UTG LIST: 10 Essential Songs From The 2013 Vans Warped Tour Compilation


There are a number of notable releases arriving in stores today, but only one release features over four dozen tracks from the biggest names in the alternative music scene. The 2013 Vans Warped Tour Compilation is the latest entry in the ongoing summer series from SideOneDummy Records, and just like the others before it we highly recommend everyone going to this summer’s largest traveling festival buy a copy (or two) for the trip. Every year there are a number of songs featured on these comps that go on to become ‘need-to-know- tracks, and with that in mind we put together a list of our favorites from the latest Warped effort.

By following the “Read More” link below you will find 10 songs we believe will live on long after the final city has been rocked by Vans Warped Tour this summer. After you read and listen to our picks, comment below and let us know which songs you would have chosen. The 2013 Vans Warped Tour Compilation is available now through a number of digital retailers, including iTunes, and will be available on site at every date of the tour.

1. letlive – “Banshee (Fame Ghost)”

Of all the songs on this year’s compilation, “Banshee” was the first to make me sit up in my chair and think “holy shit, this is awesome.” The first song to surface off letlive’s highly anticipated new album The Blackest Beautiful, this track plays like a wild animal no one would ever want to tame, and when it ends you feel better for having been exposed to its hard-hitting rock goodness. The lyrics may take awhile to decipher, but as soon as this hits at Warped Tour you can guarantee pits will soon follow.

2. Driver Friendly – “Ghosts”

The shining faces of Hopeless Records’ new signees Driver Friendly have been making their way across the country for years, but this summer they will finally have a permanent place on Vans Warped Tour. “Ghosts” perfectly condenses their fun-loving take on pop rock into a single dance party inducing jam that is bursting with gang vocals and energy to spare. If that doesn’t sound like an essential Warped Tour anthem, I don’t know what would.

3. The Wonder Years – “Cul-De-Sac”

Let’s not shit ourselves: The Wonder Years are the biggest thing in pop punk, if not all of alternative music right now. The Greatest Generation proved their knack for writing relatable and catchy anthems had only strengthened with age, and now it’s time to take that new catalog of potential hits on the road. I think everyone who has ever seen TWY live knew they would one day headline Warped Tour, and it’s immensely satisfying to see that day finally arrive.

4. The Black Dahlia Murder – “Into The Everblack”

For being a festival known for including as many styles of music as possible, the presence of heavy bands has been significantly scaled back for the latest outing of Warped Tour. That said, the few who remain are nothing short of juggernauts, and that is a description that fits no band better than Michigan’s The Black Dahlia Murder. Their new album is being proclaimed as one of their absolute best, and having heard the entire effort we can tell you right now it’s the kind of thing you want to experience live. No one making music this heavy has a show as captivating as The Black Dahlia Murder, and we cannot wait to see how they present songs like “Into The Everblack” to fans this summer.

5. Real Friends – “Late Nights In My Car”

One of the youngest bands to be added to this year’s run, Chicago’s Real Friends, have been building momentum at a rate that can only be likened to the increase in speed a rocket gains in the moments after takeoff. The Everyone That Dragged You Here EP help them rise from internet obscurity to blog regulars, and with a new EP arriving just before Warped begins it seems the sky is limit for this five-piece in the months ahead. The bandwagon is already getting pretty crowded, so consider this a last call for early adopters before the levee breaks and they’re everywhere.

6. Big Chocolate – “Blue Milk”

Not every artist on Warped Tour this summer makes music you can necessarily sing along to, and among those delivering those sounds, none do it better than Cameron Agron, aka Big Chocolate (former vocalist of Burning The Masses and founder of solo project, Disfiguring The Goddess). His unique brand of EDM finds balance between urban and electronic realms, but never to an extent that his music feels overly familiar. Instead you’re left mesmerized at its ability to feel familiar while simultaneously revealing a whole new world of sonic ideas to the listener. Warped Tour has been slowly making a move further into EDM as of late, and Big Chocolate will be leading that evolution during the 2013 season. If this song makes you want to dance, we highly encourage checking out fellow EDM act Sky Kidx as well.

7. The Summer Set – “Boomerang”

When it comes to truly great pop music on Warped Tour this year, The Summer Set take the cake. Hot on the heels of their Legendary album release, the group known for hits like “Fuck U Over” and “Chelsea” are crossing the country with an arsenal of sing-a-long ready anthems about living life to the fullest and forever embracing what makes you feel young that promise to help further their already fervent popularity. If you’re looking for good vibes at Warped that could also be heard on the radio, this is the band to see.

8. We Came As Romans – “Hope”

Every year there is one heavy band that takes the main stage on Warped Tour and essentially shuts down the festival due to the amount of crazed fans gathering to see them perform. In 2013, all bets are on We Came As Romans for being that band. Their presence will be nothing new, but in the last year their exposure has seemingly doubled (if not tripled), and we expect “Hope” will fuel many a crowd-surfing, pit-loving afternoon.

9. Mixtapes – “Everything’s Eventual”

No Sleep Records’ Mixtapes have always been a band we felt needed an appearance on Warped Tour. Their intoxicating twist on pop punk built with simple chord progressions and diary-like lyricism screams for a live setting, and what stage would be more suited for such a band than Warped? Anyone familiar with the group’s live performances know they do whatever they can to ensure everyone has a good time. In an age where bands like NOFX no longer appear on Warped, Mixtapes could very well be the band that fills the sonic hole left by their absence.

10. MC Lars – “Flow Like Poe”

Last, but certainly not least on our “need to know” list is UTG friend and nerdcore mastermind MC Lars. Representing the world of hip hop and presenting a songwriting style that references literature as often, if not more often than pop culture, Lars appears on Warped Tour this summer at the top of his game. “Flow Like Poe” perfectly encapsulates everything that makes his music great, and it’s guaranteed to appear in his sets throughout the summer. This is a one-of-a-kind artist who delivers a one-of-a-kind show. Don’t miss out.

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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