It’s summer, which means the temperatures are hot and the tours keep getting hotter. Of course, summer isn’t complete without the Vans Warped Tour and this year the lineup is full of bands ranging from hardcore, electronic, pop-punk, ska, hip-hop and dubstep. Even the local scenes are represented by bands who have earned themselves a spot through contests like the Earn It Yourself: Spring! Into Action Tour.
Both veterans and rookies of the tour join together to bring nothing but their best to the stage on each stop. So grab your sunblock, and dress to sweat because this year you’ll be dancing, moshing and screaming your lungs out. When it comes to the stops in Camden on July 21, Uniondale on July 23 and Oceanport on July 24, these are just 20 of the many bands playing those dates that you should check out.
Jason Lancaster, former Mayday Parade guitarist and vocalist, has turned his side project into his main project. With Go Radio we truly feel the raw emotion that Lancaster has put into the lyrics. Go Radio’s pop-rock sound has landed them on tours with The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus as well as Sparks The Rescue and even Lancaster’s previous band, Mayday Parade. The Fearless Records quartet released their debut EP, Do Overs And Second Chances, last April, which gave fans something to satiate their hunger for Go Radio’s debut, Lucky Street, that dropped in March of this year.
Less Than Jake
The band started up their own record label, Sleep It Off Records, to make sure that profits that were made on record sales were given to the artist, and so the band could reissue some of their older work. Besides the reissues, Less Than Jake have released GNV FLA, which contains covers of television theme songs, and their most recent release, Greetings From Less Than Jake. The new EP will be available for purchase at the merch booths during Warped Tour, to recreate the fan-to-band personal experience. Greetings From Less Than Jake brings the band’s roots back to create an explosion of sound that will have your ears asking for more.
Moving Mountains, or MovMou for short, is an indie/post-rock/ambient band from upstate New York. Having been around only been around since 2005, this band’s sound has remnants of the post-rock movement of the late ‘90s, early ‘00s. Their first album, Pneuma, focused heavily on the death of a friend and while Moving Mountains most recent release, Waves, also addresses the feelings of loss, it’s also an album of growth. Along touring with bands such as Say Anything, Polar Bear Club and Biffy Clyro to name a few, Moving Mountains have also had their music featured on shows such as Mad Men and Teen Mom. Moving Mountains isn’t a band to skip over.
River City Extension
River City Extension is a Toms River-based band, now made up of eight members, who released their debut EP, Nautical Sabbatical, in January of 2009. Shortly after that they hit the road for a tour of the East Coast. Their EP made such an impression on the music scene that they were signed to XOXO Records and released their first full-length album, The Unmistakable Man. Recently, the band has been added to the list of bands competing to play Rombello, a tour that takes place on a boat that starts in Florida and ends in Mexico. Their folky alternative sound makes them one of the standout bands of the year.
From their debut, No Helmets, No Pads, Just Balls, the Canadian quintet have remained static as far as their lineup is concerned. Their first album helped the band connect with fans through songs such as “Perfect,” “I’m Just A Kid,” and “You Don’t Mean Anything.” Both their second and third albums, Still Not Getting Any… and Simple Plan shows how the band has grown both musically and personally. Their latest album, Get Your Heart On!, features exciting cameos and melodies that will get you going. Along with their music, the Simple Plan are known for their foundation that they set up called Simple Plan Foundation. The basis behind the charity is to help children and teens that are dealing with hardships, whether they are terminal illnesses, poverty, depression or war.
When Terrible Things started out last August, they were known as a super group consisting of former Taking Back Sunday lead guitarist/vocalist Fred Mascherino, Hot Rod Circuit guitarist Andy Jackson and former Coheed And Cambria drummer Josh Eppard. However, as of April of 2011, Andy Jackson has left the band. Terrible Things released their self-titled album last August as well as appeared on the 2010 Warped Tour. They were also featured alongside Windsor Drive supporting Mae on their farewell tour. Their debut album, Terrible Things, is a concept album circling around a series of suspicious fires that took place in Mascherino’s hometown of Coatesville, PA. The songs will hook you from the first note.
The Dance Party
The Dance Party have a reputation for outlandish performances and partying. After the release of their first full-length, titled Friction! Friction!, the band made some lineup changes that smoothed their sound out. The quartet signed to HellYa! Records/Atlantic Records before working on their major label debut Touch, which came out in 2010. Since then The Dance Party has been part of the CMJ Music Marathon and have had their music featured on The Real World and Jersey Shore. The band’s latest album is full of power-pop beats with a retro vibe mixed in, which makes it perfect for amplifying a party setting or just to pump you up before a night out.
Boston’s Bad Rabbits bring a blend of R&B, soul, rock, funk and pop together to form a special, tasty rabbit stew. Their sound is smooth and sultry, and lately Bad Rabbits have been working on a full-length that is expected to be released by the end of this year or early next year. Besides this year’s Warped Tour, Bad Rabbits were featured on Travie McCoy’s last tour. After a decade of making music, it doesn’t seem like these rabbits will be slowing down anytime soon.
Relient K just released their cover EP, K Is For Karaoke. The EP features the five-piece covering songs by artists such as Cindy Lauper, Gnarles Barkley and Justin Bieber. The band, which has been around since the late ‘90s, has been grouped in the Christian rock/punk genre but their music isn’t outright preachy. They have released seven albums to date. This will be the band’s third appearance on the Vans Warped Tour. Other than music making, Matt Thiessen and Matt Hoopes have a record label together called Mono Vs Stereo, which represents Daes Vail among other artists, including themselves!
Shut Up And Deal
For a relatively young band, the five guys of Shut Up And Deal have a sense of maturity when it comes to music. Their passion for bringing thought-out music back into the spotlight is one of the reasons why this band stands out. Although the band is unsigned and is completely into the DIY movement, the way that they work is incredibly motivating and shows how far this band wants to go. With their melodic alternative-pop sound, Shut Up And Deal’s most recent album, This One’s For Me, is full of catchy hooks and energetic instrumentals. Though this band may not be signed, keep your eyes peeled because with their talent and with how focused they are, Shut Up And Deal is bound to go far.
Lift The Decade
Lift The Decade, a four-piece from Ringwood, NJ, have accomplished a lot in the short amount of time they’ve been a band, and have had some impressive achievements in 2011, one of them being selected by the Earn It Yourself: Spring Into Action Tour to play Warped Tour. From the band’s first show opening for Sherwood, their potential was evident. Lift The Decade’s catchy hooks and classic rock guitars set this band apart from what you’d normally expect from a pop-punk band. After releasing their debut EP, Themes And Morals, the quartet is in the process of writing their next release, which will be their first full-length album.
With their third full-length album, Bad Habits, set to be released this August, Every Avenue set out to explore their darker sides all while really fine-tuning their sound. Bad Habits has songs that listeners can really relate to, such as the album’s single, “Fall Apart.” This quintet from Michigan will capture the ears of fans of Mayday Parade, The Maine and other bands of the pop-punk genre. For being a relatively young band, Every Avenue has spread their fan base worldwide.
Sick Of Sarah
The quintet that makes up Sick Of Sarah oddly enough don’t have a member named Sarah to get sick of. However, what they do have is attitude. The all female alternative, power-pop band from Minnesota are set to top the charts. They blend together The Cliks, Joan Jett and Tegan And Sara to create their own bold sound. Sick Of Sarah stray from what most think an all girl band should be and reinvent the word to fit them. They’re wild, fun and a tad bit crazy, but they’ll certainly rock your socks off. After their nationwide tour supporting their self-titled LP, the ladies have recorded an EP titled The Best Thing and another full-length, titled 2205, named after the band’s practice space/sometimes home.
Big D And The Kids Table
Forming in 1995, Big D And The Kids Table have built a large following of youngsters and seasoned folk alike. By supporting other bands like Less Than Jake or Streetlight Manifesto, Big D And The Kids Table end up playing roughly 200 shows a year. As of late, they are getting ready to release their sixth studio album, For The Damned, The Dumb And The Delirious, which will be out on Side One Dummy Records on July 5. Big D’s music has landed them many Warped Tour and festival appearances, headlining and supporting slots on tours and even an award. Although members of the band seem to change like the seasons, two things remain the same: the loyal fans and the quality of the music.
Gym Class Heroes
The band that put you in “Cupid’s Chokehold” and insisted that taking your “Clothes Off” was the only way to have a good time are almost ready to release their fourth album, The Papercut Chronicles II. After frontman Travie McCoy went solo in late 2009, there was a ton of speculation about what was going to become of Gym Class Heroes. Well, here we are in 2011 and they’re here to take the Vans Warped Tour by storm. What helps Gym Class Heroes stand out is their blend of hip-hop, rock and funk along with who the band decides to tour with. From hardcore bands, to pop-punk bands, chances are Gym Class Heroes has shared the bill with a band of almost every genre.
There For Tomorrow
There For Tomorrow made a splash from the moment they caught the eyes of the public. The Florida quartet have already won an MTVU Woodie Award, been part of 2010’s Take Action Tour and released their second major label album, The Verge. There For Tomorrow have been featured on compilations and their song “A Little Faster” was featured in the major motion picture, Ben 10 Alien Swarm. Vocalist Maika Maile really makes the band stand out with his raspy and haunting voice. The Verge has dark and chilling elements to it and it’s full of strong, passionate emotions. There For Tomorrow does have hooks, but their attitude is what sets them apart from the crowd.
The U.K.’s own Enter Shikari has made an impression here in the U.S. Their progressive/post-hardcore/electronic sound has landed their music in video games and on televisions shows. The band recently signed to Hopeless Records in the States and have begun a world tour. The four-piece released “Quelle Surprise,” which is the single off of their third studio album. After Warped Tour the band is set to take on the Reeding and Leeds Festivals in England, as well as getting ready to set out on a European tour.
Set Your Goals
California’s Set Your Goals has been bringing a happy hardcore sound to the masses since 2004. Impressively, the band released their first EP on Straight On Records before signing with Eulogy Records and later Epitaph. Not only does this band play impressive originals but their Nirvana and Foo Fighters cover band, Set Your Grohls, isn’t half bad either! Set Your Goals’ second album, This Will Be The Death Of Us, really propelled the band into the public eye and landed at number 65 on Billboard’s Top 200 list. Recently the band’s third release, Burning At Both Ends, came out. After their stint on Warped Tour Set Your Goals will be heading out on tour with New Found Glory.
Blood On The Dance Floor
Blood On The Dance Floor proves you don’t have to have a record label to be successful.. After hitting a few road bumps from lineup changes and even some legal issues, the electronic duo emerged as a stronger group. Other than their eye-catching appearances and experimental beats, Blood On The Dance Floor have found themselves as one of the most popular unsigned artists on MySpace as well as keeping their promise of being a fan’s band. In June, Blood On The Dance Floor released their fourth album, All The Rage, to add to the ranks of their many releases.
After leaving Chiodos, Craig Owens formed his own band D.R.U.G.S (Destroy, Rebuild Until God Shows) with some fellow seasoned musicians. Made up of former members of Matchbook Romance, Story Of The Year, Underminded and From First To Last, D.R.U.G.S. is a post-hardcore force to be reckoned with. The five-piece started to release songs from their self-titled debut album until finally releasing the single, “Sex Life.” The album dropped in February, and from there the band headed out to the U.K. for a brief tour before headlining the Alternative Press Tour. Although the band is relatively new, make sure you keep an eye out for what this super group can bring.