Picking up where I left off on Thursday’s Part I of our coverage of the Vans Warped Tour, there was still half of the day left, and many awesome bands still to see. Having just watched Parkway Drive finish on the mainstage, I headed back over to the Monster Energy stage to catch Chelsea Grin. The crowd, numbering some 800+ fans, went nuts as the band took to the stage to the song “Recreant.” That track was followed by another golden oldie, “Cheyne Stokes.” I won’t lie, I’m a huge Chelsea Grin fan, so it was really neat to hear them open up not with two new songs, but with two older ones that fans might not have expected to hear that day. With these older tracks out of the way, their set did feature a few new songs, including “Playing with Fire” and “Angels Shall Sin, Demons Shall Pray” from their brand new record, Ashes to Ashes, which came out on Artery Recordings this past Tuesday. Frontman Alex Koehler’s voice was in the best shape I’ve ever heard it–he hit every note, be it high or gutturally low, and his vocal perfection was matched by the tight musicianship displayed by his bandmates. They were so tight live, it was hard not to get into it and headbang along. They closed out their set with another old favorite, “Crewcabanger.”
I headed over to the Ernie Ball Stage next to catch I, The Breather. You may recall that frontman, Shawn Spann was forced to sit out the first several dates of the tour due to a medical emergency. Luckily, he seems to be doing better. Unfortunately ITB was still down a person because another member of the band, Chase Kozlowski, had a family emergency that day. That didn’t stop them from putting on a hell of a show, kicking off their set with the track “False Profit” from their 2012 release Truth and Purpose. This was followed by “Forgiven” and new songs, “Bruised & Broken” and “Dear: Devil” from their upcoming third full-length Life Reaper, due out on Sumerian Records on July 15th. Despite all that the band has dealt with this tour, their live show was flawless. Their set ended with the track “High Rise.”
Next, I high-tailed it over to the Journeys stage, where Beartooth was assigned to play just for this date–normally they’re on the Hard Rock Kevin Says Stage–and got their just in time. Beartooth played a 5-song set that started with the track “Set Me on Fire” from their 2013 EP Sick. This was followed by two new tracks, “The Lines” and “Beaten In Lips,” off their debut album, Disgusting, which was released back in late June on Red Bull Records. Frontman Caleb Shomo sounded great throughout their set, but you could tell he and his bandmates were a bit constrained on the tiny Journeys stage. I wish I could’ve seen them play their normal stage assignment with more room to move around, but they still put on a great set.