Five Standout Bands from Vans Warped Tour 2017

We recently attended the Long Island date of this year's Vans Warped Tour at Jones Beach Theater. This time around, the lineup was a very interesting, eclectic and strong mix of artists, all in drastically different stages of their career. Kevin Lynman has done an excellent job at culminating a lineup of both veteran and upcoming bands, as well as offering a refreshing amount of female representation in the lineup, something that many festivals severely lack. These are a few of our favorite sets of the day.

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It was incredible to see a band as unique, talented, and musically intricate as Dance Gavin Dance command one of the largest crowds of the festival. This was not the first Warped Tour for this post hardcore / progressive rock outfit, but it was the first year where they were billed as the main stage act. Dance Gavin Dance drastically set themselves apart from the other heavy acts on the festival with their brilliant blend of sweet pop sensibility, frenetic progressive rock riffage, and funky grooves, which have been honed over the course of a decade. The band focused their notably short setlist on newer songs written with their most recent singer, Tilian Pearson, consisting mostly of tracks of off their new album Mothership. The massive crowd's enthusiastic reaction showed how the band has completely repositioned themselves seven albums deep in their career and are at the top of their game.  - Mike 


Although they haven't played the tour since 2013, Boston ska punk veterans Big D And the Kids Table have been a long standing Warped Tour favorite for many years, and this year was no different. The band blazed through old fan favorites as well as new tracks, focusing heavily on tracks off of their 2007 album Strictly Rude, as they had just come off of an anniversary tour of the record before hoping onto Warped Tour. It was easily one of the most fun and positive sets of our day at Warped, as Big D had the crowd singing along and skanking away from the first to last note. No matter how drastically the Warped Tour continues to morph throughout the years, you can always count on Big D and the Kids table to bring some quality, classic ska punk.  - Mike


There's no doubt that Microwave always deliver and their set at Warped Tour proved yet another solid performance. Wailing away at crowd favorites such as "Stovall" and "Lighterless," the group seamlessly bridged the gap between the grime of local bar shows and the younger atmosphere of Warped. This was shown even in individual songs; the final song the band played, "Vomit," captured softer, intricate, and gritty sounds that could have appealed to viewers deeming themselves too "cool" for the festival, all while building into shameless screams that easily won the hearts of the more typical Warped demographic. Microwave knocked out a short and sweet (and early) set, yet provided a consistency that, although making them a stand-out performance of the day, allowed them to seem right at home with the rest of the lineup. - Courtney


Hopping overseas from Manchester, UK,  infectiously fun ska outfit Sonic Boom Six are one of our favorite musical discoveries brought to us via the Vans Warped Tour. SB6 is a distinct hybrid of ska, EDM, punk, and pop music who fit nicely and snugly into the diverse musical palette of Warped Tour. The band combines socially charged lyrics regarding feminism, equality, and multiculturalism with upbeat, driving, danceable songs without one detracting from the other. While SB6 has been around since the early 2000s, this year is surprisingly their first run on Warped, and they completely owned the stage, demanding attention to an entirely new audience. Since the night I got home from Warped, I haven't stopped jamming their new record, The F Bomb. Even if you've never heard of them before, make sure to make room for them on your Warped Tour schedule for one of the most fun sets you'll see all summer. - Mike


A lot of the bands at Warped Tour can be fun or have the capacity to be fun but take themselves so seriously. Yes, I want to listen to music and cry my eyes out and have feelings sometimes but I don't think a band that helps you escape and have a good time is a bad thing. The entire time I was watching Bad Cop/Bad Cop, my stress levels were so much lower than usual- I was just relaxed and having a good time. A band like Bad Cop/Bad Cop just looks like they are having fun if you shut off your ears and only observed them with your eyes alone. However, the thing I found most memorable about Bad Cop/Bad Cop is how amazing their three part harmonies are live. They have things to say about society within their lyrics but anyone can enjoy their anthemic music. You should listen to this band so that you can remember what it feels like to have fun. - Michelle