Vans Warped Tour @ PNC Bank Arts Center

HOLMDEL, NJ — Ending the Fourth of July weekend on a strong note, the Vans Warped Tour finally made its way back to the Garden State by kicking-off their first string of East Coast dates at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel. From the youngsters who are experiencing their first ever Warped Tour, to the older crowds who continue to come back time and time again, these concertgoers were excited to let loose at one of the biggest parties of the season.

While there are many iconic bands that enthusiastically return each year, this summer’s Warped also paved the way for blooming acts to play for bigger audiences.

One performance that stood out in particular came from The Story So Far, who always receive a warm welcome every time they play in New Jersey. After packing PNC’s amphitheater last year, the California-based pop punk force attracted an overwhelming crowd at the Electric Soul Stage this time around.

Belting out a mix of songs from their sophomore full-length, What You Don’t See, along with hits from their highly praised debut, Under Soil And Dirt, The Story So Far played an energetic set that would have made you feel as if you dove head-first into an eternal fountain of youth.

Ultimately, The Story So Far warmed up the pop punk faithful as Four Year Strong delivered an explosive set that truly reflected the highly-fueled momentum of their music. With a roaring set that consisted of highlights from Rise Or Die Trying and Enemy Of The World, the frenzied crowd was on the same page with keeping the band’s surging energy alive throughout.

Speaking of feeling at home, many beloved fans made their way to the Warheads Stage earlier in the afternoon to catch Saves The Day, who were playing their first Warped Tour since 2006. Taking an innovative approach of selecting songs to play throughout the summer, Saves The Day decided to rearrange their setlist every day, not only to find a way to fit in their entire musical catalog, but to also surprise their fans and keep everybody at the edge of their seat.

Just like any other Jersey show, Saves The Day provided another blissful set that included a lot of favorites from their extensive collection. Hearing the joyful audience scream out the words to “Jessie & My Whetstone,” “Shoulder To The Wheel” and “At Your Funeral” right back at lead vocalist Chris Conley is always a surreal and spine-chilling experience.

As the sun began to set into the evening, Yellowcard took over the KIA Soul Stage and drew an outstanding turnout. Igniting one of the liveliest crowd-interactive performances of the day, Yellowcard’s timeless sound united the sun-kissed festival grounds with a refreshing sense of nostalgia to close out the night.

For traditional patrons, Warped Tour is the time of year that truly signifies that summer is here to stay. While there are many people who would want these sensational vibes to last forever, there are others who are also eagerly looking forward to next year’s Warped Tour so they can relive old memories and create new life-changing moments.