Festival Photos + Recap: Vans Warped Tour 2015 at The Fairplex (Pomona, CA)

Vans Warped Tour 2015
PVRIS (Lowell, MA), Bless The Fall (Phoenix, AZ), Attila (Atlanta, GA), Motion City Soundtrack (Minneapolis, MN), Senses Fail (NJ), The Wonder Years (Philadelphia, PA), Man Overboard (NJ), August Burns Red (Lancaster, PA), Memphis May Fire (Dallas, TX), Black Veil Brides (Hollywood, CA), and Pierce the Veil (San Diego, CA)
June 19th, 2015
The Fairplex in Pomona, CA

It’s officially Warped Tour season folks!  Day 1 of the summer festival kicked off at The Fairplex in Pomona and despite the heat, the ridiculously long and time consuming line to check in, and the rearrangement of the festival grounds it was pretty RAD.

Having to wait almost 2 hours to get inside the festival almost ruined my entire day.  It made me miss a lot of the bands I was most excited to catch like ’68, Neck Deep, and Citizen, among others.  Luckily, I was able to get in about 5 minutes before PVRIS’ scheduled set time. I had to run to catch them but I was glad I did.  The band played a solid set that included “Mirrors,” “Fire,” and “Smoke” amongst many other fan favorites.  Though I guess I should note that practically every PVRIS song is a fan favorite.  The crowd didn’t mind the heat as they jumped along to every single note.  I can’t wait to see this band on a headliner of their own and after their run of shows this past year, I’m sure the band and their fans are more than ready for it.

I didn’t have to wait very long to catch Bless the Fall.  Being on the eve of their newest record I knew their set was a must-see.  The guys killed it and despite frontman Beau Bokan throwing up towards the beginning of their set (must have been all that jumping) they put on a hell of a show.

I had a bit of a window and decided to catch Attila’s set at the stage next door.  I’m not sure how frontman Fronz could perform in the heat in his windbreaker but he pulled it off.  The band always has one of the liveliest crowds and the Atilla beachballs sure helped keep the crowd active.

Catching Motion City Soundtrack is always a good idea.  The older Warped Tour attendees flocked to the Shark stage to catch the band.  I know plenty who only came for the band and were more than happy to leave immediately after their set.  The guys always put on a fantastic show and the crowd was all smiles during the whole thing.

Getting to the Monster stage was quite a walk from the Shark and Unicorn stages where I had been all morning.  But Senses Fail was more than worth the trek to get there.  Frontman Buddy Nielsen went off as soon as the music began.  It was super fun to watch him cover ground during the set and boy did he.  The guy was in the crowd and even fell off the stage at one point because he was having such a good time.  The rest of the Senses Fail guys stayed on stage but were totally letting loose as they worked through their 8 song set.  Do yourself a favor and catch Senses Fail’s set.  Guaranteed good time.

After stopping by the smoothie tent to cool off I made my way back to the Shark stage to catch The Wonder Years.  Having built quite a reputation for doing some pretty crazy things, frontman Soupy was relatively chill for their set.  They still got the crowd active and ready to catch Man Overboard at the stage next door directly after.

Man Overboard is always fun to catch and judging by the huge crowd at their stage I’m sure a lot of people already knew they’d be in for a good time.  The guys kicked their set off with “Dead End Dreams” and went straight into “Where I Left You” and the jams didn’t stop there.  They played a 7 song set that had the crowd yelling the lyrics at the top of their lungs.

After a bit of a break I headed over to catch the last bit of Memphis May Fire’s set.  A band I’ve only seen a handful of times but have noticed they get better with time.  Leaving the pit after their set was an ordeal as tons of folks were already in position for the headliners of the evening.

Black Veil Brides took the stage with tons of fans shouting in anticipation.  The guys hit the stage like the full on stars they are and blew everyone away.  They have this glamorous air to them where even if you’re not exactly a fan of the band you’ll still enjoy the performance.  The band mentioned they were dedicating every show they play on Warped Tour to their friend Chris who recently passed away.   After the set they put on they can rest assured they’re doing their friend proud.

After a bit of a delay Pierce the Veil hit the stage.  They absolutely had the largest crowd of the day.  I was a bit curious about who was going to take guitarist Tony Perry’s spot since he had suffered an accident and wasn’t going to be playing the tour.  I’m not sure who the guy was but he fit right in.  He was able to keep up with bassist Jaime Preciado and that’s pretty hard to do.  The guys started their set with their latest song “The Divine Zero” and surprisingly loads of folks sang along.  They started their set once the sun went down and despite the dark setup the dust bowl from the pit could be seen.  It was crazy.

It was almost a 5 minute walk to get out of the Pierce the Veil crowd and by the end of it I was both amazed and exhausted.  Covered in dirt from the dust bowl that is the Pomona Warped date I look forward to the cooler breezes of the date in San Diego.

Here’s a visual:

Thoughts?