With temperatures in Ventura, Calif., hanging at a breezy 65 degrees for the Vans Warped Tour, New Zealand musician and all-around badass Gin Wigmore warmed things up with a searing set.
Taking the Tilly Stage at 2:15 p.m., Wigmore’s brand of bluesy rock was a notable departure from Warped Tour’s typical metal and pop-punk acts. Her fiery spunk was also refreshing.
Backed by a spot-on band wearing matching black slacks and vests, Wigmore stood front-and-center wearing a flowing cream top, white shorts and black fishnet stockings.
And Wigmore wasted no time in getting the crowd riled up by opening with “Man Like That,” a catchy single from her latest album Gravel & Wine. If the hook sounds familiar, it could be because the song was used in a James Bond Skyfall tie in ad with Heineken.
It was easy to see why that track was tabbed for the ubiquitous spot, because several fans shimmied and stomped along with Wigmore as she pounded away on a white drum.
Wigmore picked up a Gretsch White Falcon for “Kill of the Night,” warning the audience, “I’m gonna get ya, get ya!” before giving each member of the band a chance to rip off a quick solo. One of her guitarists even went into Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll,” an anthem made famous in sports arenas around the world.
The following song saw Wigmore’s two guitarists trade solos to increasing approval and amazement from the audience.
Wigmore concluded with “Sweet Hell,” which features alternating male and female vocal parts and a chorus that could break hearts.
Sweet Hell, I’m a little lonely in this tore up town.
Sweet Hell, won’t you come home and find me in this big old house.
Lock the door, so we can bury these bones on the floor.
Oh sweet Hell, I’m a little lonely, baby, where are you?
A sweet song with a somber theme, for sure.
But judging by the way Wigmore stalks the stage with an infectious smile, it’s impossible to think about anything but bliss.