|Warped Tour crowd at AT&T Center (San Antonio) in summer 2011. Photo by Chris Carrasquillo.|
Every summer since 1995, the Vans Warped Tour has been compiling some of the biggest names in hardcore, punk, pop, rock and even hip hop for a whole day of sun, music and extreme sports. With about 80 bands playing tomorrow’s Warped Tour stop in San Antonio, it’s hard to decide which bands to see, but I’ve picked five stand out bands that you need to see now.
1) The Used – This is a no-brainer. The Used is one of the pioneers of screamo. For many, myself included, they acted as an open door into the world of hardcore, screamo and metal music. I still remember the first time I heard their self-titled album and just being blown away and listening to songs like “The Taste of Ink” and “Box Full of Sharp Objects” over and over again. While some of The Used’s latest albums haven’t had the same success as their self-titled album or In Love and Death, you shouldn’t let that stop you from seeing them. For one, Vulnerable, the album The Used released in March of this year, isn’t half bad, and for two, their legacy is enough to see them anytime.
2) Mod Sun – If you reach your hardcore limit this weekend at Warped, Mod Sun is the perfect remedy. Many people are so consumed with the rock acts at Warped that they don’t even think about the other genres the tour offers, but every year Warped Tour picks a select few hip hop/rap artists that mix surprisingly well with the other bands. Hip hop would normally be the last genre I would recommend, but Mod Sun fills his music with messages of love and positivity, which the hip hop/rap world is desperately missing.
3) Memphis May Fire – Just this week, Memphis May Fire released Challenger, quite possibly the band’s best album yet. While many people have just discovered the band within the past year or two, Memphis May Fire has been making music since 2006. They’re just now getting the recognition they deserve, and they’re sure to put on one of the best performances at Warped Tour.
4) Of Mice & Men – Earlier this year, Of Mice & Men’s clean vocalist, Shayley Bourget, left the band, leaving screamer Austin Carlile to take over both sets of vocals. Now the band is set to release a deluxe version of their latest album, The Flood, on July 24 featuring a few new tracks with just one singer. With the band going through a huge transition, it’s the perfect time to see them. Not only will you get to see how Carlile is handling all the vocals, but you’ll get to hear brand new music and see the direction that Of Mice & Men is heading towards for their third album.
5) Make Do and Mend – A little over a year ago, Make Do and Mend was almost unheard of. After signing to Rise Records in February of this year, the band has begun to develop quite a following. The band has a very gruff, Touché Amoré-esque sound, and lead singer James Carroll’s rough, scratchy voice is sure to have the whole crowd moving by the end of the first song. Make Do and Mend released their newest album Everything You Ever Loved this month, which makes Warped Tour the perfect time to see them and hear their brand new songs.