Ariel LeBeau for Fuse

“How many of you never thought you’d see this again?”

Craig Owens addressed a throbbing mass of teenagers at Warped Tour in Pomona, Calif., on Thursday evening.

Almost the entire crowd raised their hands.

"Yeah, me neither."

Chiodos commandeered one of the largest crowds of the day, playing its first stint on Warped since Owens rejoined the band last year. Owens is Chiodos’ original singer, but was “let go” from the band in 2009 following the release of two successful albums that brought the band to prominence in the emo/post-hardcore scene.

Ariel LeBeau for Fuse

The group put out an album in 2010 with Yesterdays Rising vocalist Brandon Bolmer at the helm, but never rose back to the success it enjoyed with Owens. Based on how Chiodos dominated the Warped crowd on Thursday, that’s a thing of the past now.

Owens was his usual charismatic self, alternating between falsetto vocals and bone-crushing screams in his own signature way throughout Chiodos’ seven-song set. After announcing that the band had spent the last six months writing a new album (met with thunderous roars of approval), Owens introduced a new song, titled “Expensive Conversations in Cheap Hotels.” And the reaction was huge.

The track bore many resemblances to Chiodos’ first two records, fusing the theatrics of 2007’s Bone Palace Ballet and the heaviness of 2005’s All’s Well That Ends Well. But as Owens was met with waves upon waves of crowd-surfing, screaming fans, the point to take away from the band’s Warped Tour set was an obvious one.

Everyone there wanted Craig Owens back in Chiodos. They weren't the same without him. And now that he’s returned, the group has a chance to be more massive than ever.

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