Punk rock summer camp…wasn’t so punk rock. The Vans Warped Tour rolled into town on June 20th in Pomona, CA. The Warped Tour line up this year is made up of heavier bands, but punk bands? Not so much. (I’m not complaining).
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The day started off as any other Warped Tour would…HOT. The line was wrapped around the venue upon arrival. The smell of sunscreen and hot asphalt filled the air. Once the crowd had the green light into the venue—it went OFF.
Something a little different this year, the first bands took the stage around 11:15/11:30 a.m. instead off 11 a.m. on the dot. This is awesome because it allows the fans to actually get INTO the venue before the first band plays. Something crowds will also note are the large signs above the stages that say “NO CROWDSURFING/MOSHING. YOU CROWDSURF/MOSH YOU GET HURT. WE GET SUED. NO MORE WARPED TOUR.” Now, this didn’t stop everyone from doing these things, but I would like to point out that Warped Tour and it’s creators are doing what they think is best for everyone.
In their defense, if you do get hurt and you sue Warped Tour, especially if you willingly crowd-surf or mosh that makes you a sucky person. Don’t be that GUY/GIRL.
I started off my morning with Born Of Osiris who came out swinging on the main stage and warmed the crowd up for the long day ahead. As the crowd poured into the venue the crew for BOO got bigger and went harder.
Next, I waited around for heavy worshipers For Today. The band gave their speech about how regardless of religious beliefs or any other differences that divide the members of their audience that at the end of the day it is about loving yourself and caring about the music. They pointed out that too many bands in the scene were giving the audience nothing of value in return for their money.
Once For Today was finished, The Ghost Inside hit the stage…HOLY SHIT! The place exploded. Being locals to Los Angeles, playing the Pomona Warped Tour is basically playing a hometown show. The crowd broke into a “GO KINGS GO” cheer as front man Jonathan Vigil proudly wore his Stanley Cup Champions Los Angeles Kings jersey. This is the only crowd where I saw someone leave with a bloody eye by the way. So yes, L.A., and Pomona specifically, goes HARD.
Fast forward to later in the evening when the sun was finally going down Issues, Attila, The Word Alive were among some of my favorite sets of the entire day. Issues probably had the most going on during their performance with inflatable balls being thrown everywhere, Attila’s front-man Fronz always brings wild antics to the stage. Whilst The Word Alive’s Telle Smith refrained from doing any backflips, he did put on a great show.
Chelsea Grin closed out the show for Pomona on the Monster Energy Stage. Chelsea Grin is one of the most brutal bands on the entire Vans Warped Tour. With the heaviest breakdowns and the most violent crowds (the bloody eye at TGI’s set was pure luck ;D).
If you’re headed out this summer make sure to catch all the bands listed above for a GREAT time! Also, make sure to stay hydrated kids, I can’t tell you the amount of kids I saw carried off by EMT’s because they decided not to drink water the day before and the day of. Be safe and have fun!
To keep up with all things Warped Tour check out their website here.
All photographs by June Martinez Photography (@XXCRASHQUEENXX / @METALRIOT) on Instagram for more!