Saturday, June 22, 2013


Warped Tour closed out its' two day run in Pomona on Friday. Whether or not it qualified as your 'Best Day Ever', may have depended upon your tolerance for heat, dust and flying grass bits, that were giving not only the fans, but the bands a great deal of trouble. Negatives aside, this is the one tour that pretty much everyone looks forward to every year, and as usual a good time was had by all.

In an intriguing flip of the 'bring your kids to work' concept, this year is 'bring your parents to Warped Tour' with one free admission for each parent accompanying a paid kid. Why, you might ask, would you want to do that? Well for those below driving age it solves the age old dilemma of how to get there. For everybody else it's an awesome opportunity to bond with the 'rents over a common love of music. There are several bands playing the show that have been around since your parents era including Reel Big Fish, The Ataris, Mest and Goldfinger.

Goldfinger happily declared themselves the oldest band on Warped Tour during their blazing set yesterday. John Feldman may be older, and may spend the bulk of his time producing other bands these days, but he hasn't lost a step. Racing through a short tight set that kicked off with their famous cover of Nena's 99 Red Balloons, and featuring a most unfortunate 'twinkie' event, it was awesome to see that old punks may become millionaire producers, but they can still kick some serious ass. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the youngest band of the tour, Emily's Army has generated a huge curiosity from their connection to Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong. But, here's the thing, this is no novelty act. They may be high school kids, but watching their set you quickly forget their age and focus on the quality of both the material and the performance. These kids scream potential, and are realistically looking at a long career if they can keep it up.

The rest of the Pomona lineup was a veritable smorgasbord of styles ranging from pop to electronic to rock and hardcore. While everyone experiences Warped Tour in their own way, with the bands varying a bit stop to stop, and the schedule changing daily, the biggest don't miss band playing the full tour this year has to be Hands Like Houses. This Australian band, currently on Rise Records, formed in 2008, but is still woefully under recognized in the states. This is one band that you can truly picture making the jump from small stage to main stage on future Warped Tours.

Without a doubt, one of the biggest main stage draws of the day was Never Shout Never.  While one of the most pop acts of the tour, Christofer Drew and company have always been a favorite among the Warped Tour crowd, a trend that shows no sign of waning. While his look may have changed dramatically since his days of Myspace fame (soooooooo many tats) at 16, his unique brand of charmingly simple indie pop hasn't changed all that much. A part of his appeal has always been that he has always been viewed as a contemporary by his fans, a guy they could easily see themselves hanging out with, and that really remains.

Pomona may have said goodbye to Warped Tour for this year, but the summer long 'punk rock summercamp' still has miles to go before they sleep. Tickets are still available for most of the remaining dates, and with the bring your parent programs this summer, you really have no excuse to miss the show as it rolls through your town.





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