WORDS AND PHOTOS BY: ALLEEN HUGHES
For the music industry, “holiday season” takes place between June and early August with Vans Warped Tour. The phrase holiday season seems like the perfect fit name for this Summer long festival because you can see handfuls of your favorite bands all for the price of one ticket. Our local cities of San Diego and Pomona wrapped up the Summer events and these two cities gave the bands the proper going away party.
This year's lineup was a big bowl of variety from newbies to veterans and from hip hop to heavy metal. Some tend to bounce from stage to stage where as others may stick with one stage all day holding down their spot to be front and center for their favorite band to take the stage. I was one of those not bouncing from stage to stage but rather sprinting as you can see from covering 24 bands in 2 days. Although I couldn’t see every band, I was able to catch the must see bands that held the throne on our coverage list.
Stage assignments were different this year with a mixture of “big” and “small” bands equally dispersed. Before in the past it seemed like bigger band names were placed on the larger platforms such as the Journey and Mutant stages and smaller, “less known” bands were placed on the smaller spaced areas such as the Skull Candy Stage and Full Sail University stages. But not this year. Bands such as Trophy Eyes and Sworn In have a large following now and drew the same sized crowds if not more than some of the long standing history bands on the Mutant stages such as After The Burial and Carnifex.
With a festival coming to a close, attendees are definitely in for a treat when they show up because they can pretty much expect some on fun stage and send offs as well as plenty of guest vocals that can either make us say “really?” or “damn that was sick!” For instance some that made me me think “damn that was sick!” come from Attila frontman Chris “Fronz” Fronzak helping out Dance Gavin Dance during their afternoon set in San Diego. The onstage fun came naturally between Patrick from Movements and Bryan of Knocked Loose when they shared a lip locking moment on stage in Pomona. Love wins this one.
Although the heat is at times sickening and almost unbearable, the fun and togetherness in the air can calm and cool anybody if they sit and look around long enough. You see friends sharing food and taking pictures together, bands giving each other hugs before their set to show support and strangers helping each other up off the floor if one goes down in the mosh pit. Those are the moments that managed to give me goosebumps in the scorching heat. Goosebumps that I will remember because this festival came at a time for me when I really needed it. It reminded me why I love this industry and the people that support it.
Full photo gallery from San Diego and Pomona:
After The Burial:
Being As An Ocean:
Bless The Fall:
Dance Gavin Dance:
Our Last Night:
The White Noise:
Too Close To Touch: