We’re creeping closer and closer to this summer’s Vans Warped Tour, which kicks off on June 13 in Houston, Texas. As usual, the lineup is massive, likely leaving you with touch choices to make on the day of the tour as to which bands to watch. What happens when two or more bands you want to see are taking the stage at nearly the same time?
Lucky for you, we’re spotlighting ten must see bands at this year’s tour, making your selection process just a tad simpler. Take a look below to see a few of the bands we think you should watch for and let us know which bands you’re looking forward to seeing in the replies!
As if being one of the most important emo/alt-rock bands of the past decade wasn’t already enough of a reason see Anberlin on this year’s Warped Tour, the band is calling it quits this year, meaning this may be your last chance to see them. Vocalist Stephen Christian is one of the best true performers in the scene and the band has a monstrous back catalogue with too many incredible jams to fit them all into one set. Anberlin will be releasing their final album, Lowborn, on June 23, so be sure to pick up a copy at their merch table after catching their set! – Kiel Hauck
Saves The Day
Regardless of your stance on the band, Saves the Day are staples to the pop punk genre. Chris Conley’s massive and legendary arsenal of songs were designed to play loud during hot summer days. Warped Tour is the ideal venue for the band, as it’s a massive mash up of newer and old-school fans watching a band born from the influences of the early days of Warped Tour. Saves the Day are pretty stationary on stage, but with sing-a-longs as immortal as theirs, it doesn’t even matter; the crowd will do the hard work for them. – Kyle Schultz
Every Time I Die
Every Time I Die is becoming something of a Warped staple, making their sixth trek on the tour this summer. The metalcore giants always put on an insanely entertaining show and will be dropping a new album, From Parts Unknown, later this summer. If the first song, “Thirst”, is any indication, the band is sure to be shredding the Monster Energy Stage with some thunderous new tracks. Frontman Keith Buckley is one of the best live screamers around and the rest of his band mates know how to put on a show. If you see one heavy band on this year’s tour, make sure it’s Every Time I Die. – KH
This is a pivotal year for Real Friends: Their debut album Maybe This Place Is The Same and We’re Just Changing releases in July, midway through their first full run of the tour. After playing a good portion of the tour last year, they’re returning as veterans with the same energetic performances that got them there in the first place. Real Friends provide a fork in the road for pop punk, as their melodies are harsh, beautiful and poetic, but it manages to find a way to sound like the unrefined classic punk that forged the genre. – KS
Issues made their first Warped Tour appearance last year on the Kevin Says Stage. They’ve upgraded to the Journeys Stage this year and will be playing jams from their self-titled full length debut throughout the summer. The tradeoff vocals between Michael Bohn and crooner Tyler Carter, coupled with their metalcore/nu-metal hybrid make this an intriguing band to watch. Not only are they one of the fastest rising bands in the scene, they put on an extremely fun set, complete with a live DJ. Don’t let the scene police fool you – Issues have something to prove this summer and are sure to be main stage material in the very near future. – KH
One OK Rock
Representing one of the few JRock bands to extensively tour the US, One OK Rock is an experiment of blended cultures and one of the few non-European bands to attempt to break into the scene. Blending the pop of Fall Out Boy with the heavy metal chords of early Linkin Park, the bands links the sounds together with strong pop punk to keep their sound diverse, edgy and nostalgic. Though they mostly sing in Japanese, there are a few songs in English to help them attract new fans. They might seem slightly out of place amidst the young punk acts, but it’s just another battleground for a band that wants to prove themselves at every possible challenge. – KS
We Are the In Crowd
Hopeless Records pop punk act We Are the In Crowd will be making their third appearance on Warped Tour this summer and look primed to explode. The band’s recent sophomore release Weird Kids is a true testament to the band’s growth as songwriters. Weird Kids is an eclectic collection of songs that pack a lot of heart – many of which beg to be heard at high volume in the summer heat. Lead vocalist Tay Jardine has a knack for commanding the stage and the charisma to draw increasingly large Warped crowds. Don’t be surprised to see these guys storm the main stage very soon. – KH
Perhaps one of the most ‘classic’ bands of the tour, Teenage Bottlerocket is the band that punk was made for. Their songs are fast, simple and incredibly catchy. They sound similar to The Ramones, but only because it’s the perfect formula for songwriting when all you want to do is make noise. With the heat of Warped Tour to give them energy, Teenage Bottlerocket are sure to pump the crowd into an absolute frenzy. There is no other band as straightforward as that. – KS
San Diego post-hardcore band Secrets made a short appearance on Warped Tour last year, but will be making the full trek in 2014. On the heels of last year’s sophomore album Fragile Figures, Secrets is certainly on the rise. The back and forth vocals between Aaron Melzer and Richard Rogers put many other metalcore acts to shame, while the band’s ability to transition between heavy and light has caught the ear of many. Expect the band’s set on the Journey Stage to attract a slew of new fans and feature plenty of breakdowns and sing-a-longs. – KH
Bowling For Soup
Despite being a successful band for twenty years, you don’t hear from Bowling For Soup too often. However, they’re a band that grew up with the early players of Warped Tour and have kept on after many of their peers fell apart. With their perfect hooks and dedicated choruses that never take themselves seriously, they’ll absolutely crush the stage. BFS are a band dedicated to enjoying themselves and entertaining anyone willing to listen. As the old pros of the tour, I can’t wait to see what they have in store compared to so many younger bands still trying to make a name for themselves. – KS
by Kiel Hauck
Kiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.