The Top Five Bands to See at Warped Tour 2011

Posted: July 23, 2011 in Concert Previews, Music

We are a day away from the annual “Punk Rock Summer Camp” known as Warped Tour. This will be the 17th year the tour will be taking the country by storm and as usual, there are several great bands booked to play.

Last year was the first time I attended Warped Tour and it was one of the best concerts I’ve been too, despite the fact that after being in the hot sun all day, I felt like death at the end of the day. Last year I got to see some great bands like Bring Me The Horizon, Four Year Strong, I See Stars, Set Your Goals, Sum 41, Alkaline Trio, Reel Big Fish, Emarosa, and Andrew W.K. This year is set up to be just as good, if not better than last years’ line up.

However, one of the problems with Warped tour is the fact that sometimes you can not always see all of the bands you want to see. This is mostly due to bands having the same set time. For example this happened to me last year as I was forced to choose between Alkaline Trio and Parkway Drive because they were both playing at the same time. So, for this year I figured I’d list my Top Five Bands I think anyone attending Warped Tour should go see and I’m praying that there are no conflicts with set times.

As promised, here are the Top Five Must See Bands on this years’ Warped Tour and they are in no particular order.

1. A Day To Remember:

  • I’ve seen these guys live twice and over the past 3 years they have been my favorite band. Now they may not be the best sounding band live (they sound much better on recording in my opinion), but the way they put on a show is something that everyone should experience. They come out with tons of energy, have the crowd sing along with them, and of course their synchronized head banging during breakdowns.  All of this motivates the crowd to move around and have a good time. This is going to be their third time on Warped Tour and their first time ever being on the main stage. The honor of being on the main stage is well deserved as this band has been doing nothing but blowing up over the past few years. The balance of pop punk and post-hardcore draws in people This is the one band on the tour that you do not want to miss and I believe they are probably going to have the biggest crowd draw out of all the bands who will be playing. If you don’t believe me, check this guys out for yourself and I guarantee it will be worth your while.
  • Set List: First and foremost, any ADTR fan will never be satisfied with their set list on Warped Tour. They have numerous great songs, but because they only have a half hour of show time they don’t get to play them all. However with that being said, the set lists I’ve seen from them so far aren’t too disappointing. They take the stage with the jaws theme playing in the background and they go right into “I’m Made of Wax Larry, What Are You Made Of?”. Best part about opening up with this song on the tour is that just like the recorded version, Mike Hranica of The Devil Wears Prada joins lead singer Jeremy McKinnon on stage during the screaming breakdown. From here the rest of the set list varied. “A Shot in the Dark” was played second recently, but earlier they played “The Danger in Starting A Fire.” Some other songs they play are “All Signs Point to Lauderdale”, “All I Want”, “Mr. Highway’s Thinking About the End”, “My Life For Hire”, “2nd Sucks”, “Plot to Bomb the Panhandle”, “Have Faith in Me”, and they close with “The Downfall of Us All.” They have also played “Heartless”, “Sticks & Bricks”, “You Be Tails, I’ll Be Sonic” and “Why Walk on Water When We’ve Got Boats”. So it looks like it depends on what they’re feeling that day. Since they’ll be in Jersey, I wouldn’t be surprised if they busted out “NJ Legion Iced Tea”. Overall pretty good set list, just not as good as it could be when you seem them headline a show.
  • Stage: Teggart Main Stage

2. The Devil Wears Prada:

  • I feel a little funny listing them here because I’ve never actually seen them live in concert before. However, every time I talk to some one who has seen them live, all they do is rave about how incredible they are live in concert. I’ve watched videos of them playing live on YouTube and if in person is anything like the videos that I have watched, then they are definitely a must see. Mike Hranica runs around on stage like a mad man, as does the rest of the band. They play with an incredible amount of energy and the crowd appears to feed off it. Mike Hranica supposedly kills it on vocals and is one of the few screaming vocalists who actually screams every lyric live. I’m definitely excited to see them in live for the first time this summer when Warped Tour rolls into Oceanport on July 24. People say that they are one of the few bands out there who sound better live than they do on CD. I guess I’ll just have to see for myself in a few weeks.
  • Set List: From set lists I’ve seen thus far, it looks like they’re playing 9 songs which isn’t too bad considering all the bands at Warped only get about a half hour of playing time. TDWP open up with the end breakdown of “Lord Xenu” and go right into “Danger: Wildman”, which I think is going to be crazy live. From here they play “Dogs Can Grown Beards All Over”, “Hey John, What’s Your Name Again?”, “Anatomy”, “Escape”, “Outnumbered”, “Dez Moines”, and  ending with”Assistant to the Regional Manager”.  The Devil Wears Prada will be releasing a new album on September 13 called “Dead Throne”. TDWP will be playing one of the songs off that record on Warped as a special sneak peek to all fans who attend. They play their new song “Born to Lose”  (Seen below) towards the end of their set. Now this set list is not set in stone. It is just what they have played on the tour thus far. Personally I’m hoping they add “Reptar King of the Ozone” or “Big Wiggly Style”.
  • Stage: Teggart Main Stage

3. Set Your Goals

  • These guys were one of the bands that stole the show at last year’s Warped Tour and I expect them to do the same this year. Their dueling vocals sound great live, as does the band as a whole. Last year the crowd went wild for these guys and there was loads of crowd surfing going on. SYG comes into this years Warped Tour with some brand new material after their June 28 release of their brand new album “Burning at Both Ends”. Although there are many mixed feelings about the album, I have to say that I love the album. However, if I had to choose I would still say “Mutiny!” is their best album to date still.
  • Set List: So far on this years Warped they have played two new songs of the record, “Certain” and “Exit Summer”. “Certain” is a song that I can listen to on repeat all day and not get sick of it. I’m pretty excited to see it performed live, as well as “Exit Summer” which is what they open up their set with. In addition to these two new songs, Set Your Goals goes on to play fan favorites like “Goonies Never Say Die”, “Mutiny!”, “The Fallen”, “Summer Jam”, “Echoes”, and “Gaia Bleeds (Make Way for Man). These guys are not a band you want to miss out on. They put on a good show and like many pop punk bands, they are really fun to see live.  If you don’t get a chance to see them on Warped, they will be hitting the road with New Found Glory when the tour ends.
  • Stage: Advent Clothing

4. The Wonder Years:

  • The Wonder Years are a band that are slowly getting bigger and bigger, and this years Warped is going to increase their popularity even more. This pop punk band from Pennsylvania has the reputation of bringing it when they play live. Sadly, I have never seen them live before but based on their sound, song writing, and things I’ve heard about their live performance, I felt the need to list them in my top 5 to see at Warped. Like many of the bands on Warped, The Wonder Years have just released a new album titled “Suburbia: I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing”. The album has been doing very well since it’s release and because the band has been having a good number of success lately, they will be on the cover on next months Alternative Press. I’ve been wanting to see these guys for a while and I know they won’t disappoint when I finally see them live tomorrow.
  • Set List: After taking a look at some of the set lists, I have to say I’m a little disappointed with it. The set list is dominated with songs off “The Upsides” and “Suburbia: I’ve Given You All and Now I’m Nothing”. They play “Local Man Ruins Everything”, “Washington Square Park”, “Coffee Eyes”, “Melrose Diner”, “Logan Circle”, “My Last Semester”, “You’re Not Salinger. Get Over It.” and my favorite “Don’t Let Me Cave In”. I was hoping they’d play “Bout  to Get Fruit Punched, Homie” or “My Geraldine Lies Over the Delaware”. I’m hoping there’s a chance they play the latter when they come to Monmouth Park because it is a song about new jersey and it would be fun to have the audience yell “FUCK Route 9”. Guess I’ll just have to see how the set list is when they play tomorrow.
  • Stage: Nintendo 3DS

5. Of Mice & Men:

  • A lot has changed for Of Mice & Men since playing last year’s Warped. The band is no longer lead by lead vocalist Jerry Roush, but instead  founder and former frontman Austin Carlile has returned to the band and with him came a new rhythm guitarist Alan Ashby. Clean vocalist Shayley Bourget made the move to bass guitar in order to accommodate the addition of Ashby. Although all of these changes have occurred over the past year, the band is as strong as ever. Carlile is one of the best lead vocalists in the scene and sounds just as good live as he does in the studio. The band released their second album this past June called “The Flood”.
  • Set List: On this year’s Warped they will be playing several songs off this new record, which include “Still YDG’N”, “Let Live”, and “O.G. Loko”. They also play some stuff of their self-titled first album, like “Farewell to Shady Glade”, “They Don’t Call It The South For Nothing”, and the emotional tribute to Carlile’s mother “Second & Sebring”.  I stopped by their set for a minutes last year, but did not stay because I knew Roush wasn’t as good Carlile when it came to being the frontman of the band. However now with Carlile back, the band has been drawing huge crowds and supposedly they put on a fun and crazy show. From videos I’ve seen, the band sounds really good live and is very comparable to the way they sound in the studio. This year will definitely be worth seeing Of Mice & Men for their entire set.
  • Stage: Advent Clothing

Honorable Mention: Here are other bands you should check out on this year’s Warped tour.

Enter Shikari – Saw them at last years Warped and they were phenomenal. They have one of the most interesting sounds of any band in the scene, as they combine hardcore with electronic. They go absolutely crazy when they play live and are all over the stage. Lead guitarist Rory Clewlow has even made appearances in the circle pits during their performance. If you get the opportunity to set their set, definitely do so. You will be surprisingly satisfied with what you see. See the video below if you want an example of how these guys are live. Enter Shikari can be seen on the Advent Clothing Stage.

The Word Alive: First saw them/heard of them when I saw them open up for A Day To Remember last fall, and I’ve been listening to them ever since. They combine metalcore with a little bit of electronic mixed in, but not quite like Enter Shikari. The Word Alive are heavier and scream a lot more. They put on a good show when I saw them and they have some really good breakdowns in their songs. I expect to see a Wall of Death during their set and I’m pretty excited to see them play “2012” live. If you haven’t heard of these guys check them out on the Advent Clothing Stage.

Asking Alexandria: Speaking of having a good year, Asking Alexandria has been getting bigger and bigger as well. They released a new album titled “Reckless & Relentless” and even had an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live. AA is slowly turning into one of the biggest bands in the scene, but there were a few factors keeping them out of the top 5. For one, lead singer Danny Worsnop does not have the best reputation for live performances. The guy loves alcohol and sometimes he has too much of it before the show and it has an effect on his singing performance. The band supposedly puts on a good show when things like this don’t happen, but from what I hear seeing this band is like a wild card and you never know which band you’re going to see. On that note with songs like “A Lesson Never Learned” and “The Final Episode”, this band has the capability of putting on a good show and having a crazy crowd in front of them. We’ll just have to see which Asking Alexandria shows up tomorrow on the Teggart Main Stage.

August Burns Red: These guys are the definition of heavy. Although they take the stage to a Christian sounding choir, what ensues after this is nothing short of metalcore. There are no clean vocals here, as lead singer Jake Luhrs screams every lyric to all their songs. Mosh pits and circle pits are going to be seen throughout their set, and I’ve already seen videos of fights breaking out. Christian ideals and themes may be the main idea to their lyrics, but don’t think for once that the crowd is going to be like something you’ll see in church. I saw these guys this past November, when they co-headlined the Fall 2010 AP Tour with Bring Me The Horizon. I only knew a few songs then, but I was impressed with what I saw. So if your into lots of breakdowns and moshing then check out August Burns Red on the Teggart Main Stage.

The Dangerous Summer: Just heard of these guys this past week and I have not been able to stop listening to them. “The Permanent Rain” is one of the best songs I’ve ever hear and they are just a really chill band with an alternative rock feel. These guys are slowly becoming more known and when a band has good songs it’s only a matter of time before they break out into the main scene. Want to see what I’m talking about then check out the video below and check these guys out tomorrow on the Nintendo 3DS stage.

Less Than Jake: These guys are legends of Warped Tour and usually punk/ska bands have fun sets when they play. I saw Reel Big Fish play last year and they put on a really fun show, so I’m expecting to see  close to the same with Less Than Jake. One thing I know for sure and that’s that there will be plenty of “skanking” going on during their set, as well as some covers of TV theme songs (ex. Spongebob). So if you’re looking to see a fun band and maybe take a break from circle/mosh pits, check out Less Than Jake on the Teggart Main Stage.

So be prepared for some warm weather, a slight chance of rain, maybe some moshing, and basically a whole lot of fun at Warped Tour 2011. I’ll see you there.


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