06/27/10 Vans Warped Tour – Ventura, CA
Words/Photos/Videos by Reverend Justito/concertconfessions.com
With not much going on between Against Me! and Reel Big Fish at the 2008 Vans Warped Tour, I wandered around Seaside Park in Ventura, CA looking for some punk rock. While I failed to find some punk (or eve ska) I did manage to discover two crusty Colorado punks pondering how to make love to the innocent without leaving behind finger prints. Within seconds, I was hooked on 3OH!3 and ended up watching most of the duo’s side stage performance. Two years and five days later, the band returned to the Vans Warped Tour in Ventura California as a special one day guest. With the city hand picked by the band as one of their favorites, it was clear to everyone in attendance that the group was no longer a silly side stage act, but a legit festival headliner.
As the sun set into the Pacific Ocean, the duo took the stage with a four piece backing band. The set kicked off with the song that got it all started for me – “Starstrukk.” While their former 08 Warped tour mate Katy Perry was not there to lend guest vocals, it really didn’t matter as the crowd was more than happy to sing along. The band continued their assault on the crowd with favorites like “Boyfriend” and “Choke Chain.”
With the release of Streets of Gold on the horizon, the band used their set to preview some of it’s tracks. First up was the Ke$ha colab – “First Date.” While a highlight for most, I felt as if the song didn’t really fit in the set and took away some of the energy the band had going. “Double Vision” got me right back into the swing of things, as I could indeed relate to the lyrical content. Easily the highlight of the set was party animal and 2010 Vans Warped Tour artist Andrew WK crashing the stage and helping out on the song “House Party.”
If “Starstrukk” and the hopes of catching a T-shirt fired out of the a giant cannon had sucked me into 3OH!3’s set back in 2008, “Don’t Trust Me” was what made me a fan. When they busted out the Helen Keller line, well let’s just say I knew it was love. Watching the band close their 25 minute set, I almost felt like a proud father. Here was a band I found on accident playing to a moderate side stage crowd. I liked them enough to go home, buy the record and tell anyone who would listen. Next thing you know – the band are huge international superstars and have the biggest main stage crowd all day. The energy was unreal both on stage and in the crowd. It was that moment where it didn’t matter if you dug punk, mallcore or This ladies and gentlemen is why I love the Vans Warped Tour.