A few days ago, the Vans Warped Tour officially opened up their annual poll, crowdsourcing the bands that fans want to see on the 2018 edition of the summer festival. While it’s certain that thousands of submissions will be sent in, we’re issuing our own submissions of the bands we’d like to see, with our unscientific formula. The following bands have a recent record out, have one coming out soon, have a strong work ethic, and/or are touring heavily with some serious buzz surrounding them. We’re also including a specific reason or two why these bands should be on the tour. It also goes without saying that these choices are fairly realistic, considering that Vans Warped Tour is often the event that really “breaks” certain bands into the public consciousness. The notion of “deserving” an opportunity like this is up for debate, but all these bands have reasons why they should be playing big stages.
10 Bands, 50 bands, 100 bands, fuck it, man
Let’s just not even discuss it, man
Compared to even a decade ago, musicians really have to watch what they say publicly on the Internet. Your band probably isn’t selling that much in the way of albums, and any statement that is potentially controversial can potentially spread across social media in a matter of minutes, if not seconds. Screenshots have no half-life, they exist forever.
There are also plenty of bands that have a somewhat unique online persona. There are those that seek to uplift and inspire (Real Friends, The Maine), use penis jokes as silly humor (Brojob), and calls to action and discussion (Forthteller, Emery, etc.). Then you have bands that use edgy humor to push the envelope. Sometimes this works – and sometimes it goes too far, especially when said “humor” ends up insulting to their audience.
We’ve mentioned it plenty of times here, but most of the bands playing an atmospheric bent of post-hardcore/metalcore today have Hopesfall to thank for pioneering that sound. Their groundbreaking album The Satellite Years turns 15 today, and it still hasn’t aged a bit. It’s a work of art that expertly ebbs and flows between quiet and very loud moments, and tracks like “Escape Pod For Intangibles” and the majestic “The Bending” are as much about big guitar riffs as they are melody and mood.
Listen to the whole album below – the band is also finishing up work on their first record in a decade.
Starting out as a somewhat under the radar post-hardcore band in California, Thrice have slowly grown to become one of the most exciting rock bands of recent memory. It was really on 2002’s sophomore record The Illusion Of Safety that the band really started to make a name for themselves in the melodic hardcore scene.
Stunningly, nobody was truly prepared for what happened between 2003’s breakout album The Artist In The Ambulance and 2005’s masterwork, Vheissu. The transition between Thrice’s peak post-hardcore period and the brilliance of Vheissu was shocking even to a 16-year old me, and it’s safe to say that those experimental flourishes combined with a brave reinvention of sound led to what Thrice would do in 2007 on The Alchemy Index: Fire and Water. Released 10 years ago today, the 2 EP’s, as well as the Earth and Air EP’s released in 2008, showed multiple sides of what Thrice could do. The Water EP showed the more electronic side of the band, and the Fire side showed Thrice’s heavier, denser material (think Artist In The Ambulance mixed with post-metal, a la Isis).
Overall, out of Thrice’s entire discography, The Alchemy Index is probably the most rewarding section of their peak. Even being 10 years old, the first two sides are true milestones in experimental rock.