April 13, 2007 @ The Key Club (West Hollywood, CA)
By: Jackie Rudolph
Friday the 13th was nowhere near an unlucky day. Let’s just put this way, Happy Lucky #13 Warped Tour! That’s right, it was the 13th season of Warped Tour as the famous Sunset Strip venue, the Key Club, hosted the Vans Warped Tour Kick Off Party featuring an unbelievable lineup of Bleed The Dream, The Briggs, Meg & Dia, K-OS, and The Almost. To top it off, before the show, a press conference took place in the basement, also known as, The Plush Lounge. Here, I ran into a ton of artists, and even had the chance to speak with some of them including Pepper, Bleed The Dream, and of course, the founder of Warped himself, Kevin Lyman. It’s already a given that these guys are stoked for Warped, but really…how excited are they? First off, I got to hang with Pepper, who seemed totally ecstatic. Coming from Kona, Hawaii and making their way to the west coast with a few years experience of playing the Volcom Stage, Pepper finally has the chance to play the main stage at Warped, and for the whole entire tour too…pretty amazing you have got to say. Even if these guys had to help with stage crew first in order to have some playing time, look at them now, what a huge success. Also, be on the look out because these guys love meeting fans (especially females since they’re all about the women), so make sure to stop by the merch booth, or at least show them some love at the main stage. After kicking it with Pepper, I ran into Keith Thompson, bassist of Bleed The Dream. Cool guy I’ve gotta say, his energy and optimism about Warped Tour was so great. Holding a beer in one hand, and in love with the catering (by the way, those bbq’s after Warped are pretty much the best thing), Keith is all about Warped, especially since this is his 4th year touring with Warped. To top it off, him and his band even performed that night at the kickoff party, and might I add, they were pretty good that night too! Goes to show that bands on Kevin Lyman’s record label, WARCON Enterprises, has the best of the best, and those are the ones that you’ll get to see show their skills off this summer. Speaking of the man himself, Kevin Lyman, I had the chance to speak with him. This guy is incredible. Working his way up, and now at the top, let’s just give him the title of biggest success of the year. Lyman, a SoCal native, and fellow neighbor to Snoop Dog in Claremont, CA, talked about his ladder of promoting and club venue jobs. Gaining the experience and knowledge of event management, he began Warped 13 years back. It takes a lot of work, but in the end it’s totally worth it. Kevin grew up in the music atmosphere, and shows that he truly belongs in it too. Even if 4,000 bands try to play Warped Tour each year, the 400 chosen by Kevin and his fellow colleagues goes to show that the bands really do have true talent. To pass the Kevin Lyman test proves that the chosen bands for this year’s Warped Tour are the summer fad. Basically, get ready for this summer, because it’s gonna be HUGE. Who cares if you get sunburned, or kicked in the face by a crowd surfer, at least you’ll have stories from that one day in the summer of 2007 at Vans Warped Tour!