All Photos by John Gilhooley
On Thursday, the The Van's Warped Tour launched it's first-ever two-day as throngs of teen punkers and skataholics converged on the Pomona Fairplex. Although all the bands setlists will probably be the same, fans can go two days in a row and either see all their favorite bands again, or catch someone you missed the day before. Whether you're fifteen and have fallen in love with Craig Owens and Christofer Drew or you're fighting post-teenage depression with The Wonder Years singing “Not Sad Anymore”, whether you skank along to Reel Big Fish and The Aquabats or you are wind-milling to Bring Me The Horizon, Warped Tour had it all this year.
Most Committed Fans: Aquabats!
The last time Huntington Beach's ska super heroes The Aquabats played the Warped Tour was in 1998. Under tents or hiding in the shade you could find The Aquabats fans waiting out in full superhero attire. Not outnumbering scene kids, but definitely out dressing any; there were babies dressed as Aquabats, there were large groups dressed all in the same blue costume, then there were plenty of people just rocking the goggles.
First Circle Pit: Attila
Proudly rocking a tank top that says, “suck my fuck” Attila frontman Chris Fronzak commanded fans for the days first circle pit. Being the first band to play mainstage around 11 o'clock, fans just weren't going to give Fronzak the “around the soundboard tent” sized circle he asked for. A few eager fans started it, and it didn't last a full song, but it gets points for being the first and one of the most furious ones we saw at the fest.
Most Crowd Surfers: The Story So Far
Crowd surfing has always been very prominent at Warped Tour and 2013 was no exception. With the addition of many Pop-Punk acts like The Wonder Years, Citizen, Real Friends, and Man Overboard this year seemed to have more people throwing their bodies on top of everyone for the sake of the music. Walnut Creek Pop-punkers The Story So Far had by far the most crowd surfers. Every time the band would play a song from their 2012 release “Under Soil and Dirt” fans could not get to frontman Parker Cannon fast enough.
Best Onstage Injury: Dan “Soupy” Campbell of the Wonder Years
Frontman Dan “Soupy” Campbell of The Wonder Years gives fans everything he has, from every personal detail of his life through the ultra-personal album “The Greatest Generation” to every ounce of energy he puts out posi-jumping across the stage. This year soupy fell between the stage and the monster set of speakers he was jumping from in the middle of the second song. He sat out “Local Man Ruins Everything” hardly chiming in to sing because he was in visible pain. After a few songs he was standing back up, but definitely not at 100 percent.
Best Beards: Let Live
Post-hardcore band Letlive wins this category because of frontman Jason Butler's untamed full beard. The rest of the band had smaller controlled facial hair, but were no match for Butler's. Although other bands such as Chiodos and NeverShoutNever's backing band had some nice facial hair, Butler's mound of facial hair was a true sight to behold.
Best Acoustic Session: Matt Kerekes of Citizen
At the acoustic tent some frontmen were doing double duty, playing two sets the same day. While other acts were just there to play acoustically as there only part of the tour. William Becket who used to be in The Academy Is brought the biggest crowd into his acoustic set overfilling the tent. However the best set definitely had to go to Citizen's Mat Kerekes. Citizen has done a lot of acoustic stuff so it was no surprise that it was going to be a good set. Fans were singing along loudly enough that at points, you couldn't hear the metalcore breakdowns going on in the background.
Gnarliest Breakdown: Bring Me the Horizon
This year's gnarliest breakdown goes to British metalcore band Bring Me The Horizon. It was close as The Chariot were definitely getting crazy bringing instruments into the pit, and August Burns Red also had an insane mid-day set. However BMTH's set was the second to last mainstage set and as the day was cooling off, everyone flocked to see Oli Sykes screaming to their heaviest songs.