After the fun and bruises of day one at Alexandra Palace (read the review of all the first day’s action right here), Sam returned to the famous old North London venue for the second and final part of the Vans Warped Tour UK 2013. Here’s how he saw it….
Playing early in the day on the Jagermeister stage, Essex Pop-Rockers The Hype Theory (8) delivered a very impressive performance which went a long way in proving they are more than just another Paramore clone. Focusing entirely on their latest album Captives, The Hype Theory showed how much they have matured as a band and Katy Jackson proves herself to be both a fantastic vocalist and front-woman. Following the dangerous stage antics of Watsky, the atmosphere for the start of We Are The Ocean’s (8.5) set is slightly awkward. This soon changes though as We Are The Ocean play a fantastic set, with Liam Cromby delivering an amazing vocal performance. The band seem in particularly high spirits, likely due to the huge crowd watching and songs such as “Young Heart” seem perfect for rooms this size.
Hatebreed (9) initially seemed like an odd booking for this festival, it’s not that there aren’t heavier bands playing but most of them are newer. However, the moment Hatebreed start playing it’s clear that they were a fantastic choice. From the moment they explode onto the stage with “Everybody Bleeds Now” the pits open up and never stop. Jamey Jasta claims that Hatebreed might not be one of the good looking bands seen on the cover of magazines but what they lack in looks they make up for in onstage dominance and he really isn’t lying. Hatebreed completely own the stage for their entire set and the closing combination of “Destroy Everything” and “I Will Be Heard” brings the chaos to a close in a brilliant way. Following this The Maine (2) have a disaster of a performance, sandwiched in between two much heavier (and better) bands their Pop-Rock sounds awful and with most the crowd showing very little interest in the band it’s pretty obvious most are just waiting for While She Sleeps (9.5) to take to the stage. Opening with “This Is The Six” is a fantastic way for While She Sleeps to kick things off and they follow this with one of the most intense performances of the entire weekend. Loz Taylor screams every word with an incredible amount of passion and the fans in the audience match this. The rest of the band fly around the stage flinging their instruments around which just adds to the chaotic energy of their performance.
Playing their second performance of the weekend, Yellowcard (9) seem to fair much better today due to the more intimate setting of the Jagermeister stage. Despite playing the same setlist as yesterday, the crowd as far more receptive today knowing both the older and new songs. Again Yellowcard just seem incredibly happy to be playing today and once again Ocean Avenue ends things with a huge sing-along. Luckily for Rise Against (9) yesterdays sound issues are not present today meaning they can finally put on the performance they are truly capable of. Tim Mcllraths vocals sound incredible this time round without over-powering the rest of the band and the few changes made to the setlist show how many brilliant songs Rise Against have, it’s just a shame they couldn’t put on a performance this good both days. Finally it was time for Enter Shikari (9.5) to bring the 2013 Warped Tour UK to a close. In what was promised to be their last UK show for a while tonight was always going to be special for the band and it definitely lived up to it’s potential. With the best light show the band have ever had Enter Shikari packed a huge amount of spectacle into their show whilst still maintaining that chaotic, punk energy that is sometimes lacking from shows this size. With a career spanning setlist featuring fans favourites like “Sorry You’re Not A Winner” and recent single “Rat Race”, this was the perfect way to wrap up Warped Tour UK. It’s very clear that Enter Shikari are going to be missed during their time off but tonights performance was a brilliant way to leave things until they return with their next album.
So that, in a nutshell, was the Vans Warped Tour UK 2013. It’s safe to say we cannot wait for 2014 so let’s hope Vans bring it back to UK shores for a third instalment!