The Wright Stuff Goes Warped – Part 1
VANS WARPED TOUR, Seaside Park, Ventura, CA., June 21st 2015
June 21st and it’s not only Father’s Day, the actual first day of summer, but it’s all ready the third day of the Vans Warped Tour for 2015. The Ventura fairgrounds were beautiful weather-wise to a comfortable 77 degrees bright and sunny all day. The music kept people moving about and bopping up and down to the near 70 bands to choose from. This time offered was a comedy area to check out new and up and coming hilarious artist. Plus it was the fourth year of The Acoustic Basement!
First up I saw Metro Station. Metro Station are on this first long tour after getting back together. Not only are they back together they have recently released an EP called Gold plus now available on tour they have released a 18 track mixtape called Savior. You could say this marks for the band their second home show considering they are from North Hollywood CA area of The San Fernando Valley. They got though the hot 100 degree show two days earlier in Pomona, CA and this was a cool 77 degrees at the beach for them here in Ventura. They bounced around and got the audience hopping around with their upbeat dance pop and the large crowd loved it. Some of the songs the audience knew and some were kinda new to the listeners. Either way the audience gave their close attention to the band. Metro Station played songs from their debut album and managed to swing in some songs from both the Gold EP and played a song from their newest album Savior. The set included Forever Seventeen from the first album, the title track from the EP Gold and featured in their set was the new song Getting Over You. They performed for just about a half hour set that kept you moving and hopping around to the fun rhythmic beat. This was a lively set of tunes and a great band to start the day off with. Metro Station is not only on the entire Vans Warped Tour taking them through the entire United States and Canada but Metro Station has been asked to play in the European dates of The Vans Warped Tour in October this year as well.
Metro Station on Facebook
Went over to the Ernie Ball Stage and found a punk pop band A + Dropouts. They performed a 20 minute set of original new songs. I wanted to hear at least one song from their first Ep Boy Games, but they instead played 6 new songs. The six new songs were all catchy and fun that kept the audience singing along to the choruses responding enthusiastically with applause after each of the new songs. I wasn’t familiar with the band but I even caught myself humming along and clapping to a couple of the new songs. The six songs performed were: Ragged Doll, Ra Ta Ta, Hypochondriac, Golden, My Only Home and We Are Animals. The band announced that not only did they have these six new songs but have seven more for the full length album to be released. Actually the band said that all was need was for a contract to be filled out and signed and then the album would get released very soon. The band sounds like something between the Dollyrots, Tat and Joan Jett And The Blackhearts. The two guitars blended great harmonies together sound wise and the bass and drums set up the rhythm pounding lines to make the band stand out. For more info on this band you have to spell out aplusdropouts and find them on Facebook, Twitter, youtube and Instagram. This band hails out of Huntington Beach Ca.
A+ Dropouts on Facebook
I decided to stick around the Ernie Ball Stage and up next was a punk pop band called BoyMeetsWorld all the way from Cincinnati, Ohio. This band was ambitious, enthusiastic, plus had great energy. All of this emotion was abundant from this band from the start to the finish of BoyMeetsWorld’s fast-paced 30 minute set. BoyMeetsWorld will be on the entire Vans Warped Tour which will make your day a total blast if you see them. I was really impressed by them. I had only heard about them by word of mouth but considering that came from a music editor I trusted their judgement and was glad I got to see this group perform. During one song both Craig the lead vocalist and bass player Brad jumped from the stage to the fence in front of the audience. Then Craig stood up on top of the fence to sing to the crowd. All of this is sure dangerous but very exciting to see and the crowd loved the closeness that the band brought forward to them. They currently are playing songs from their CD/EP Do What’s Best For You and from their full length debut CD Become Someone. With every song the audience were either clapping or jumping around. For a hot afternoon in the sun the band was very grateful to the positive feedback and jolts of great expressions from the audience to them. For more info on the pop punk alternative band check out http://boymeetsworld.com. I’m looking forward to watching this band again in San Diego in early August on the Vans Warped Tour.
BoyMeetsWorld on Facebook
The Acoustic Basement Stage
If you’re looking for something to get you out of the blistering sun during the Vans Warped Tour, there is a way. The music continues for about 7 hours during the day in The Acoustic Basement. In this tented area, in a cooler temperature and slower pace, band members break down to an acoustic format to give a more personal feeling to their songs for the audience. They sometimes do cover songs of other bands they know who have got them to where they are now as well too. Some of the stories you hear from these artist are so genuine and sensitive to the heart and for the listening ears. It’s usually the lead vocalist and sometime they bring along the guitarist and sometimes the drummer along for these more quiet gigs. This is also a nice way to give your ears a chance to not get so pounded by the more harder electric sets that are all around you all day long. The Acoustic Basement has been part of the Vans Warped Tour now for the past four years. The bands are hand picked by Brian Marquis who started this whole Acoustic Basement idea with Kevin Lyman. Some of the bands Brian knows himself and others Brian finds on his own through the internet with ITunes and Facebook.
One of the bands I got to see in The Acoustic Basement tent was Onward, ect. Sonder On, the new album by Onward, etc. is a violin-equipped punk band. The album features guest appearances by former members of Social Distortion and Flogging Molly. The band was put together by Rosco Wuestewald, who met violin player KC Olsen and drummer Tom Pearson. Songs were performed from the CD Sonder On acoustically by lead vocalist Rosco Wuestewald. One of the highlights was Kings & Queens. He made each person in the audience feel like we were all Kings & Queens with this song. Other songs done were Pass The Bottle and Old Soul. Rosco did play a really new great song called Lonesome Heart in the set as well.
Onward, etc. on Facebook
Another artist that arrived in the Acoustic Basement this late afternoon was SayWeCanFly who came all the way from Ontario Canada. Branden Barrie is a strong talented musician. He plays his guitar with love and compassion. His vocals swim so lightly over the acoustics of the strumming strings of his guitar. He makes his songs relatable and sensitive so be aware of that if you go see Branden Barrie perform. Currently Branden Barrie is on tour performing songs from his debut release CD called Between The Roses. Already a single maker is Branden Barrie’s song called Intoxicated I Love You which is about a one night stand and very effective for both teenagers and adults alike to listen to. Another great song in the set was a cover performed called Watch Me Bleed originally done by Scary Kids Scaring Kids. Though the song I really enjoyed, that made me feel SayWeCanFly’s Canadian roots, was the song called Song Of The Sparrow which would also make for a great video.
SayWeCanFly on Facebook
I decided I was so comfortable with the cooling off inside of The Acoustic Basement tent, so I stayed on to hear founder Brian Marquis perform who happened to be up next. Brian spends all summer on tour performing and never disappoints. During today’s set he was cracking jokes and talking about how old some of his body parts were. He made both the adults laugh to the more sophisticated jokes and made the younger crowd audience laugh to his body jokes. Also during the set while he was performing broke a G string during one of his songs. The amazing thing is he remembered exactly where he left off in the song and after he got a new guitar to perform with he started right back up in the middle of that song where he had come to the broken string stop point. Drink You Up was a crowd favorite and 84 Rookie Card was another favorite. Brian has currently out a new EP/CD on Equal Vision Records called I Miss The 90’s which is has 5 covers songs on it that were from known artist of the 1990’s music era. The one song Brian performed in this set from that new Ep was Say It Ain’t So originally done by Weezer. So if your looking to cool off sometime during The Vans Warped Tour, go check out the artist that Brian found and make sure to stick around to watch Brian Marquis set as well too. You might be surprise by what Vans Warped Tour band might drop by and do a special acoustic set themselves. At today’s show Transit and Tat both did acoustic sets early on in the day in which even I missed both of them as well …oops.
Brian Marquis on Facebook
To end my day into the early evening sunset time, I went over to check out all the way from England a band called Tat. Tat are returning to the Vans Warped Tour for the first 6 weeks. They had taken a small hiatus in writing and are now back testing out the waters again of their newer songs. Of course they played a lot of their known songs as well too from their EP/CD Tat and from their debut full release Soho Lights. I got really energized with their newer song Anxiety. Tatiana Demaria shows she can still make great tunes with her guitar. With this song the band showed off harmony vocals which were a treat! Hope this will be the newer sound direction from this pop punk alternative band. They will be dropping a new album soon, so look for that online they said.
So by checking out bands on the Ernie Ball Stage found me a couple of great pop punk bands and from going to the Acoustic Basement Tent/Stage I found some new solo artists. So you can go see some of your favorites on the bigger stages at the Vans Warped Tour, but it’s kind of cool to see what’s up and coming in the music scene too. The Warped Tour never disappoint no matter who you are there to see and listen too. A great musical journey will be had by whomever you might hear.
Tat on Facebook
(Review and Photos by Jonathan D. Wright – Thanks to Jack Lue for the Metro Station and BoyMeetsWorld photos)
Vans Warped Tour Official Home Page