VANS WARPED TOUR 2013, Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre, Chula Vista, CA, June 19th, 2013
The summer was officially about to begin as the Vans Warped Tour made its way to San Diego (actually Chula Vista) for the first of four local Southern California shows. The weather was absolutely perfect for rocking and moshing, and this year there were bands of many genres accompanying the legendary touring extravaganza. Now in its 19th year of existence, the Vans Warped Tour has become a not-to-be-missed experience for concert goers of all ages. Founded by concert promoter Kevin Lyman, the event is billed as the “Best Day Ever,” and there was proof all over the grounds of the Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre that this would be a concert many would remember for the ages to come. Here are some of the bands Highwire Daze checked into while in the gorgeous community of San Diego…
The first band Highwire Daze caught up with was Cogito from Claremont, California, performing an early set at the Insidious Kevin Says Stage. A psychedelic rock band with thrilling progressive influences, Cogito stunned the early arrivers at the San Diego stop of Warped Tour 2013. One of the most exciting and underrated bands on the local Los Angeles music scene, Cogito performed a solid set of tunes from their full length debut Controller. Charismatic front man Evan Snyder was all over the stage, your possessed troubadour weaving tales of mysticism and intrigue. The dual guitarists launched a stunning wall of sound, courtesy of Brandon Villalovos and Bryce Darrow. Driving it all home with a skilled precision were Joe Reza III on bass and Destin Rogers on drums. Closing with the vast and epic strains of Sanctuary, there is little doubt that Cogito’s music inspired and bewildered many in the Warped crowd, and for that, they must be thoroughly commended. Be sure to catch Cogito at a club show for a sonic experience that is not to be missed!
Time to head over to another side of the park to see one of the local winners of the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands competition. Based out of San Diego, Oh, Guardian is an up and coming metalcore band with a big and glorious future ahead. There was quite a crowd by the stage when Oh, Guardian emerged, and once the band exploded with their first song Cartographer, the entire place went into a wonderful rage. A definitive standout track was The Deathstar, a real crowd pleaser which was made into a video recently. There is so much talent and energy to found in the Oh, Guardian lineup, with credit going to Jimmy DeBerg on vocals, Jordan Garza on vocals, Zack Harrison on bass, Garrett Halvax on drums, Kris Renfro on guitar, and Alex Ortega on guitar. With an ever increasing fan base and the dynamic tunes to back it up, Oh, Guardian is sure to break out above and beyond the confines of the local San Diego music scene. Oh, Guardian has an EP entitled I Am Undefined, now available on ITunes!
It’s been awhile since we’ve seen Hawthorne Heights on the Vans Warped Tour, and they were given a warm and hearty welcome by the San Diego audience. Performing songs from their entire catalog, including the new concept album entitled Zero, Hawthorne Heights delivered a rousing set on the Kia Forte Main Stage. Songs such as Never Coming Back and Ohio Is For Lovers were greeted passionately and the crowd sang along with a dynamic amount of enthusiasm. One of their new songs from Zero entitled Golden Parachutes was received with an equal amount of enthusiasm, clearly demonstrating that Hawthorne Heights is only beginning to reach the peak of their creativity. The ups and downs of the music industry has only made Hawthorne Heights an even greater musical force, and with sets this exciting, expect to see the Columbus, Ohio based band entertaining the masses for many years to come!
If Goldhouse vocalist and mastermind Grant Harris looks familiar to veteran Warped Tour attendees, one is sure to recall a band who went by the name of Breathe Electric, who spent the summer of 2010 on the road exhilarating fans all across the country. Grant Harris recently unleashed the dance party project known as Goldhouse, and delivered an electrifying set of pulsating delights to the mid-afternoon crowd on the Domo Stage. With a pair of CD’s in tow entitled All Night Long and Back To Life, Harris and his band launched into the vibrant inflections of All I Really Need. Cleverly alternating between original and cover songs, Goldhouse presented sonic riches such as Runaway, Everything We Used To Do, and I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight. Showing that perseverance and ambitious will pay off, Grant Harris has now been a participant on the Warped Tour twice – all which self-recording and releasing his own records. It’s all about the DIY, and Goldhouse is definitely a treasure trove of pop songs, whether or disc or in a live setting.
FOR THE FOXES
It is so good to see For The Foxes finally receiving the attention they deserve. It may have been a slow start for this Hopeless Records signing, but the New Jersey based collective are now on Warped Tour, delivering their joyous pop punk anthems to wildly appreciative crowds. Opening with the wonderfully infectious Son of A Gun (We Have Fun), one notices instantly a timeless appeal For The Foxes possesses within their lively songs. Vocalist Nicholas Francis exudes a vibrant sense of charisma and drive, and combined with the band’s overall enthusiasm, it’s difficult not to be swept away by the rollicking proceedings at hand. Tunes such as We’re Coming Up and Running Back to You clearly demonstrate For The Foxes knack for writing the perfect song that will jangle within your head for ages. Be sure to stay for the grand finale to witness The Revolution, a punk influenced song that will make you ready to take on the world! For The Foxes are on fire and their live shows and infectious songs will highlight your summer or any other time of year!
CROWN THE EMPIRE
The meteoric rise of Crown The Empire is a certainly well deserved. One of the most creative and compelling bands within the metalcore / post hardcore genre, this Dallas, Texas-based band is spending the summer as one of the headlining bands on the Ernie Ball stage. The intensity alone is probably too much for such a compact area, but what a thrilling adventure it is to watch Crown The Empire deliver a full on show in such cramped quarters. Opening with the ominous circus atmosphere of Johnny’s Revenge where the band screams, “I’ve come for blood, blood, blood” with a vengeance, the crowd overflowed with rapturous delight. Their Rise Records debut The Fallout is filled to the brim with apocalyptic tunes about finding love and hope at the end of the world, and songs such as Voices, Children Of Love, and Makeshift Chemistry shine within a live setting. The dual vocal assault of Andy Leo and David Escamilla is powerful and invigorating. Bennett Vogelman and Brandon Hoover unleash stunning guitar work while bassist Hayden Tree and drummer Brent Taddie make for a devastating rhythm section. With a live show nothing short of mesmerizing, Crown The Empire continues to ascend into the stratosphere, and their vibrant performances across the country are definitely one of the grand highlights of this year’s Warped Tour.
To follow the devastation of Crown The Empire’s superlative set is no easy task, but Delta Rae was more than up to it! A wildly entertaining band in the grand tradition of Van Halen and Guns N Roses, Warped attendees of all ages clearly enjoyed the hard rocking tunes from this Los Angeles based collective. Songs such as One Is Too Many and Hot Hand Honey were rambunctious and instantly memorable. Shirtless vocalist Spencer Krasch oozes star appeal, a classic front man out to make sure you are having a good time. Krasch and Forrest Goss present some tasty guitar licks while bassist Steven Aulcy and drummer Mikey Herrera rock your world with their pulsating rhythmic action. Be sure to stay until the end and witness the mighty Tower Of Shred! It is always fun to discover brand new bands at Warped Tour, and Delta Rose is surely one of the best new discoveries of the season! With bands as adventurous as Delta Rose, Cogito and Crown The Empire to be found on the same stage, Ernie Ball was definitely the place to be at Warped Tour in San Diego!
Mat Kerekes, the front man for Citizen, has been doing double performances at many of the Warped Tour dates, including San Diego. Earlier in the day, Kerekes presented an explosive set at the Acoustic Basement stage – and even in a stripped down format, the sheer intensity and passion of Citizen’s music is in full force. Playing one of the final slots on the Insidious Kevin Says stage, the entire assault force known as Citizen unleashed a passionate set of indie punk that grabbed the listener by the throat. Dark and emotional, the collective presented songs from their recently released Run For Cover Records effort entitled Youth. The word has been spreading like wildfire about Citizen, and even at the later hour, the stage was surrounded by a massive amount of ardent fans clearly captivated by the heartfelt yet powerful tunes emitting from the stage. Judging from performances like these, we may just see Citizen on one of the Warped main stages in the years to come. A grand slam conclusion to a day in the San Diego sun! The first of the So Cal Warped experiences had to come to an end, with three more exciting days to follow…
(Review and Photos by Kenneth Morton)
Cogito on Facebook
Oh, Guardian on Facebook
Hawthorne Heights on Facebook
Goldhouse on Facebook
For The Foxes on Facebook
Crown The Empire on Facebook
Delta Rose on Facebook
Citizen on Facebook
Vans Warped Tour Official Home Page