Vans Warped Tour at Alexandra Palace
The 10th November saw Alexandra Palace taken over by the legendary Warped Tour; it was the first time that the touring festival of extreme sports and alternative music had left North America this millennium. Around 10,000 people packed out the giant grounds of the palace: a healthy balance of ageing skaters, hardcore punks, nervous emos and kids being escorted by their dad.
The first band of the evening, Taking Hayley, had earned their opening slot through a competition. While they gave it their all, with the crowds still working their way through security and the beer yet to be flowing, the atmosphere felt a little flat. On the other hand, Bring Me The Horizon were met with absolute ecstasy from the crowd, although the screams were more akin to what would normally be heard at a pop concert. The Used played a fan-pleasing set of all the best known tunes that really brought the crowd together, and finished off with a raucous rendition of Pretty Handsome Awkward, which had younger and older fans singing along.
All My Friends Are Metalheads were the obvious fan favourite, causing whirlpools of mosh-pits to open up all over the crowd.
It must be said that the night belonged to the veterans of the Warped Tour. Bowling For Soup had the whole crowd eating out of the palm of their hand; Girl All The Bad Guys Want almost caused an earthquake as thousands of fans went crazy.
Yet it was Less Than Jake who were the clear stars of the evening; there is something truly special about a band that is clearly enjoying itself as much as the audience.
The one problem of the evening was that it appeared that the extreme sports facet of the Warped Tour was slightly downplayed; it seemed slightly strange to locate the half pipe right next to a mid-sized stage. The crowds watching each act somewhat bled into each other and it was odd to suddenly be in the middle of a mosh-pit while watching someone drop in on the half pipe.
Overall, the Warped Tour UK was a massive success and hopefully next time there will be more of an emphasis on the skaters and bikers, and we won’t have to wait for another 14 years.
Watch the video for Bowling For Soup’s Girl All The Bad Guys Want here