Best of 2016 Playlist

April 7, 2016

Warped Tour 2016 Lineup Review Pt. 2

Not a conventional review, but we're going to break down this year's choices for the 2016 lineup of Warped Tour. 20+ years on the road every summer, bringing you all kinds of music. And this year, it seems the tour is getting back to basics. Lots of great pop punk bands, and not as many heavy headliners. This is PART 2 of a two part post covering the 2016 edition of Warped Tour. Click this (link) to read PART 1. 

Click this (link) to visit the tour's official website.

Monster Energy Party Area
The name is really stupid, but the lineup is killer! This year Warped is breaking their "heavy stage" in two parts. The lineup features 19 bands, each rooted in metal. Obvious headlining acts (aka big name draws to a stage) for this stage include Atreyu, Bullet For My Valentine, Every Time I Die, Motionless in White, and Crown the Empire. We're hoping the "headliners" are split evenly between the two stages. 

There has yet to be any confirmation on which bands will be playing which stage. But we're going out on a limb to say they're probably going to spilt things up by sound. Heavier bands on one stage, and more diverse bands on another. We've even got some upstarts debuting on the Monster Stage this year. 

In fact, the lineup for this area seems to fill the void left in the wake of Mayhem Fest's cancellation. It's a great mix of the old and new generations of metal. You get the bands that pioneered the genre (i.e. Atreyu, BFMV and ETID) alongside this new wave of metalcore (i.e. Volumes and In Hearts Wake). And for a taste of "Mayhem" you get MIW, Veil of Maya, and Chelsea Grin

Then there are, what we're calling the "Fearless FOUR". Fearless Records is represented by ICE NINE KILLS (in a way replacing the recently departed MIW), The Word Alive, The Color Morale, and Oceans Ate Alaska (contrary to the name they're from the UK). Their lineup is primarily metalcore (TWA leaning more towards alt. metal), with The Color Morale bridging the gape between metal and post hardcore. TCM's more recent music has progressed to lighter style and sound; thus distancing themselves from their original metalcore/post hardcore roots. INK and OAA are both metalcore through and through. But INK has definitely stepped up to the plate to take away MIW's crown as "the kings of gothic metal". 

coldrain, Gideon, From Ashes To New, Whitechapel (though they did play 8 dates on the 2010 tour), the aforementioned OAA, and Cruel Hand are all first timers on this iconic tour. So we're eager to see what they'll bring to the party. Generally speaking each band's sound can be described as anything from alternative metal to metalcore. coldrain on the more alternative end of the spectrum, and Whitechapel full on deathcore. 

Leaning closer to the post hardcore spectrum, Vanna seems to be the odd man out. The band's music could be thought of as a combination of Beartooth and letlive. Hardcore punk that dips into melodic hardcore for song choruses. They did the 2014 tour, and are back for another run. And like Beartooth and letlive. their live shows are always a treat. Fair warning, don't get too close unless you want to be swallowed up by a mosh pit or wall of death. 

Poseidon Stage
Loaded with post hardcore and pop punk goodness, Poseidon is dishing out quite the lineup for us. From the electronicore band I See Stars (previous main stage material they kinda dropped off the map for a while there), and Knuckle Puck's nostalgic pop punk, to SECRETS' ever infectious post hardcore, Emarosa's eclectic fusion of genres, and the unique blend of alt. rock and hardcore provided by UK residents, Young Guns. There's a little of everything, but all the bands seem to fit together. 

The newcomers to the scene are The Interrupters, ROAM and The HeirsProf, a rapper whose real name is Jake Anderson, will only be playing select shows, and is therefor omitted from our "round up". The Interrupters, fronted by Aimee Allen, released their debut album in 2014. The band is primarily punk rock/ska, so again, more classic Warped vibes there. ROAM is following in the footsteps of other UK pop punk bands like Neck Deep and As It Is, capturing the spirit of 00s pop punk, but not copying verbatim. You can click this (link) to read out review of their debut record, "Backbone". 

And last but certainly not least, The Heirs. A brother and sister fronted alt. rock, electronic band who first came to prominence due to their success on the 2013 season of America's Got Talent. They made it all the way to the semi-finals before getting the axe. But now, after spending a few years on the road touring and gaining experience, they're back. They reinvented themselves, and are ready to take on any challenge. And can we just say, Savannah is only 15, but she looks like she's in her twenties. Damn girl!

Cyclops Stage

Aside from the main stages themselves, this stage has the best mix of artists. A true Warped Tour mix of alternative rock and pop punk. 9 acts, each with its roots in either of the two genres. Obvious "headliners" for this stage are Against the Current, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! and Ghost Town. 

ATC, currently signed to the same label that brought you Paramore, will be releasing their debut album this May. ATC dpes have some obvious similarities to Paramore, but is more pop rock than anything else (then again so is Paramore these days). Ghost Town, labelmates to ATC, are like a cross between I See Stars, Motionless in White, and Issues. Summary, you want electronic rock? Then go see Ghost Town

Chunk! No, Captain Chunk! need no introduction. The name says it all. Want a good time, some fun songs, and French pride (fyi the band are all French), then stop by for their set. Following C!NCC!'s lead, you get pop punk bands in Waterparks, Ballyhoo!, and Assuming We Survive. The latter of the group the closest analog to C!NCC!. Waterparks could very well be the next 5 Seconds of Summer. It's pop punk for the masses, taking more from pop than punk. And last but not least, rounding out this pop punk trio are Ballyhoo!. A relatively unknown act, who have been around since the mid 90s. And amazingly enough, they've only done one other brief stint on Warped back in 2012. 

Of course that leaves Sykes, Teenage Bottlerocket, and our beloved Too Close To Touch. Each dipping into alt. rock, but then straying far from each other. Warped is always introducing us to great indie bands. This year they've brought us Sykes. Following in the footsteps of bands like The 1975, Nothing but Thieves, and Alvarez Kings, that should give you an idea what kind of band they are. This year's Warped Tour marks punk rock outlet Teenage Bottlerocket's first tour since the sudden death of founding drummer Brandon Carlisle in November of 2015. The announcement they would be playing Warped is the first bit of activity from the band since January when they revealed they would be continuing on with new drummer Darren Chewka. 

Do we even need to say anything about Too Close To Touch? We've given them enough praise in the past. Epitaph Records' response to bands like I the Mighty and Hands Like Houses, they're a real gem. Warped Tour 2016 is also their debut on the tour, so we look forward to seeing how they fair.