Must See Bands At Warped Tour This Year

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Photos and story by: Bridget Fornaro

It’s a hot and sticky day when my friends and I roll into the Pomona Fairplex parking lot. We look at our clocks to see the time; we arrived at 7:30 a.m. We knew that it would be a long exhausting day at Warped Tour. This was my second year attending Warped Tour Pomona, and my third year going to the festival. Warped tour is always an adventure. Based on my two days at Warped, here are some noteworthy bands to check out.

Transit: Boston natives, Transit should be one of the first bands you watch. The indie rock band, plays on the Journey’s Left Foot stage, and occasionally will perform an acoustic set at the Full Sail Acoustic Tent. They open with their set with “Nothing Lasts Forever”, the crowd started shouting the lyrics back at the band. Their set flies by, their music is laid back and  joyful to listen to.

PVRIS: Now one of the most popular electronic rock bands on this year’s line up, are up and coming band, PVRIS. The Massachusetts residents played Ernie ball stage last year, have rose to the top by playing the Journey’s Left Foot stage. In Pomona, PVRIS was upgraded to one of the main stages. Their crowd was so huge that you could barely see the stage. PVRIS did so well, that Lynn Gunn’s voice echoed across the fairgrounds.  They end their set with “My House”, the song could make anybody jump off their feet, and loose their minds.

Set It Off: Pop-rock band Set it Off are no strangers to Warped Tour, coming for the second time they’re ready to play this tour again. Set it Off play several new songs from their 2014 release, “Duality”, like “Forever Stuck in Our Youth”, “Bad Guy”, and “Why Worry”. The band feels a rush of energy from the hot sun, Dan Clermont, the lead guitar runs from stage right to stage left, while strumming his guitar. And for old Set it Off fans, as always lead singer Cody Carson dives into the crowd at some point; he has the crowd hold him up, as he sings to fans. Cody does this during each set, no matter what. The way he connects with fans in an intense form, but it’s exciting at the same time.

SayWeCanFly: Braden Barrie, known as singer/song-writer SayWeCanFly from Ontario, Canada sings acoustically every day at the Full Sail Acoustic tent. Braden’s songs can emotionally touch anybody, he tells stories of his past. Braden speaks about the troubles he went through in High School, and gives some insight to why he wrote his song, Scars. “I had a small group of friends, we wore band shirts, and skinny jeans, people would call us the emo kids,” said Braden. “I knew a girl, she was crying and had cuts on her wrist. That was the first time I ever encountered that.” Braden goes in depth on how life has its ups and downs, and we are here to live it. He assures everybody in the crowd that they are loved; the speech was touching and empathic. I sat down with Braden Barrie for a few moments to chat about Warped Tour. Braden couldn’t believe Warped tour added him to the line-up this year. “It was definitely surreal to me, it’s something I’ve always wanted to do since I started SayWeCanFly in 2009,” said Braden. “It’s just something I have always been in my mind and it is cool to see it become a reality.”  While on the topic of Warped tour, I asked Braden what musicians’ did he want to see this summer. He quickly replied saying his top three choices, “I definitely want to check out This Wild Life, I’ve been jamming to their music a lot lately,” said Braden. “Also PVRIS, I want to hear live. I love their album. And Pierce the Veil for sure. I’ve always liked their music.” After that, I thanked Braden for talking with me. We shook hands, and I walked to the Journey’s stages.

As It Is: British alternative rock band, As It Is takes on the stage with craziness. Lead singer, Patty Walters jumps on the stage like a maniac, you can find him jumping into the crowd, swinging the microphone around, and twisting his entire body around the stage. As it Is are a fresh band to Warped tour this year, but they take on the stage like pros. They like to have fun with the crowd with their sense of humor. In Pomona, lead guitarist, Benjamin Biss commented, “We’re British, and we are not used to this heat.” And Patty sat down on stage, and sang a song slowly to catch his breath. Of the both days I went to Warped tour, the band brought on a guest singer for one their songs. It’s one way to change up their set each day, and keeps it from getting boring.

This Wild Life: California acoustic duo, This Wild Life is a band that will definitely capture your eyes if you like acoustic coffee shop vibes music. TWL has played Warped Tour several times in the last few years, and returns back. They will steal your heart instantly with their calming melodies. The two-person band, Kevin Jordan and Anthony Del Grosso have an adorable dorky sense of humor, that any audience will love. Kevin made a comment about the song, “Puppy Love”, saying that the song is written for his dog. The entire crowd laughed and awed, and they went straight into the song. If you need a set to just relax to, This Wild Life is the band for you.

Pierce the Veil: The number one band you need to check for Warped this summer is the post-hardcore band, Pierce the Veil. Playing on the Unicorn stage this year, they will almost always be one of the last bands you will see at Warped Tour. Pierce the Veil draws one of the most overwhelming huge crowds each night. Everyone was screaming, and dancing to Pierce the Veil’s music. PTV has an incredible opening by starting their set with their band new song, “The Divine Hero”.  Their set list has all the major fan favorites, like “Bulls in the Bronx” and “Caraphernelia”. They end their set with “King for a Day”, and when they conclude their set, it has tons of confetti and fog machines. It’s certainly one way to end your day with a bang.

By the end of my Warped Tour adventures, I was tired, sunburnt, and hungry. But wouldn’t trade it for the world, Warped Tour is one of those festivals that you love and hate so much. You experience so much music; all you want to do is do all over again. Next summer can’t get here sooner; the anticipation is starting up again for next year’s Warped.