Out @ Warped Tour
For more than a decade, the Vans Warped Tour has brought punk rock and a mish-mash of other musical outcasts to the masses, showcasing old standbys and new up-and-comers from coast to coast. And, in the finest fuck-you tradition of its punk forefathers, pretty much anything goes, from guys who routinely strip down on stage to girls who convince the dudes in the audience to do the same. You'll find a diversity of music on the tour hard to come by anywhere else, more ink than you can shake a stick at, and plenty of pretty boys and girls of all ages.
And did we mention the bad-ass bands? There are more than 200 groups playing 40-plus dates nationwide this summer. Whether you're a dyed-in-the-wool pro at punk festivals or are ready to get your Warped cherry popped, Out has done the dirty work and picked out the must-see shows.
(Once you're properly motivated by the music, be sure to check out our survival guide and stay tuned next week for Out's list of queer bands we think should be on the Warped roster.)
MXPX: Stalwarts of the scene, Bremerton, Washington's most famous export has been a fixture of the tour. These skater punks have been around the block a time or two, but don't let a gray hair or two fool you -- they know how to work a crowd.
Pennywise: How can you not love a band that takes its name from the Big Bad at the center of Stephen King's It?! We promise, though, no scary clowns here, just a band going two decades strong that still knows how to make you move.
The Vandals: The elder statesmen of the tour, the Vandals may not sing about political woes or social injustice, but they do prove that punk isn't just the soundtrack for disenchanted teenagers. This is music that guarantees a good time.
Bands on the Rebound:
The Action Design (Agent M and Matt McKinney of Tsunami Bomb): After six grueling years of constant touring and lineup changes that eventually left the band without any of its founding members, cult favorites Tsunami Bomb broke up in 2005, citing 'personality and creative conflicts' and 'trouble with the business end of the industry.' In 2006, lead vocalist Emily Whitehurst (a.k.a the iconic 'Agent M') and bassist Matt McKinney went on to form The Action Design. While similarities exist between the two bands, tAD incorporates pop and dance elements into its new vision.
Angels and Airwaves (Tom Delonge of blink-182): Delonge may have left behind the often outrageous and always amusing stage antics of his former band, blink-182 -- we most miss his constant flirting with bassist Mark Hoppus, who formed the band +44 after winning blink drummer Travis Barker in the divorce -- but he still knows how to have a good time. AVA's music is some of the most radio-friendly on the tour, and Delonge's years of experience equates to an always-entertaining show. Plus, he's got legs that go for miles.
The Color Fred (Fred Mascherino, Taking Back Sunday): Formerly TBS' lead guitarist, Fred Mascherino left in 2007, citing the infamous 'artistic differences.' And like his disgruntled cohorts Jesse Lacey of Brand New and John Nolan of Straylight Run, Fred's solo project is full of infectious hooks and catchy lyrics, proving that pop doesn't have to be a four letter word.