The Van's Warped Tour kicked of on Friday the Thirteenth in Houston, Texas, then favored San Antonio as its succeeding tour date yesterday June 14, hosted by the AT&T Center. The sun held off from making a total appearance until roughly 2:15--ya know, just as my new metal music interest took the Kia Soul stage. Then it beat down on the hundreds of bodies gathered in front of the stage, turning us all into a writhing, moshing, sweating pit of stink and good-natured swearing. It was humid, and described by Motionless In White front-man Chris Cerruli as, "vile". No one disagreed.
Attendance (with the exception of the main stages) was shoddy, I feel, for a music festival that size. My home town was already being wracked by a Spurs NBA championship finals winning streak, Father's Day Weekend, and the Alamo City Tattoo Expo, which may account for the somewhat small-ish crowd. I expected a great deal more from Warped Tour attendance, and despite the disclaimer that Warped Tour attendees were allowed to bring their moms into the park for free, somewhat overestimated the age-range. I think The Protomen did too, a little. They received little or no response for their "Only the Good Die Young" cover of legendary Iron Maiden--which just happens to be off of my favorite album of their's. I will be 29 next week. The best friend that attended with me is pushing 32. As some of the oldest people in attendance without children, we were almost bored.
|The Protomen covering "Only the Good Die Young"|
Some of the indie bands my friend had never heard of. Some of the metal bands I had never heard of--probably because they were unimpressive. Devil Wears Prada and The Protomen top the list of heretofore unheard of metal bands with any kind of stage presence or distinguishable sound. Air Dubai kicked a little ass early in the afternoon, reminding me of Outkast and wowing the crowd with a swirling mix of vocals and hip-hop with their second to last song, "Soul and Body". The Protomen recall their listeners to eighties hair metal, and their cover of "Only the Good Die Young" was spot on, which brought me running from behind the Pizza Hut truck halfway across the festival grounds. Punk band Yellowcard drew a sizable crowd, as did Mayday Parade.
Motionless In White: Hell-Raising at Its Finest
Warning: adult language in this post. Don't like it; don't read it.
Set List (as far as I can remember)
|The band takes the stage. Chris Motionless, left. |
Ryan Sitkowski, right.
|All hail the new metal gods! Chris Motionless, Center, Ricky Horror, left.|
Ryan Sitkowski, right. I think that's Vinny Mauro on drums.
I must have sounded like some screaming boy-band-crazy psycho. Clearly I mistook these guys for Justin Bieber? No, you should have seen me crying when Iron Maiden did "Fear of the Dark" in 2011. The girl next to me/in front of me/on top of me seemed a bit disturbed, but not one single fuck was given.
|Another attempt to capture the whole band. Chris Motionless, center. Devin "Ghost" Sola, center-right.|
Ryan Sitkowski, right. Partial of Ricky Horror, left.
|Head banging for "Puppets II"|
|"We may be losers but you can't kill all of us!"|
|So much swagger on that stage, it was soul-shattering!|
Chris Cerruli owned that stage. My friend tells me Ryan was spitting on the crowd. I didn't see it so my only response was, "It happens."
|Chris Motionless coaching the crowd for "Reincarnate"|
"Crawling from Hell...fallen from Grace...and there is nothing left to take..."
|Finally a good picture of josh. For some reason, I cold never catch Ricky looking at the crowd.|
|Ryan and Ghost also have amazing stage presence. Chris banging his head for "Black Damask"|
"If all the words you say ever meant anything,
I'd take back all the lies against you that I sing..."
For me, this was the defining moment of the show. It was nearly impossible to see over the hands and phones that had become cameras, but the entire band banged their heads in unison, similar to the music video for this song, stomping their feet, the anger and resentment of the song captured on stage.
|Ryan showing us his stuff. Another good picture of Josh, only now we can't see Ghost.|
I was fortunate to be so close, and despite the fact that I've seen pictures of these guys a hundred times, it was as if I was seeing them for the first time--but it was also as if they were like six of my oldest friends stepping onto to the stage. Josh's band pictures make him look older than he is. Every single one of them is particularly handsome, young and up-and-coming. I expect great things from Brandon Richter going forward, and wish Vinny Mauro the best as he tours with this amazing band. If I ever see MIW again (which is a must), then I think I'll sit. Age and infirmity protect me from shame.
The band is not big on fronting on social media. The band's works, and the fans, speak for themselves (plus they're all super busy), but you can find all of the band members on Twitter, and Chris Motionless on Instagram, as well as the offical MIW Twitter feed and Facebook page--just watch out for the fake pages the RPers host. They have a nasty habit of throwing people off. If you suddenly find yourself being invited to Chris and Ricky's wedding, you may have to ask yourself if you're following the right person.