Vans Warped Tour
July 24, 2016
By Jeff Mozey
Photos by Jeff Mozey
Bringing Back The Pop-Punk To Vans Warped Tour
For over twenty years The Vans Warped Tour has been a music staple for music lovers and enthusiasts. Many artists have achieved huge success after playing on the Tour. Paramore, Fall Out Boy, Katy Perry, Blink 182, and even the Black Eyed Peas. It is always exciting to see what artist might reach mainstream success after playing a summer on Warped Tour. However, even for the musicians who might not reach that mainstream success, playing on the Warped Tour is an achievement within its self.
My first warped tour was in 2007 and I have been attending every year since, besides the past two. However, once I heard that acts such as Sum 41, Less Than Jake, Masked Intruder, New Found Glory, and Good Charlotte were performing, I had to make it out for 2016 tour. Pulling up to the Warped tour I could see hundreds of people waiting in line to get inside. Once inside, everyone looks to find the giant inflatable wall that lists what bands are playing and at what time. Each morning of the tour, the performances are set at random. Even the bands are unaware of the schedule until the day of the show.
The event started at 11:30 in the morning with The Interrupters, a ska-punk band from Los Angeles, Californina. In my opinion they are the most underrated band on the tour. Their new single "By My Side" is a great sing along song with a positive vibe. If you are a fan of Rancid or punk rock in general, I suggest you give them a listen. The Interrupters did not have a large crowd compared to some of the other stages, but they were very entertaining and could have easily played the main stage.
The Warped Tour veterans Less Than Jake have played Warped Tour many times in the past and know how to play to a crowd. The band is touring with the slogan, "Make warped tour great again", which is a takeoff of Donald Trump's, "Make America great again" (pretty clever). Singer and guitar player Chris Demakes was sporting a blue star covered blazer with bright red slacks to get in the spirit. Less Than Jake performed a number of familiar songs to many longtime fans such as, "Look What Happened" and "All my Best Friends Are Metal Heads".
One of those bands that you either really dig, or just don't get would be Masked Intruder. The four members play a comedy persona of four burglars who all wear different colored ski masks. The colors of the masks are also each memberâ€™s name. Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green. Playing guitar on the bands set for one song was Roger Lima from Less Than Jake. He also produced the bands latest EP called Love and Other Crimes. If you like straight forward punk rock with a melodic sense, you probably will enjoy Masked Intruder.
The Vans Warped Tour has more than seventy bands performing throughout the tour. So you can imagine how many merchandise tents are around the grounds of the tour. The makeshift tent city also includes the Warped Tour's many sponsors and vendors who hand out freebies to promote their products. Free guitar picks, stickers, lanyards, sampler cds, and even Trojan condoms are a must get for many attendees. So even if you are low on cash, you can usually pick up a few freebies just from walking around.
After walking around for a while, I headed over to catch Good Charlotte on the Journeys Left Foot Stage. Good Charlotte's stage set up had a large backdrop with the bands name spelt across the middle. The banner also had images of old band flyers throughout the backdrop and on the guitar amps as well. It was nice to see a set up with a theme. Good Charlotte just put out a new album called Youth Authority and played the single from the album â€œLife Changes". But also performed well known songs such as "The Anthem" and "Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous".
I have to give props to Florida's New Found Glory. While other bands try to do change styles or soften their sound, New Found Glory has stuck true to their sound of pop punk. I have watched them play multiple times in the past and they always deliver. Great energy and well written songs keep fans coming back. You can always expect New Found Glory to perform fan favorites like "Understatment" and of course "My Friends Over You". I look forward to the bands next album.
With a new highly anticipated album coming out soon on Hopeless Records, Sum 41 were hyping fans for its summer release. Sum 41 performed the new song "Fake My Own Death" among other classics such as "In Too Deep", "The Hell Song", and "Fat Lip". The great thing about seeing Sum 41 this time around is the return of the original guitar player, Dave Brownsound. He left the band back in 2006 and has returned to a positive response from the fans. The white amp cabs with blood (fake of course) running down the front grill and a giant red backdrop with the original Sum 41 logo graced the stage. This is my third time seeing the band and singer Deryck Whibley was in top form during this performance. Whibley seemed to have more energy than in the past. His vocals were spot on during the entire performance.
A few other groups that deserve a mention were Against The Current, Set It Off, Falling In Reverse, and Yellowcard. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to watch every band on Warped Tour due to how many bands are performing at the same time. However, this is what makes the Warped Tour such a great thing. There were so many options, something for everyone. This year had a better variety of acts than the tour has had in the last few years. Warped Tour 2016 was a very solid year and I hope 2017 will be just as good.
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