Once again, Vans Warped Tour is allowing fans to vote for 5 artists that they would like to see on next year’s lineup. Even though bands like Sleeping With Sirens, Of Mice and Men, etc will probably receive the most votes out of anyone, this still allows smaller groups to receive a lot of votes and increase their chances of playing on the tour next year. As of right now the only band confirmed for Vans Warped Tour 2017 is The Ghost Inside, leaving plenty of room for your favorite artist to join. However, this year Warped Tour is also asking what were your 5 favorite groups you saw this year. Now this is a hard question because while there were plenty of meh bands on the lineup, there was also a copious amount of simply amazing artists with a great live performance. I personally took the survey and after about 10 minutes of serious contemplation of who I want to see and who were the best I saw, I came up with this list:
The Best of 2016
1. Sum 41
My inner 14 year-old self still can’t believe I saw Sum 41 live. One of my favorite bands of all time, Canadian punk rockers Sum 41, were back on the Warped roster this year and were easily the best band of the day. Their insanely tight live set clearly proved why they make the big bucks and showed a clear difference between smaller modern punk bands and the titans that Sum 41 truly are. From the minute they opened with “The Hell Song” I knew they would have the greatest set of the day, and this was definitely reassured when they played my all time favorite Sum 41 song, “In Too Deep”. My only complaint is that there set was not long enough.
2. Reel Big Fish
Reel Big Fish are one of the bands that I always heard about but never really checked out. So when I was bored between sets at Warped this summer I decided to watch Reel Big Fish. I was surprised at how great their set was, especially since they sounded flawless as a unit and actually had impressive vocals that were never off key. Their cover of A-ha’s “Take On Me” immediately declared Reel Big Fish as one of the best bands on Warped 2016 and I’m absolutely looking forward to seeing them live again.
3. Every Time I Die
After years of missing Every Time I Die shows I finally got to see them live. As the last set of the night, Every Time I Die was the perfect way to end Warped Tour this year. Playing classics like “We’rewolf” and “Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space” along with new singles off of “Low Teens”, Every Time I Die absolutely crushed it as one of the classic hardcore/straight up just heavy bands in the scene and will also be another group I will see again live.
4. In Hearts Wake
Whenever Warped Tour, or any festival, holds a survey for what bands should attend next, I usually will vote for at least one of my favorite Australian or International bands, since playing festivals overseas can be extremely expensive and can also boost their careers as well. This year I’m giving my vote to In Hearts Wake, a metalcore band out of Australia. In Hearts Wake is another band that I have waited awhile to see live and was glad when they were announced for the 2016 lineup. Having a prominent nature theme in both their music and stage presence, In Hearts Wake killed it this summer and if you haven’t listened to them before definitely give any of their material a listen.
5. Waka Flocka Flame
Flocka personally did not play my date of Warped but when I saw he was on the tour I was absolutely ecstatic. I saw Riff Raff in 2015 and it was easily one of the greatest sets I’ve ever seen on Warped. Personally, I think that rappers like Waka Flocka Flame, Riff Raff, etc are perfect for Warped Tour and are extremely entertaining, especially on Warped’s smaller stages. In the future I really hope an artist like Lil Jon or even Lil B plays Warped Tour and helps create the greatest lineup the festival has ever seen.
Who Should Play in 2017
I’m not sure if my mind would be able to handle seeing Blink play at Warped Tour but I really want to find out. Following their latest release of “California” with Matt Skiba, this could very well be a possibility that Blink-182 follows Sum 41 in returning to warped Tour. Blink is one of the bands that truly is Warped and embodies everything the festival stands for. If they do play Warped Tour again, I truly feel bad for whatever artist has to play at the same time as them.
2. Despised Icon
Last year the dual Monster stages were introduced to allow more heavier acts to join the lineup. With an expansion into more extreme music, why not add the pioneers of deathcore, Despised Icon. The Black Dahlia Murder recently played the festival in 2013 and Whitechapel performed this year, so with Mayhem Fest being canceled, heavier acts like DI will need a festival to join so why not add them to Warped?
3. Dance Gavin Dance
Probably one of my favorite bands of all time and also another band I have never seen live , Dance Gavin Dance, haven’t played Warped Tour since 2011. Being one of the greatest modern post hardcore bands, DGD would be a great addition to Warped and would draw a huge crowd. The hardest part would be to determine what songs off their impressive catalog should they play during the 30 min set that every band at Warped is usually given.
This one is kind of a stretch since I’m pretty sure a black metal band has never played the festival and I can guarantee that a blackgaze band has not for sure. However, I believe that fans of heavier Warped acts could definitely get into Deafheaven, or already are fans. The potential for success that Deafheaven could have on the tour is definitely worth the shot. Also can you imagine going from watching Neck Deep to seeing Deafheaven open their set with the iconic lead in Dreamhouse?
5. Senses Fail
Last, but definitely not least is Senses Fail. Last playing Warped in 2015, Senses Fail is a great addition to their lineup with their uncanny live set and their mix of older and younger fans in the scene. However, it is not Senses Fail’s history on Warped that is significant but the message they bring. Lead singer Buddy Nielson, who recently came out, now gives speeches about accepting those in the LGBT community and will also give speeches about other topics like hope and women’s rights during live sets. While this did cause some controversy on the 2015 tour, it also showed what Warped truly stands for, which is accepting all peoples and making them feel safe. Buddy and the rest of Senses Fail help close the gap between hardcore music and the LGBT community and if it were possible I would have them play Warped Tour every year.
If you would like to vote for your favorite artists to play Warped next year then hit the link below!