Written by Shannon Shumaker
This year, The Vans Warped Tour has made it easier than ever to plan your favorite day this summer by not only announcing the entire lineup at once, but also telling us which bands will be playing which stages throughout the tour. If you’ve been to Warped Tour before, then you know how hectic it can be rushing through the gates in the morning to find the giant, inflatable schedule and quickly scribble down your plans for the day. It can be easy to overlook some bands that you’ve been dying to see live in the wake of all of the excitement, and even easier to miss some great up and coming artists playing the smaller stages, or earlier in the day.
Artists such as PVRIS got their start on some of the smaller stages on Warped Tour in years past, and in 2015, the band got moved up to the main stage for much of the tour, due to high demand from their fans. Alvarez Kings, who played Warped Tour in both 2013 and 2015 are currently riding the waves of success from their Fear To Feel EP and wrapping up tour dates with none other than Melanie Martinez. And you can't forget when Katy Perry played the tour back in 2008, long before she was wowing fans during the Super Bowl Halftime Show. The Vans Warped Tour is notorious giving these breakout artists a platform - you just have to know where to look.
Luckily, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to comb this year’s lineup for some of the best new artists to check out at your date this summer. From ska and pop-punk all the way to metal and even synthpop, there is no shortage of incredible breakout artists to see this year, but we’ve narrowed it down to our ten most unique and diverse favorites. Listen to the bands below, and let us know who you’re most excited to check out on this year’s Warped Tour in the comments!
1. Reckless Serenade
Take some 90’s pop-punk, 2000’s emo revival and quite a bit of theatricality, and you’ve got the huge sound that is completely unique to Reckless Serenade. Their most recent EP, Out Here is wild from start to finish, drawing from so many influences that it’ll make your head spin, but somehow, it just totally works.
FFO: My Chemical Romance, The All-American Rejects & The Spill Canvas
2. Avion Roe
Avion Roe is the perfect blend of old school emo with a fresh, soft sound. The vocals are what will catch you right away, with melodies sometimes similar to Bert McCracken from The Used. Swapping high energy and aggressive instrumentals, their new EP Into The Rest may be a little mellow and moody, but it’s incredibly soothing and easy to listen to. Not to mention, Sleeping With Sirens vocalist Kellin Quinn lends some guest vocals on the EP’s title track, so it’s safe to say the two will be teaming up on stage this summer!
FFO: The Used & Taking Back Sunday
For all of the hardcore pop-punk fans, Broadside is definitely a fresh new band to check out when they’re not singing along with State Champs or Sum 41 this summer. With punchy vocals similar to Parker Cannon of The Story So Far, the energy in their sound is palpable. This band is simply perfect for Warped Tour.
FFO: State Champs, The Story So Far & Forever Came Calling
4. Palaye Royale
Genre: Fashion-Art Rock
It’s kind of impossible to quite pinpoint Palaye Royale’s sound. Throw in some grungy guitars and gritty vocals and on some tracks and they sound very similar to The Strokes or The Hives, but on softer songs, they take on a completely different sound, and it totally works for them. Palaye Royale will be a standout on this year’s tour simply because there isn’t one other band on Warped that sounds quite like them.
FFO: The Strokes, Jet & Set It Off
One of the great things about Warped Tour is their ability to feature international artists for listeners who would have otherwise possibly never heard of them. This happened in 2013 and 2015 for fellow Japanese band Crossfaith and is likely to happen for Coldrain, who have been on tour with Silverstein in support of their recently released album VENA for the month of March. Already gaining traction stateside, Warped Tour is only bound to launch them further.
FFO: Secret & Whisper, Conditions & In Fear And Faith
6. Young Guns
Genre: Arena Rock
Speaking of international artists, UK’s Young Guns are bringing their huge, explosive sound to this year’s Warped Tour. While it doesn’t quite fit the mold of punk or metal bands that usual play the festival, it’s something fresh to keep your attention. Their new album, Ones And Zeroes hosts a massive, arena ready sound that will have you singing along in no time
FFO: Hands Like Houses, Don Broco & Passion Pit
7. Cane Hill
I know that when we hear Warped Tour, most of us think punk, pop-punk or ska, but there is never any shortage of metal bands on the tour, and this year is no exception. Cane Hill stands apart from the pack simply because of their energy. It’s impossible to ignore them, and that’s partially thanks to the very blunt and honest songwriting on their self-titled release. The great thing about these guys is that there’s a little something for fans of newer metal, but if you like Slipknot, chances are, you’ll dig Cane Hill’s sound.
FFO: Slipknot, Korn & Wage War
8. The New Low
Genre: Alt Rock
While The New Low (formerly Hearts & Hands) have yet to release any music under their new name (save for a stellar Adele cover) if their older music is any indicator, 2016 is going to be a huge year for these guys. With a fresh start and a positive outlook, the only way this band can go is up, and with a unique sound spearheaded by stunning clean vocals and instrumentals similar to Saosin, The New Low shows quite a bit of promise.
FFO: Outline In Color, Emarosa & Saosin
Sykes are another standout act thanks to their incredibly unique sound. This London three-piece is sure to spice things up with a simplistic yet beautiful sound similar to CHVRCHES or even The Naked And Famous at times. If you want to dance, then be sure to catch their set - it’s bound to be the perfect little something to brighten your day and stand out from the pack.
FFO: CHVRCHES, Tegan & Sara & The Naked And Famous
10. The Interrupters
It’s Warped Tour, and if you thought we were going to make a list of artists to check out without mentioning this soon to be breakout female fronted punk/ska band, then you’re dead wrong. This year, Warped Tour has made it clear that they’re going back to their roots with artists like Sum 41, Good Charlotte and Less Than Jake playing, and The Interrupters are perfect if you’re looking for something fresh this time around. Think vocals that sound like a female version of Justin Sane of Anti Flag at times, but catchy, upbeat tunes that will make you want to dance.
FFO: Less Than Jake, Anti-Flag & Reel Big Fish