Vans Warped Tour: End of Summer Heats Up
August 10, 2010
Chula Vista, CA
Pretty much near the boarder of California and Mexico. 83 bands to choose from, nearing the end of the 2010 summer Vans Warp Tour Sweet Sixteenth show. Weather a little hot and some light shade was to be found. It didn’t seem overly crowded and that could be because it was on a weekday with some schools starting to go back into session all ready. I found it easier to get closer to some of the smaller stages. .
IVY LEAGUE I saw first. They are from Costa Mesa. Currently they have a debut CD called Face Front. They play ska punk songs with a mix of guitar riffs and bouncy bass lines. They did one song playing the drums except that the drums were trashcans. Some of the catchy tunes were: Let It Burn, Rest Of Your Life, Hold On, Face Front, The Only Escape and The Other Side.
LEFT ALONE, I went to see next, were from Los Angeles. They played punk fast tunes. Currently Left Alone have a few CD’s on Hell Cat Records. With the songs being about two to three minutes each, they did several songs in the 30 minute set. The crowd got slamming around with the punk songs and bounced danced around when they performed some ska tunes. A couple of the songs were Four Weeks and Short Stories.
From Riverside, VOODOO GLOW SKULLS played cool Ska songs to get the crowd moving. They even did some Spanish songs: El Cu Guy and La Llorona. However, the English songs got the crowd moving much more and sang along to such songs as California Street Music and DD Don’t Like Ska. With more than a few CD’s, I don’t see why this band wasn’t playing on one of the bigger stages.
Kind of in front of a home crowd audience, KNOCK OUT felt at home and had fun playing. Maybe they were relaxed knowing that people they knew were there to see them. You could tell the band appreciated the great sound that they had for such a small stage. They were so laid back that lead vocalist Jared broke down and took his shades off to see the audience. They have two CD’s being re-issued on Skunk Records and are working on a third new album. They featured one of the new songs called Another Wasted Night.. They played a cool cover of Sound System by Operation Ivy too. With performing songs like Only Escape, Same Ole Thing, One Night In Paris and Moving On, the crowd stomped up the ground with a circle pit of fun.
Locals FIGHT FAIR took the stage to a huge crowd. Possibly not feeling well from a stop over on the tour in Las Vegas the night before, Lead vocalist Alex Bigman told me that he wasn’t feeling like himself backstage. But I couldn’t get near the sage when Fight Fair went on because it was so crowded to see them. The band looked energized and animated without showing any wears at all. I watched them perform California Girls and California Kicks. They will be going on tour soon with Breath Electric but won’t be playing any dates locally with Breath Electric (at Chain Reaction or at The Whiskey this coming Fall). The newest release they have out now is California Kicks. These pop punks throw down some fun jams and get the crowd kicked up high in good spirits. They even fooled me from when I saw caught them back stage. Now that they are on stage…wow what a performance.
VANS WARPED TOUR
Pomona Fair Grounds
August 11th, 2010
Now being my fourth day to see the Vans Warp Tour, coming back through Southern California was a hot day. They use some parking pavement and the infield of where the horses race for the ground area for this big huge show. Shade was scarce and water was three dollars a bottle. It wasn’t one hundred degree’s but it felt close to that though. So dusty dirt and dry grass didn’t make things easier to breath or to walk on. Watch out for the potholes of mud spring up when ever they wanted too as well. Just take advantage of the whole parking lot instead and keep everything on the pavement that would work better. I felt sorry for those using wheel chairs electric or not.
AM TAXI are currently touring in support of Virgin Records release of We Don’t Stand A Chance. Some punk mixed with alternative pop added in with a dash of hard edge and you get a sence of the bands sound. The keyboard player during a song came out from off the stage and went into the audience to sell the bands CD. This was a cleaver move on the bands behalf, funny thing was they sold a lot of CD’s this way. The songs are catchy and memorable but they keep fun part in the melody lines. While you want to follow the melody, the other instruments lend themselves to fill out the whole sound easier. The bands sound doesn’t overtake you but instead it enthralls you to get more involved with it to enjoy it. The cool songs in the bands set were: Woodpecker, Reckless Ways, Champagne Toast, Paper Covers Rock, Fed Up, Dead Street and The Mistake. I had never heard about this band before, but these Chicago kids knew how to get the audience attention. They concluded the set with a cool rock version of Paint It Black as well too.
REEL BIG FISH are no strangers to playing the hot days of the Vans Warped Tour. They have currently jumped away from Jive records to release it’s own bands greatest hits CD. Now that they have left the recording contracts from Jive records they have gone onto Rock Ridge Records and have put out an independent CD of hits. Included in the new package of the double CD set is an acoustic set of songs by the band as well. They didn’t play any acoustic songs in this set but they did play a lot of the band’s hits. Some of the songs in the set were: She Has A Girlfriend Now, Take On Me, Sell Out and Everything Sucks. Catch them live on a current headlining US Fall tour with it’s first show starting on Saturday 9/18/2010 Anaheim, CA at The Grove of Anaheim.
EVERCLEAR from Portland Oregon jumped onto the tour at this point. These alternative rockers are currently on tour showing off it’s newer younger members. They are playing songs that are on In A Different Light CD. Some classics are on this CD that are familiar to the audience but that have been re-recorded with the new band. Art still leads and holds his own as the front man of this everlasting band project of his. The band played several crowd radio favorites Santa Monica, AM Radio, Everything to Everyone, I Will Buy You A New Life, Fire Maple Song, Rock Star, Wonderful and very popular crowd sing to Father Of Mine. Hope as soon as the new CD gets released that they come back for a full USA tour.
THE ROCKET SUMMER got the crowd singing along with ease. Of Men And Angels is the current CD the band has out. They played a solid set to a huge crowd. With four CD’s out I don’t see why this band isn’t playing a main stage by now. But Bryce Avary entertains us even if he plays all the instruments for one song too. Brice is so talented and keeps giving us great songs to hum along too. The set Bryce and his band did featured memorable performances of his newest hit Walls and many others. He is one artist worth every penny to see him live or on CD.
ANTI-FLAG set the standard of political punk the old fashioned way that makes the audience slam around like crazy fiendish animals in heat. The circle pit got bigger and wider with each song the band played. Even though getting really raunchy and dirty, the band played a strong heavy punk set. Anti-Flag are currently out touring in support of it’s current CD called The People Or The Gun. Some of the songs they did were The Economy Is Suffering Let It Die, We Are The One, The Old Guard and You Are Fired. Anti-Flag might be from the east coast but the can dazzle up a music hurricane storm of might fight punk style anywhere. Slamming great time with these guys.
(Article and Pix by Jonathan D. Wright)