The Warped Tour descend unto Hartford like pied pipers leading a line of under 18 followers. Boasting 69 bands, the show drew a diverse crowd that ranged from mohawked punks to rude boys to curious but pensive onlookers. While we didn’t see every performer, here are the 10 that stood out to us.
10. Chunk, No Captain Chunk
The only band from France on the tour were forced to play during extra time of the Euro Cup finals. Drawing one of the biggest crowds of any band on the smaller stages, Chunk, No Captain Chunk did not disappointed, bringing their metalcore to the masses.
09. Set It Off
With a band like Set It Off, the most curious part of seeing them live is if they recreate how the sound on record. The answer was a resounding yes! Cody Carson’s vocals were as pristine as you would imagine and their ability to use synthesized horns and not have them sound tinny or cheesy was impressive.
08. Real Friends
Gamboling onto stage like teenagers awaken from a sleepover a little too early, Real Friends shook the sleep out of their eyes quickly to perform their emo revival inspired set.
07. Four Year Strong
The four bearded men of Western Massachusetts donned Hawaiian shirts and came out to “Mele Kalikimaka” but make no mistake the attire was just to throw off the scent of the true power the band brought. A mixture of hardcore, punk, and rock n roll, Four Year Strong were one of the big winners of the early day crowd, playing at a yawn inducing 12:20pm.
06. New Found Glory
Of the bands that existed in the 90s, New Found Glory had the earliest time slot but that didn’t stop them from drawing one of the biggest crowds of the day. Surprisingly, even the under 18 crowd had a good knowledge of the band and sung along to nearly every song.
05. The Interrupters
If you are going to be on Warped Tour, you ideally want to be on a stage sponsored by a company like Journeys or Monster Energy. Being banished to the Poseidon or Cyclops stage is generally synonymous with small crowds. The Interrupters may have had a small crowd, but it was an engaged one. Rude boys and girls from Warped Tour seemed to know that The Interrupters were bringing their Rancid-esque mixture of ska and punk. The band was so impressed with the response to their new material that they broke out a track they had never played live before and it didn’t suck!
04. Teenage Bottlerocket
The most tragically small crowd of the day was for Teenage Bottlerocket but sometimes it is quality not quantity. As you looked around the crowd, it seemed every mohawked or liberty spiked punk was in attendance for the performance. Many leather jackets could be seen on the hot Connecticut sunlight creating a circle pit for the band. Punk recognizes punk.
03. Reel Big Fish
Reel Big Fish as a band may have been older than most of the crowd but that didn’t stop them from bringing the most fun performance of the day. The only reason the band didn’t top the list was the small amount of material they covered in their set. Most of the shenanigans which work fine for a RBF headlining tour cut into their actual set time like playing snippets of their “hits” like “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Lit’s “My Own Worst Enemy” before actually playing “Sell Out.”
02. Sum 41
Perhaps my biggest surprise of the tour were how well Sum 41 drew. They had the biggest crowd of the day bar none. Considering their last Billboard 500 charter was in 2006, everyone seemed to know the words to their songs save for the few they played from their forthcoming album, 13 Voices.
01. Less Than Jake
Less Than Jake were really the big winners of the day. Combining the fun of Reel Big Fish with only a slightly bigger crowd draw of Sum 41, LTJ showed what it means to be Warped Tour veterans. They brought beach balls, t-shirt cannons, and a life raft for crowd surfing, all while still playing a hit packed set.