Written by John Erickson (Editor)
Photos by John Erickson
Walking up to the front of the line at Warped Tour in Pomona, CA with my semi-legit media badge (I was attending as a music journalist, so it’s ok if I made it myself right?) I noticed a definite lack of attendees. It was around noon, the fest lasting all day, so I rightfully expected a thousand people in line like at Coachella or Outsidelands right?
Well it turns out that Warped Tour is really just for the headliners late at night, and with such talent like Shot In the Dark, a band made up of kids from a “Rock School” and terrible Lady Gaga imitators, It seemed all but hopeless at finding decent mid-day bands to listen to.
So, walking around some more I came across this large area dedicated to a type of theater performance advertising who knows what, but it involved some girls who didn’t speak and a creepy dude with a chain.
Continuing on I found the first “real” band at the whole event. Playing a genre that was not Scremo/Emo/Metalcore/Metal-Rapcore/Shitty Pop-Punk, Queen Caveat performed a style that drew nods to Smashing Pumpkins, Foo Fighters and Fleetwood Mac. They were really cool people and after their set went over and had a chat with the band. They are an LA based band and are putting out a new record soon.
I really enjoyed their set, their sound is very full, guitarist Ben really has some chops on the guitar and creates a great wall-o-sound. The rhythm section is equally solid as fuck and Lauren has a very great voice, even in the live setting in a festival atmosphere with bleed coming from nearby stages. She also jumped into the audience which was a brilliant move that got the attention of all the sad emos.
After a really nice performance by Queen Caveat I trekked around some more, hunting for another diamond in the rough.
One band I saw, called Well Hung Heart, seemed to have the spirit of the Punk and Rock culture that has been so far removed from most modern music, especially in the world of metalcore that dominates the Warped Tour landscape.
The band consists of enigmatic vocalist Greta Valenti and guitarist/bassist Robin Davey. They provided a fast paced, energy intensive performance that was a combination of Black Keys blues rock and Alice Glass voice/swag.
I also got a short little interview with the band after their performance, really quite an interesting pair. They told me about their side projects, including their production company Growvision and their series Made In 48.
The day was hot, the music was loud, but I did find 2 very interesting bands who played inspiring music. The rest of the lot that was present were forgettable, and the entire Warped Tour culture is laughable, but it is the present, a showcase for the mainstream misfits of society, and I guess everyone needs a place they can feel at home.