VANS WARPED TOUR, Pomona Fairplex, Pomona, CA, June 19, 2015
And the 21st year of the Vans Warped Tour kicked off at the Pomona Fairplex in Southern California, with music fans braving the blistering 102 degree heat. This would be the official commencement of the iconic long-running tour founded by Kevin Lyman, and Warped remains an exhilarating experience many look forward to throughout the entire year. Multiple stages played host to a staggering amount of bands hailing from all genres – pop punk, metalcore, acoustic and beyond were well represented!
A visit to the Vans Warped Tour is an adventure to be sure – a time to discover new bands as well to catch up with favorites. Here are some of the live shows we caught up under the sweltering sun of opening day at the Vans Warped Tour! Read on…
One of the best places to discover up and coming talent is at the Ernie Ball Stage. Each year, Ernie Ball has a Battle Of The Bands competition, with the winners from each city playing their local Warped venue. One of the bands who won in the Los Angeles area was Dead Heroine, who opened up the Van Warped Tour with a ferocious set of hard rocking anthems. One of the most underrated bands within the wildly diverse Los Angeles music scene, it was exciting to see a band like Dead Heroine tearing it to shreds at Warped Tour in Pomona.
Performing songs from their recently issued Eleven EP, Dead Heroine opened with the slamming sounds of If You Need A Sign, instantly winning over new fans making their way into the Pomona Fairplex. Another highlight was the wondrously infectious Broken Glass, which should be rocking radio airwaves all across the country. The supremely resourceful Dead Heroine lineup consists of Moa Henriksson on vocals and guitar, Nathan Gignac on guitar, Sam Bibo on bass, and David Myers Jr on drums. Dead Heroine consistently plays in the Los Angeles area, and their live rock and roll shows are not to be missed!
Dead Heroine on Facebook
“Listen to the sound of your children revolting!” is the call to action on the impassioned Beaten In Lips, a tune that was just as blistering as the stifling Pomona sun was becoming. The band unleashed this and many other thought provoking metalcore anthems was the mighty Beartooth from Columbus, Ohio. Kicking off festivities at the Shark Stage, Beartooth unveiled an explosive collection of songs, including Relapsing, The In Between, and the singalong rager I’ve Got A Problem.
Vocalist Caleb Shomo remains one of the most impassioned front men on the scene today, able to connect with each and every audience member, taking them on a journey into his own personal hell and back. The songs from the recently issued Disgusting may be a bit more melodic, but they were certainly one of the heaviest bands on the Warped Tour with the towering songs to back it all up. A highly charged set that mesmerized the early arrivals, any show Beartooth performs at is well worth seeking out.
Beartooth on Facebook
OUT WITH THE OLD
It was back to the Ernie Ball stage to check a few more of this year’s Battle Of The Bands winners. Holding the pop punk banner high and proud was Out With the Old, drawing quite a crowd while surely gaining a new collection of fans as their set progressed. Opening with the wildly infectious Long Rides Home (a song about meeting a girl on the Warped Tour), one could easily see why Out With The Old won a coveted spot on the Ernie Ball Stage.
Vocalist Matt Skajem is a highly charismatic vocalist, conveying a good deal of passion and conviction while delivering fantastic tunes such as Little League Heart, Major League Break and Holy Heart Failure, Batman! The entire band was solid, rocking the attendees gathered around the Ernie Ball stage. Closing their set with a brand new single entitled A Chapter Without You, Out With The Old definitely left everyone wanting a whole lot more! Fans of The Starting Line and Four Year Strong should definitely check into what the very promising Out With The Old has to offer the world at large.
Out With The Old on Facebook
A HERO’S FATE
A Hero’s Fate flew all the way in from Orlando, Florida to play set after winning the Ernie Ball Warped Tour Battle Of The Bands competition. It was exciting seeing so many pop punk bands this year, especially new collectives such as A Hero’s Fate ready to carry on the torch for a whole new generation of genre fans. Starting off their set with the instantly memorable Cool Story, Bro, A Hero’s Fate delivered a championship performance that really had the Pomona audience jumping up and down, and taking notice.
The glorious tunes kept on coming, cuts such as Amateur Hour and Ron Is Anthrax Proof leaving a lasting impression. The dynamic A Hero’s Fate membership includes Brian Frank on vocals, Blake Murphey on guitars, and Chris Lee on drums. Closing the with exhilarating refrains of Orange County, A Hero’s Fate set was nothing short of triumph. Expect to hear a lot more from this valiant up and coming band in future days!
A Hero’s Fate on Facebook
Just can’t tear ourselves away from the Ernie Ball Stage, especially with so many terrific bands included on the bill. BoyMeetsWorld from Cincinnati, Ohio find themselves on the entire run of the Vans Warped Tour 2015, and had a good number of fans who knew all the words to each and every song performed. Become Someone is the brand new self-released full length, so there was plenty to celebrate as the band performed the vibrant songs in a live setting. Selections such as Rest Of Our Days, Moving On, and Where This Road Leaves is pop punk in its finest hour.
With an album destined to be the soundtrack of the summer and a memorable live show to back it all up, expect BoyMeetsWorld to be one of the breakout bands on this year’s edition of the Warped Tour. Fans of Ocean Avenue-era Yellowcard will find a brand new favorite to enjoy for a lifetime when hearing the heartfelt yet wildly infectious songs of BoyMeetsWorld. The BoyMeetsWorld membership consists of Craig Sulken on vocals, Brad Sulken on bass, Ryan Sulken on drums, Andy Richter on guitar, and Drew Thomason on guitar.
BoyMeetsWorld on Facebook
AS IT IS
Based out of the UK, As It Is has been making quite a splash here in America as of late – this would include tour dates with Set It Off as well as their standout performance at the Vans Warped Tour Kickoff Party which took place at the Club Nokia in April. Their debut album for Fearless Records is entitled Never Happy, Ever After, and judging by the crowd amassed around the Journeys Right Stage, the word has definitely gotten out on As It Is in a big and glorious way!
Starting out with the sweeping one/two punch of Speak Soft and Cheap Shots & Setbacks, As It Is blasted off headfirst into a thrilling set of pop punk tunes. “Your California heat has kicked our asses,” stated one of the members, but that certainly did not stop As It Is from presenting one of the most lively, joyous performances at Pomona Warped – stifling heat and all. Front man Patty Walters went straight to the barrier and sang along with the crowd many times – and had more than a few girls screaming in the process. Closing out with the frenetic Dial Tones, one could clearly envision a future of As It Is headlining their own shows all across the country. Another star making discovery to be found within the Warped Summer of 2015!
As It Is on Facebook
THE RELAPSE SYMPHONY
If Motley Crue and New Found Glory were to have a bastard child, The Relapse Symphony would surely be the hell bound offspring ready and willing to rock your world! It was back to the Ernie Ball stage to catch up with one of the hardest working rock and roll bands out hitting the road today. Featuring super charismatic members and hard hitting tunes played to sonic perfection, The Relapse Symphony enraptured the Warped crowd with pulse racing selections such as Tear Me Down, Born To Burn, and Die Alone.
It was 6:00 PM as evening was approaching. with no sign of the oppressive heat letting up, and The Relapse Symphony brought an auditory inferno to the proceedings that sent the temperature soaring into stratospheric heights! The band membership is rock solid, featuring the Bret Von Dehl on lead vocals, JC Charles on guitar, Ray Miller on guitar, Adam Peters on bass, and Alex Foxx on drums. Be sure to check out their brand new release Born To Born, out now on Standby Records. And do not even think about missing The Relapse Symphony as they scorch venues across the country on Warped Tour this summer!
The Relapse Symphony on Facebook
Silverstein are certainly veterans to Warped Tour as well as a life on the road, and at the Monster Stage, the much revered post-hardcore collective from Canada is celebrating their 15 years of existence. Silverstein has just unveiled I Am Alive In Everything I Touch, their eight studio album – and as witnessed at this year’s edition of the Vans Warped Tour, their live performance remains as powerful as ever. Opening with the wildly impassioned refrains of Milestone from the new album, Silverstein instantly captivated the crowd – sealing the deal with their next song Smile In Your Sleep – a fan favorite which had everyone rapturously singing along.
Shane Told conveys the poignant lyrics with a magnificent amount of conviction, bringing both old and new songs to an ultra-vivid life. The band is tight as ever, creating a powerhouse wall of sound. The set consisted of selections from the various stages of their brilliant career, including Massachusetts, Sacrifice, Vices, and the still wildly effective Smashed To Pieces. And when the band closed with the devastating My Heroine as the sun as beginning to set, the moment in time was absolutely magical. And thus concluded night one of the Highwire Daze coverage of Vans Warped Tour 2015. See you all in Ventura!
Silverstein on Facebook
Vans Warped Tour Official Home Page
(Review and A Hero’s Fate photo by Ken Morton – All Other Photos by Jack Lue)