It’s sad to think the Vans Warped Tour will be coming to end following this summer’s farewell, cross-country trek, just a year shy of the traveling music and sport cavalcade’s 25th anniversary.
In anticipation of Thursday’s lineup announcement, Bakersfield youth — and their parents, for that matter — better start counting their ducats to land tickets to one of the four California tour stops: Pomona (June 21), San Diego (June 22), Mountain View (June 23) or, my personal favorite, the Ventura County Fairgrounds (June 24).
According to Warped tour founder Kevin Lyman, this final tour will be a mix of veteran and current acts who made their names during a stint or two over the course of the tour’s two-decade existence. Big names, including Incubus, Eminem, Katy Perry, Green Day, Blink-182, No Doubt, Sublime and many more, have graced a Warped stage to kick-start their careers in front of rabid young listeners. Will we see some of those veteran artists this go ‘round back to affectionately relive their youth? That remains to be seen, but it's doubtful.
Having covered the festival almost as long as I’ve attended going back to the '90s, my hope is that the old-school punk rock stage will make a return after being excluded the past few years.
You know you’re getting to second level “old school” when you’re waiting to see if Fear, Circle Jerks, GBH or another Black Flag reunion is going to be announced.
And what about some ska? An old rude boy can dream.
This year’s artist lineup will be announced Thursday. According to the official website, general admission tickets for the Pomona and Ventura dates are already on sale. All remaining dates are scheduled go on sale March 8. For more information, visit vanwarpedtour.com.
Hate Drugs hitting the road
Fans of Bakersfield band Hate Drugs will get a chance to bid the band "Godspeed" before they head out on a cross-country tour kicking off Saturday at Jerry’s Pizza.
It’s been a great year so far for the quintet. After ending last year with a capacity show at World Records Dream Theater to celebrate latest release “Tsunami Soul II,” the band has kept a steady profile locally. But, as with every local band success story, the real test begins on the road.
According to vocalist and guitarist David Caploe, the group organized the tour over the past month and a half with help from friend Chelsie Bynum, who will be coming along as the band’s tour manager. Following Saturday’s show, the band heads straight to Phoenix, before rolling through Texas, Louisiana, Ohio, Tennessee, through to New York, New Jersey and Florida with club shows all the way there, and back.
“It has all come together so fast,” said Caploe. “We had originally planned to head to Austin for SXSW, but the opportunity to head to the East Coast a week after, came our way so we filled in dates around those shows. The furthest north we have been is Seattle and the furthest east we have been is Salt Lake City, so this trip is a huge step for us.”
Booked into venues with support from strong area bands, Caploe looks forward to performing in front of new listeners along with those who’ve followed via their website (thehatedrugs.com), and YouTube channel that also features all of the group’s collection of music shorts.
“We have fans listening in most of the cites that we are going to, some of which have been asking us to come out for a couple of years, but some of the places we are playing are completely new to us, as are we to them.”
In addition to mapping out their tour, Caploe says they’ve also worked out dreaded driving schedules.
“We're planning to take shifts. Especially on some of the longer hauls, we have a rotation set up.”
With help from family, friends and connections along the way who’ve offered the band some lodging, the group should make it to their final tour stop of April 13 at the Curtain Club in Dallas before heading back to Bako and a homecoming show on April 20 at Sandrini’s.
With tour funds in the bank, and a trusty van acquired with help from an active GoFundMe crowdsourcing campaign to help keep them on the road, Caploe says the band will graciously accept any donations before the trip.
“Gift cards for food and gas, travel care packages, and your prayers are very appreciated. We are looking forward to meeting the fans, playing lots of music, making lots of friends, and seeing the nation.”
Saturday’s showtime is 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10, all ages admitted. Also performing are The Grinns, Kaybab and Wee Beasties. Jerry’s Pizza is located at 1817 Chester Ave. For more information, call 633-1000.
Godspeed, fellas, and don’t forget the Febreze.
Time for TSOL
Tickets are currently on sale for a March 20 concert at Jerry's Pizza by Long Beach punk rock legends TSOL. Formed in 1979, the band was embraced by underground music fans across the board. Hard-core punks loved the manic edge of the music, the goth kids loved the band’s dark themes and image, and the street skaters, well, they liked ‘em too.
My first TSOL show — in Bakersfield in 1986 — was a memorable one at the now-defunct Vidal’s nightclub on Easton Drive. Opening the show was Bakersfield death rockers Burning Image, who were on the verge of a long hiatus, and TSOL’s lineup had only two original members: guitarist Ron Emory and bassist Mike Roche. Anyone remember their “Revenge” album? I thought so.
Fortunately, after a few more reunions, most of the classic lineup is back together and in healthy shape to be punk yet again. Singer Jack Grisham, who ran for California governor in 2003, is still as talkative and engaging as ever onstage, singing all the hits their old and new fans have been waiting to sing along to. Request “Code Blue.” Fun fact: The band’s last visit to Bakersfield was for a show at Jerry’s in 1999. Welcome back.
Also appearing in this spring break, basement mosh pit extravaganza is Downtown Brown, Infirmities and Bakersfield’s very own Tanked and Carcinogenz.
Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door and can be purchased at Jerry’s Pizza or brownpapertickets.com.