Vans Warped Tour, Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA, August 5, 2016
As the Vans Warped Tour begins its final week, the rock and roll extravaganza found its way to the West Coast – where they were greeted with less hostile weather and a good amount of fans looking to see their favorite bands as well as discover brand new talent within the parking lot of Qualcomm Stadium. The 22nd edition of the tour is still the crucial event of the summer, even in those notorious dog days of August! Here are some of the bands Highwire Daze Online caught up with at Qualcomm Stadium…
I See Stars
A dramatic lineup change and a few years between albums has only made I See Stars a good deal stronger as musicians and performers. Their latest album Treehouse on Sumerian Records possesses a maturity and depth that is nothing short of a triumph, and within a live setting, this talented collective knows how to deliver the sonic goodness. Lead vocalist Devin Oliver sings and screams with an exciting amount of conviction – and an entire summer on Warped has made the band tremendously solid. All this, and Devin could be found crowd surfing in a rubber raft, which is definitely a sight one is surely expected to witness in the wilds of a Warped Tour performance.
I See Stars was the very first band to play on the Poseidon stage, and they certainly kicked off the San Diego date in a grand and epic way! Now celebrating a decade of rock and rolling, I See Stars approaches a future that will surely launch them into greater stratospheric heights,
I See Stars on Facebook
The Word Alive
Now on Warped for their fourth tour of duty, The Word Alive presents a mesmerizing live show that is not to be missed! Their current release Dark Matter on Fearless Records presents an already impassioned band at the very height of their craft.
The five massively talented members of The Word Alive contribute to make the live experience so vividly memorable, featuring the thrilling dual guitar work of Zack Hansen and Tony Pizzuti and the pulsating low end courtesy of Daniel Shapiro. Luke Holland continues to display why he’s one of the most compelling drummers in heavy rock. And then there’s Telle Smith, an extremely passionate front man establishing a powerful, unbreakable connection with the fans through his spirited lyrics and exhilarating vocals.
Performing songs from their various albums, the dynamic conclusion of the show featured the glorious one-two punch of their signature song Life Cycles and as well as the spiraling Trapped from Dark Matter. Always an engaging show with a good deal of heart and commitment, The Word Alive is surely one of the most exciting bands to see at the Warped Tour on this or any given year!
The Word Alive on Facebook
Don’t even think you could lump Cane Hill into the mass of metalcore that Rise Records is best known for. An encounter with their diabolic live show finds a band that has a lot more in common with the early recordings by Lamb Of God and KORN, and Cane Hill definitely unleash it all with wondrously dangerous and highly intriguing results.
Cane Hill unveiled selections from their Rise Records debut Smile, delivering explosive renditions of the songs in a live setting. Opening with the fiery refrains of True Love which instantly tore into the heart of the matter, Cane Hill would then dedicate their next song Sunday School to the “racists and bigots” of the world. Tunes such as New Jesus and Time Bomb were absolutely devastating, gripping and epic in scope.
The Cane Hill assault force fires away the sonic artillery with dead on precision, featuring the partication of Elijah Witt on vocals, James Barnett on guitar, Ryan Henriquez on bass, and Devin Clark on drums. If you are about to go to Warped and want it hot and heavy, wander over to the Full Sail side stage and check into what this New Orleans-based collective has to offer the world at large.
Cane Hill on Facebook
Oceans Ate Alaska
Oceans Ate Alaska made their trek from the UK with a mission to totally annihilate the Vans Warped Tour throughout the Summer of 2016! Presenting a thunderous set of progressive metalcore madness on the Monster Energy South stage, Oceans Ate Alaska flooded the audience with a breathtaking wall of sound. Ever since the release of their breathtaking debut album Lost Isles on Fearless Records, Oceans Ate Alaska has been ripping through the States, making a good deal of fans along the way.
Impressive selections such as Clocks, Floorboards, and Blood Brothers left a mighty impression on the crowd, especially on those seeking a heavier side of the Warped Tour experience. Vocalist James Harrison is tremendously charismatic, presenting both clean and screamed vocals with a wild-eyed sense of conviction. The entire Oceans Ate Alaska membership is tight as hell, presenting an unearthly soundtrack of metalcore that is staggering to witness.
The response to Oceans Ate Alaska was extremely rapturous, with a summer at Warped surely sending this band onto a whole new level. Be sure to check out the sonic entreaties of Oceans Ate Alaska and prepare to submerge into the depths of this remarkable band on the rise.
Oceans Ate Alaska on Facebook
Waterparks has opened for the likes of Good Charlotte and Aaron Carter, and are now on the road unleashing their wildly infectious pop-punk ditties onto crowds at the Vans Warped Tour. Now signed to Equal Visions Records with an EP entitled Cluster in tow, Waterparks is sure to flood your senses with their wickedly memorable live shows.
Awsten Knight is the classic pop punk front man, with an acerbic wit that lends a wonderful unpredictability to the live shows. Knight was wearing a floral shirt and was damn proud if it too – after all, it was Floral Shirt Friday! Guitarist Geoff Wigington went a step further, giving away his floral shirt to one lucky crowd surfer in the audience. Otto Wood may have been more subdued, but definitely made up for it with his lively drum beating performance.
Songs such as Crave, Pink and No Capes are destined to become beloved pop punk anthems spinning within your feverish head long after the live performance reaches its conclusion. “I lost my virginity to “Who let the dogs out. I didn’t like it,” were among the pieces of wit Knight would dispense throughout the set. Be sure to catch Waterparks the next time they send their waves of love, wisdom and all-out sarcasm into your neck of the woods.
Waterparks on Facebook
Safe To Say
One of the big incentives to go to the Vans Warped Tour each and every year is to discover brand new bands, and the Full Sail stage was certainly the place to be for all adventurous musical types. The sun was beginning to set when Safe To Say commenced upon what would be one of the most powerful and absorbing sets on the Vans Warped Tour.
Based out on Ontario, Canada, Safe To Say has recently issued their 2nd full length Down In The Dark stateside via the fine folks at Sideonedummy! Presenting their own atmospheric take on alternative rock, Safe To Say will surely tantalize the senses with their inspiring compositions. Highlights from the set included Over Your Head, Your Favorite Dream and When I’m Not Here. Summer Sickness was an inspiring standout – their pro-choice anthem made particularly notable by an encounter the band had with a pro-life group while on the Vans Warped Tour this summer.
Included in the Safe To Say lineup are the heartfelt performances of Brad Garcia on vocals, Josh Hicke on bass, Jim Sorensen on drums, and Cory Bergeron on guitar. Safe To Safe unveils a thought provoking turn to the Vans Warped Tour and their non-rock star approach to their craft is absolutely enlightening. Here’s hoping we hear a lot more from Safe To Say in future days ahead.
Safe To Say on Facebook
And now on to Vans Warped Tour Pomona!!!
Remaining Vans Warped Tour Dates:
8/07/2016 Pomona Fairplex – Pomona, CA
8/09/2016 The Backyard Outdoor Events Center at Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos – Las Vegas, NV
8/11/2016 Ford Idaho Center Amphitheater – Boise, ID
8/12/2016 White River – Auburn, WA
8/13/2016 Portland Expo Center – Portland, OR
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)
Vans Warped Tour Official Home Page