VANS WARPED TOUR 2012, Seaside Park, Ventura, CA, June 24th, 2012

With seagulls flying, palm trees in plain view, and the Pacific Ocean as a serene backdrop, there could not have been a more perfect day to see a show. A massive amount of Warped Tour attendees would find this out, and they converged on Seaside Park in Ventura, CA for another fun day in the sun. Definitely one of the best places to see Warped Tour due to a wonderful combination weather and venue, in Ventura you could find melodic pop bands sharing the festival with classics punkers as well as some fairly brutal metal entities. Even in the mild temperatures, it is good to bring sun block, as one could see some of the Warped Tour audiences turning much redder as the event progressed. We were not able to stay the entire day due to previous commitments (a show by the legendary Glen Campbell at the Hollywood Bowl later – ask your parents), but nevertheless, here are some of the bands we were able to check out at the Ventura Warped date…


If Ventura is the perfect place to attend the Warped Tour, then Mayday Parade was just to the band to check out during the mild Southern California afternoon in the sun. Performing at 12 Noon on the Monster Energy Stage, the spirited rock and roll presented by this Tallahassee, Florida based collective gathered a rather good sized crowd. Recalling their history with Warped, Mayday Parade’s singer Derek Sanders stated that 2002 was his first attending the tour – then in 2006 Mayday Parade followed the tour selling their CD’s – and now they are one of the veteran bands on the show! The music of Mayday Parade is timeless and memorable, highlights of their set included Jersey, Kids On Love, and Black Cat. Closing with the wonderfully infectious Jamie All Over, Mayday Parade definitely kicked off the afternoon with a refreshing blast! Always a pleasure to see the band on Warped Tour! And to attest to the festivals wild diversity, they went on right after the early arrivals were treated to the dark and deadly tunes of Motionless In White.


The Vans Warped Tour certainly isn’t a bad way to spend your very first time on the road here on the States. Rise To Remain are a London based metalcore band who are now breaking out and presenting their dynamic tunes to fans here in the USA and Canada. Performing songs from their just released Century Media recording entitled Vultures on the Monster Energy Stage, Rise To Remain definitely unleashed a fiery performance. Austin Dickinson is a compelling front man – the rare breed that can sing and scream with an equal amount of passion, skill, and conviction. The lead guitar work of Ben Tovey was also thrilling, weaving an intricate yet deadly path within the high voltage tunes. Top-notch songs performed included The Serpent, Heartless, and Bridges Will Burn. A bit of trivia: Rise To Remain’s lead vocalist Austin Dickinson’s dad is none other than legendary Iron Maiden front man Bruce Dickinson. True talent does indeed run in the family!


While I have no idea what the names of the songs were that the band performed, the mighty After The Burial unleashed a manic fury of grinding metal on the star making Kevin Says Stage. Showing once again the different styles of bands the Warped Tour has on deck this year, After The Burial slaughtered the crowd with their maniacal wall of sound and superb musicianship. From the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, After The Burial has been spewing sonic devastation to the masses since their inception in 2004. One of the most progressive entities on the tour this year, the vastly underrated After The Burial is destined to find a wider audience as well as obliterate some unsuspecting types who just happen to be casually walking past their stage. An explosive performance that is not to be missed! Their latest album In Dreams in now available from Sumerian Records!


What would the Vans Warped Tour even be without an appearance by the legendary punk rock collective known as Anti-Flag? Since their formation in 1988, Anti-Flag has delivered a passionate, social conscious message of unity that remains effective especially in these tumultuous times. Turncoat and You’ve Got To Die For The Government are undisputed punk rock classics, and still retain a ferocious punch when performed live. Not one to rest of the laurels of the past, Anti-Flag performed tracks from the dynamic 9th studio magnum opus The General Strike, including Broken Bones and This Is The New Sound. With the idea of a President Romney and Tea Party Domination looming in the future, as well as homophobia and misogynistic attitudes still rampant in today’s society, Anti-Flag’s message of hope is a crucial as ever! And even after all these years, members Justin Sane, Chris #2, Chris Head, and the mighty drumming machine known as Pat Thetic remain a live musical force to be reckoned with. Anti-Flag attracted a huge crowd at the Kia Rio Stage and unleashed one of the most courteous yet fevered circles pits on record for Warped Tour!


After being slammed into the pit of Anti-Flag’s urgent punk rock anthems, it was time to go check out the party dance pop of It Boys! from Hollywood, CA! Spending the summer on the Kevin Says Stage, their Hollywood Waste Records debut Introduction may have been delayed here in the States, but this certainly did not crush the lively spirits of the It Boys! Their super infectious music and vibrant live shows are a good deal of fun to watch. Opening up the set with the rousing Burning Up, It Boys! had the audience singing and dancing along. All of the members are highly charismatic – one could almost imagine It Boys! providing the soundtrack for a summer beach movie extravaganza – and what a coincidence that the Pacific Ocean was just a few steps away. The band closed out the show with the anthem-like Guys Don’t Like Me – a tune that exudes massive hit single potential.


We had to leave Ventura early to catch the final Los Angeles performance of the legendary Glen Campbell at The Hollywood Bowl. There is not much that could tear this reviewer away from any Warped Tour early, but the truly great entertainer of such classics of Wichita Lineman and Gentle On My Mind did it.  The pairing  up of the bands from the Vans Warped Tour and Glen Campbell on this glorious summer day could only previously be found within the confines of my IPOD – as well as on the web pages at Highwire Daze Online,

The next Southern California Warped Tour date would be in the San Diego / Chula Vista area. Expect even more reviews and some interviews from the show too!

(Review and Photos by Kenneth Morton)

Mayday Parade on Facebook
Rise To Remain on Facebook
After The Burial on Facebook
Anti-Flag on Facebook
It Boys! On Facebook
Vans Warped Tour Official Home Page


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