You remember Warped Tour, right? The annual ode to extreme music and sports has been traversing the country every summer for 17 years now, bringing bands and fans together for a full day’s worth of sweaty mosh pits and meet and greet ops. For 2012, the traveling rock ‘n’ roll circus is continuing its promise to keep things fresh by incorporating more acts, more diversity amongst artists, and more local tie-ins.
This Sunday, the Warped Tour returns to the Ventura County Fairgrounds for its yearly South Coast stopover, featuring over 80 different rock, pop, indie, hardcore, and hip-hop acts. Below, we help you weed through the lengthy lineup by giving you a video-by-video breakdown of five of our Warped Tour must-sees. (And don’t forget to catch S.B. boys False Puppet, who play the Kevin Says Stage at a TBD time.) For tickets and info, including a full roster of bands, visit vanswarpedtour.com. Doors open at 11:30 a.m.
Taking Back Sunday
Taking Back Sunday may have hit their high point with 2002’s floor-rattling Tell All Your Friends, but we’re not giving up on them yet. Since returning to their original lineup, the band has put out a solid, eponymous new record, and frontman Adam Lazzara seems more than ready to charge forward then ever, whiny vocals firmly in place. Above, we rewind to ’02 with “Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut From the Team).”
Holding down the hip-hop end of the Warped bargain is Champagne Champagne, Seattle’s self-proclaimed “punk rap shoegazers.” Whatever you want to call them is, well, up to you. We simply suggest you watch the guys throw down the acoustic flows on this video for Seattle music blog Sound on the Sound. (Bonus points for adorable small dog placement.)
Don’t look past these Warped newcomers. Stepdad is the first to sign to Passion Pit-er Ayad Al Adhamy’s Black Bell Records. They’re also a welcome contrast to the legions of pop punk acts that are playing throughout the day. The band’s Ordinaire EP is brimming with ear-wormy synth hooks, neatly layered guitars, and plenty of effects-filled vocal flourishes. Check out their video for “Will I Ever Dance Again.” Then, strap your dancing shoes on.
Long before the sax came back, Yellowcard stuck their neck out for band geeks everywhere and proved that you can, in fact, shred a violin. The Florida transplants (and longtime L.A. residents) make the kind of anthemic pop punk that begs — no — demands to be belted out loud, and we’re betting their Sunday set will incite a fair share of ecstatic, tone-deaf scream alongs. Here’s their violin rock out opus, “Way Away.”
It’s not Warped Tour without a heavy helping of punk rock, and for that we look no further than Anti-Flag. The Pennsylvania-bred four-piece has been making the rounds since 1988, and they boast everything you could possibly want in a punk band: thrashing guitars, relentless drums, left wing politics, and lots of call-and-response cries. Below you’ll find the band’s socially-charged video for “This is the End (For You My Friend).”