The older you get, the less enticing an all day music festival can sound. Especially one that is historically marketed to teenagers. I mean, it’s hot, your feet and back start hurting, the food is expensive and terrible. Plus, there’s all the aforementioned teenagers, with their weird hair and boxed water and Snapchat. I just instinctively want to yell, “Get off my lawn!” And that’s because I’m old. Well, I’m not really “old”. I’m 31, but in music-scene-years that’s ANCIENT. Don’t get me wrong, I know we still have our place. Just this year I’ve seen Lamb of God, Slayer, and Killswitch Engage. When it comes to something as inherently “young” as Warped Tour, however, us old scene folks can feel uncomfortably out of place.
Until… You take a look at the line-up this year.
Allow me to present to you, two handfuls of bands that you definitely jammed when you were in your awkward teen years, and who are 100% worth the price of admission, plus putting up with shitty food and millennials. (Are 30-somethings Millennials? I always just call us the “Donnie Darko Generation”.)
Their first album Suicide Notes & Butterfly Kissess was released in ’02 and, their second (best? best.) album The Curse came out in ’04. They were the quintessential “teen angst” band for the scene. Don’t act like you wouldn’t give 6 bucks and your left nut to here them play “Lip Gloss and Black”, “Bleeding Mascara”, or “Right Side of the Bed” live again.
Bullet For My Valentine
BFMV is the one band I considered not putting on this list initially because they just *barely*, and arguably, make the cut. I heard them for the first time when I was about 19 so I technically would’ve still been a teenager and for that reason I’m letting it slide. Also, I just would love to hear “4 Words (To Choke Upon)” live.
Every Time I Die
Of all the bands on this list, these dudes have probably been the most consistent. Their first album, Last Night In Town, came out in 2001 and then their “breakout” album, Hot Damn!, came out in 2003. THAT, my friends, is THE album. Of all albums. It’s easily my favorite album from any of the bands here. I saw them back in December of last year and I guarantee you their live performance hasn’t suffered one bit throughout the years.
WALDORF WORLDWIDE! Good Charlotte was jam when I was 15 man. I couldn’t listen to Blink-182 in the car with my parents, so when GC’s first, self-titled, album came out in 2000 I played it non-stop. They’re only playing about a week and half of dates on Warped Tour this year but if they’re on one near you then you should definitely go.
Less Than Jake
I clearly identified more with the punk/freak crowd when I was in high school, but I dated a lot of preppy girls. I wasn’t like a bad boy punk or anything (I’ve always been about as threatening as a cotton ball) so it couldn’t have been cause they were trying to piss off their parents or anything. Well this one prep girl I dated turned out to be super into H2O and Less Than Jake. That blew my already not-entirely developed mind. They have a wealth of songs to pull from, but I genuinely hope they play mostly stuff from their 2003 album Anthem and before.
New Found Glory
NFG is by far my favorite band on this list, and one of my top 10 favorite bands of all-time. Maybe even top 5 if I really thought it out. I could pretty much earmark each chapter of my life with their albums. I’ve seen them a few times and their live performance is always phenomenal. Even last year when singer Jordan Pundik broke his leg on tour, they continued on and played with the same level of energy as if nothing had happened at all. There’s no way I’m gonna miss a chance to see them play “My Friend’s Over You” again.
Reel Big Fish
This is probably the one band on the list that you should go to see if you’re 40. RBF have been around since the mid-90’s and haven’t lost one ounce of their charisma. I first heard of them when the movie Baseketball came out because their cover of “Take on Me” was featured on the soundtrack, and the band actually appeared briefly in the movie. If you don’t catch their set you’re missing out because they’re SKA-mazing!
This is band I’m most excited to see. I bought they’re Half Hour of Power ep at a Wal-Mart in Eastern Kentucky on a trip to visit family and I didn’t stop listening to it the entire time. I remember the first time I saw them live was at another music festival and they joked about getting into a fight with the band SR-71 in the hotel lobby before they drove to the venue. That still cracks me up. If they play “Fat Lip” I sure as hell will be singing along, and I still know every word.
What’s funny about Tsunami Bomb being on this list is that I was never a huge fan of theirs or anything, but my little brother was and he’s not in his 30’s. He’s barely in his mid-20’s. Although, we did go see them once and he was certainly the youngest person there so they were obviously for an older crowd. They have a different vocalist now, but they’re still a great band. “Dawn on a Funeral Day” was the song I dug most.
OK, here’s the thing about me and Yellowcard. I’m kind of a hipster when it comes to them because I liked them before they blew up. Ocean Avenue didn’t grab me, but I really enjoyed their albums One for the Kids and Where We Stand. Oh! Also, their cover of Michelle Branch’s “Everywhere” is legit so there’s that.
Head over to vanswarpedtour.com for a full list of all the bands playing, as well as show dates. And if you do go to the show, make sure to check out some of the more recent bands too. I highly recommend Gideon, State Champs, and Old Wounds. Just because we’re old doesn’t mean we have to be irrelevant.