Vans Warped Tour rocks on

When Kevin Lyman, founder of Vans Warped Tour, set off the first tour in 1995, he had no idea it would become a summer tradition for millions of music lovers.

“I was supposed to do one year and come back to be a school teacher,” Lyman said. “That’s kind of what I’m doing now, always mentoring or disciplining.”

The Vans Warped Tour kicked off its 19th tour on Thursday, March 28 at Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles. Some of the artists in the lineup this year that performed Thursday night included New Beat Fund, Juliet Simms and Chiodos.

Prior to the show, artists were upstairs in the VIP room posing for photos and sharing their excitement for the 2013 tour.

Rocktronica band Lost in Atlantis was granted a blessing in disguise when they were involved in a bus accident on their first tour. Injuries were minimal, and the band was back on tour in just a few weeks. Members Ryan Streeter, David Allen and Elisabetha Rosnowski said this dedication is what got them noticed by Lyman.

“If you’re working hard, Kevin will help you,” said Rosnowski, the group’s frontwoman.

Lost in Atlantis will be playing Warped Tour June 20-28.

For many artists, being on the 2013 Warped Tour is surreal.

“It’s definitely a dream come true,” said New Beat Fund member Michael “Silky” Johnson. “We’ve all grown up going to the Warped Tour. That was our childhood.”

New Beat Fund will be playing a few weeks of the west coast portion of Warped Tour. The band collectively described the experience of listening to their music as “being on a vibrating waterbed that’s spinning in a room, but the room that you are in is flying through space and it’s hotboxed and the waterbed is actually a giant lava lamp.”

The LA natives cited some of their eclectic artist influences as the Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, along with inspiration from the punk, ska and hip hop they listened to growing up.

Their live performance reflected their eccentricities and featured Ghosty, a person dressed in white sheets who danced around the stage for the duration of their set.

New Jersey-born singer-songwriter Jessica Charlotte Poland, better known as Charlotte Sometimes, will be on Warped Tour once again this summer. Her first Warped Tour experience was in 2008.

“I think once you do it, you have a better idea of what to expect and how to cope with all the heat, the boys and the smelliness,” said Poland. “You’re not scared anymore. You don’t feel like the newbie.”

Poland was one of the kickoff performers on Thursday, and brought her personality to the stage by kicking off her heels and dancing throughout her set.

Although Lyman said the same stages have been used for 18 years, the tour is not resistant to change.

For the first time this summer, the tour will feature an electronic stage. With the sphere of electro-pop growing, Lyman said they “couldn’t ignore it.”

Stephān Jacobs, who will be playing the electronic stage on his Warped Tour debut, said it is “quite an honor” to be one of the first.

With bands like Breathe Carolina, who played the Warped Tour in 2012, the tour could be bridging the gap between electronic and rock music.

Lyman has a few tricks up his sleeve for the 20th installment of Warped Tour next summer. In 2014, on August 9-10, Pomona will host the decades weekend, with the first day featuring artists from the first 10 years of the tour and the second day showcasing the second generation of Warped Tour performers.

The 2013 Vans Warped tour will be in Pomona on June 20-21.

Allie SilvasComment