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Show: Vans Warped Tour 2010
Date: June 29, 2010
Venue:Ventura County Fairground at Seaside Park
City: Ventura, CA

Vans Warped Tour 2010
Written by: Lindsay Murphy
Photos by: Nicolas Bates

Although many of the almost-100 acts playing this year's Warped Tour may be unfamiliar to casual fans of music, it showcased some hidden gems, radio kings, and old-school talent.

Warped 2010 sees the dropout of veteran sponsors including Hurley, but it thankfully eliminated the unnecessary confusion of having both Hurley and Hurley.com stages. Altec Lansing, Glamour Kills, and Alternative Press/Advent replaced Hurley, Smartpunk, and Hurley.com. As always, the time slot lineup was chosen the morning of each date and erected on the giant blow-up board. Desired bands inevitably play at the same time on opposing stages, forcing concertgoers to choose between sets.

Booths hawking merch and more stitched the eight Ventura stages together. A plethora of activism-themed tents tried to convince kids to save things, like animals, boobs, and lives. The anti-tobacco Truth truck enticed walkers-by to play games all day for prizes, and areas dedicated to Wonka candy and Monster energy drinks handed out loads of free goods. Meet-and-greets, concession stands, a beer garden, and the skate ramp all attracted fans wandering between bands.

The Dillinger Escape Plan

Assigned to the Teggart/Main Stage's unfortunate first time slot, The Dillinger Escape Plan warmed up Warped with their awesomely aggressive set. The mathcore band stands out from the slew of pop-punk and screamo acts that comprise the tour this year. Singer Greg Puciato, who looks like a more juiced-up version of The Situation from The Jersey Shore, sang passionately and directly to the fans screaming along every word. Guitarist Jeff Tuttle was continuously plastered with an intense visage that looked as if he wanted to rip people's faces off with his teeth. TDEP played several old songs like "Milk Lizard," as well as a few from their recent release Option Paralysis including "Chinese Whispers." Ben Weinman battled guitar problems mid-set, but he was back to scaling amps and shredding on "Sunshine the Werewolf." The band's chaotic stage antics perfectly mirror their music; when ending with their new single "Farewell, Mona Lisa," Tuttle leapt off the stage and ran around the audience swinging his guitar and playing the song like a madman. Not to be upstaged, Puciato kicked monitors into the pit before grabbing Billy Rymer's cymbals and jettisoning them into the crowd. For those who have yet to catch them live, The Dillinger Escape Plan is a must-see band.

Over at the Altec Lansing stage, Parkway Drive played to an enormously dense, energetic audience that featured some of the most fervent crowd surfers at the Ventura stop. Kids stood on picnic benches to catch a better glimpse, as smoke wafted over from various food stands. The Australian post-hardcore band assaulted the audience with a barrage of double bass and breakdowns. Songs like "Boneyards" and "Idols and Anchors" incited circle pits and hardcore dancing. At the start of "Carrion," vocalist Winston McCall requested help with words, instructing the audience to make him go deaf.

Motion City Soundtrack

One of the more poppy acts, Motion City Soundtrack brought the heat as the cloud cover parted. At their second song "The Future Freaks Me Out," Justin Pierre sang the first three words "I'm on fire…," and then allowed the audience to emphatically declare "…and now I think I'm ready to bust a move. Check it out, I'm rockin' steady, Go!" before joining in again a few lines later. They easily boasted some of the loudest fans of the day. Crowd favorite "My Favorite Accident" found energetic Jesse Johnson, definitely the most entertaining band member to watch, doing handstands on his keyboard. The Ventura crowd was lucky enough to have lead guitarist Joshua Cain perform, as he will opt out of the vast majority of Warped to spend time with his newborn daughter.

A dearth of immediately recognizable punk rock legends graced the Legends Stage this year, with acts like Fight Fair and Last Call Chernobyl only existing for a few years and hardly attaining legend status. But The Casualties' set made up for this omission. They spawned a jolly circle pit of tall-haired kids sporting bright liberty spikes and mammoth mohawks. Vocalist Jorge Herrera, with his own signature bright red spikes, threw the mic to the audience to pass around for singing duties during a cover of "Blitzkrieg Bop."

Of Mice and Men

Nubile band Of Mice and Men originally began as a vehicle for infamously ousted Attack Attack! singer Austin Carlile. Mere months after recording their debut album, which came out in March, Carlile was kicked out of his own band. Ex-Sky Eats Airplane singer Jerry Roush stepped in, and his Warped performance demonstrated his controversial value as a replacement. In a PBR tank and cutoffs, he covered the entire Skullcandy stage, doing handstands between singing and mounting Valentino Arteaga's drum kit. Confirming complaints from many Of Mice and Men fans, Roush botched a number of lyrics, but casual listeners wouldn't notice the blunders. The band's synchronized jumps, crabcore powerstances, and constant headbanging invigorated their sound. Standout songs, such as "Second & Sebring" and "Those in Glass Houses" made their set one of the strongest of the day. Jaxin Hall swirled the crowd with his bass, stating how excited the band was to play their first Warped Tour, and guitarist Phil Manansala let his fingers fly while flipping his hair. At one point, guitarist Shayley Bourget gave a screamo birthday shout out to his sister. Bourget didn't let his recent back surgery impede his playing and proved why his clean vocals are some of the best on the scene, sounding even better than on their album.

Sirens and an increasingly fast sample stating "Hello, everybody—it's time to party," introduced Andrew W.K. on the Main Stage. The singer ran out alongside a spunky female dressed in a metallic leotard and launched into the song "It's Time to Party." His hyper party music pumped up the crowd, one of the most versatile of the day. "Anyone want a free T-shirt?" he asked before explaining its graphic—the evolution of party—and flinging it into the audience. The band then played "You Will Remember Tonight" off his new album. His female companion appeared to be either fighting off invisible enemies or running her own onstage kickboxing session, complete with punches above her head, across her body, and straight out at the audience. Between songs, Andrew W.K. played a keys solo followed by a guitar solo. Despite this demonstration of his musicianship, his brand of party songs became quickly repetitive.

The Pretty Reckless

Clouds crawled back in from the Pacific Ocean by the time The Pretty Reckless took the AP/Advent stage. Out of all the acts of the day, the crowd supporting The Pretty Reckless was overwhelmingly populated with screaming teenage girls. The straight-up rock band basically serves as a musical channel for 16-year-old Gossip Girl actress Taylor Momsen, and her callow stage presence and discomfort with performing was pretty palpable. Poured into an barely-there, movement-constricting dress that she continually tugged down, Momsen (or maybe her stylist) made a poor clothing choice. She hid behind the blonde mermaid-like mane that concealed her face for the majority of the show. Her fellow band members, all of whom replaced original instrumentalists, seemed to clash with her image; seeming several decades older than Momsen and dressed like antiquated '80s rockers, her band choice came off as stale. While the music is mostly generic, the girl can sing, and she showed off her throaty vocals in songs like "Light Me Up" and "Zombie." But for the most part, Momsen seemed out of her element as a Warped Tour performer.

British metalcore band Bring Me the Horizon brought intense fans, heavy energy, and the attitude that has gained them notoriety. Favorite songs found the crowd happily participating; in opening track "Diamonds Aren't Forever" when vocalist Oli Sykes screamed "So throw your diamonds in the sky, we'll stay gold forever," fans formed diamonds with their hands and thrust them into the air. After an enthusiastic rendition of "Sleep with One Eye Open," Sykes expressed his discontent with the pit, demanding, "Open this place up like your best friend's mother's vagina!" Old song "Pray for Plagues" caused Sykes to then command a wall of death, in which the crowd creates a large hole and the two opposing sides run at each other full force. At least one concertgoer was carried out unconscious in the wreckage.

Sum 41

For Sum 41, the road to Ventura was difficult. The band's bus driver allegedly imbibed booze and ran the vehicle off the road, leaving them seriously upset and scrambling for a way to SoCal. They made it relatively unscathed and played an understandably low energy show, starting with "Hell Song." During the bridge of "We're All to Blame," singer Deryck Whibley took a beyond-extended break that made it seem as if the band were stalling. He bantered a bit and then invited two fans onstage for the remainder of their set. "Everybody say, 'Fuck you, Deryck. You're a fucking idiot, Deryck," he commanded, and the crowd loudly complied before jumping up and down to "In Too Deep" and the other hits Sum 41 kept rolling out. A mid-set cover of The Rolling Stones' "Paint It, Black" featuring guitarist Tom "Brown Tom" Thacker singing didn't do much to ignite the crowd. The band was too big for the Glamour Kills Stage, however, as many curious concertgoers gathered to watch them.

Emarosa

After a short delay, Emarosa (flip to page 25 to check out our interview with Jonny Craig and Will Sowers), hopped on the small Ernie Ball Stage. While it didn't allow them tons of room to move around, the band took full advantage. The infamous Jonny Craig mesmerized the audience with his incredible R&B vocal runs. The singer pulled out a video recorder and, similarly to Deryck Whibley, asked the crowd to scream, "Fuck you, Emarosa!" At one point a guitar pic came flying into the crowd, causing kids to scramble to the concrete; however, the winner fumbled the prize, sending them to the ground again. Present kids sang along to new song "A Toast to Future Kids!," which was impressive considering Emarosa's eponymous album would not drop until the upcoming week, but the crowd was more subdued for other newbie, "The Truth Hurts While Lying on Your Back." Older songs including "Set It Off Like Napalm," "The Past Should Stay Dead," and "Heads or Tails, Real or Not," breathed life into their strong set.

The All-American Rejects

Darkness descended on the arena as The All-American Rejects ended the evening with a massive crowd and interesting performance. They began their set with "One More Sad Song," which felt like an odd pick to kick off the show. A slower, less popular song, it didn't enliven the tired crowd. Frontman Tyson Ritter, dressed head to toe in white, put on a schizophrenic performance. He alternated between expletive-filled rants, seductive little comments, and marveling at the youth of the crowd. Like Of Mice and Men, he also requested the crowd help sing happy birthday to a friend. "Do you remember what it was like when your big brother turned 21?" he joked to young fans. Immediately after, he let out a manic string of profanity while beseeching his bullhorn, leaving the audience addled at his outburst. But hits like "Dirty Little Secret," "Swing Swing," "Move Along," and "Gives You Hell" pleased the screaming girls in attendance. They chose "The Last Song" as their last song and sent concertgoers home with ears ringing and hearts happy.

For more info go to:
www.VansWarpedTour.com

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