First off, Pomona smells really bad. Like when I say bad, I mean flat out HORRIBLE. Also, what's up with the lack of sidewalks? I almost got hit by a car 3 or 4 different times trying to get to the front gate...goodness gracious. Despite the interesting environment, the weather was actually quite nice - 92F with a slight breeze.
After checking into press, I had enough time to build my schedule around the interviews I that day: DJ Scout (Issues), Micheal Jagmin (Vocals - A Skylit Drive), and Alex Koehler (Chelsea Grin).
I started off with Stray From The Path on the Monster Energy stage at a very frustrating 11:15am time slot. It's never easy to play right as gates open, but I was really impressed with how the band handled it - they waited an extra 3 or 4 minutes before launching into their set. It's actually quite amazing how many people can pile into an area in just a few minutes. One of my favorite things about the band is guitarist Tom Williams, and how he's able to properly utilize his guitar pedals - it's actually really quite amazing. Songs such as "Negative and Violent" and "Mad Girl" really got the early crowd moving and warmed up for the day.
Next, I was able to get to the Acoustic Basement right as Bad Rabbits was set to begin. What a treat! I really loved how "Fall In Love" translated. I can't wait to see their full band set soon.
After doing a few interviews, I made a dash over to the Kia Soul Mainstage to see The Ghost Inside play. I am so happy with how far this band has come - the very first time I saw them play was on the Bring Me The Horizon "Suicide Season" tour in mid to late 2008, and since then, I've been a huge fan. To be able to see one of my favorite bands play their hometown was a huge blessing that I'll never ever forget. It was great to see songs like "Faith or Forgiveness" and "Test The Limits" in the setlist. This is a DO NOT MISS set if you attend the Warped Tour.
One of my favorite things about Warped Tour is how many awesome bands play on it. After seeing one of my favorite bands in The Ghost Inside play, I ran across to see another one of my favorite bands, Terror, play on the Monster Energy stage. This was also Terror's hometown show as well. I loved hearing "Keep Your Mouth Shut" and "Overcome". Vocalist Scott Vogel is one of my favorite vocalists period, because he speaks his mind and means what he says. He made it very clear that Terror is an anti-racist band, an anti-homophobic band, and a positive hardcore band - what a legend.
Yellowcard played over at the Kia Soul Mainstage, and I was absolutely BLOWN AWAY by how diverse their setlist was. They opened with "Lights And Sounds", and proceeded to rip into other fan favorites such as "With You Around", "Awakening", and more. Also, everyone got to see violinist/vocalist Sean Mackin do a backflip, so that was cool! As you probably could've guessed, they closed with "Ocean Avenue", as the crowd freaked out and sang along.
The Word Alive played over at the Monster Energy stage directly after Yellowcard concluded, so I barely made it there in time after weaving through the heavy crowd traffic.
Falling In Reverse closed out the night over at the Kia Rio Mainstage, which was conveniently located next to the parking lot, so I basically had no excuse not to watch. Vocalist Ronnie Radke had a pretty humorous bit of stage banter with (new?) bassist Max Green (formerly of Escape The Fate), where they knock on the stage and ask if anyone is there. The band significantly outdrew any other band that day, which wasn't particularly surprising. I was also surprised to see the diverse range of people singing along to the band's performance - dads, bikers, teens, etc. The dummy cabs that the band have set up look pretty cool too.
Overall, not a bad first day on Warped Tour. I really enjoyed myself quite a bit, and got to see a lot of great people I haven't seen in a month or so.