The five Warped Tour stops in California were some of the stops I was most looking forward to outside of Denver. Partially because California is my home away from home and a familiar place, partially because of the weather, and partially because Warped is made for Cali! Vans’ headquarters is in Huntington Beach, and the tour originally started and ended there, so in my mind there’s no better place to experience it. Irvine and Pomona were two of our more southern stops, and the first two we played. Irvine was first, after a five hour drive in following our show in Vegas, the weather in Irvine was a welcome change.
Playing the Orange County Great Park, all of the stages and tents were set up on old runways; it was such a unique, different, but really cool feeling venue. The place even had a gigantic orange hot air balloon that people could ride up and down to overlook the park! Even though I really really wanted to go, we didn’t have enough time at the end of the day, but it was still really cool watching the giant orange globe float up and down in the sky throughout the day. The weather was MUCH better that day - so cool in the morning I had to wear a jacket! We were all super excited to be so much more cooled down after the insanely hot day in Vegas. The band played a great set that day. We played to a nice and big crowd, and had a big line after the set for the signing. Irvine was a nice and simple day, full of fun and an easy set time compared to our crazy time the day before. The one funny thing I noticed about Irvine was that they easily had the craziest colored/cut hair I’ve seen so far all tour! And that’s saying something! Warped Tour brings out the craziest and the most interesting looking people one could find in any given city, and it was interesting to see so many unique styles and coloring jobs in one particular place.
Next up, and only forty minutes away(!!) was Pomona, CA. For being so close in time, Pomona’s crowd was an entirely different group of people, a wholly different atmosphere, and most interestingly, a completely different landscape! I know from experience how vast and drastically California’s landscapes can change, but I really didn’t expect something so close to change so much! In Pomona we played at the old Fairplex, which features an old, run down horse racing track, and the tour was set up right in the infield of the track! It was such a cool venue to be in; I spent a good 30-minutes at the end of my day after packing up walking around and photographing the old buildings before we left. The venue felt a little cramped since all the stages were fairly close together, but the worst part of everything was all of the old hay from the grounds that was being blown around. We were set up on the grass field in the middle of the old track, but the wind was blowing all day, and blowing hay and grass right into the tent. Being the super-allergic, super-asthmatic person I am, I was wheezing and coughing the whole day through which wasn’t very fun!
the old Pomona grandstands entrance
Despite the hay and the coughing, Pomona was still one of my more favorite stops on the whole tour. I LOVED the grounds we played, and the kids were all super nice, and super excited. Everything about that day was really enjoyable beginning to end (except that I missed tortalini, my favorite, at dinner!). That night we all loaded into the van, drove through the familiar part of California for me, and made our way north to San Fran! I’ve never been that far north before, and so I was really excited to see what NorCal was about, and see this crazy city I’ve heard so much about.
Tour Bus Land Pomona