–By Ryan Ledesma
The Vans Warped Tour made its stop in St. Louis Wednesday, setting up shop for the day at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater. Despite the near 100-degree temperature on Wednesday, the tour still drew a huge crowd.
I started off the day at its hottest, staring at the giant wall of set times, and after only a few minutes I was ready to cool off already. This is why Hollywood Amphitheater is perfect for this kind of festival, it has room for a mix of shows out in the open, and some under the shade of the pavilion. This makes you wander around and see some bands you might have missed otherwise.
This is how I stumbled into The White Noise, I was just stepping into the shade for a break from the heat. I was immediately drawn to the energetic lead singer, who was jumping all over the stage and wasn’t afraid to get up in the crowd’s face. This is one of the shows that deserved a bigger crowd.
Another act I thought should have had a bigger crowd was one of my favorites of the day, Valient Thorr. They had an older school metal sound that really stood out from the rest of the shows I saw.
Some other high energy bands were Stacked Like Pancakes, Attila, and Barb Wire Dolls. The lead of Stacked Like Pancakes got out into the crowd, and actually stood up on the hands of the fans while not missing a beat.
Not all the acts were as wild though, with a couple notable low key bands being American Authors, Microwave, and William Control. I recommend checking out William Control, as they had one of the most unique sounds on the tour.
I would put it as a darker hard rock mixed up with electronic sounds.
Bowling for Soup proved to be a crowd favorite, drawing one of the largest crowds of the day. They were just a fun band to watch, with the lead constantly cracking jokes between songs.
Another fan favorite, and my last show for the day was Gwar, which proved to be the most interesting show off the whole day. For those uninitiated to Gwar (this guy), the band is made up of giant Viking styled aliens, whose first act of the set is to chop off the head of one of the characters and spray his “blood” all over the crowd, and the fans loved it!
After Gwar, there wouldn’t really be any other way to finish off the day. So as the sunset brought cool relief and the last band finished their sets, I closed out another successful Warped Tour.