For hardcore band A Lot Like Birds playing Vans Warped Tour at Sleeptrain Amphitheatre is a homecoming.
These guys got their start playing intimate venues and house parties in Sacramento in 2009. They released their first album Conversation Piece in 2011, since then they garnered critical acclaim and an ever widening fan base.
“Everything blew up a little rapidly after we released our first CD,” said Cory Lockwood, the band's lead singer. He said he started getting calls from his friends on the East Coast saying they'd hear his CD at a party. “It’s really starting to hit how we’ve gone from a local band to a national act.”
This is A Lot Like Birds' first time on the punk/alternative national tour, and Lockwood said their stop in Sacramento (or Wheatland) is especially meaningful.
“This is the first time our fans that have followed us from the very beginning are getting to see us on a giant platform,” said Lockwood. “The Sacramento community has been absolutely amazing. We love coming home, and seeing the same faces - they may have seen us perform 20 times before but they still want to come out and spend money and see us again.”
After his 12th show on the tour, Lockwood says it's been an incredible way to connect with old and gain new fans.
“It’s humbling to see how many people are there to see us," Lockwood said. “The amount of new fans that we’ve met, who were just strolling by, has just been incredible.”
Warped Tour appeals to a younger demographic; offering features like "bring a parent for free" or reverse day-care where adults can hang out and drink in an air conditioned tent. Lockwood, 28, says the fact that the audience is in such a pivotal point in their musical development makes performing at Warped Tour really exciting.
“It’s sort of restored my faith in music,” Lockwood said. “You really get to make an impact in an extremely important part of a lot of these people’s lives.”
Lockwood said he assumed young people just listened to what their friends did or what was "cool" but he was pleasantly surprised to find, "people have a very open ear."
A Lot Like Birds is performing on the Hard Rock Kevin Says Stage, Thursday at the Sleeptrain Amphitheatre.
Sacramento software developer Alex Rude, 28, has attended 20 Warped Tour shows in four states and three countries – partially because he loves the festival and partially because he developed the Warped Tour iphone app.
"[There are] new line-ups every year. You get to find out what's new and fresh in the pop-punk, metalcore, and ska genres,” Rude said. “At the same time they have a lot of old bands for us older folks to enjoy the days of our youth.”
He said it’s really fun going to the show and watching people use his app. The schedule for every show is announced the day of, so attendees can punch in the bands they want to see and they’ll get alerts before their bands go on.
Headliners for Warped Tour this year include:
- Less Than Jake
- Bowling For Soup
- Saves The Day
- Devil Wears Prada
- Of Mice And Men