UTG LIST: 20 Must-See Acts At Warped Tour 2014

warped

Ahhh, Warped Tour. It’s that time of year again. Time for every misfit scenester, hipster, punk rockster, blogster, and all the other ‘sters to come together and celebrate life with ridiculous outfits, unique hairdos, the art of moshing, and one of our truest loves, music. Lather up the sunscreen, put on a pair of those infamous “fucking” sunglasses, prepare to be bombarded with a year’s worth of free goodies and go find your next favorite band.

In honor of the twentieth year of our favorite annual punk rock roadshow, our staff has decided to collectively provide you with a list of our choices for the twenty must-see acts at this year’s Vans Warped Tour. Check it out following the jump and let us know who you’re looking forward to see the most this summer.

State Champs

The first time I had the pleasure of seeing State Champs perform, it was at a local venue called Bogies in Albany, NY–the band’s hometown. After the show, I interviewed the vocalist, Derek, for my school newspaper. His positive and outgoing attitude is only outshined by the catchiness of the tunes on their 2013 full-length debut The Finer Things. Seeing the guys play to a tiny room three blocks from my college house was almost as satisfying as it is to see the success they’ve had in the past year. They are a MUST-SEE at Warped 2014 if you’re a fan of pop-punk. — Derek Scancarelli, UTG TV / Interviewer


Terror

Terror may be one of the lineup’s sore thumbs, but perhaps that’s the point. Warped Tour should provide the band with a younger, more unfamiliar crowd they’ll have to work even harder to win over every day. And with the recent news of the band re-mixing 2004’s now-essential One With The Underdogs for an upcoming re-release, you can also expect a set full of classic hardcore anthems to go along with plenty of banter from outspoken frontman Scott Vogel, who is always a safe bet to incite an unrivaled amount of crowd participation. Terror will undoubtedly introduce countless kids to real hardcore this summer, many of whom will come away hooked — just as I was after first seeing them on the Sounds of the Underground Tour all those years ago. — Kevin Blumeyer, News & Feature Writer


Finch

I’ve seen Finch some 30 times in the past 2 years with two different lineups — one with guitarist Randy Strohmeyer and one with the band playing man-down — and I’ve never left the show feeling disappointed. People will point at this name and say it’s a nostalgia cash-in, but those are the same people who were too blind to appreciate the masterful rhythms of Say Hello to Sunshine, too ignorant to notice the beauty of the odd melody of “Chinese Organ Thieves.” This is no cash-in. With them performing at least one new song from their first new studio album since Drive Thru Records was a thing, the band isn’t getting over the hill, they’re plowing through it. — Dan Bogosian, Review Writer


Saves The Day

My first Saves The Day show was, sadly, Skate & Surf 2013. I was told by a man I didn’t know at the time (…whom I would eventually run into at 3 other Saves The Day shows in 2013) that “the new lineup is the best they’ve ever been.” The band then took the stage without Claudio Rivera, and instantly, my new friend told me this was a new lineup. And you know what? That lineup kicks more ass than any previous lineup. You don’t have to dig the new album to appreciate STD on Warped Tour: they’re the kings of pop-punk, playing tighter than they’ve ever been with a set-list that has more variety than a hipster’s iPod. If you go to Warped Tour for music and skip Saves The Day, there is either something wrong with your ears or your decision making. A great band at their greatest for ALL of Warped. — Dan Bogosian, Review Writer


I The Mighty

Most people go to Warped Tour to mosh, crowdsurf and just generally be as crazy as possible. Sometimes though, it’s just as fun to sit and watch your favorite band perform under some nice shade. This is the reason why I am excited to see I The Mighty at the Acoustic Basement this year (and you should be, too). They sound great live, and in an intimate environment like the Basement it’s sure to be an unforgettable experience! — Kriston McConnell, News & Review Writer


This Wild Life

This is This Wild Life’s first time participating at Warped Tour. They have exploded in popularity since their signing and the release of their debut full-length album, Clouded, and it’s no wonder, too. Their music is incredibly catchy and heartfelt, and there’s no doubt they will put on a fantastic performance for fans. — Kriston McConnell, News & Review Writer


Parkway Drive

It’s late afternoon on a 95-degree day and the crowd at Warped Tour is in a frenzied state as they cheer on a crowdsurfer who is quite literally surfing over the top of the raging mosh pit. The surfboard has been provided by none other than Australia’s premiere metalcore monoliths Parkway Drive and this is just one of many instances of insane crowd participation that the band has inspired this afternoon. For the crowd, this will be a one-off, and a sure-fire highlight of the day. For the band, this is business as usual. Without a doubt one of the most entertaining live bands the scene has to offer, Parkway Drive are an absolute must see proposition at this years Warped Tour. With vocalist Winston McCall playing ringleader to the wildest circus in town, guitarists Luke Kilpatrick and Jeff Ling team up with the frantic stick-work of Ben Gordon and thunderous bass lines of Jia O’Connor to create a bone crushing blend of metalcore madness like no other. With a catalogue of songs that are seemingly tailor made to activate the pit and an absolute commitment to make every show a uniquely memorable experience, Parkway Drive will ensure that an afternoon spent in their company at Warped Tour is one that you wont soon forget. — Brenton Harris, Review & Feature Writer


The Story So Far

TSSF will be one of the premier pop-punk acts to hit the stage this summer for Warped and as pop-punk and hot summer days tend to go hand in hand, you should feel perfectly comfortable (in a very uncomfortably sweaty, heatstroke kind of way) within their set. With high energy anthems boasting undeniably infectious choruses, crowdsurfers and sing-alongs are inevitable. Maybe the band will give you a breather or two with some of their newer stripped-down acoustic cuts. Either way, stay hydrated and have a blast with The Story So Far. — Brian Lion, Co-owner, Editor, Feature Writer


A Lot Like Birds

Feel like letting your hair down and letting your body do its thing? ALLB is the band to let go with. Limbs will flail, hair will flip, throats will likely get raw, but it’ll all be worth it as Sacramento’s A Lot Like Birds provide a raucous live show at Warped with their passionate, experimental post-hardcore. Kurt and Cory’s intense dual vocal attack backed by frenetic guitar work and chaotic drumming will you give you every opportunity to really let loose, sweat out your toxins, and maybe shed some pounds. Again though, stay hydrated, my friends. — Brian Lion, Co-owner / Editor / Feature Writer


Watsky

At every festival, you need to catch at least one game-changer set that will keep your time there fresh. For Warped Tour, that’s Watsky. While rap isn’t exactly out of left field for the festival, he will leave you laughing in disbelief that what you’re watching onstage is really happening. The San Francisco rapper started out doing spoken word poetry where he gained fame as the fastest speaker out there, coming in first at nearly every competition he entered. Put some beats behind those words and you’ve got arguably the most fun, witty, and deep rap you’ll listen to all weekend, if not this year. — Nina Corcoran, News & Review Writer


Allison Weiss

Allison Weiss is nothing short of fantastic. Her acoustic performances are engaging, her music is honest. Take a break from the sweat and heat, sit back and enjoy. You’ll leave her set with a smile on your face and quite possibly a new favorite songwriter to check out when you get home. — Matthew Leimkuehler, Music Editor / News & Feature Writer


Stray From The Path

In the eyes of many the hardcore scene has become homogenized over the course of the last decade, with the commercial success of the genre leading to an influx of cookie cutter bands who pay mere lip service to the genre’s revolutionary origins, spreading like a virus to take over playlists and festival stages worldwide. Long Island’s Stray From The Path are the antidote to that virus and as such are a must-see addition to your Warped Tour itinerary. Uncompromising in their beliefs and unmatched in their enthusiasm, the much revered hardcore quartet deliver their trademark blend of rap infused hardcore with a level of passion and commitment that has to be experienced to be believed. Led from the front by the frenetic ball of energy known as Drew York, whose performance and banter call to mind those of infamous Rage Against The Machine frontman Zach De La Rocha, Stray From The Path commit body and soul to ensure every show is incendiary. With a powerful arsenal of songs at their disposal, Stray From The Path are perfectly positioned to launch an all-out assault on Warped Tour. So stray from the path of your normal day and be a part of their impending revolution. — Brenton Harris, Review & Feature Writer


Better Off

Any Warped Tour attendees that are coming out to any of the dates spanning Columbia, MD – Nashville, TN are in for a treat if they stumble across the Acoustic Basement tent. Better Off’s debut album (I Think) I’m Leaving has been praised left and right by the indie/emo/pop-punk scene since its release this past September, and with that comes high expectations for their live show. With a presence onstage such as the Acoustic Basement, fans both new and old will have the opportunity to hear the band like never before. — Adrian Garza, Review & Feature Writer


Enter Shikari

If there’s one group of artists who can encompass the many different sounds of the Vans Warped Tour within the timeframe of one song, it’s these guys. The genre-juggling entity that is known as Enter Shikari has just made their long-awaited return to the touring circuit after wrapping up the tracking process of their fourth studio album and follow-up to 2012’s A Flash Flood of Colour. The group may not be joining up with the traveling festival until July, but when they do, they’re surely going to be well-received by their American audience. After all, it’s been a long 18 months since they’ve come stateside. — Adrian Garza, Review & Feature Writer


Every Time I Die

In 2005, I blasted Every Time I Die’s Gutter Phenomenon equally as hard as I was rocking Comeback Kid’s Wake The Dead. On July 1, ETID will be dropping From Parts Unknown, and if the two sample tracks they’re provided the public with are any indication, this album is going to be one for the books. Not long ago, we ran a feature called ‘Boozin’ With Buckley‘, where Keith discussed his preparation and excitement for Warped Tour 2014. If you’ve never seen ETID, now is the time people. Their set will kick your ass. — Derek Scancarelli, UTG TV / Interviewer


Issues

Say what you will about the genre-defying group Issues, but Tyler Carter and company sure know how to bring the intensity. With their highly anticipated debut self-titled full-length in the books, the band is riding the Warped Tour train all summer. This band brings it all; metalcore chugs, R&B’s smooth melodies and even DJ breakdowns. With fan favorites like “Never Lose Your Flames” and “King of Amarillo,” this band will surely be a staple band to see for anyone who makes it out. — Corey From, News & Review Writer


Anberlin

When Anberlin announced an end date, catching every show possible became 2014’s biggest priority. For most, Warped Tour is the only guaranteed shot to see an act that broke through several glass ceilings on their way to a No. 1 alternative hit. Though the band will likely headline a US run following Warped, catch the guys in the summer heat – Warped gave the best seats to watch the band’s rise and provides a fitting backdrop to celebrate a great career. — Jack Appleby, Feature Writer


Bad Rabbits

If you didn’t catch Bad Rabbits on the 2011 Warped Tour, you certainly heard about the band’s brand of bounce. With two more years and a new LP under their belt, expect the Rabbits to steal the show this summer – no one can match their live energy, musicianship, and fun-all-the-time demeanor. Don’t miss another chance to catch BR before they blow up. — Jack Appleby, Feature Writer


Four Year Strong

As any regular Warped attendee well knows, at any given time, things have the potential to get a little rowdy. Baring this in mind, I can guarantee you that if you go see Four Year Strong, things won’t just get rowdy—they’ll get batshit crazy. I first saw these fine fellows shortly after the release of Rise or Die Trying, and to this day I consider that particular performance one of the best I’ve ever witnessed firsthand. The then-five-piece put on an absolutely phenomenal show laden with scintillating circle pits and savory sing-alongs, and by the end of it, I felt like my body had been through a trash compactor no less than nine times. Do yourself a favor and work them into your schedule—you definitely won’t regret it. — Kyle Anthony, News & Review Writer


Bowling For Soup

I have spent many a night telling people about the first time I saw Bowling For Soup live, and almost every time that story is immediately followed by a tale about the second or third time I caught them live. You may only know a song or two from their massive catalog of pop-punk anthems, but that will not impact your ability to enjoy their set in the slightest because BFS are, if nothing else, showmen in the truest form. You will laugh, you will drink (if you’re of age and can afford $8-11 beers), and you will more than likely dance. Yes, even if you’re pushing 30 or 40 or even 50 you will find yourself resisting the urge to embarrass the minor you accompanied to the tour. Create a lasting memory at Warped this year. See Bowling For Soup. — James Shotwell, Co-owner / Editor / Feature Writer

Brian Leak

Editor-In-Chief. King of forgetting drinks in the freezer. Pop culture pack rat. X-Phile. LOST apologist.
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • Nick Nelson

    I love this list mainly because it includes Allison Weiss, but there are many other great choices as well.

  • Jorge Magalhães

    Just wondering, what do you think of ONE OK ROCK?

  • Kriston McConnell

    She’s great. I saw her last year and loved her set.