The loud boom of the kick drums. The thin blanket of flyers littering the pavement. The sunburn earned on the sweaty backs of each patron. Vans Warped Tour is a true cultural necessity in the hearts of every punk rock teenager.
The tourgrounds are magical lands filled with music, art, fashion, games and non-profit organizations saving the world one city at a time. Hell, the only possible drawback is whether or not two amazing bands are playing at the same time. However, amid all the chaos, certain hardworking artists don’t receive the attention they deserve. After hydrating with $6 Aquafinas, check out these amazingly creative bands before moving on to the bigger ones. Remember: Even Taking Back Sunday, Yellowcard and Rise Against were small bands at one point.
Seattle, Wash. | Rap/Hip-Hop/Rock
Classifying themselves as “Seattle’s own punk-rap-shoegazers”, Champagne Champagne consists of two MC’s, Pearl Dragon and Sir Thomas Gray, and a producer/multi-insturmentalist DJ Gajamagic, former drummer for Seattle post-hardcore outfit, The Blood Brothers.
Champagne Champagne’s blend of stoner rock and hip hop is captivating, intriguing and confusing. There is no doubt that the band puts on a hell of a show. In fact, according the band’s Facebook, they “drink greenrooms dry and smash packed clubs and sweaty basements alike with their afrofuturist afterparty music.”
There isn’t exactly a perfect combination of words to describe Champagne Champagne, so check them out here.
For fans of: Andre 3000. Jimi Hendrix. Marijuana.
Recommended Track: Soda & Poprocks
I Fight Dragons
Chicago, Ill. | Rock & Roll/Chiptune/8-bit
These silly Chicago
rockers robots manage to write insanely catchy rock & roll while incorporating all those 8-bit sound bytes from old-school Gameboy games.
Utilizing DDR pads and Guitar Hero controllers as instruments, it’d be hard to find a more creative band at Warped Tour this year. Likewise, it’d be hard to find a more geeky band. But that’s what all the girls are into these days, right? BAZINGA!
Check out I Fight Dragons here and fall in love with their nerdy goodness. Fans at Warped Tour will be especially giddy once the band whips out their cover of that old Back to the Future favorite, “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and The News.
For fans of: Bowling For Soup. The Aquabats. Nintendo.
Recommended Track: Welcome to the Breakdown
St. Petersburg, Fla. | Rock/Ska
It’s been a while since ska music has surfaced in a positive light, but Mighty Mongo of St. Petersburg pull it off so well.
Putting together a beach soundtrack without Mighty Mongo would be a travesty. The band has a beach vibe that craves summertime barbecues and surfing. In a sense, Mighty Mongo’s music almost brings listeners back a few decades. Missing out on their set at Warped Tour this summer would leave fans kicking themselves in the face.
Listen to Mighty Mongo here and bring a beach ball to toss around during their set at Warped…it’ll be worth it.
For fans of: Streetlight Manifesto. No Doubt. Jimmy Buffet.
Recommended Track: Soda & Poprocks
Skip The Foreplay
Montreal, Quebec | Metalcore/Dubstep
Canadian metalcore outfit have burst onto the scene with their unique blend of metal and dubstep.
With humorous song titles and a clearly engaging live show, missing out on Skip The Foreplay at Warped Tour would be a travesty. Imagine going to a dance club. Suddenly scene kids are forming circle pits in neon colored tank tops while drinking cosmopolitans. Skrillex himself may even throw a couple elbows.
Check out Skip The Foreplay here.
For fans of: Attack Attack. LMFAO. Skrillex.
Recommended Track: Dinner With Snooki
Glasgow, Scotland | Alternative/Rock
It’s not too often a rock band breaks out of Scotland, travels across the pond and proves themselves to the biggest punk rock tour in America. Twin Atlantic is pretty much the music industry’s very own William Wallace.
With emotionally charged choruses carried by the sultry Scottish accent of Sam McTrusty, coupled with clean, cohesive songwriting, Twin Atlantic are sure to grab the hearts of many at the tour.
Listen to Twin Atlantic here and be sure to download their new live EP, Free, for free.
For fans of: Lostprophets. Rise Against. Scotch.
Recommended Track: What is Life? Where is Laughter?