America’s largest, longest-running traveling music festival is back. Now in its 21st year, the Vans Warped Tour will feature old favorites like Simple Plan and Black Veil Brides, as well as newer, different bands and genres. Watch for them in Camden’s Susquehanna Bank Center on July 10, Wantagh’s Jones Beach Amphitheatre in New York, and Holmdel’s PNC Bank Arts Center on July 19.
It’s certainly been a frantic year for some bands on the Warped Tour, but perhaps none can stake the same claim as frontwoman Cheksa Zaide. Bookending her appearance on the Warped Tour is both a Magna Cum Laude graduation from her high school and heading over to UCLA in the fall. And yeah, she sometimes sounds that young too—but that’s not to say she’s not rocking her pop punk beginnings. They have a Breakfast Club appeal for the moment, but potential through the roof.
Aaron West And The Roaring Twenties
For those who can’t get enough of The Wonder Years or, say, Bushwick, the former’s frontman Dan “Soupy” Campbell has you covered. In his new solo project, Campbell takes on the hipstery persona of Aaron West, a more fully bearded alter-ego for the singer. As a perk, their acoustic sound means you can still summon the proper energy for this group after you’ve mosh-pitted for 20 hours straight. For an idea, watch the video for their single, “Our Apartment,” in all its weird, trumpet-and-banjo glory.
Will they or won’t they go on without frontman Danny Worsnop? The band, along with replacement Denis Stoff of Make Me Famous and Down And Dirty, is out to prove they will. Of course they’ll sound different: Worsnop was legendary for his gratifyingly hellish vocals. But their new single, “I Won’t Give In,” suggests better music to follow on their fifth album: in essence, it’s a giant middle finger to all speculation (like this) about the band’s future.
Born hit-maker or simply a more likable Ke$ha? Bebe Rexha has the potential to be both, steadily collaborating on hits like “Take Me Home,” “Hey Mama,” and co-writing Rihanna and Eminem’s “The Monster” in 2013. She’s also got clear star ambitions with albums like I Can’t Stop Drinking About You and I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, the latter being released this past May. Her new single off the album, “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy,” has also been charting in the Nordic countries. With this kind of track record, and her successes with chronic hit-maker David Guetta, don’t be surprised to see what she does next blow up in the Billboard Top 100.
Vlad Holiday’s Julian Casablancas vibe, paired with his band’s safely hipster aesthetic suggests big things ahead for Born Cages. If they continue to go the route of their first album, I’m Glad I’m Not Me, singles like “Rolling Down The Hill” and “Caiti” promise to be the next overplayed radio hit. On the other hand, their mere presence on the Warped Tour, a venue no doubt out of their comfort zone, hint at a rarer versatility.
Escape The Fate
Discovered by My Chemical Romance via a local radio contest, Escape The Fate’s members have weathered abuse issues, arrests, lineup changes, yet a compelling stylistic evolution all the same. Sometimes they’re a darker Bowling For Soup, sometimes they’re the loud, hardcore masters you’ve always used to piss off your parents. What’s more, they’ve started planning their fifth album this year: great things are to come.
A runner-up from NBC’s The Voice, Juliet Simms initially caught attention from judges with her Tom Waits-like rendition of The Beatles’ “Oh! Darling.” She later signed with her coach on the show, Cee Lo Green, and came out with her pleadfully edgy single, “Wild Child.” This past May, her video for “End Of The World” proved she could deliver something sincere enough for her profoundly deep voice, with plenty of aerial cleavage shots to boot.
The internet’s little EDM darling luckily has enough innovative mixing in his repertoire to make up for producing “The Fox (What Does The Fox Say?)” two years ago. He’s only been active for three years now, but this Aussie’s massive YouTube success is sure to get him some label notice soon enough. Get out your glow sticks for his viral hits like “Weapon,” “Virus,” and “Chaos” if you already miss your friends from the Electric Daisy Carnival.
Part Green Day, part The Killers, all Poughkeepsie charm. The band made some likable alt-rock in the early ‘00s, but left fans in flux when they announced an indefinite hiatus via Myspace in 2007. Amid some branching out amongst members, joining bands like DriftDivision and D.R.U.G.S. (Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows) there is still hope that this Warped Tour reunion will save the band from going the direction of, say, Myspace.
You’ll recognize them as the band that did “Shake It.” The members of Metro Station like to keep it light, with unrequited crush pop tunes like “Kelsey” and “California.” They’ve also maintained their peppy, fun roots on their new single, “Love & War,” which came after a four-year hiatus. Now, it seems, the duo is here to stay, able to recover from anything—even a disaster like “She Likes Girls.”
Never Shout Never
There’s many a reason fans love Never Shout Never: their pleasing indie sound, frontman Christofer Drew’s hair, or even their humanitarian efforts (they raised funds for their hometown of Joplin, Missouri, after it was hit by a tornado in 2011). After surviving a bloody label-bidding war, the group released their first self-titled EP in 2009 by way of Warner Bros. Records, following with five more releases thereafter. They also shook up their lineup last year, adding Panic! At The Disco’s guitarist, Ian Crawford. They’ll be out with their next album, Black Cat, this August.
We get it: even you can’t stand to listen to your favorite Cure album again by this point. Lucky for you, Night Riots have come to fill the void, with a side of U2 to boot. Natives of Templeton, California, their latest single, “Contagious,” is both catchy and catching on to the wider alt-rock fanbase. The rest of their new EP, Howl, is also gaining praise for the young band—Allen Ginsberg, however, is yet to comment.
Our Last Night
They’re this year’s featured artist, they’ve been around for 11 years, and they’ve just come out with their seventh release, Younger Dreams. (And frontman Trevor Wentworth only reached the legal drinking age last year.) Still, singles like “A World Divided” or “Same Old War” show enough polish to transition between a poppier rock sound and screamo during the chorus. While you’re listening, take a look at their lyrics: these boys are deep. In 10 years, they might look like a poppier Rise Against.
Who doesn’t enter their emo phase without a little help from Silverstein? Perhaps the angriest Canadians you’ve ever heard, the band is still going full-force and full-screamo, as evident on their new album, I Am Alive In Everything I Touch. Even better, they’re also continuing to experiment with form and storytelling, as they did on This Is How The Wind Shifts. Prepare to have your face melted in whole new ways.
We Came As Romans
After their early success from albums Dreams and To Plant A Seed, in 2008 and 2009 respectively, these boys from Detroit have been consistently on the rise to fame. The Warped Tour highlighted them in their program, critics noted their riskier, darker metalcore sound, and songs continued to climb the charts. Now, though, We Came As Romans have the benefit of finally having made it in music. Look forward not to coasting, but a comfortably polished group: their new self-titled album features a single, “Regenerate,” that proves just that.