|New Found Glory frontman Jordan Pundik rocks the Kia Soul stage for their last appearance at the Vans Warped Tour.|
The Vans Warped Tour
made its first appearance in Irvine's quiet city for a day of teen-angst, pogo-jumping pop punk, throat-shredding hardcore and a side of hip-hop. Braces and teenage awkwardness ran rampant throughout The Great Park
's nine-stage set up while sounds pounded out of car-sized speaker set ups. And despite the Irvine City Council shitting its pants over the festival's perceived threat
to the tranquil park and local residents, it appears we all miraculously survived. Here were some of the highlights:
|Kristopher Roe from the Ataris plays an acoustic set at the 2012 Vans Warped Tour Thursday, June 21st.|
Best on-stage banter: Kristopher Roe
I love it when musicians divulge personal stories to their audience-- the more honest and awkward, the better. The proper tent see some storytelling action was the Acoustic Basement stage and the proper musician Kristopher Roe of The Ataris. In between every song, Roe did not hesitate to spill stories of obnoxious tales from the road and getting rid of ex-girlfriends along with old couches. "Warped Tour has such a communal vibe," Roe told the Weekly. "I'm on a bus with 22 people and it's a bunch of weird eclectic people and we're all here for the same thing, to have fun."
Most Girls: We Are the Ocean
I don't know if it was the English accents heard over the loud speakers or just a solid performance from Essex-based emo punk band We Are The Ocean that attracted throngs of 16-year-old girls from far and wide to their set. Gasps and giggles could be heard all around the stage from girls while most of their boyfriends begrudgingly tagged along to the front barricades of the Kevin Says stage. "I thought I'd never experience this," said lead singer Liam Cromby in between waves of female screams. "It's an amazing thing to play in front of Warped Tour crowds, everyone's in it together."
Biggest "circle pit": Four Year Strong
The band Four Year Strong honed several huge circle pits (apparently we're not calling them "mosh pits" anymore) that seemed to get everyone in the crowd involved. There was the occasional crowd surfer, who was promptly removed by grabby-handed security. But despite conjuring one of the most brutal circle pit swarms, things still didn't get too bad. If clashing heads-to-knees and elbows-to-faces is what you desire, you might need to go to another Warped Tour stop for that--they don't tolerate that kind of shit in Irvine. (*Honorable Mention: While the band Anti-Flag didn't produce as large of a circle pit, they kept one going through three of their songs.)
|Fans crammed as close as possible to the Kia Soul stage at the 2012 Vans Warped Tour.|
Fastest guitar solo: Jacky Vincent
Falling in Reverse's lead guitarist Jacky Vincent shredded mercilessly with his lime green guitar, leaving many jaws on the floor at the Kia Rio stage. His fingers moves like a cartoon blur that made our eyes cross as they ran over the fret board. If there was ever a quick-draw duel involving guitar solos, Vincent would win. Period.
Most ganja smoke: The House of Marley Stage
Collectively, the House of Marley stage had the most consistent scented trail of the traditional concert-favorite green (uh, are we surprised?). With hippie rock bands like Mod Sun and funky throwbacks such as The Constellations, the need to spark one up was undeniable. Another strong contender for this high honor was Kia Soul stage, where some of the most potent smells emanated during a set by pop punk band We The Kings. We're guessing the Kings were toking backstage as well, considering one of their main compliments to the audience was that they'd given the band "musical boners." Yep, that sounds like the kind of thing a stoned musician might say.
Most cell phone pictures: Rome Ramirez
Although there was an abundance of cell phones and small cameras popping up randomly throughout the various crowds, the phones seemed to emerge all at once when Rome Ramirez of Sublime with Rome fame played his acoustic set at the Acoustic Basement stage. Even my DSLR was no match for the cell phone barricade that stood high above my 5'4'' frame.