Talk about a long and hot summer, but we did it! The first year for House of Marley sponsoring a stage at the Vans Warped Tour is now complete. I know I speak for everyone at HOM when I say we loved having our own stage to share the mission of Marley with each and every one of you!
Having said that, this will be my final blog from the road. Today I’m writing from the Portland airport before flying home to southern California. It feels so good to be back on the best coast – oops, I mean west coast.
Yesterday was actually my first full day off in two months. I slept in, and then went with a few friends to a beautiful “lazy” river in the Oregon mountains. I was told not to tell anyone where it is because it’s a “locals only” spot, but next time you’re in the Pacific Northwest, keep your eyes peeled for “Sandy Beach” off the Columbia River.
Anyway, back to the tour… If I had to pick the ten best shows we had this summer, it would have to be Denver, San Francisco, Ventura, Cuyahoga Falls, Tinley Park, Mansfield, St. Petersburg, and Milwaukee. I mean, all the shows were amazing in their own way, but these will be the shows that I will personally remember the most.
Before I sign off, I just want to give a huge shout-out to all the bands, crew, and fans that made the House of Marley stage a reality every day on the 2012 Vans Warped Tour.
As a proper farewell, I’ve put together a little parting gift for you all: a playlist of my favorite songs from the House of Marley stage at the 2012 Vans Warped Tour. Until next year, my friends….
With a 1955 VW Marley bus stocked with Marley headphones and a summer’s worth of sunscreen, the House of Marley’s Chris Hurley will be giving us a behind-the-scenes look at life On the Road with the 2012 Vans Warped Tour.
June 30 • San Antonio, TX
Greetings friends. I’m writing from San Antonio today. It’s my first time here. Unfortunately, it’s been raining on and off all day, which kind of threw a curve ball at everyone. Luckily, today’s lineup on the House of Marley stage is going to start off big to make up for the less than desirable weather. We have T. Mills, G-Eazy, and Mod Sun to kick things off, followed by reggae-rock favorites, Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds and Ballyhoo!
What makes the House of Marley stage unique compared to the six other stages on the 2012 Vans Warped Tour is our super diverse artist line-up. Sure, we have rock bands, but we also have hip hop, reggae and funk bands too, which is a change or pace a lot of concertgoers seem to enjoy, rather than dealing with non-stop mosh pits all day. Variety is the spice of life, right?
G-Eazy lighting up the HOM stage with moral support from Mod Sun and T. Mills.
July 1 • Houston, TX
They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and I’m starting to believe them. The line outside the venue today is HUGE.
As we continue moving south, I find myself getting particularly enthusiastic about The Constellations. They’re from Atlanta, and they add a refreshing blend of soul, blues and rock ‘n’ roll to the House of Marley stage each day. Nobody else on the 2012 Vans Warped Tour sounds like these guys. Looking forward to seeing them in front today’s colossal crowd. Come on Houston, show the House of Marley some love!
Finding southern comfort in The Constellations.
July 3 • Dallas, TX
Another hot and humid day here in Texas! Craig, Taylor and I are well-rested after our day off yesterday. Especially Craig and I. That’s ’cause we slept right through bus call this morning when our hotel failed to place our wake up call. Oops. Luckily, the venue was less than 20 minutes away, so we hopped in the first cab we could find and got dropped off near the backstage entrance without missing much of the action.
Craig after we missed bus call in Dallas.
July 5 • Maryland Heights, MO
Woke up early for a tour managers meeting this morning at the 2012 Vans Warped Tour production office in St. Louis. By 7:45 it was already 99 degrees. I feel like I just got out of the shower and can’t dry off. I hope Missouri girls like California boys, ’cause Craig and I will be rocking board shorts and flip flops all day! Anything else would be inhumane in this heat.
On a more fun note, today we welcome a new band joining us on the House of Marley stage. Meet Emily’s Army.
Emily’s Army is a group on young skateboarders and surfers from Northern California that plays an original mix of punk, garage, and ska. They hit the stage in 20 minutes, so I’m going to go check them out. You should too.
Emily’s Army know how to make a first impression.
July 6 • Auburn Hills, MI
We’re kicking today off with style. Seattle’s finest hip hop duo, Champagne Champagne are opening up the House of Marley stage. Every day the HOM bands draw to determine the set order, which is cool and keeps things interesting each day. And also, all the more reason to get to the shows on time! You never know when your favorite band is going to hit the HOM stage.
In other news, we’ve been looking forward to today’s show for quite some time. Craig, Taylor and I will be getting a lot of extra help and support from a lot of awesome people. The House of Marley’s home headquarters are located just a half hour away from the show today, so a large portion of the HOM team will be in full effect at the Auburn Hills stop of the 2012 Vans Warped Tour!
And as long as we’re on the subject of the team, the House of Marley is always on the lookout for more street soldiers. If you think you have what it takes to join our ranks, follow us on Twitter @houseofmarley and tell us how you #LiveMarley!
Champagne Champagne performing for an early and enthusiastic crowd.
With the passing of the first day of summer, it seems about right that the Vans Warped Tour is up and rolling on its annual trek around North America. Combining the sun, sounds and fun time spirit of the season, the Warped Tour offers nearly 100 bands per stop, live action sports and tons of other diversions at every show along the way. This year the House of Marley is excited to get in on the action. We’re taking our Marley headphones on the road and sponsoring a stage for the entire summer featuring some of the hottest 2012 Vans Warped Tour bands.
MOD SUN • T. MILLS • G-EAZY
Offering up a Blink 182 spin on the rap of Lil Wayne, new stars Mod Sun, T. Mills and G-Eazy may not be the traditional Warped rappers you’re used too. Sure, these guys look more like the dudes who populate your favorite skate spot, but they’ve got more swag than a million Drakes combined. The truth is in the ridiculously catchy hip-hop that blurs the lines between pop-punk and pop-rap.
On the other side of the hip-hop spectrum, Seattle’s Champagne Champagne is one of the only 2012 Vans Warped Tour bands that make backpack rap that would have genre creators like A Tribe Called Quest head-bob with approval. The group features emcee Pearl Dragon and DJ Gajamagic, a former member of the punk band Blood Brothers, and are quick to sample or rap about anything in the pop culture world. No matter your preference, hip-hop is well represented on the House of Marley stage at the Vans Warped Tour.
STEPDAD • BALLYHOO!
There are several different ways a band can run with pop music. In the case of the Grand Rapids-bred Stepdad, the band combines pre-programmed music with live guitar and keyboards to create the catchiest dance pop you will hear this year. Coming off the release of their debut LP Wildlife Pop, Stepdad has surely made the soundtrack to the Warped Tour dance party for the rest of the tour. Of all the 2012 Vans Warped Tour bands, Ballyhoo! makes relentless pop music, but it falls more in line with tour veterans like Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish. It’s simply great ska to skank by.
THE GREEN • TOMORROW’S BAD SEEDS • ECHO MOVEMENT • THE CONSTELLATIONS
Rounding out the list of 2012 Vans Warped Tour bands on the House of Marley stage are a number of artists whose list of influences surely include our Marley headphones namesake, Bob Marley. The Green, Tomorrow’s Bad Seeds, and Echo Movement evoke the images of Jamaican reggae musicians from Marley’s era and can back it up with their music. Also capturing the worldly view of Bob Marley, The Constellations from Atlanta are a group that encompass genres from country to R&B and don’t seem to care about classifications. They just care about having a good time.
Tomorrow's Bad Seeds
The House of Marley is excited to host this lineup of 2012 Vans Warped Tour bands on our stage everyday this summer. Be sure to come check out the Marley Headphones tent where we will be showcasing our on-ear headphones, in-ear headphones and over-ear headphones. Say hi to our man Chris Hurley who will also be on hand capturing photos and giving us a backstage pass along the way.
Stay tuned for more updates from the House of Marley and a fun summer of touring with all of the 2012 Vans Warped Tour bands.