LIVE REVIEW/PHOTO GALLERY: Vans Warped Tour kickoff party – Los Angeles, CA – 4/7/15

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Metro Station by Bradley Rouse
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Warped Tour season is almost among us. Fans headed out to Club Nokia LA Live in downtown Los Angeles on a wet Tuesday night, not only to catch some of their favorite bands that were playing this year’s edition of punk rock summer camp but to also hear the new band announcements. There were fans that were waiting in line since noon that day, hoping to get a glimpse of some of their heroes heading through the front doors. In fact, the first two fans waiting in line were greeted by Steve Van Doren, Vice President Events and Promotions at Vans with the first two Vans Warped Tour 2015 shirts!

The first two fans in line by Bradley Rouse
The first two fans in line by Bradley Rouse

The show, hosted by Grant Cotter and Eli Olsberg, showcased a wide variety of artists from all different genres. The chosen lineup could be a comparison of what the Warped Tour stands for; all genres are welcome and will get a chance to shine.

Grant Cotter and Eli Olsberg by Bradley Rouse
Grant Cotter and Eli Olsberg by Bradley Rouse

Starting off the show wereHo99o9 (pronounced Horror), who should be one to watch out for this summer. Imagine if Odd Future and Nine Inch Nails had a baby that loved to wear creepy masks. Their live show is must-see. Kids were throwing headlocks and elbow locks in the pit while the group manically powered through songs “Casey Jones” and “Hated in Amerika.” Someone even broke their nose during their energetic set.

Ho99o9 by Bradley Rouse
Ho99o9 by Bradley Rouse

Next up was Bebe Rexha, who some might recognize from the song she did with Cash Cash, “Take Me Home” which has sold over 500,000 copies. She might just be the breakout star of this summer’s Warped Tour, not unlike Katy Perry was during her run in 2008. Rexha’s music might not be the style Warped Tour is traditionally known for, but for a tour that claims Eminem and the Black Eyed Peas as alumni, she will only add to the diversity of the music concertgoers can discover. She had some new fans she didn’t even know about; two random guys just started dancing onstage during her set.

Bebe Rexha by Bradley Rouse
Bebe Rexha by Bradley Rouse

Candy Hearts were next, playing their infectious pop-punk riffs. Having just toured with New Found Glory, the band showcased some songs from All The Ways You Let Me Down, their 2014 release on Bridge Nine/Violently Happy, produced by NFG guitarist Chad Gilbert. New Beat Fund brought the fun as well, ending their set with hula dancers and a Party Shark. As the next artist, As It Is, began to set up, the crowd began to chant for their lead singer, Patty. The pop-punkers just recently finished a tour with Set It Off. Metro Station came on next and performed some of their classic songs like “Kelsey” and “Shake It,” bringing it back to 2007.

Metro Station by Bradley Rouse
Metro Station by Bradley Rouse

New Years Day were up next. Being from southern California, they had their local fans come out in full force (and in full makeup). Their guitarist, Nikki Misery, was shredding his riffs like he was member of KISS. They did not disappoint the loyal Creeps in attendance.

New Years Day by Bradley Rouse
New Years Day by Bradley Rouse

Right before the last artist, the Warped Youtubers came out to make the artist announcement many were waiting for on the webcast. The announcement was that Senses Fail, H2O (8/7-8/8), Miss May I, Kaya Stewart (7/15-8/8), Macy Kate (7/2-7/4, 7-6), TAT (6/19-7/1), The Bunny The Bear (7/26-8/8) and Knuckle Puck were playing the 2015 Vans Warped Tour. And as a special treat, Knuckle Puck were at Club Nokia to close out the show. The pop-punk faithful were finally able to get their fingerpointing and crowd surfing on.

Knuckle Puck by Bradley Rouse
Knuckle Puck by Bradley Rouse

Kevin Lyman has been doing this for over 20 years now, and the man knows his ways to diversify a lineup to cater to everyone no matter the “scene” a person is into. The lineup for the Kickoff Party just further proves that.