Top 10 OC Shows of Summer 2012

Categories: Lists
mayer hawthorne pac fest.jpg
Jackie Connor / OC Weekly
Mayer Hawthorne

The only thing tougher than realizing that yet another summer concert season has come and gone is taking the time to sort all the best moments together an relive them in numerical order. For us, the difficulty of the latter usually means that we got to experience enough slam-dancing, chorus-shouting, encore-playing, glow stick-twirling, clothes-shedding, ear drum-bursting bacchanalia to cram into an entire year, let alone three months. But every diehard concert goer knows that no matter how much fun you had between June and early September, there are a handful of sweat-drenched musical moments that stand in a class by themselves. And typically, those shows are defined by the ability of an artists and a crowd to collectively let go of reality and elevate each other to a state of mind where oppressive heat, long lines and overpriced water bottles are no longer a factor. 

Looking back at our summer in the pit, we've come up with a list of 10 festivals and concerts in OC that were able to do just that.

 See Also:
10. Vans Warped Tour - The Great Park - June 21, 2012

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Jackie Connor / OC Weekly
Jordan Pudnik of New Found Glory helping us relive our middle school pop punk obsession

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 nearly shitting their pants over the festival's percieved threat to the tranquil park and local residents, it appears we all miraculously survived. Aside from getting a long-awaited fix of nostalgic pop punk courtesy of New Found Glory, some sweet mosh pits a la Anti-Flag and acoustic story telling from Ataris frontman Kristopher Roe, we also got to hear what the kids (literally) are listening to these days.--Jackie Connor

9. Young the Giant - Pacific Amphitheater - July 22, 2012

Matt Oliver / OC Weekly
Hey ma! We made it!

For a local music fan who might never spend money on a ticket to see Adam Lambert or Three Dog Night, the sole reason for the Pacific Amphitheater's existence is to welcome the return of bands who've gone out into the record industry wilderness and come back rockstars. And if you can pack that sucker, then by god, you've made it. Not only did Young the Giant manage to fill every seat in the brisk night air of the OC Fair venue, but these OC Weekly cover boys knew exactly how to handle the audience during their July performance.Reaching the end of their summer tour, the band (supported by Fullerton faves the Steelwells) was as confident as if they were playing just a few miles away at their old Detroit Bar stomping grounds.--Nate Jackson


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