VANS WARPED TOUR, Seaside Park, Ventura, CA, June 21, 2015
After a scorching day in the wilds of Pomona, California and then a trek up North to Mountain View, this year’s edition of the Vans Warped Tour made its way back to the Southland – arriving at Seaside Park in Ventura for the third official show. And what an absolutely gorgeous day it was, right by the ocean, complete with seagulls, palm trees, and perfect temperatures that did not go above 80.
While humidity and infernal heat may be directly ahead of Warped in future days, for now it was time to enjoy the wonders of a perfect afternoon while indulging in a massive number of bands ready to rock it out! Here are the bands we checked out at the Ventura date of the Vans Warped Tour. Read on…
(Pictured above – Beautiful Bodies on the Journeys Right Stage)
OUR LAST NIGHT
Opening up the Monster Stage on the perfect Warped Tour day at Seaside Park was Our Last Night, ready to pump up the jams for the early arrivals. This is Our Last Night’s first full on summer of Warped, as the band only played a few dates the last time they were invited on the tour. Away from the trials of a record label and doing it all in the grand DIY style, Our Last Night’s music remains as vibrant as ever. Opening their set with the fiery Same Old War from their Oak Island EP, Our Last Night proceeded to enrapture the audience with a compelling selection of tunes.
Vocalist Trevor Wentworth has grown tremendously as a performer, with both the highly effective screams and wondrously emotional clean vocals standing out in a big way. Older brother Matthew Wentworth also shines through on guitar and vocals, coloring in the songs with his resourceful performance. The entire Our Last Night collective is absolutely solid, and with the unveiling of their latest effort Younger Dreams, 2015 is looking to be their most exciting year yet. Other standout tracks performed live included the liberating Road To The Throne and their gorgeous rendition of Sunrise. A wonderful commencement to what would be a very memorable day at Warped by the sea.
Our Last Night on Facebook
And it was on to the Journeys Right Stage to visit Citizen, who are in the midst of making their second appearance for the entire summer at the Vans Warped Tour. Playing emotionally devastating music that captivates the senses, this New Jersey based collective has come a long way since we last encountered them on tour for their breakthrough Youth album. Opening with the moody fan favorite The Summer with its dark “I watched you burn” commencement, Citizen went for straight to the heart of the matter, and the results were nothing short of mesmerizing. Their new Run For Cover Records release Everyone Is Going To Heaven shows a band at the very height of their creative energies, and the new songs raged into the stratosphere when performed live.
Cement is dazzling and relentless with its pulsating beat driving an emotional stake into your soul while Numb Yourself absolutely chills the senses with its staggering sense of unease. Vocalist Matt Kerekes unleashes the cathartic lyrics with a muted intensity, and the performance is exciting to witness. The entire band is in top form, delivering a wall of auditory intrigue that goes above and beyond anything they’ve ever done before. “Sell yourself to me,” Matt Kerekes utters in the grungy Stain, complete with impassioned screams and tormented clean vocals, leaving a decidedly lingering impression on the crowd at hand. Citizen has developed their sound into a glorious art form, and it was great to see such a wonderful response for their fans and all the others discovering the band for the first time.
Citizen on Facebook
One of the most adventurous bands on this year’s edition of the Vans Warped Tour has to be Night Riots from the Central Coast of California. Influenced by the likes of The Cure and U2, Night Riots unveiled a sound that was positively captivating. Recently signed to Sumerian Records, Night Riots presented songs culled from their latest masterwork entitled Howl. In a live setting, the songs are expansive and atmospheric, and it was wonderful to see so many people surrounding the Journeys Right stage to check into what this intriguing band has to offer.
Night Riots weaved their magical spell with the sweeping sonic refrains of cuts such as Oh My Heart, Break, and Spiders. And when the collective broke out into the dazzling refrains of Contagious, many in the audience sang along to the sparkling rendition of their standout single which closed out the set. Definitely a band we will be hearing a lot more of in future days, be sure to catch up with Night Riots they next time they bring the auditory revolution to your town.
Night Riots on Facebook
THE KARMA KILLERS
Rocking your world with an East Coast state of mind, The Karma Killers took over the Ernie Ball Stage and launched a mid-afternoon party that really had onlookers taking notice. Bursting into the refrains of the classic song Rockaway Beach by the Ramones, The Karma Killers proceeded on with an exciting set of wildly infectious tunes. Their current EP entitled Strange Therapy was just unleashed via Island Records, and The Karma Killers are spending their summer spreading the word all across the nation. Judging by their energetic set and lively punk rocking anthems, it would be long until The Karma Killers break it on out.
From the hip shaking inflections of Coming Of Age, on to a lethal encounter with My Killer Queen, and then to the exhilarating classic reverberations of Go-Go, the charismatic Karma Killers brought down the house in the most epic way! The Karma Killers features the rollicking participation of Micky James on vocals and guitar, Mango on bass and vocals, Billy Stevens on guitar and vocals, and Josh Grigsby on drums. A refreshing rock and roll experience to be sure, be sure to check out The Karma Killers on Warped Tour this summer! A band that even your parents will like – especially if they rocked out to Bowie or Blondie!
The Karma Killers on Facebook
Making their way to the States all the way from Newcastle, Australia was Trophy Eyes, a punk rock collective whose passionate tunes caused quite a commotion at the Kevin Says Stage. On the hardcore side of the spectrum, Trophy Eyes was definitely a winner when came to crowd participation – not only did everyone know the words to all the songs, but a rabid mosh pit ensued through their entire set. Playing selections from their recently issued Mend, Move On release via Hopeless Records, top tunes such as Convalescence, Family Name, and In Return were well received by the Ventura Warped Tour attendees.
Front man John exuded a good amount of passion and conviction, and seemed genuinely moved that people were watching their performance. The raging musicianship was unleashed by Pokket on guitar, Kevin on guitar, Callum on drums and tour manager Jimmy filling in admirably on the bass. If you are into hardcore punk that goes straight for the heart, then check into what Trophy Eyes has to award all adventurous enough to give a listen. By the way, in October, Trophy Eyes will be touring Europe in support of the legendary Anti-Flag!
Trophy Eyes on Facebook
YOUTH IN REVOLT
It was back to the always reliable Ernie Ball Stage to see Youth In Revolt. Featuring bands members from both New Jersey and California, Youth In Revolt slammed both coast together and presented a highly memorable set.. Signed to Outerloop Recordings, the band played songs from their current Love Is A Liar’s Game EP, including the should-be hit single There For You. A new song from an upcoming full length was also introduced entitled Dead Inside, showing a good deal of promise and depth. An all-out highlight was when Youth In Revolt performed their imaginative cover of the Lorde song Royals from the Punk Goes Pop Volume 6 compilation.
Charismatic vocalist True Arahill is a definite standout, a wondrously expressive singer placing a good deal of passion and depth into each and every song. True fell off a riser during Never Stay and amazingly avoided what could have been a disaster mid-set. The entire band delivered glorious, powerhouse performances, even while being wedged in tightly on the Ernie Ball Stage. With sets as persuasive as what was witnessed at Warped Ventura, expect Youth In Revolt to be taking over the bigger stages in no time at all. And thus concluded our Warped experience by the vast ocean and spiraling palm trees. Hope to see some of you at San Diego Warped in August!
Youth In Revolt on Facebook
Vans Warped Tour Official Homepage
(Review by Ken Morton – Photos by Jack Lue)