Warped Tour 2010 – Ventura, CA

WARPED TOUR – Seaside Park – Ventura, CA – 06/27/10

Day Three of this year’s edition of Van’s Warped Tour took place in Ventura, CA – right by the beach serving as a picturesque backdrop for a full-on day of rock and roll in the sun. Known for it’s perfect weather, the average temperature was 70 degrees, and it was beginning to get downright chilly by the time the later acts were to hit the stage. Considering the date next would be in Arizona, known for it’s 110-degree scorchers, Ventura would be a refreshing stop for all on the tour. Fans from all around certainly enjoyed the event, which featuring bands ranging from the emo pop Never Shout Never all the way to the sheer brutality of Suicide Silence. And now, presenting scenes from the show…

Grant Harris and Breathe Electric found themselves opening the event this time around, after closing out the very same Skullcandy stage a few days prior. Caught up at the very end, with the band performing Let Go from their Emotion EP to a rather sizeable early arriving crowd.

The perfect band to see in the beach town of Ventura had to be Fight Fair, whose sunny pop punk tunage kicked off the day for many. Performing songs from their just released California Kicks album, a summer on Warped is sure to be star making time for these good natured guys. Vocalist Alex Bigman was the extreme surfer boy, shirtless and rocking away – and had many a girl in the crowd swooning. Fight Fair has something for everyone, especially if you enjoy classic punk bands such as New Found Glory and the Ramones. The super infectious songs performed in their set included Sexy Fancy Money, California Girls, and Brain Freeze. Expect a big beach blanket party when these guys show up in your town.

Went back out to the parking lot to do the first of my four interviews, this one with solo artist Justin Tyler. This is his third year following Warped Tour, this time promoting his brand new EP entitled Get Into The Love. He’ll be with Warped for a few weeks and before hooking up with fans on the Jonas Brothers tour.  This is one hard working, committed artist! Hopefully we’ll see him on the inside at Warped next year.

Back inside for the KIA Kevin Stage to check out a random band that I’ve never heard of before. Hope For A.M. is one of the unsigned bands following the Warped Tour, who are playing several of the dates inside as well. Based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, there were a lot of people by the stage jamming to their emotionally driven power pop sounds. Many in the crowd had not heard of the band before today, so there is little doubt that Hope For A.M. is making a good amount of fans on the tour. Infectious yet filled with the heart of rock and roll, the future looks bright for this up and coming collective. Their latest self-release is entitled Pre-Game and is well worth seeking out.

One band that has really shot up to the top as of late is Artist Vs. Poet, whose terrific songs and lively stage shows make for a grand slam combination. Even in spite of the mysterious sound problems that plagued much of the set, lead vocalist Tarcy Thomason and the boys kept on smiling, delivering a thoroughly entertaining show. Performing tracks from their breakthrough CD Favorite Fix, AvsP had the crowd jumping and singing along to tracks such as Runaway, Adorable, and Damn Rough Night. Don’t be surprised to find these guys hooked up on a bigger stage next year. A definite Warped Tour highlight to be sure!

Of course, no rock and roll party hardy is near complete without an appearance by the sublime Andrew W.K. Bringing along a fine collective of musicians and a dazzling dancing girl, the Main Stage ignited when the festive troupe arrived to spread the fine word of enjoying life to it’s fullest extent. Chants of “AWK” and “Party” greeted Andrew W.K., and he delivered a rousing, life reaffirming performance that left the crowd in a wondrous state of euphoria. You have not lived until you’ve experienced a live Andrew W.K. show. Songs as We Want Fun and I Get Wet really sent the throngs into sweaty slam pit action. And when the anthem-like strains of Party Hard were unleashed, absolute mass chaos ensued. Andrew W.K. and bands had delivered the goods once again, and pity the poor band who would have to follow up on the Main Stage next.

I was not to find out who the next band was or how they did, for it was time to interview LA’s own Confide in the press area.

I was back out in just in the knick of time to witness I See Stars on the Glamour Kills Stage. These guys have really amassed a much larger fan base than I’m sure they even realized. For being such a young band, they perform like seasoned pros. Especially noteworthy is the vocal interplay between charismatic lead singer Devin Oliver and their screamer/keyboardist Zach Johnson (who was returning with the band after a two year hiatus replacing Christopher Moore). The highlight of the set was their emotionally charged version of Your Love by The Outfield, which is featured on the Pop Goes Classic Rock compilation from Fearless Records.

Back to the press area for an interview with Bryce Avary of The Rocket Summer. What an odd pairing we must have looked like, with Bryce in his cheery ET shirt and myself in a very metal HELL IS HERE shirt from The Crown‘s 1999 Revolution 666 tour.  The Wright Stuff finally did his interview with Motion City Soundtrack, so expect both of these to appear on the website soon.

Out to the park once again to check out Mayday Parade at the Ernie Ball Stage. This Tallahassee, FL based band has really taken off over the last few years, and presented a solid set of rockin’ pop to a rather appreciative crowd. Opening with Jamie All Over for their 2008 debut album A Lesson In Romantics, the fans were joyously singing along to each and every song. Tracks performed from their breakthrough Anywhere But Here album included Kids In Love, Get Up and the widely appealing title track. Yet another big winner for the Fearless Records label, Mayday Parade presents rock anthems that are both lively and timeless.

Pierce The Veil really packed them in at the Altec Lansing stage, performing songs from their just released Selfish Machines album. A definitive crowd pleaser, this San Diego based band are Warped Tour veterans that really know how to put on an inspiring performance. These guys live to rock your world, and it shows through and through.

At this point, I went out to the parking lot to interview Swing The Coast, a band from Detroit, MI who are following the Warped Tour until July 8th, promoting their band. After hearing their CD Deluxe, on wonders why these guys aren’t signed to a label like Fearless or Hopeless. Seriously! They recently won a spot of the Rock Yourself To Sleep Your, where they’ll be opening several shows for the likes of Every Avenue and Sing It Loud. This time next year watch these talented guys take off into the big time.  Look for our story on the band soon at Highwire Daze Online.

It was beginning to get quite cold, but never fear because Christofer Drew of Never Shout Never had arrived on the AP/Advent Stage to warm the cockles of many a teenage fan’s heart. To be honest, there were folks of all ages surrounding the stage to watch the emotionally charged show. Drew’s songs are deeply impassioned, and can go from euphorically happy to deeply moving within the simple beat of a heart. One of the highlights of the set was Trouble about being hopelessly addicted to someone who may not be returning the favor. What Is Love? is a heart wrenching song for those who are children of divorce, showing an emotionally stark and realistic side. I Love You Five was a sweetly romantic opus that had the entire crowd singing along. At the end of the set, Drew concluded with The Past, a devastating, autobiographical song that really hit home to many of his fans. Judging by the girls who followed him all across Seaside Park and the fans ardent reactions to his live presentation, Christofer Drew has hit the big time – and on his own terms too.

Time to go home already? Oh well! At least we have San Diego and Pomona Warped shows to look forward to at the end of the summer. Hope to see you all there…

(Review and Photos by Kenneth Morton)

http://www.myspace.com/breatheelectric
http://www.myspace.com/fightfair
http://www.myspace.com/justintylerrock
http://www.myspace.com/hopeforam
http://www.myspace.com/artistvspoet
http://www.myspace.com/iseestars
http://www.myspace.com/maydayparade
http://www.myspace.com/piercetheveil
http://www.myspace.com/swingthecoast
http://www.myspace.com/nevershoutnever
http://www.vanswarpedtour.com/

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