organized), but once you got used to the running around from stage to stage, it wasn’t really all that bad. And, I suppose, if the stages were any closer together, no one would have the full benefit of any band as they would just overlap into a giant musical mess.

Now, enough complaing, let’s get to the bands for this Vans Warped Tour. After all, that’s what VWT is all about, even though all the merch tents may have you thinking otherwise. Granted, they do offer fans the unique and much appreciated, I’m sure, opportunity to meet their fave musicians. A chance they wouldn’t normally have at any other show. Props for that indeed.

With over a hundred bands hitting the road on different parts of the tour, that’s just way too many musicians to go through, so instead, I’ve decided to just stick to two highlights that, in my opinion, stole the show and had me talking about them the following day. Something that doesn’t happen too often.

Denver, Colorado’s Breathe Carolina are an electronic rock duo that, although I may not listen to on a regular basis, definitely know the meaning of putting on a show. From the moment they hit the stage, they did everything they could to ensure the packed crowd in front of their stage absolutely lost it. You have to respect that in a band. After all, a band is only as good as their live performance. At least, that’s what I think nowadays. High energy, unapologetic and completely eclectic, I can definitely see the appeal behind these guys and if they keep things up like this, they’re going to have the younger generation supporting them through and through. Great festival music I could also see being a hit in any club, brining rock elements to a venue that usually wouldn’t support the genre – hats off to B.C.!

Then there was Glasgow, Scotland’s Twin Atlantic who definitely came a heck of a long way to be a part of Vans Warped Tour. Having supported everyone from Blink 182 to My Chemical Romance and The Gaslight Anthem, these guys are seasoned veterans, delivering an alt rock-pop fusion that’s so good it landed them on the cover of Kerrang! magazine. No small feat indeed. With limited banter, T.A. decided to strive for quantity, delivering solid song after solid song, trying to get as much in as possible in a set that was, let’s face it, too short. I could have easily kept listening to them and judging by the crowd’s reaction, they agreed with me. Too bad the stage was positioned in such a way that T.A. wasn’t getting all the foot traffic they deserved, as they surely would have stopped people in their tracks and walked away with some new fans. After all, it’s hard not to like a real good catchy tune.

For all the latest on VWT: