Scenes From Friday's Vans Warped Tour at Gexa Energy Pavillion.
Every summer, the Vans Warped Tour rolls through Dallas. And, every summer, it's a big sweaty mess.
This year, though, things were a little different. Sure, it was still a sweaty mess. But, in its 19th incarnation, the touring festival showed up a little later than usual; with the festival taking a different route across the country than usual, Texas, which in years past has served as one of the first states to welcome the tour, ended up closing out the summer run.
That's really all that changed, though. Otherwise, it was sweaty business as sweaty usual.
Throughout the day, as the thousands of attendees roamed the extended Gexa Pavillion grounds, they didn't so much walking from stage to stage as bounce shady spot to shady spot. Whether that shade was provided by a band's tent, a tree or even one of the 18-wheelers parked on the parking-lot-turned-festival-grounds, didn't matter. The goal remained the same: Getting. Out. Of. The Sun.
Plain and simple: It was hot. So much so that it was a rare occurrence for bands not to plead with the crowd to show a little more energy during their performances. This despite temperatures checking in at well over 100 degrees.
Unsurprisingly, however, the main stage bands didn't have too much trouble getting their crowds riled up. Both Blessthefall and Bring Me The Horizon's frontmen teased their fans with high fives if those enthusiastic youths could somehow make their way to the stage — a move that, in turn, saw an overwhelming number of crowdsurfers being met by security guards at the stage barricade.
Still, Christopher Drew of Never Shout Never, the closest thing to a pop superstar on this year's bill, had no trouble working his crowd as his sea of teenage girl fans squealed and swooned at his every move and note.
As with any year, though, pop took a backstage at this ordeal. Warped Tour, per protocol, packs variety into its offerings, providing fans of punk, metal and hardcore plenty to enjoy. But this year seemed a bit more varied than ever. The stage never drew much of a crowd at any particular moment of the day, but there was, in fact, an EDM/hip-hop stage at this year's affair, as well as a surprigins number of indie and folk bands sprinkled throughout other stages.
By the time the day's main stage headliners, August Burns Red, took the stage, the festival had for the most part cleared out. But vocalist Jake Luhrs seemed to have preferred it that way, noting that his band was more than happy to play to the fans who stuck around solely for their set.
In that regard, the spirit of Warped Tour remained the same as ever on this day. The self-proclaimed “Best Day Ever” is still a delight for teenagers wanting to spend a day mingling with their favorite bands and friends — even if it wasn't really for the whole day.
And, of course, it was still hot. But we covered that already.