90 degrees. That’s how hot it was on July 17th for Warped Tour in New Jersey. Some fans weren’t even phased while others acted so dead sprawled out in any bit of shade they could find. Here are my stand-out bands that I caught sets of.
Whether you only listened to the Maine back in high school or listen to them now, you just know they have this spell that can instantly put you in a good mood. The first reason they bring the right flavor amongst the long list of bands on the tour is that they play new songs off of American Candy and old nostalgic reminders like “Everything I Ask For” and “Girls Do What They Want.” Secondly, they know how to be entertainers. Vocalist John O’Callaghan knows how to speak to a crowd without ever coming off as cliché and, on top of that, the band chose to do a clever aesthetic of all wearing white shirts and blue pants and having a backdrop behind that reads “you are watching a band called the Maine.” Thirdly, they mock the presidential campaign of Donald Trump by selling hats that say “Make America Emo Again.”
Like Pacific is one of those bands that deserve to be on a bigger stage on the tour and are one in which many passerby attendees will ask “whoa, who are these guys?” The Canada-based band is loving the summer festival with open arms and giving it their absolute all even if they don’t have massive crowds. They stay humble and seem to always seem light-hearted and goofy.
Old Wounds are one of those bands you might’ve never heard of before. Hardcore music may not be your forte but you have to give them the respect they deserve because they stand up for what they believe in. Old Wounds is a proud supporter of the lgbt community, welcoming of anybody that may be “different,” a woman’s right to choose, and standing up against the injustices of the police. Also, they bring a creative aspect to hardcore by dawning makeup and using props such as flowers. New Jersey was the hometown show for them and they brought the biggest crowd at the Full Sail stage seen all day.
The Chicago-based pop punk band brings out the angst in the best of us. The amphitheater at PNC Bank Arts Center strays from the path for holding a rock show because it has seats right to the base of the stage as opposed to having a general admission standing area. Knuckle Puck fans still somehow found room to crowdsurf and pack in every little space there was. “No Good” and “Untitled” were my favorites.
Last but not least: the pop punk legends. Sum 41’s crowd was huge and wild. I was back stage when they strolled up in style on motorized scooters like the coolest people you’d ever meet. The band played their newest single “Fake My Own Death” and of course their classics like “In Too Deep.” The band closed with the epic “Fat Lip” and when the guitar notes kicked in the whole crowd got unbelievably amped. The whole audience jumped in synchronization and it was beautiful. Sum 41 is one of those groups we will tell younger generations we saw.