VANS WARPED TOUR 2013, Pomona Fairplex, Pomona, CA, June 20th, 2013
Traditionally in the State of California, the Pomona date of the Vans Warped Tour is the most brutal when it comes to weather conditions. This year, there would be double the fun, as Pomona would be a two-day E-ticket adventure for all Southland fans. And although it was a heated affair, the temperature barely hit 90 on either afternoon, making for two of the most wildly enjoyable shows ever at this notoriously too hot for comfort stop. One week later, a heat wave would hit the Southland sending the mercury soaring well into the 100’s, so timing was definitely everything this year! With so many choices, it was wonderful to have two full on days to seek out old favorites as well as discover new talent. Here are some of the bands that played on the first stop of Pomona Warped…
Have you ever checked out the parking lot bands who perform every year be on each date of the Warped Tour – right before the doors open? One band following Warped across the country is Rosedale from Ontario, Canada. A three piece band that literally set up a stage in front of a massive line in the parking lot, Rosedale launched into a dynamic selection of pop punks tunes. Six foot nine front man Mike Liorti possesses a good deal of talent and charisma, and the passion he exuded with songs such as Eldorado Park and Speechless really had the crowd paying a good deal of attention. Their cover of Take On Me by A-ha was absolutely inspired, as Rosedale presented their own enthusiastic take on the classic song. Don’t be surprised to see them playing on the inside of Warped for the entire tour in future years. And as I type this, Rosedale did indeed play the Spotify stage in New Mexico a few days after our Pomona encounter. Proof that hard work and perseverance pays off big time at Warped!
MEMPHIS MAY FIRE
Right here is proof positive that an early arrival at the Vans Warped Tour is a must – otherwise you’ll miss explosive sets such as the one Memphis May Fire unleashed on the Kia Soul Stage at 12:15 in the afternoon! The Dallas-based band has come a long way since their humble beginning, now playing a main stage and drawing a huge and wildly appreciated crowd. Front man Matty Mullins describes himself as a “Voice Of A Generation,” and there is little doubt that many in the audience took heed to this wondrously passionate performer and the combustible tunes Memphis May Fire blasted out into the Pomona Warped crowd.
Opening with the fiery Alive In The Lights, Memphis May Fire packed their set with powerful hardcore anthems, including Vices, Jezebel, and Legacy. Months of solid touring has rendered Memphis May Fire a mighty force of nature, and they remain one of the most vibrant collectives on the scene today. Their live performance at Warped are highly charged, gloriously impassioned, and not to be missed!
Over a decade in existence and Silverstein still delivers powerhouse performances that will pierce through the soul. Now on their fifth Warped Tour of duty, this post hardcore band from Ontario, Canada remains a top draw – and really had the Pomona crowd paying a good deal of attention. The older favorites such as My Heroine and Smile In Your Sleep sent the entire audience into a state of rapturous euphoria. New songs such as Sacrifice and On Brave Mountains We Conquer also received a thunderous reply, showing a band at the very height of their creative prowess. Shane Told is as explosive as ever, delivering the lyrics with a towering sense of conviction. Infusing new blood into the proceedings is Paul Marc Rousseau, whose guitar leads sent the material into the stratosphere. Other impressive performances were delivered by longtime Silverstein members Josh Bradford on rhythm guitar, Billy Hamilton on bass, and Paul Koehler on drums. Silverstein’s latest magnum opus is entitled This Is How The Wind Shifts, now available from Hopeless Records!
WE CAME AS ROMANS
Another band who has been seeing a euphoric response from fans over the past few years is We Came As Roman, now making their second full run in the Vans Warped Tour. Based out of the legendary Detroit music scene, We Came As Romans arrived at the Kia Soul Stage ready to devastate the senses of each and every Warped Tour attendee. The dual vocal assault force of Dave Stephens and Kyle Pavone is wondrous to behold, the pair unleashing the introspective lyrics with a stunning amount of urgency. Songs such as To Move On Is To Grow and Glad You Came received a thunderous response from the crowd, with many singing passionately alone with the band. Each and every member made an impact on the crowd, with credits going to Joshua Moore on guitar, Lou Cotton on guitar, Andy Glass on bass, and Eric Choi on drums. A brand spanking new album entitled Tracing Back Roots is about to be released through Equal Vision Records, so be on the lookout for that. In the meanwhile, be sure to check into a live We Came As Romans show and prepare to be thoroughly impressed by these passionate artists!
Some of the faces in Blessthefall may have changed over the years, but their penchant for delivering wildly memorable live performances and powerhouse songs remains a trademark of this band’s remarkable legacy. Tunes such as 40 Days, Bottomfeeder, and Promised Ones were thrilling to witness live, and the enthusiasm and energy unleashed from the stage was wildly contagious. Beau Bokan has developed into a remarkable front man, exuding a good amount of charisma and drive. Based out of Phoenix, Arizona, Blessthefall has become one of the most engaging metalcore bands on the scene today. Dual guitarists Eric Lambert and Elliott Gruenberg launch a dynamic wall of sound that will penetrate your senses while longtime members Jared Warth (bass) and Matt Traynor make for an exhilarating rhythm section. Their fourth full-length Hollow Bodies will be delivered through Fearless Records later this summer and it’s definitely one of the season’s most hotly anticipated releases.
After being slammed over the head with four of the heaviest bands the Warped Tour Main Stages had to offer, it was time to retreat to the other side of the Pomona Fairplex to see what the local talent had to offer. Los Angeles based singer / songwriter Jessarae was performing a pair of dates in the Southland. On the Insidious Kevin Says Stage in the late afternoon, Jessarae and his band launched into a dynamic set of indie rock tunes. He’s shared the stage with acts as varied as Plain White T’s, Sugar Ray, and Stevie Wonder, and on his own in the middle of Warped, Jessarae definitely garnered a good deal of attention from these seeking some cool and joyous music within the midday Pomona heat. In a world beyond Warped Tour, Jessarae will find himself playing a residency at Genghis Cohen in Los Angeles. Expect to hear a lot more from this dynamic young performer in future days! Songs such as Closer and Stuck On You are should-be hits and may be heard on Jessarae’s latest album entitled Pilot!
SLEEPING WITH SIRENS
Back to the chaos and madness of the main stage, as Sleeping With Sirens were ready to invade the Vans Warped Tour with their sweeping tunes. The area was packed as far as you could see, ready to witness a set by one of Rise Records’ glorious breakthrough bands. Their latest album Feel definitely signified a turn towards the mainstream, but in a live setting, Sleeping With Sirens remains as dynamic and innovative as ever. Front man Kellin Quinn possesses one of the most powerful, highly distinct voices on the scene today – and in a live setting, the charismatic singer explodes with an unbridled passion that definitely touches the soul. A Trophy Fathers Trophy Son is especially gripping, with Quinn and company delivering an extraordinarily absorbing moment at this year’s Warped Tour. Another glorious highlight arrived when Memphis May Fire’s vocalist Matty Mullins joined Sleeping With Sirens onstage, to perform an absolutely explosive rendition of the mighty Congratulations. And if that wasn’t enough to joggle your senses, a marriage proposal apparently took place while the band performed Roger Rabbit. An unforgettable show –the type that render Warped Tour a one-of-a-kind concert experience that one remembers for years to come.
ICE NINE KILLS
The Ernie Ball Stage is always the perfect place to check out new up and coming bands, and Ice Nine Kills was definitely well worth making a trek across th park. Hailing from the Boston area, the band has been gaining a rabid fan base all across the nation. Songs such as The Coffin Is Moving, Proximity Mines In The Complex and The Greatest Story Ever Told sent the mosh pits into overdrive! Front man Spencer Carnas delivered an in-your-face performance, and even went to the barrier and beyond to involve the audience in with the stunning performance at hand. Relentless touring has rendered Ice Nine Kills a remarkably tight entity, and the powerful songs emitting from the stage clearly demonstrated a band ready to break out into the big leagues as well as onto a much larger Warped stage. Ice Nine Kills’ latest EP is entitled The Predator – now available on ITunes! A sonic massacre by the likes of Ice Nine Kills was an incredible way to end the first day at Warped Tour in the wilds of Pomona, California!
(Reviews and Rosedale Photo by Kenneth Morton – Live Photos by Adam Gendler and Talia Farber)
Rosedale on Facebook
Memphis May Fire on Facebook
Silverstein on Facebook
We Came As Romans on Facebook
Blessthefall on Facebook
Jessarae on Facebook
Sleeping With Sirens on Facebook
Ice Nine Kills on Facebook
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