Vans Warped Tour @ Meadow Brook Amphitheatre in Rochester Hills, MI
Review & Photography by: Rebekah Witt
On July 20th, 2018 the Vans Warped Tour hit Rochester Hills, Michigan. I’ve been going to Warped Tour since 2012 and for the first time since then, it was at a new venue. Compared to the arena parking lot they used to hold it in, the Meadow Brook Amphitheatre was a nice change. Although it started raining halfway through the day, it didn’t stop the fans from having fun.
I missed a couple bands in the first hour due to traffic, but I managed to make it in time to the Owly.fm stage for Don Broco’s set. Don Broco are one of my favorite bands, so I’m definitely biased, but they put on one of the most fun live shows I’ve ever seen. The majority of their setlist consisted of songs from their latest album ‘Technology,’ including ‘Come Out To LA,’ and ‘Pretty’ plus an older song, ‘You Wanna Know.’
Next up on the same stage was Chase Atlantic. I only managed to see their first 2 songs but that was enough to remind me of how great their stage presence was. After they played ‘The Walls’ and ‘Friends,’ I ran over to the Journey’s Left Foot stage to catch Waterparks. I originally became a fan of them after seeing their set at Warped Tour in 2016 because of how fun they were and this year, their energy was even better . This time, they were able to add songs from their 2 latest albums ‘Double Dare’ and ‘Entertainment,’ including ‘Not Warrior,’ ‘Take Her To The Moon,’ and ‘Rare.’
After seeing mostly pop/rock bands, I headed over to the Mutant Red Dawn stage to check out Detroit hip hop group Twiztid. I wasn’t sure what to expect because their genre isn’t something I usually listen to, but I was pleasantly surprised. Their incredible energy matched their fans in the crowd and it was fun to be apart of. After their set, I took a short break before heading back to the Journey’s Left Foot stage to see State Champs. I’ve seen State Champs a lot in the past few years and their live show still leaves me impressed every time. Today, their set was made up of a few songs from their latest album ‘Living Proof,’ including ‘Dead and Gone’ and ‘Mine is Gold,’ as well as older songs ‘Elevated’ and ‘Secrets.’
Another one of my favorite acts of the day were The Maine, playing the Journey’s Right Foot stage in the venue’s amphitheatre. They played a lot of songs from their latest album ‘Lovely Little Lonely,’ including ‘Don’t Come Down,’ ‘How Do You Feel,’ and ‘Bad Behaviour.’ The Maine’s connection to their fans are one of my favorite things about them and a cool part of their Warped set is when they bring a fan onstage to sing with them (today being a fan all the way from Australia). They always sound exactly as they do on studio and make jokes all through the show, leaving a smile on everyone’s face. The last band I saw was the iconic 3OH!3 at the Journey’s Left Foot stage. Unfortunately, they had to cut their set short due to two medical emergencies in the crowd, but still managed to hype up fans with a few of their hit songs including ‘My First Kiss,’ ‘Starstrukk,’ and ‘DONTTRUSTME.’
Warped Tour has been a big part of my life for 6+ years and I’m sad to see it end, but I’m glad to have been able to make so many memories because of it. Not only does the music mean a lot to me, but it brought me closer to so many of my friends and gave me an escape from my usual daily stress for one day (or two, or three, depending on the year). If the tour hasn’t hit your city yet, I highly recommend checking it out!
Check out the official website where you can find the bands, dates, and more!