Author and Photographer – Ian Urquhart
It is a bittersweet feeling watching each Vans Warped Tour date come and go, for the last time. Fans coming together in celebration. Musicians collaborating with other bands to leave lasting impressions in the cities they made countless memories in while on the road. Tears being shed. Smiles stretching from ear to ear. Clouds of dirt pluming from mosh pits. Water being sprayed into the crowds of sun-kissed fans. Moments that will live on in everyone’s memories until the end.
All this being said, the Massachusetts faithful was amped and ready to throw down at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, MA. The Vans Warped Tour has also been famously known to bring the rain with them while stopping in Massachusetts. To everyone’s surprise, the skies stayed clear for the entire day while the sunburns commenced. Although there were plenty of talented bands to view and review, seven bands made the cut for our review of the last Vans Warped Tour stop in Mansfield, Massachusetts.
As a means to accurately represent each band, a list of quick hits will be mentioned for each set. Time to get down to business.
Saving Vice – If you are looking for a new metalcore band, feast your eyes and ears on Saving Vice. Rocking the Full Sail stage, Saving Vice stirred up the rowdiest crowd you can find at 11:00 AM. With influences ranging from Architects to The Plot in You, Saving Vice provides a head-pounding and emotional journey through their live performances. Recently coming back from their set at iMatter Festival in Albany, NY (playing alongside Underoath and August Burns Red) the Saving Vice train is moving quickly. Be sure to keep a lookout for them in the near future.
Ice Nine Kills – Originating from Massachusetts, the Mansfield, MA Warped Tour stop was considered a homecoming performance for Ice Nine Kills. A strong Friday the 13th vibe was felt on and off the stage before “Communion of the Curse” off of Every Trick in the Book (2015) shook the dirt covered ground. Spencer Charnas (vocalist) also ensures that fans feel included in each Ice Nine Kills set. There were multiple occasions where Spencer would join the crowd for each of his sing-along choruses.
Wage War – The best advice to be given to anyone who wishes to see Wage War for the first time is to buckle yourself in. Hands down, they had the most vicious and physically exhausting mosh pit of the day. Fans were able to view the cloud of dirt kicked up from inside the pit all the way from the water filling stations. The striking harmonies between Briton Bond (lead vocalist) and Cody Quistad’s (guitarist/vocalist) vocals have always been a distinguishable tone that can only be tied to Wage War’s unique vision. And who can’t forget the barbaric nature of Wage War’s breakdowns?
Unearth – When you think of a traditional metal breakdown, Unearth should be the band that pops into your head. With acrobatic jumps and hair whipping verses, Unearth unleashed a can of you-know-what in front of the Massachusetts faithful. Unearth's set did not contain a single back track. This set was very in-your-face and gave the rest of the bands performing that a day a run for their money.
Every Time I Die – It is very possible that each member of Every Time I Die spent more time in the air compared to the time spent physically standing on the stage. By far, Every Time I Die exhausted the most energy during their time in front of the Mansfield fans. Before the set started, you could hear whispers throughout the crowd on how “crazy” an Every Time I Die set is. Those fans were 150% correct. Stretching is certainly recommended before placing yourself inside an ETID mosh pit.
The Amity Affliction – Trekking all the way from Australia, the Xfinity Center helped The Amity Affliction feel as if they never left home. Raw emotion consumes every track written and played by TAA. Fans could be heard belting out each chorus all the way from the Pavilion. “Pittsburgh” off of Let The Ocean Take Me (2014) completed TAA’s set while leaving half of the crowd in tears of ecstatic-heartbreak.
Motionless in White – It always seems to be the case when MIW performs, Halloween arrives early. With a stage decorated with black roses and porcelain angle statues, Motionless in White brought the makeup and breakdowns to melt each and every face looking on. And of course, “Immaculate Misconception” off of Creatures (2010) received the loudest participation.
Vans Warped Tour has always been so much more than music. When Warped Tour visited your city, it was a day filled with a sense of community, acceptance and euphoria. Warped Tour provided the opportunity for hundreds of thousands of fans to meet their favorite artists in a relaxed setting isolated from the production setups usually found at headlining shows. There was always an importance being placed on the emotional health and wellbeing of those who came to watch and listen. Warped Tour provided outlets for those who were struggling psychologically and/or emotionally. Those who walked through the gates to Warped Tour were immediately accepted and welcomed with open arms.
Music is the most powerful and universal language on the planet. Music allows people from all over the world to connect in a way that can only be described as intimate. From all of us at Headrush TV, we would like to thank Kevin Lyman and the rest of the Vans Warped Tour staff for providing a one of kind experience to those who love music for the past twenty-five years. We are all truly grateful for the hard work and countless hours that were put towards providing an opportunity for thousands of fans to create memories that will last a lifetime.
RIP Vans Warped Tour. Thank you for everything.
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