Van’s Warped Tour rolled through town for the final time as a travelling show. Check out the highlights below!
Real Friends are known for combining sad lyrics with punchy pop punk instrumentals, and their Warped Tour set was a flawless representation. Their set list seamlessly bridged the gap between their older songs, such as “Summer” and “Colder Quicker,” both staples in any pop punk kid’s music library, with their newest release, “From The Outside,” a more-pop-than-punk take on their usual sound. Although they were the first band of the day, everyone’s favorite Illinois Sad Boys still managed to draw an enthusiastic and involved crowd. The most impactful part of every Real Friends set is the time frontman Dan Lambton takes to speak about Hope For The Day, an organization that focuses on proactive suicide prevention, as well as mental health awareness and education. The time given to bands on Warped Tour often leads them to try to bang out as many songs as possible and cut out much of their personal interaction with the crowd, but Real Friends uses the time they are allotted wisely, spreading a positive message while ensuring their audience has the experience every concert-goer hopes for.
THIS WILD LIFE
With matching outfits and a beautiful floral themed display, This Wild Life took the stage with pride on their album release day. With a setlist ranging from both new songs from Petaluma to older fan-favorites with a twist, this Long Beach duo delivered a memorable performance. This Wild Life executed their set by switching between playing acoustic guitars, ukuleles, electric guitars, and drums, had the crowd sing along during “Caitie Rae,” and often spoke of their excitement for their new album release.
Shiragirl is a fully-female punk rock band described as “the lovechild of The Ramones and Madonna” who sponsored the Shiragirl Stage on this year’s Warped, dedicated solely to female artists. Shiragirl took the stage in matching checkered bodysuits, fishnets, and neon leg warmers. This all-female powerhouse turned up the heat with songs like “Get ‘Em Hot” and “Summer’s Comin’,” as well as covers of both Joan Jett and Paramore, proving that ladies rock. Shiragirl’s interaction with the crowd, sharp vocals, and punk influence left the crowd energized and inspired.
Drawing one of the largest and most enthusiastic crowds of the day, these former underdogs from Rancho Santa Margarita exceeded expectations, proving exactly why they have been one of the fastest growing bands on the scene in recent months. Movements, who played the much smaller Ernie Ball stage last year, performed fan favorite Nineteen from their debut EP, Outgrown Things, as well as “Colorblind,” “Suffer Through,” “Daylily,” and more from their freshman release, Feel Something.
As one of the most anticipated nostalgia acts of the summer, 3OH!3 naturally drew a massive crowd. With the release of their second and most popular album, Streets of Gold, nearing its tenth birthday, the electronic and hip hop-influenced duo performed several of the album’s most popular songs, including “Punkb*tch,” “STARSTRUKK,” and, of course, fan favorite “DONTTRUSTME.”
Taking the stage for their fourth run on the Vans Warped Tour, Australian rockers Tonight Alive performed songs from all across their discography, including “Lonely Girl,” “How Does It Feel,” “Tear My Heart,” and “The Edge.” As the biggest female-fronted act on the tour, frontwoman Jenna McDougall serves as a bit of a figurehead, but she uses her position to spread positivity, encouragement, and light, looking into the crowd and stating, “we stand for personal power and individual freedom”. With a voice powerful enough to send chills throughout the audience, McDougall and bandmates delivered a captivating performance to a zealous crowd.
MOTIONLESS IN WHITE
With one of the most visually stimulating stage designs of the day, this goth-influenced metalcore band stayed true to their defining aesthetics, focusing on intricate outfits and dark makeup despite the summer heat. Many fans were skeptical as to how MIW would perform considering the recent departure of long-time and well-loved bassist, Devin “Ghost” Sola, but the remaining members delivered an outstanding performance nonetheless. With a setlist consisting of songs such as “Reincarnate,” “Voices,” “Ghost In The Mirror,” and “Eternally Yours,” vocalist Chris Motionless charismatically executed each lyric and had the crowd wrapped around his finger by the end of the set.
As one of the biggest names on the lineup, Simple Plan attracted a massive crowd – it almost seemed as if the rest of the festival came to a screeching halt as this iconic pop punk unit took the stage. With songs like “Welcome To My Life,” “I’m Just A Kid,” and “Perfect” gracing the setlist, Simple Plan insured that fans both young and old would join together to experience an integral part of Warped Tour in unity.
LA-based dark pop band RIVALS are the Shiragirl Stage headliners on the Californian stretch of tour, and they closed out the stage’s impressive lineup with their energetic music and performance. Powerful vocals, deeply infectious hooks and intense sounds make up the raw and honest songwriting that Rivals offer, with lead singer Kalie Wolfe’s hope to be the “best version” of herself realized in each breath. She dedicates a slower song to the niece she thought she would never have, with the message that, no matter where that girl – or any other – goes, anything is possible if you try. – FT
Kublai Khan’s lyrics frequently reflect their political and social ideals, which vocalist Matt Honeycutt incorporated into their set by making statements such as, “this is my f*cking country, this is your f*cking country” and “this is for the people who stand up for what they believe in, and for the ones who speak out against what they don’t”. Performing songs such as “The Guilty Dog,” “True Fear,” and crowd favorite “The Hammer,” Kublai Khan’s stage presence, hard hitting breakdowns, and featured guest vocalists invigorated the crowd and made for the perfect pit.
ALL TIME LOW
All Time Low are legends in the Warped Tour community, having gained significant popularity since their first run on the tour in 2007, so when it was announced that they would be performing at the San Diego, Mountain View, and Ventura dates, California fans went wild with excitement. Similar to most other long-running bands, All Time Low’s setlist was comprised of both new and old favorites, including “Weightless,” “Something’s Gotta Give,” “Damned If I Do Ya,” and “Dear Maria, Count Me In.” The Baltimore four-piece drew one of the largest and most invested crowds of the day, and bantered with the audience by making comments on the smell of marijuana radiating from the crowd and having fans’ bras thrown at them in their typical anti-boyband fashion.
Following the recent release of their newest album, Sunnyland, Warped veterans Mayday Parade took the stage with songs from across their vast release history, including “Jamie All Over,” “Piece of Your Heart,” “Jersey,” “Oh Well Oh Well,” “Kids In Love,” and even a cover of Blink-182’s “Rock Show.” Vocalist Derek Sanders summed up the bittersweet occasion as, “This is the last Warped Tour, but the spirit will live on”. Derek also spoke of the band’s Warped Tour origins, recalling how the band once followed the tour and handed out CDs to the patrons, proving that determination and drive can take you anywhere.