As I was leaving the side-stage area in the amphitheater in Mtn. View, CA the night before, Sky Acord (Issues) told me "Hey man, just to let you know, you're gonna want to stay until the end of the night tomorrow...believe me on this one". He wouldn't let the cat out of the bag, so I went to finish my day up and when I got to to the van, I saw a steady stream of tweets/posts about how Linkin Park was going to be in Ventura...it seemed too good to be true...but could it?
After spending some time at a nearby Starbucks and arriving early to sort out my schedule for the day and interviewing a few bands, I started off with the last remaining songs from The Devil Wears Prada over at the Electric Soul stage. Songs like "Outnumbered" and "Hey John, What's Your Name Again?" were great to hear. The band went out with a bang by closing with one of my favorites, "Mammoth".
I took some time to visit a few tents (including Violent Gentlemen, who were out in California only), and then caught The Color Morale over at the Monster Energy stage. It must be the Monster "Tour Water", but The Color Morale sure had plenty of energy - they ripped through some of my favorites, including "Burn Victims" and "Demon Teeth". Right before closing with "Strange Comfort", Vocalist Garret Rapp promised to meet with any fan that wanted to meet and talk with him directly after their set, which was encouraging to hear.
I decided to head over to the 3rd main stage, which was sandwiched in-between the Kia Rio and Kia Electric Soul main stages. I was an hour early for Linkin Park's 5:25 start time, but I was within an arms reach of the front barricade, so that was a plus. I figured that being early would be worth it, and dammit, it definitely was.
Linkin Park not only surprised us with a 45 minute performance, but they ended up bringing guests up for each song. For "One Step Closer", they brought out Nate from Finch. For "Faint", they brought out Tyler and Micheal from Issues. I could go on with guest after guest they brought out, but it was really something incredible/special to see. It's still a few days later, and I still can't believe this actually happened.
After getting to chat with a few people after Linkin Park's set, The Ghost Inside kicked off at the Kia Rio stage. Like Pomona, the crowd was buzzing and ready to move - they definitely weren't worn out yet. Same set as before, but still just as awesome.
I ended my night by catching Issues at the Journeys stage at 8:15, who arguably had the largest non-mainstage crowd of the day. Also, I noticed that Mike Shinoda (Linkin Park) was also side-stage for the set, and afterwards told the guys how much he dug it. Issues didn't waste a whole lot of time talking, as they ripped through "Sad Ghost", "Mad At Myself", "Life Of A Nine", and more. They closed out with fan favorite "Hooligans" before departing.
In closing, Ventura was one of the best Warped Tour dates I've ever been to, even if I didnt catch a whole lot of bands. The venue was phenomenal, the layout was great, and the weather couldn't be beat - it was the complete opposite of the Pomona Fairplex. I really hope I get to return to this particular stop again in the future. There really should be two dates.