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Tuesday
Jul232013

Review: Vans Warped Tour 2013 @ Nassau Coliseum

It was absolutely hot like the dickens in Long Island as large crowds waited on line to see their favorite artists and check out new ones at this summer's Vans Warped Tour. So many bands, so little time.

Forever Came Calling took to the Kevin Says Stage, which was a far cry from their journeys following the Warped Tour years ago. Vocalist Joe Candelaria wanted "the biggest East Coast circle pit" during "If Bukowski Could See Me Now" and the New York crowd delivered on cue. It's pretty inspiring for younger bands to witness a band like FCC hustle as hard as they did and make it on a big touring festival like Warped.

While FCC were rocking the stage, pop punk heavyweights The Wonder Years were tearing it up on the Kia Forte stage. "Hey, Long Island. Ready to lose some voices?", said vocalist Soupy before the band opened with "Passing Through A Screen Door". The sudden rainfall didn't halt any of the crowdsurfers and moshers from doing their duty. "Local Man Ruins Everything" had the entire crowd screaming the lines "I'm not a self-help book/ I'm just a fucked up kid", which has become the unofficial mantra of the current pop punk generation.

The Spotify Stage was filled with a handful of up and coming rappers and producers. Right next to the stage was the Jumpoff Stage, which really wasn't a stage at all; underground rappers like Amplified took to the concrete to deliver a gritter, in-your-face experience.

Texas bass DJ Run-DMT certainly wasn't expecting a chaotic crowd during his set. Moshpits, circlepits and crowdsurfing during an EDM performance is pretty scarce but this IS Warped Tour. While the obviously older crowd at EDM gigs seem rather restrained most of the time, watching these kids frantically moving around to bass drops was very heartwarming to anyone that appreciates electronic music. Security were also having a ball as they grooved to the beats and occasionally chuckled at the madness in the pit. Run-DMT, who commanded the stage with bobblehead-like motions, threw down cuts like "Shaman Juice", his remix of the Major Lazer track "Jah No Partial" and Cypress Hill's "Hits From The Bong".

Kansas City rapper Mac Lethal certainly was musically handicapped at one point during his set. The Irish rapper discussed about how his freestyle rap over Chris Brown's "Look At Me Now" caused some turmoil. While he wasn't legally allowed to perform the tune on stage, Mac Lethal, whose real name is David McCleary Sheldon, had a better idea. Hopping on a fan's back in the crowd, Lethal performed the freestyle acapella with speedy and (dare I say) lethal finesse.

In-between horrendous acts like Allstar Weekend and Forever The Sickest Kids, the Domo Stage was the place to be for up-and-coming acts. New Jersey's own Action Item finally made it onto Warped Tour after numerous years of touring the country nonstop and their fanbase couldn't be any happier. The pop/rock band delivered a tight performance, which got even sweeter as vocalist Brian Cag sang the chorus of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" during their song "Lucky." Following Action Item on the stage was Reston, Virgina indie-gogo act RDGLDGRN (pronounced red gold green). The band's eclectic mix of indie rock and island rhythms got the crowd moving to the beat as vocalist Green showed off some uncanny feet movements.

California post-hardcore act Letlive. will definitely blow up after their stint on this year's Warped Tour. Vocalist Jason Aalon Butler is one of the scene's ferocious frontmen and has the accolades to prove it. This was purely evident as he leaped over guitarist (and New Jersey native) Jeff Sahyoun, threw a garbage can in the air and smashed a guitar cab during "Le Prologue/ The Sick, Sick 6.8 Billion". Jason wasn't through yet as he tossed himself around the Monster Energy stage and wore the broken guitar cab as a helmet during "H. Ledger". Jason's admiration for his fans runs deep ("Thank you guys so much because you saved my fucking life"), and his fans reciprocated those feelings back to him with immense singalongs and continuous crowdsurfing. Things ended with a bang during the final tune "Renegade 86", which had Sahyoun smashing his guitar and Jason diving into the bushes on the other side. The vocalist was unharmed, though; he just wanted to walk through the hyperactive crowd and say "thank you" to the fans.

Following Letlive. on the same stage were Canadian band (and Warped Tour veterans) Silverstein. Armed with an acoustic guitar, vocalist Shane Told sang his way through the opening song "Departures" from their latest album This Is How The Wind Shifts. The remainder of the band joined him on stage for fan favorite "Smile In Your Sleep". "I don't want you guys to be the New York Islanders right now", Shane jokingly said with the stadium directly in plain view. The vocalist then told the crowd, "I wanna see some Stanley Cup shit". The crowd weren't able to compete against the Islanders of the early 80s, but they managed to set things off the way they know how. Shane dedicated their final song "Bleeds No More" to the older Silverstein fans that witnessed their first Warped Tour appearance back in 2004.

What's Warped Tour without the unofficial party act 30H!3? The "purveyors of party" had the entire crowd throwing up their hand symbols even before they went on. The duo, backed by their live band, opened with an intriguing medley of Want songs "Punkbitch", 'I'm Not Your Boyfriend, Baby" and "Chokechain". What made their set more interesting was how they altered each track for the live performance.

Japanese metalcore band Crossfaith approached the Ernie Ball Stage towards the end of a long day at Warped Tour. Signs promoting their performance featured the words "Japan Future Metal". Their blend of heavy riffs with electronic backdrops feel more like the present state of metal with acts like The Devil Wears Prada & Enter Shikari. Even with vocalist Koie Kenta constantly referring to the area as New York City, the decent sized crowd paid no mind to his location snafu. Opening with "Monolith", the five piece act showed everyone why they're certainly ones to look out for. Programmer Tamano Terufumi frantically paced across the stage and even worked his way into the crowd while guitarist Takemura Kazuki delivered some keen riffs for the crowd to indulge in. Huge circles pits and a couple of walls of death were present as the crowd showed their appreciation for the Japanese band.