As if my many Warped Tour posts haven’t given it away, the Vans Warped Tour is my favorite summer festival. Whether it’s the wide range of acts (from hardcore metal to pop rock and everything in between) or that Warped is my anniversary with the LA Music Blog (happy two years readers!), this year’s stop at the Pomona Fairplex didn’t disappoint. It was only the fourth day of this year’s Warped Tour and every band came out swinging. Read on to find out about some of my favorite acts of the day, including old favorites and new discoveries!
Song: “The Kids Just Wanna Dance” – Emily’s Army
Before even making it to the infamous inflatable red sign, Beebs and Her Money Makers caught my attention. I admit the feminist in me is naturally inclined to love female-fronted bands, and singer Michelle Beebs is as commanding as they come. From her over-the-top getup to her ability to hold down the band’s soulful, ska-infused rock songs, I couldn’t help but stop and watch B&HMM perform the energetic “Jumpin'” and mark my first band to check out when I got back home.
My first must-see of the day was Walnut Creek-based pop-punk band The Story So Far. Over the last year, this band has become one of the most solid in the scene with their recent album release and powerful live performances.
Lead vocalist Parker Cannon, who was undoubtedly one of the most revered vocalists on the tour, exploded out of the gate with the group’s recent single “Right Here.” He spent the rest of the day at the band’s tent, happily signing autographs and posing for pictures. I can’t imagine fame ever getting to his head, and the more I saw him interact with fans, the more it was clear this was a singer who has forged a true and lasting connection with his audience.
The Story So Far drew a huge crowd of fans ready to sing their hearts out to soon-to-be pop punk staples like “Roam” and “Mt. Diablo.” Their set ended with their breakout hit “Quicksand” accompanied by an intense circle pit at Cannon’s request, and there was no doubt The Story So Far was one of the biggest draws at Warped Tour 2013.
The sweltering Pomona heat started to get to me but was made more bearable thanks to Sigg, who set up free water refill counters if fans came with reusable bottles. I made a beeline to their tent every break I had, and the thousands of Warped fans were eternally grateful for a free way to hydrate throughout the ten-hour day.
I saw The Material over five years ago in a small club in Washington, D.C., so when I heard vocalist Colleen D’Agostino, I quickly gravitated towards the stage. D’Agostino was all smiles as she encouraged the crowd to sing along with the band’s latest single, “Life Vest,” and the old staple “Let You Down.” That day was just a one-off for the band, but here’s hoping their stamina and dedication will earn them a spot on next year’s tour.