20 Bands to Check Out at the 20th Vans Warped Tour
This year, like last year and many before it, fans will brave the heat in search of good tunes.
Photo by Marco Torres
In the last 20 years we've seen a lot of summer tours come and go. What was once a semi-thriving industry that saw a tour for every type of music fan under the sun is now a handful of radio-rock festivals where the band names change but the music sounds the same (yeah, we're talking about you, Mayhem Fest and Uproar Fest).
The exception to this is the Vans Warped Tour, which has seen tons of festivals come and go during its insane 20-year run. While its roots are in punk and hardcore bands, Warped has survived by changing with the times; the harder stuff is still there, but there's also the poppier stuff and the electronic stuff too. While they don't book big headliners, year in and year out Warped manages to book a solid enough lineup that kids sweat all day in the sun to scream along while their parents hide in the Adult Day Care or what little shade exists.
If you found yourself looking at this year's lineup and realizing you didn't know a single band on it, don't fear. If you can escape from the office today (or you're catching the live stream they have up), here are some bands worth losing your water weight for.
Bad Rabbits Fredua Boakye can sing his ass off, and you'll want a funk chaser for all the harder rock you're going to be taking in.
Mas Musica! featuring La Gusana Ciega, Porter, Siddhartha
TicketsSun., Oct. 2, 6:00pm
Nothing But Thieves presented by Ones To Watch
TicketsSun., Oct. 2, 7:00pm
Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats
TicketsMon., Oct. 3, 7:00pm
THALIA - Latina Love Tour
TicketsMon., Oct. 3, 8:00pm
TicketsTue., Oct. 4, 7:00pm
Beebs and Her Money Makers Quite frankly, there aren't enough fun bands in this world, and while emotional music is all well and fine, something a little more lighthearted never hurts.
Breathe Carolina They had one of the best songs we heard in April, so go and yell at them to play it.
Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! They did an awesome cover of "We R Who We R" on one of those Punk Goes Pop CDs, and their name is a quote from Goonies. If that doesn't make you smile, you don't have a heart.
Crizzly He's the best DJ on the tour, and he's a Texas boy. Support your local electronic scene.
Echosmith As far as I can tell, the Shiragirl stage doesn't start up until later in the tour, so this is one of the few chances you'll have to see a good, female fronted group today.
Every Time I Die Looking for the biggest pit of the day? It may just be this one. Look out for each other, ya hear?
List continues on the next page.
Finch Admit it: What It Is to Burn has gotten you through at least one bad breakup. Don't feel bad; we've all been there.
Four Year Strong I once watched these guys hold their own on the same bill as Bad Religion and Rise Against, who I consider top-notch acts. They've got the goods.
Front Porch Step It might take a bit of looking to find, but there's a really good acoustic stage, and Front Porch Step is its finest offering. Historically speaking its been shaded, so there's that too.
Icon For Hire Paramore is too big to ever do Warped again, but this will help scratch the itch.
I Fight Dragons The perfect name for a chiptune pop-rock band. You like big hooks sprinkled with Nintendo bleeps and bloops? You're going to love this.
Issues The Absolute Punk forums are crazy for these guys, and since they're the most hardcore Warped Tour fanbase in existence I assume that bodes well for a good performance.
K. Flay "Easy Fix" is one of the best songs that you probably haven't heard, so tab over to Spotify and look it up and feel bad you've waited so long to listen to it.
List continues on the next page.
Less Than Jake This is their 9th time on the Warped Tour, which makes them the old vets of this tour. They're basically incapable of having a bad show. There might be bands you've never seen when they're on stage, but seriously, go see them anyway.
MC Chris Because he's an awesome dude with awesome songs who gives awesome interviews.
The Protomen All of their songs are part of an elaborate rock opera about Mega Man. Yeah, that Mega Man. It's even more amazing than you can imagine.
Saves the Day Even though you haven't listened to it in half a decade, you probably still know all the words to "At Your Funeral." Think about it for a moment. See? Still there.
Terror I shouldn't have to sell you on Terror, because you should know Terror are the shit. They've been putting out consistently good hardcore for a while now, and you owe them a few minutes of your time.
We Are the In Crowd "Kiss Me Again" is a pop-punk "Need You Now." Oh, don't make that face, it's great.
ROCKS OFF'S GREATEST HITS
The Ask Willie D Archives Houston's Top 10 Hipster Bars, Clubs & Icehouses 2014 Today's 10 Most Promising Young Metal Bands Hip-Hop's Seven Best Breakup Songs Houston's Top 10 Rooftop Bars and Lounges
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.