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Concert Reviews

Punk Rock Summer Camp: The Vans Warped Tour Rolls Through Minnesota

Since 1995 the Vans Warped Tour has brought hundreds of bands all around the country right into fans’ backyards. For many music lovers, the hype of Warped eclipses every other day of the year. Warped Tour is practically a holiday according to fans. This summer was no different, as Kevin Lyman and the rest of the Vans Warped Tour crew brought a number of heavy hitting bands at the top of their game, and the fans brought themselves and their sunscreen. Headliners such as Simple Plan, A Day To Remember, and The Devil Wears Prada are on the road for most of the summer in the sweltering heat, playing to thousands of kids every day.

Simple Plan at Vans Warped Tour in Minnesota on July 10, 2011

Minnesota was no exception to either the sweltering heat, or the thousands of kids. They came in droves from all across the midwest to catch sets from some of their favorite bands. Pop-punk legends Simple Plan kicked off the morning at 11:45 am with an arsenal of anthems dating back as far as 2002’s “I’d Do Anything” and “Addicted” that graced the radio waves back when many concert attendees were in elementary school. Despite being one of the more seasoned bands playing, and such an early set time on a smaller stage, Simple Plan drew one of the largest crowds of the day. Without being beaten down by the heat yet, fans went crazy for their teenage idols, singing along with every word.

After Simple Plan kicked the day off, fans dispersed to catch various other bands.  A few stages over, Enter Shikari provided a set full of climbing in rafters, piggy back rides, and jumping off of things.  Their crazy antics can not be justified in words or photos, so we suggest catching their set for the full effect.

Arizona’s The Word Alive, fronted by vocalist Telle Smith, provided another highlight set of the day that consisted of a backflip from their front man during their latest single, “The Wretched.” Many fans, hyped up from The Word Alive’s set, headed on over to catch a couple acts at the main stage, including Asking Alexandria, August Burns Red, and Attack Attack!  Mosh pits were violent and plentiful throughout the day at the largest stage on the tour.

Craig Owens’ new band, D.R.U.G.S. has been high off the release of their debut album, and thousands of fans showed up to catch their favorite vocalist put on one of the most entertaining shows of the day, as he swung his mic and band members swung their guitars around via their guitar straps.  The energy was still high when The Devil Wears Prada took the stage shortly afterward.

The Devil Wears Prada at Vans Warped Tour in Minnesota on July 10, 2011

The Devil Wears Prada’s vocalist, Mike Hranica, holds some sort of mystique about him as he transforms from a calm, well-mannered man into a screaming and jumping machine, after taking the stage. Him and the rest of his band consistently put on some of the most intense shows of any band on the tour that is not one to miss.

One band on the Vans Warped Tour is currently at the top of their game, and brought many fans out to the show to simply see them. A Day To Remember hails from Florida and maintains loyal fans throughout the world. Since the release of their latest album last November, the band has been touring non-stop and selling out almost every venue they play. Blow-ups of their heads were mounted to the top of the main stage in the early afternoon as the band prepared to play their set. Without a doubt, the band drew the largest crowd of anyone, playing their hits to thousands of fans.

Throughout the rest of the evening, the pop and pop-punk bands came out to play, with bands such as The Wonder Years, The Dangerous Summer, Relient K, and Hellogoodbye closing out the show with impressive sets.

The Vans Warped Tour still stands strong despite never-ending  criticism about lineups and other changes to the festival.  Regardless of who is playing, the Vans Warped Tour will hopefully provide a haven for punk-rockers and music fans across the country for many summers to come.

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