With the 2015 Vans Warped Tour beginning today in Ponoma, CA, the long list of artists taking the medley of stages might be a little daunting for first timers and even some who are proud veterans; take it from someone who has been going to the punk rock festival for the past decade.
It might seem like every publication might do the same “top five/ten acts to check out,” and we’re going to do that as well, but with our personal connections as to why we’re excited to see them.
Silverstein’s sophomore album, Discovering the Waterfront, turned ten this year, so they went on a massive tour that saw the Canadian band go all over the United States, Canada, and even across the pond to Europe to celebrate the momentous occasion. For someone who grew up right smack in the middle of the “emo era,” title track “Discovering the Waterfront” still makes me tear up while the album, as a whole, can still be played from front to back with me singing along to every single line.
Sadly, like some of the acts that are on my personal list, I have lost touch with them, but DTW and Arrivals and Departures are still albums I listen to today.
After seeing them this past February for the anniversary tour (frontman Shane Told’s vocals/screams sounded just like the album and the band were on point), it made me once again fall in love with them and their sound. With their recently released brand new album, it will be nice to see if I could once again relive my crazy hair colored teenage years, but ten years later with the brand new album. Plus, it would be cool to be in the front screaming along with every song because I couldn’t get anywhere near them earlier this year.
New Album: I Am Alive in Everything I Touch (May 19 // Rise Records)
Senses Fail fell right in line with all the other bands that I qualify as my favorites (My Chemical Romance, The Used, etc.). I honestly got into them after hearing the remixed version of “Bite to Break Skin” on the Underworld: Evolution Soundtrack and loved “Rum is for Drinking Not for Burning.” I immediately went out and got their From the Depths of Dreams EP at Best Buy, had my friend burn me a copy of Let it Enfold You from her brother’s stash, and bought Still Searching when it came out.
After Still Searching, my interest in them kind of went away which sucked since I was so into the first three records and even made it my mission to see them at the last Warped Tour they played (2012). Now, with their new album which sounds a lot heavier than the other material, I’m actually excited for it. I didn’t give Renacer a chance, but I’m starting to think it might be time to revisit their discography and give chances to the albums I snubbed.
P.S.: Senses Fail will always hold a place in my heart. They were the first band I saw at my first ever Vans Warped Tour in 2005. I was with my older cousin and he had no idea who was on stage at the moment (we hadn’t reached the schedule yet). I told him Senses Fail and he asked me if I was sure. They began to play “Rum is For Drinking” and I began to sing along to it. I think he knew the answer to that.
New album: Pull the Thorns from Your Heart (June 30 // Pure Noise Records)
Matchbook Romance is a group that Fuse used to play all the time, well more specifically Steven Smith on his show Steven’s Untitled Rock Show which was my Holy Grail of music in high school. I remember watching the videos for “Promise” and “My Eyes Burn” all the time.
When they came out with “Monsters” (it was on 2006’s Voices) that instantly became a Halloween staple for me. I don’t know if it was the crazy music video with all the black goo or the song itself, but I can’t go a single Halloween without playing that song at least twice. I spent two Halloweens as a DJ at my college radio station and that was my number one song on “Erica’s Creepy Halloween Mix” (I know, I need to work on the name).
I may not be as connected to them as I am with Senses Fail or Silverstein, but the fact that they were one of the major bands during the “emo era” and I still know all the words to “My Eyes Burn,” that should be some kind of indication as to the impression they left on me. Plus, they went on hiatus in 2007 and announced they had reunited late last year. This is momentous.
Excuse me while I go listen to Stories and Alibis until my Warped Tour stop on the Fourth of July.
New album: None yet. At least we think.
I saw the pop-punk saviors a few years ago when their last album Heart Attack was released. At the time, their name was all over the place and I saw that their merchandise had “defend pop-punk” (a genre of music I tend to gravitate to) all over it, so I decided to give Heart Attack a chance. Good idea.
I ended up having the album in my car for the complete Summer with “Open Season” on a continuous loop. It was only this year that I realized that Thursday’s Geoff Rickly was also on the track (keeping it in the New Jersey family, we guess). I know, stupid.
My new-found like for them got so bad that Summer, that I’m pretty sure I drove my friend nuts at Warped, telling her that we NEEDED to see Man Overboard, but if she had a band she wanted to see during their set, I would leave her for Man Overboard. No problem at all.
Now, it’s been two years since Heart Attack was released and their new record Heavy Love is on the horizon. With several songs already out on the internet, some which I already like, it would be good to see if lightning could strike twice with them, at least with me.
New album: Heavy Love (June 30 // Rise Records)
PIERCE THE VEIL:
If you would have told me a year ago that I would know ever single word to every Pierce the Veil song, I would have probably laughed in your face. Call it my elitist self coming out to play. I didn’t want to listen to Pierce the Veil because like most people who looked down on me when my favorite band was constantly on MTV and Fuse, I thought it was all a fluke and fangirls making a mediocre band huge. Sucks to be proved wrong.
Thanks to All Time Low’s “A Love Like War” that features vocals from frontman Vic Fuentes and Pandora constantly playing “I’m Low on Gas and You Need a Jacket,” I decided to give the San Diego dudes a shot. Long story short, I’ve had Selfish Machines on repeat for the past three months (“Million Dollar Houses(The Painter)” is my favorite and “Besitos” is a close second).
Funniest part about this twist of fate? I was looking through some old photos on MySpace and came upon some pictures of old Warped Tour signing schedules. There, on a dry erase board was Pierce the Veil on the list for meet and greets early in the day. Kind of cool to see them go from a small stage like the Hurley stage to being a headliner this year.
New album: Nothing about a new album yet, but they did release a new single this morning.
Those are the top five acts that I’m looking forward to, but don’t let that short list fool you; there are a slew of more artists I can’t wait to check out this Summer. As of now, the list has reached over 20-something.
So who are you looking forward to?