Looking at the long list of bands playing at your local Vans Warped Tour date can be quite overwhelming. This year, the tour is offering seven different stages with quite possibly the most versatile lineup in its history. Need help narrowing down your list of who to see? Below is a list of bands you should definitely consider when putting your priority list together.
10. Jule Vera
The rock band fronted by 20-year old Ansley Newman has been turning heads since appearing on Alternative Press’s “100 Bands You Need To Know In 2015” list. This year, they released the album Waiting on the Sun featuring catchy tracks like “Lifeline” and “Something Good” that are sure to be hits on Warped this summer.
Georgia rock band Separations just dropped their sophomore album, Bloom, while simultaneously dropping a bomb on fans that the group has parted ways with vocalist Will Crafton. While the news definitely left a wake of disappointment, this band is definitely still one to watch. It will be interesting to see how their run on Warped pans out in the absence of Crafton.
8. Bad Omens
Sumerian Records is known for recruiting the very best in metal, and Bad Omens is one of the label’s newest and brightest. Vocalist Noah Sebastian says the band strived to “go beyond the realm of heavy and incorporate everything from industrial to soundtrack-style moments.” Those influences can be heard on their well-received self-titled album.
7. I Prevail
Michigan’s I Prevail offers fans sing-along worthy choruses, crushing breakdowns, and the versatility of clean vocals and harsh growls. 2016’s Lifelines lifted the level of intensity and maturity the group has to offer, with the track “Scars” boasting an impressive 15 million views on YouTube.
New York’s Sylar has crafted and perfected a gritty, metal sound infused with R&B and hip hop, allowing them to stand out in a crowded genre. Working insanely hard to get where they are, they’ve been touring non-stop and never pass up an opportunity to reach new ears. Their energetic live performance deserves your attention at Warped this summer!
5. Fit For A King
Hailing from Texas, Fit For A King has been in the scene for awhile but has gone through countless lineup changes. With what hopefully is their permanent lineup, FFAK released the well-received Deathgrip in the fall of 2016. The album is delightfully heavy, and the lyrical content deals largely with world issues and coping with death, making it easily relatable for all listeners.
Frontman Caleb Shomo has been associated with several acts in the music scene, but his most recent and most successful effort is definitely Beartooth. In support of the band’s latest single, Shomo opened up about his struggle with anxiety and depression in order to offer hope to others. “Sick of Me” features the stories of 3 individuals who overcame their mental illness through a positive outlet. If you like the music video and want to make a difference, pick up one of the limited edition “Sick of Me” tees here. All profits will be donated directly to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. And be sure to catch Beartooth’s set on the Journeys Right Foot stage this summer!
3. Too Close To Touch
Haven’t Been Myself was definitely one of the highlights of 2016 in the music world. The group’s refreshing sound and Keaton Pierce’s unparalleled vocals make Too Close To Touch incredibly accessible to fans of all types of music. This band is a perfect display of an individual turning a tragedy into beautiful art. The album is extremely personal to Pierce, as its lyrics are an outpouring of emotion and grief following the death of his 3-year old sister. Anyone who has experienced a traumatic loss will immediately connect with Too Close To Touch.
2. Silent Planet
Delivering arguably the most sophisticated and meaningful lyrics in the scene, Silent Planet deserves every ounce of recognition they have received since their formation. As much activists as they are musicians, the group has raised awareness and funded support for those struggling with depression (“Understanding Love As Loss”), PTSD (“Panic Room”), and more. Each music video released tells the story of an individual struggle and encourages listeners to get involved or seek help. Given the overwhelming crowds they attracted last year, Silent Planet has been promoted to a larger stage on this summer’s Warped Tour. Their performance is definitely not one you’ll want to miss.
1. Dance Gavin Dance
Dance Gavin Dance is so eclectic that they literally offer something for every music fan to fall in love with, whether it’s Tilian Pearson’s soaring R&B vocals, Will Swan’s groovy jazz-influenced guitar riffs, or the sometimes downright bizarre lyrics. Their recent (and insanely catchy) surprise single “Summertime Gladness” even features a saxophone solo. Although nearly impossible to categorize, DGD’s music can be accurately summed up in one word: addictive. I can assure you that you will kick yourself if you pass on their set.
Memphis May Fire, Hands Like Houses, Feeki, Blessthefall, Attila, Our Last Night, Andy Black, Anti-Flag, Futuristic
What else to check out on Warped Tour
One of the many amazing organizations involved with Warped Tour this year is HeartSupport. Created by August Burns Red singer Jake Luhrs, the non-profit has built “a community where no music fan has to struggle alone.” HeartSupport makes mentoring and recovery services readily available for anyone in need. Stop by their tent at your date for more information, and pick up some merch to support the cause.
Another tent deserving of your support is Hope For The Day, an organization that fights for mental health education and suicide prevention. With their slogan “It’s OK not to be OK,” they aim to remove the stigma surrounding mental illness and start a conversation to create positive change.
Follow Hope For The Day
These days it’s impossible to go through life without being affected by cancer, whether you’re fighting it on your own or watching a loved one suffer. The Love Hope Strength Foundation hopes to make the future a place where most of us can live a life without being affected by cancer. Sign up to donate bone marrow or get involved at their tent!
Follow Love Hope Strength
To see a full list of the non-profit organizations partnered with Warped Tour, click here. No matter what it is you’re passionate about, you’ll find a cause you can become a part of this summer. Don’t forget to bring 3 canned goods or a $5 donation to get express entry into the festival, thanks to Feed Our Children Now!
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