Since 1995, rock festival Vans Warped Tour has been traveling around the United States and Canada, bringing the largest and longest running music festival in the United States to dozens of cities every summer. The festival typically boasts a lineup of around 50 bands that, although often containing some overlap, are different every year. The bands are spread out on multiple stages to allow festival goers to choose between a few bands that are playing at the same time- the coolest set up ever. It includes a substantial range of genres in an attempt to introduce fans to new music while also hopefully bringing out some of their favorite bands. Some people have a difficult time understanding this concept and seem to expect to see the same 5 bands every year....
The 2017 Warped Tour lineup was just announced on March 22nd. Interviews with founder Kevin Lyman suggest he was taking a slightly different approach when putting together the tour this year, adding a stage dedicated specifically to metal bands and slightly reducing the number of bands in order to ensure all of them were high quality. I'm not sure how successful the new stage will be as it seems to be geared towards a demographic that's very different from the typical "Warped crowd," but I'm not complaining. Everyone from satirical rapper Watsky to hardcore powerhouses Memphis May Fire and pop punk kings Neck Deep will play this year.
From the second the lineup was announced, my Twitter timeline was filled with low quality complaints and high quality memes.
Lyman has accurately labeled them the "Warped Complainers" and clearly isn't too upset about their absence this year.
The whole point of Warped Tour is to find new bands to listen to and give up-and-coming bands a chance to build audiences. It's great to be able to see a few bands you already know and love but there aren't 50 bands spread across various stages just for decoration. If you're upset about the lineup, give some new bands a listen!
Here are just a few of my personal recommendations:
Hands Like Houses- An Australian rock/hardcore band made up of some of the most talented and most genuine people in the industry. They always put on an incredible live show and I honestly have never met a single person that dislikes them, only people that haven’t heard of them.
Sylar- This New York hardcore band has been taking the scene by storm recently. Their sound is intense and guitar heavy while still polished and lead singer Jayden's stage presence is so much fun to watch.
Memphis May Fire- My longtime favorites, classified as metalcore but never afraid of straying outside of their genre. One of the most popular bands in the scene and for a good reason.
Dance Gavin Dance- A post-hardcore band with a sound unlike anyone else’s. Lead singer Tilian’s vocals are wonderfully unique and I’m stoked to finally be seeing them live.
American Authors- One of the more “wildcard” bands this year, this indie band has quickly become one of my favorites. While they have Top-40 hits like “Best Day Of My Life,” their sound is much more complex than that and their true talent really shines through during live performances.
The only issue I have with the lineup is trying to figure out how I'm going to emotionally prepare myself to see so many incredible artists in one day. Also need to get a head start on mentally preparing myself to spend an entire day outside in the late July heat....