*** Click on each BAND NAME or PHOTO LINK in red for complete PHOTO GALLERYS of each band.... Check the Gallery/Concerts tab for more photos...
In the midst of one of the hottest heat waves on record, Vans Warped Tour rolled into Vegas on Friday June 23rd to the Hard Rock Hotel and casino. This tour is a massive undertaking with over 50 bands and 7 different stages in Vegas, located throughout the Hard Rock property indoors and outdoors. There was also a small vendor village located outside in the rear parking lot, along with vendors located inside each of the staging areas.
This event was so spread out it was hard to actually gauge the size of the crowd, with 7 stages and bands going on every 30 minutes, it made it impossible to actually stop and watch an entire bands set. We literally had just enough time to shoot our 3 song allotment and dash off to the next stage to get shots of the next band on our list. The same for the fans, they had to pick and choose which bands to watch and it was a running game to catch the next set. The stages covered a lot of area, with a lot of distance between - 2 stages were located in the Joint inside the casino, the Vinyl stage also inside, 3 more stages were located in the back outdoor property, with another stage located upstairs on the beautiful pool area Soundstage.
It appeared that the stages were broken up with bands of similar genres, inside the 2 stages at the Joint the bands were more of the younger pop type, with the exception of bands like New Years Day and I Prevail. Over at Vinyl Las Vegas stage it was groups more quirky like The Fantastic Plastics and Feeki. The bands who played inside must of thought they hit the lottery by playing in air conditioning compared to the bands outside in the sweltering heat.
This was a very well run event with the staff being some of the nicest people we have dealt with at an event this size, and Kudos to all involved. I understand in todays environment about tight security but I believe it was excessive that each time you went from inside to outside you had to have your bags checked, this became redundant after awhile... and time consuming to get back and forth to see the more bands.
Outside in the back lot the 2 main stages were comprised mostly of the harder rock bands Hatebreed, The Acacia Strain, Emmure, Carnifex and the ever popular GWAR, and its a lot easier to clean up after GWAR outside haha. Across from those 2 stages was the Skullcandy Stage which featured bands like Alestorm, William Control, Sonic Boom Six and Barb Wire Dolls.
Inside at the pool there was the smaller soundstage with mostly punk bands and new up and coming bands like The Adolescents, The Ataris, The Dickies and a couple of female bands Doll Skin and Bad Cop / Bad Cop.
Due to the excessive heat with the temps reaching 115+ by mid day, the crowd inside at the Joint was reaching capacity as festival goers sought refuge from the heat, and were provided with free ice water and some relief even for just a few minutes. But as the day progressed must see bands were outside so the crowd headed back into the inferno. In front of the Mutant South stage some of the biggest mosh pits opened up and at one point a guy in a wheelchair got into the action. You have to give it up to a band like GWAR who played in that heat wearing those massive outfits. During the day as I was walking on the pavement most of the afternoon, the heat became so intense it actually melted the bottom of my shoes to the asphalt, and they separated from the top section. Thats how hot it was for the midday sets.
Punk used to be about the revolt by the youth, but at this years' event the punk bands were actually the oldest bands there, and The Dickies
played out by the pool which was an odd setting for such a rebellious band. During The Ataris set singer Kristopher Roe jumped off the stage and dove into the pool, since the stage was nearly at the edge of the pool. The fans could not mosh with such a small space in front of the pool so the bands asked the fans to do something I am sure only happened on this stop - they asked them to whirlpool! The fans all got in the pool and started going in a circle creating a small whirlpool.
One of the acts we looked forward to covering was the Barb Wire Dolls, and the bad thing was they were the last band to go on and by that time the crowd was mostly gone or exhausted and heading out. They are an amazing band who has played Vegas a couple times in the past and always deliver a great show. The closed out the 2017 Vans Warped Tour Las Vegas Stop. Great variety and energy for this years' Warped tour, just hopefully next time we will get a reprieve from the heatwave.