Festival Photos + Review: Vans Warped Tour 2014 (Pomona, CA)

Vans Warped Tour
Four Year Strong (Worcester, MA), We Are The In Crowd (Poughkeepsie, NY), Bayside (New York City, NY), The Story So Far (Walnut Creek, CA), This Wild Life (Long Beach, CA), Finch (Temecula, CA), Issues (Atlanta, GA/ Los Angeles, CA), Every Time I Die (Buffalo, NY), The Devil Wears Prada (Dayton, OH), Anberlin (FL), The Maine (Tempe, AZ), The Summer Set (Scottsdale, AZ), Atilla (Atlanta, GA), Real Friends (Tinley Park, IL), and Saves The Day (Princeton, NJ)
June 20th, 2014
The Fairplex in Pomona, CA

It’s Warped Tour season folks!  I’ll have you know that this year marks the tour’s 20th anniversary.  Can you believe that?  20 summers of awesome is quite an achievement, I’ll say. Warped Tour really pulled out the stops too. From bringing legendary bands like Saves The Day to their hologram tickets that commemorated the occasion this year’s Warped Tour is one you won’t want to miss.

The first band I made sure to see was Four Year Strong.  These guys have been a staple in my music library since I saw them with Bayside a few months back.  The music these guys are making is excellent and as if that wasn’t enough they have those majestic beards!

Next I made my way over to the Warheads stage for We Are The In Crowd.  I had heard a lot about this band and am glad I got to catch them play.  This band is a blast of energy from the moment they walk on stage to the moment they finish their set.  Front-woman Tay Jardine sounded excellent and their song, “The Best Thing (That Never Happened)” was stuck in my head for days after.

I was so stoked to see Bayside on the Warped Tour bill again. They are hands down one of my favorite bands to catch live. Their setlist expanded their discography and included many fan favorites like: “Sick, Sick, Sick,” “Pigsty,” “Duality,” and, “Devotion and Desire” among others.  So naturally, they had the crowd on their toes until the last hum of their last note.

One new thing about this year’s Warped Tour were the giant signs strongly discouraging any sort of moshing or crowd surfing during sets.  One of my favorite things from this year’s Warped Tour is that nobody cared and this was especially apparent during The Story So Far’s set.  All in friendly fun of course, but there’s something about a TSSF song that just incites that call-and-response action from the crowd.  It just wouldn’t be the same show experience without it.  It’s obvious the band is over-cautious with their fans, proudly over-seeing the friendly commotion just over the barricade. Some of the happiest faces I saw at Warped Tour were during TSSF’s set and with due right the band played excellently.

This Wild Life was one of my favorite bands from this year’s Warped Tour.  Their newest record, Clouded was recorded with my all-time-favorite musician, Aaron Marsh from Copeland.  Their songs are incredibly written and it was a nice change of pace to get to listen to a band like this on the tour.  I can’t wait to catch them again when they’re in town.

I was so stoked to see Finch on this tour.  These guys killed it and brought so much energy while they played that I photographed one song and then jumped into the crowd with everyone else.  Finch is awesome.  Go see Finch.

Issues is a band I made sure to catch since I loved their performance on the American Dream Tour with Bring Me The Horizon.  These guys were great.  Co-frontman Michael Bohn is a force to be reckoned with and Tyler Carter is impressive all on his own.  I had Scout’s intro for “Personality Cult” stuck in my head for weeks after seeing them play it. It wasn’t a surprise they had one of the biggest crowds I saw all day.

Every Time I Die is one of the best bands on the whole bill.  They’re a band you definitely want to make sure you go see any time they play your city.  I recommend you see these guys live at least once even if you’re not a fan.  I promise that you will probably leave the venue one and if you don’t you will at least have experienced what an ideal live show is supposed to be.

The Devil Wears Prada is another energy packed band.  I dare you to try to keep up with frontman Mike Hranica.  He’s all over the place and it’s so much fun to watch. I had never seen The Devil Wears Prada before but I’ll definitely be keeping tabs on them from now on.

Anberlin is a band I always struggle with covering because I want to photograph them from the pit but I also want to watch their entire performance from the crowd.  I’ve never been disappointed by an Anberlin set and their Warped Tour performance didn’t let me down. Their set was jam-packed and full of action with absolutely no dull moments.

It’s been a while since I’ve caught The Maine live, and one thing that’s certainly changed is John O’Callahan’s look but the music is as great as ever.  They opened their set with, “Run” off their latest record Forever Halloween. The band was great even during the brightest hour of the day.

The Summer Set was another band that I had heard a lot about but never checked out.  Props to frontman Brian Dales for wearing a leather jacket during their set, I could never do that in the heat.  The heat didn’t phase him at all because they played great and drummer Jess Bowen never missed a beat.

I had heard so much about Atilla so I made sure to catch their set.  If it’s one thing frontman Fronz knows how to do is incite the crowd.  They had the loudest and rowdiest crowd I saw all day.

Real Friends is another band whose fans completely disregarded Warped Tour’s advisory signs.  Their set was so amazing that it called for that kind of crowd response.  Real Friends was one of the bands I was most excited to see and was not disappointed.  I absolutely loved their set and am looking forward to catching them in the future.

Saves The Day at Warped Tour was like a dream. I was genuinely stoked to get to see and photograph the band.  They were my favorite part of Warped Tour, hands down. The majority of the older Warped Tour crowd who mostly hangs back for most sets was front and center here.  I feel like every song Saves the Day plays is a fan favorite but as if that wasn’t enough they also had time to throw in a cover of Weezer’s “El Scorcho.” RAD.

This year’s Warped Tour was another one for the books!  Make sure you catch it when it comes through your town.  Dates are here.

Thoughts?

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