Warped Tour 2016: Bands You Can’t Miss

Written by on June 4, 2016


To kick off our Warped coverage, here’s our obligatory list of bands you can’t miss at the NRG Main Street parking lot this summer.

The Vans Warped Tour is going back to its roots, but also bringing a lot of change. As per usual, there will be seven stages at each date, but the beloved Monster Energy Stage will split into two and be more dedicated to “heavier” bands. On the other hand, one stage that will be missed is the Acoustic Basement tent. The five other stages have an exciting mix of all genres that will be sure to keep the crowd energized during a long summer’s day in the hot, humid weather that Houstonians know and hate.


The Legends.

The veterans, the legends, whatever you want to call them who have generated the most hype for the tour this year include Sum 41 and New Found Glory.

You heard us, Sum 41 have reunited and are ready to take us all the way back to middle school. Unfortunately, the new album won’t be out until after the tour, but until then you can mosh to your favorites at the Journey’s Left Foot Stage.

New Found Glory, one of the most influential pop-punk bands in the genre’s history will also be returning since their last stint on the 2012 Warped Tour. In fact, half of the bands in the lineup probably list NFG as one of their main influences. They’re here to show that age really just is a number and provide the crowd with an in-your-face punk show that showcases the best of the genre.


The Spectacles.

Set It Off

Cody Carson of Set It Off, Warped 2013; Photo by Sarah Hoffman

Set It Off returns for their third Warped Tour run. There’s one thing guaranteed if you find yourself catching their set—they’ll bring the energy. In 2013, they were one of the first performers of the day in Houston, but they put on a show as if they were closing that night. Within the first three songs, lead singer Cody Carson joined the crowd and even surfed on top of them while making sure to deliver a solid vocal performance. After their set, he hopped off of the stage to escort the entire crowd to their merch tent to meet the band.

Reel Big Fish will be on the Journey’s Left Foot Stage along with all of the above-mentioned bands. The ska-punk band is known for their creative and colorful outfits to match their on-stage personas. If you’re looking to try something new or see something different, Reel Big Fish is definitely a set you can’t miss.


The Locals.

As much as they’ve been covered here at Coog Radio, Waterparks should be no strangers to your ears. The Houston natives, who are now managed by Good Charlotte, performed at a few dates on the tour last year, so naturally they’ve been asked to join the entire tour this summer.


The Comfortable Kids.

Mayday Parade and The Maine are both five plus year veterans of Warped Tour, despite forming in this century, unlike the other seasoned veterans such as Yellowcard, Less Than Jake, and of course Sum 41 and New Found Glory.

Despite being so prevalent on the tour, they’re both guaranteed to put on an exciting show, especially for anyone into the more mellow genres that help make up the diverse lineup.


Derek Sanders and Brooks Betts of Mayday Parade, Warped 2012; Photos by Sarah Hoffman

Although they have such a large discography to pull from, Mayday Parade always does an excellent job of covering all of their fan bases. They’ve arguably discovered the formula that perfectly mixes old and new to create a cohesive setlist for every performance.

The Maine are a band who know exactly how to cater to a crowd. They’re known for connecting with their fanbase, whether it’s chatting on twitter or staying after a show to meet every single fan, and that comes across in all of their performances. They’re here to provide a quirky, rock-infused set that will get your off of your feet.


The Female-Fronted.

It’s time to give the ladies some love. Warped has taken heat in the past for not including enough bands featuring women, and while pickings are slim, two bands stand out especially.


Jenna McDougall of Tonight Alive, Warped 2012; Photo by Sarah Hoffman

This will be Tonight Alive‘s third time on Warped. Leading lady Jenna McDougall is a performer who knows how to own the stage. All eyes are on her as she acts out the songs with every part of her body while never missing a beat. The Australian rockers deliver catchy songs and an exciting performance, so make sure to catch them on the Journey’s Right Foot Stage.

The three-piece Sykes are very reminiscent of Echosmith, who, fun fact, got their start on Warped. The London natives will light up the Cyclops Stage with an electronic alternative sound that will be nice to take in after seeing some of the heavier bands on the tour.


The Hardcore Derivatives.

Warped Tour came just in time for Issues, who released their sophomore album Headspace at the end of May. Issues brings the pop to form a genuine hardcore fusion band with the vocal genius of their clean vocalist Tyler Carter.

Texas’ very own Crown The Empire are set to release a new album right in the middle of their Warped run, so be on the look out for a new song or two in their set. Lead vocalists Andrew Velasquez and David Escamilla share the clean and screaming vocals to provide a great, high-energy band-and-forth on stage.


The Up-and-Comers.

State Champs released a fantastic record last year that had their name on the tip of everyone’s tongues in the pop-punk scene. In fact, it landed them a spot on one of the main stages, which is just the icing on the cake of their recent success.

Oceans Ate Alaska are one of the newest bands on the tour, but they’ve earned their spot on the Monster Energy South stage after quickly establishing a presence in the scene. They released their first full-length album with Fearless Records just a little over a year ago and are guaranteed to bring a new energy to the long-running summer tour.


Don’t miss all of these bands and more on the Vans Warped Tour at the NRG Main Street parking lot on June 26. Purchase tickets here.

Click here to see the full lineup and stage assignments for the Houston date.

Whether you’re a regular or a first-timer, be on the lookout for our upcoming Warped Survival Guide featuring tips and tricks to survive one of the hottest days of the year as well as a printable checklist to make sure you’re as prepared as possible.

By Sarah Hoffman

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