WARPED TOUR: TEN BANDS TO WATCH + FIVE MORE
Sometime in November of last year, Kevin Lyman shocked the music world when he announced that the 2018 edition of the Vans Warped Tour would be the last. I, like many others, mourned as this festival is the cornerstone of my summer, my musical landscape, and—dare I say it—my life. For 18 years in some shape, form, or fashion, this tour has been a part of my world and so much more. I could quote a certain song by a certain band right now, but I did that in my piece last year. And you know the line and the band.
Warped Tour was/is one of a kind in so many ways. Who would have thought back in 1995 with a line-up that consisted of bands like Deftones, CIV, No Doubt, Guttermouth, Face to Face, and more that this thing would last this long. But it did. It has lasted longer than any other festival/tour of its kind. That alone says a lot about it. While it has gone through changes over time, it has kept music at the forefront as it should. The mix of popular and newer bands paid off for sure. I know that is one aspect that kept me going. The chance to see an act like a then-unknown Paramore and then see a powerhouse like Joan Jett a few hours later was outstanding. Or to see locals play the tour. The one aspect I have missed is the extreme sports; I was hoping that would come back this summer, but nope. Maybe that will be part of whatever Kevin Lyman has planned for 2019.
One of my favorite things involving warped tour was talking and trying to figure out the bands. Most summers it started on the ride home from whatever date I went to. Last year I never would have thought that would be the last. Anyways, from the moment it was announced that this was the last year, this was a common topic among friends. We got a few right. While not a “Cobra” line-up, I feel for the last one, Kevin and Co. did a great job with it. Yes, I wanted to see more “throwback” bands, but then I got to thinking most people my age or close to my age don’t really go to Warped anymore. So I get it; this is for the youth and the line-up reflects that.
So yeah this is it—until next year anyways. It makes sense that year 24 would be the last cross country Warped. Next year is 25 years, and I expect something like a destination festival. I expect people that are butt-hurt about certain bands not playing this year to be there next summer at whatever Kevin Lyman has in store for us. You know it’s going to be huge. I hope you enjoy my ten (+five) bands to watch. Remember to stay hydrated, eat, rest, and sunscreen. I’ll see you peeps out there.
- Reel Big Fish
When I think of Warped Tour, one the first bands that come to mind are Reel Big Fish. And rightfully so; they have played the tour eight times. I knew either them or Less Than Jake would be on this year. If you are looking to have a fun time at Warped, then this is the band to catch. It will be the most fun you’ll have all day.
- Trash Boat
Fans in the United States have been begging for these young brits to come stateside for a full tour. We got a small taste last year when they did a few dates with New Found Glory (a band that is missing from the line-up), but this will be their first full tour in the US. And like many others, I am stoked. If you are a fan of this new breed of pop-punk, this more aggressive breed, then check these guys out. Oh, and Soupy from The Wonder Years is a fan. So, yeah!!!!
- Dead Girls Academy
The vocalist of this unit, Michael Orlando, is no stranger to Warped, as he played once before with his older band, Vampires Everywhere!. You remember them, right? Anyways, this is where you will get your goth fix for the day. I know I personally need that at Warped. There always seems to be at least one band with gothic undertones or such. And this year, it’s this band. They also very well might be one of the breakout bands of the summer. Victory Records are doing a really good job of pushing them at the moment. They recently released their debut, and I got to say it’s damn good.
7. Story Told
I am beyond stoked that these guys are on Warped. They really deserve this. This is a band that I have been able to watch grow over the past few years. Every time they have visited Columbus, the crowd has gotten bigger. And their live show is one of the best in pop-punk. So if you have a few minutes to spare, go check them out. You’ll leave a fan.
- Kublai Khan
If I had to pick a harder band that is playing the entire tour, there is no better choice than these wild men from Texas. I have only seen them once, and it was in a tiny venue, but the entire floor area was a pit. It was the greatest thing ever. The energy these guys have is off the charts. “The Hammer” is one of those songs meant to be experienced live.
- Knuckle Puck
This is one of those bands I was late to the party on. I was not a fan until their album last year and it also took the tour behind that release to truly get me to appreciate these guys. They are at the forefront of today’s pop-punk movement. It makes sense to have them on warped tour this summer.
I’m going to say this right here and now, I may have said it in my review of their album last year, but this band is the future of post-hardcore. There is no better band doing what they are doing right now. They deserve your attention. Except for the top 3 bands on this list, I don’t care who is playing, but don’t miss this set.
- Mayday Parade
If you miss this band, you are failing at life. That is all. And they just released a stellar album, one of their best for sure. That’s it, don’t miss them.
This band is why Warped is important. It’s bands like this that grow because of Warped. I’m so glad they are getting the chance to play the last one. Maybe it will be enough to catapult them into the atmosphere, because these guys are something amazing. They are one of those bands I could watch every night and never get tired. The passion and energy these guys have is unparalleled.
Anyone that knows me or follows Tuned Up close probably knew Broadside would be my number one band to see at Warped this summer. Over the past 4 years this act has become my favorite band. A lot of that has to do with their live show. They are a well-oiled machine on stage, and Ollie Baxxter very well might be the best front-person in all of music today. I love watching him. And with their latest album, guitarist Dorian Cooke sang more, and that adds another layer to their live show. Seriously, do not miss them.
So, there are a lot of guests this summer and bands doing short runs. Here are five that are worth catching.
Hatebreed – If not for this band, I never would have gotten into hardcore. Over the years they have become a metalcore band, but they are still that band I feel in love with almost 20 years ago. If you need to go hard and mosh like a Wildman, this is the set for you. And if you’re going to Warped tour, then you’ll probably know a few songs.
Knocked Loose – The future of hardcore. That is all!!!
Pennywise – This band very well might be the esscence of this tour. This will be their 9th time playing. I really hope they play last on the last day and end with “Bro Hymn.” That would be the perfect way to end this.
Gutterlife – Punk rock at its best. The world needs to hear what these guys are saying.
Action/Adventure – This is the one I’m most excited about. These are friends of mine from Chicago. And they get to play that date. I couldn’t be any happier for them than I am. They have worked hard to get to this point. And if any band from that scene deserves this opportunity, it’s them. They are pop-punk done right. This is a name you are going to want to remember.