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My Warped Tour Experience

I attended my third warped tour last Friday at Comerica Park in Detroit. The venue is perfect for the event, actually, even though I felt somewhat uncomfortable walking/driving around the streets of downtown Detroit. A lot of people have been complaining about the bands this year, but there were actually quite a few that I was excited to see and I ended up having a great time. Here's my recap of the event.
1Go Radio

As a fan of the Lancaster-era Mayday Parade, I decided to start the day with Go Radio. Having only heard "Lucky Street," I only knew about half their set. Lancaster's voice cracked a few times, but for the most part he sounded exactly like he does on record. Not a bad way to kick off the day.
2Alive, in Standby

A solid local band that attracted a respectable crowd to the local stage. These guys are still in high school, but they didn't fail to impress. The clean vocalist is tremendous (think a young Johnny Craig) and I could easily see this band blowing up. I just hope they stay away from Rise Records.
3Enter Shikari

I've never been a huge fan of this band on record, but I love their live shows. The dubstep breakdowns are really fun. Surprisingly their crowd wasn't very big.
4The Dangerous Summer

I was able to catch the last two songs of their set after Enter Shikari. I am just starting to get into this band, but their closer "Work in Progress" was one of the highlights of the day. If you like emotional pop-punk (Deja Entendu-ish?), then I highly recommend checking these guys out, especially "Work in Progress."
5The Devil Wears Prada

Here came the biggest surprise of the day. I've never been a big Prada fan. I mean, the Zombie EP was pretty fun, but I had always thought of them as scene garbage. Much to my surprise, they were one of the best sounding sets of the day. They played tight as hell and Hranica's vocals were spot on. The new song, "Born to Lose," sounds awesome as well. It sounds like this band is finally maturing and I'll probably check out their new album with a new mindset.
6A Day to Remember

ADTR obviously gets a lot of hate, probably deservingly. Their new album was an obvious attempt to break into the mainstream, and judging by the size of their crowd, it worked. Their music isn't groundbreaking or original but I still enjoy them to a degree; a guilty pleasure, I suppose. Not taking them or their music too seriously, I still enjoyed their set and had a good time.
7August Burns Red

Now on to the good stuff. The three bands that I was most excited for all played at the end of the day, and much to my dismay, DGD started just 15 minutes after ABR. Faced with this tough decision, I decided to only stay for the first four songs of ABR (since I've already seen them before). ABR was obviously one of the most talented bands at this tour, and their performance was near flawless. My only complaint is that the vocalist can't quite pull everything off. After catching "Meddler," my favorite song from Constellations, I literally ran to the Nintendo stage to catch DGD.
8Dance Gavin Dance

Ahhh Dance Gavin Dance, the main reason that I was so excited for Warped Tour this year. Downtown Battle Mountain is my favorite post-hardcore album of all time, and I was incredibly excited to catch the old line-up perform. I arrived halfway through their opener "Lemon Meringue Tie," and I was almost angry at how small the crowd was. I guess playing at the same time as ABR and hometown-heroes We Came as Romans didn't help their cause. Regardless, their set was by far my favorite of the day. Although I've heard people complain about their live performances, I thought they were fantastic. Johnny hit all of his notes and Jon Mess held his own. The highlight of my day was them closing with "And I Told Them I Invented Times New Roman." So much passion in that song. My only complaint is that they relied to heavily on DBMII, playing only three songs from the original. Oh well.
9The Wonder Years

I only started listening to the Wonder Years a few months ago, but The Upsides has slowly become one of my favorite pop-punk albums of all time. Suburbia is pretty good as well, but it has yet to hit me like the Upsides did. They played on the same stage as DGD, so I was able to stand front and center, right against the barricade. The band played some of my favorites from the Upsides, including "My Last Semester" and "Logan Circle." The crowd was bigger than I was expecting, but the performance felt incredibly intimate. Soupy explained the meaning of a majority of the songs that they played, and it seemed that everyone in the crowd was belting out every one of Soupy's clever and heart-felt lyrics. Their set was a great way to end the day and I ended up buying a Wonder Years shirt right after.
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