Alright everyone, full disclosure: I had a massive preview feature planned for the Vans Warped Tour prior to its stop in Mountain View, California. Sadly, life got in the way of a BIG portion of it. WITH THAT BEING SAID, I'm still very happy with what I'm here to present you with.
The Vans Warped Tour is not only a rite of passage for any new alternative/punk music, but it's a rightful tradition in this little world we call our music scene. Whether you love or hate every band on the tour, the Vans Warped Tour is an institution that has continued to thrill and exceed the expectations of everyone in attendance. Very few bands on the tour are mainstream radio mainstays, and the lineup boasts of artists that wouldn't fit on the conventional lineups of other music festivals. It's what makes it so unique, and is the reason why the store has maintained such longevity for so many years.
The tour will be hitting Mountain View, CA this Saturday, August 6, at the iconic Shoreline Amphitheater. With that being said, there are some things we should keep in mind prior to entering those coveted gates at 10 AM.
STAGES AND WHOSE PLAYING:
This is by far the BIGGEST question I'm asked. You wouldn't believe how many people have come up to myself or colleagues and asked us whether or not we were excited to see "x" band performing, when I knew very well that they weren't going to be on that date of the tour at all. Below is the complete list of artists that will be playing the Mountain View date, and the stages they'll be on. NOTE (and I can't stress this enough): IF THEY ARE NOT ON THE BELOW LIST OR ON THE WARPED WEBSITE, THEY ARE NOT PLAYING IN MOUNTAIN VIEW.
Journey's Left Foot Stage:
Falling In Reverse
Four Year Strong
Less Than Jake
New Found Glory
Reel Big Fish
Set It Off
The Summer Set
Waka Flocka Flame
We The Kings
Journey's Right Foot Stage:
Sleeping With Sirens
The Story So Far
I See Stars
Against The Current
Assuming We Survive
Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!
Too Close To Touch
Monster Energy North
Crown The Empire
Every Time I Die
Ice Nine Kills
Motionless In White
The Color Morale
The Word Alive
Monster Energy South
From Ashes To New
In Hearts Wake
Oceans Ate Alaska
Veil of Maya
Full Sail University Stage
More to Monroe
Safe To Say
The New Low
Main Stage (Journey's Left and Right Foot Stages)
You truly can't get better than this. The main stage this year has a stellar lineup. I am definitely a bit bummed out that Good Charlotte will not be an addition to the West Coast, but every other artist on this stage truly makes up for it. Considering that this is Sum 41's biggest tour yet since Deryck Whibley achieved a wonderful level of sobriety (way to go, man!), it's guaranteed that they will be bigger and better than ever. Punk and ska have their mainstays with the classics from Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish. Usually, it's only one or two of them performing, but we get the pleasure of witnessing both this year.
IF YOU ARE A YELLOWCARD FAN, DO NOT MISS YELLOWCARD. IF YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN YELLOWCARD AND WANT TO, GO SEE YELLOWCARD. I stress this because, if you haven't heard yet, the band will be breaking up. They will be releasing one more album and going on one more tour this fall, but do yourself a favor and catch one of the best live bands in the scene play Warped Tour one last time.
Pop rock will be in full force as well, with sets from artists like The Summer Set, The Maine, and We The Kings. Pop PUNK will be present as well, with sets from State Champs, The Story So Far, Four Year Strong and Real Friends. For a bit of the heavier side of things, check out Falling In Reverse. The cinematic rock of Set It Off will also present itself, along with the ferocious post-hardcore of Sleeping With Sirens.
The outlier of the main stage, genre-wise, will be rapper Waka Flocka Flame, who will be jumping on the tour today. However, considering the massive amount of hype I've seen surrounding his performance on the tour, his set is one that probably shouldn't be missed. Plus, if you're looking to change things up, you've got some hip-hop to throw into the mixtape of your day that is Warped Tour.
Poseidon and Cyclops Stages
On these two stages, we can see yet another wide variety of acts. The talk of the post-hardcore scene, Emarosa, will be performing what I've been told is a completely mind-blowing set. The heavier side of things will be represented by acts like SECRETS and I See Stars, and the so-called "easycore" will be in full-force with the one and only French-based Chunk!, No Captain Chunk! Knuckle Puck is a must-see pop-punk act that will be taking a residency on the Poseidon Stage as well.
A band to NOT MISS: Assuming We Survive. I had the pleasure of interview these guys on For The Record when they came through San Francisco last December, and they're an exciting new brand of pop-punk and alternative rock that has been dominating cities across the nation all summer long. They're incredibly down to earth, genuinely great musicians, and yet another not to be missed act on this summer's tour.
Monster Energy North and South Stages:
Here we go! The heavy shit! Wanna get some rage out? Camp out at these two stages for a few. Melodies are scarce (but not completely absent) as the scene's heaviest acts work to command massive mosh pits, circle pits around the soundboard and dedicated crowd-surfers intent on giving the lead singer a high five. Acts like Whitchapel, Motionless In White, Atreyu, Every Time I Die, The Word Alive, Chelsea Grin, From Ashes To New, Oceans Ate Alaska, Vanna, and more will add some fuel to you for the rest of the day.
Full Sail University Stage:
The last time I saw Full Sail University's presence at Warped Tour was in the form of a tent where artists could do signings and, if I recall correctly, perform acoustic sessions for fans. This year, they have their own, fully-developed stage, complete with a roster of great up and coming acts. One of my favorite tips that I received from someone before attending the Vans Warped Tour was to watch two new bands you've never heard of. I encourage you to do this when you have a moment of downtime. Even if it's just a few minutes or a couple of songs, watch an artist you've even heard the name of. Who knows? You might just discover your next favorite artist. It's happened to me before. I went and saw a band who, while their crowd was crazy, was placed on the smaller stage of the tour. Two years later, they were a headliner closing out the tour each night. That band was A Day To Remember. Everybody starts somewhere!
I encourage you, whether it's your first time or your five hundreth time attending the Vans Warped Tour, that you bring a few things with you:
- A small backpack (those drawstring bags usually do the trick)
- Water bottle (check the venue website to make sure you can bring them in but PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF GOD STAY HYDRATED STAY HYDRATED STAY HYDRATED DRINK WATER).
- Sunscreen. Lots and lots of sunscreen. And REAPPLY throughout the day. You don't want a sunburn, and even if the weather is perfect on Saturday (which it's supposed to be) don't risk getting burned!
- A small notebook/pad of paper and a pen. This will be used to write set times, which can be found at the giant inflatable board in front of the Main Stage that everyone flocks to once the doors open. Use it to write down set times, autograph signings, etc.
- Cell phone and a portable charger. If you're going with a group, chances you'll want to split up for awhile and see some other bands that maybe the other people don't want to see. Don't fret! But bring your phone and a portable charger. It will be a LONG day, and you want to make sure you can find people if you don't get lost. And set up a meeting place throughout the day, in case someone's phone bites the dust earlier than expected!
- Money. BRING SOME CASH. While a lot of stands are taking credit cards now (including merch stands) bring a little bit of cash with you, just to be completely safe!
- A good attitude and excitement. DON'T BE A DICK (as Emily's Army, now SWMRS, would say). Seriously, this is a day that everyone in the rock community looks forward to all year, and there's a good chance a big number of people are attending for their first time. Don't be that douchebag that tells people that their favorite band sucks just because you feel like it. It'll ruin their day and nobody will be happy. We're a community of people that are all at this tour for once reason: because we fucking love music. That's what it should be all about. Remember that, and have a LOT of fun.
See you in the pit.
For more specific information on ALL artists playing the tour in Mountain View, ticketing information, and more about the show, visit www.vanswarpedtour.com.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.