TOP 5: Personal Standouts of Vans Warped Tour ’13

This post was particularly hard for us to put together seeing as there were 90+ bands on tour, and choosing just five seemed completely impossible, not to mention unfair. We quickly realized, however, that this being our blog, we can rank these guys however we want! The bands we chose are the ones we felt we had some personal connection with… whether that be Wallpaper. whom the great Gabbie Brown introduced us to or Action Item whom we’ve known for years… each band has standout qualities that we loved seeing every day on tour.

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In Chicago Annie and I took a small break from our vending duties to catch the end of Wallpaper’s set. Our close friend and Kia pit reporter, Gabbie Brown, had told us nothing but incredible things about their music, so we were expecting good, but what we got was freaking phenomenal. Within seconds we were both jumping and dancing like fools, while occasionally shouting, “This is SO good!” Ever since that moment, we made it a point to have daily Wallpaper. dance parties. Their new album, Ricky Reed is Real, is out now on iTunes and, I kid you not, there isn’t one bad song. If you want to have the best damn day of your life, buy it immediately and puke your brains out with the rest of us.

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It was also in Chicago that Lauren got a chance to slip away for a few minutes to catch her first Five Knives show. Again, Miss Gabbie Brown is the one to thank in this case. Lauren came back almost speechless. “You just have to see them for yourselves,” was really all she could say. When we all got the chance to watch Five Knives together, it was pretty much the same reaction. Can you describe a band as just “wow,” because we’re going to. They are excitedly unpredictable and their interaction with the crowd keeps you on your toes the entire set. A little bird told us they’re taking a break to record their next album, so in the meantime support them by purchasing their latest album, The Rising.

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We actually first met Itch and Alejandro walking through the bus parking lot in Cleveland. They introduced themselves and we promised we’d see their set if we got a chance. Luckily, in Atlanta we got placed directly across from the Spotify stage so we got a front row spot. At the risk of sounding cheesy, their set was incredibly powerful. We knew Itch to be outspoken and opinionated, but with these three backing him up, the show was unstoppable every single time. We also loved how Itch rolled his wheelchair out into the crowd. People gathered around out of curiosity and stayed from pure amazement.

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When we found out that Action Item was going to be a part of this year’s Warped Tour we were so excited. We’ve known these guys for a few years now, so we were already familiar with their music and them as individuals. It just made more sense for us to be there. Action Item is, unashamedly, a pop band from New Jersey. Every single show, many of which we side-staged it for, outdid the one before. For most of the tour the guys had Jeremy Smith from Days Difference standing in on keyboards. When Jeremy left it was a true test of Action Item as a foursome, and it was truly outstanding. They will have no problem carrying themselves in the late fall on The Us Against Them Tour with Jake Miller and Air Dubai. These four are solid.

aswfont1Lauren and Annie have known Allstar Weekend since 2009 when the band was just named “Allstar.” Their addition to the tour helped us make our final decision in joining as well. It was especially awesome, and bittersweet, having the opportunity to watch them every day considering their stretch on Warped marked their last performances as Allstar Weekend. In the coming weeks, ASW is announcing their new name and new musical direction, an extremely exciting and much-needed change-of-pace for the band. While it will be tough for many of their die hard fan girls to move on from this gigantic change, we see it as nothing but positive. Life isn’t interesting without change, and we’re glad they’re taking the opportunity while they can. Do you, Allstar Weekend. Or should we say, The Artists Formerly Known as Allstar Weekend.

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SIKE! We’re doing six, because Alvarez Kings simply cannot be left out. We wouldn’t feel right about posting this list without at least mentioning these guys. We only got the chance to finally see them when we were placed across from the Insidious/Kevin Says stage in Tampa, but we were highly aware of their presence the entire time we were on tour. They were, easily, one of the hardest working bands we saw. They set up and tore down their own merch tent. They held their own signs. We saw them out and about everywhere promoting themselves. Not only that, but their set was excellent. Your dedication, hard work and awesome music did not go unnoticed, you British Kings of Alvarez.

The great thing about Warped Tour is that it features so many different types of bands, there’s something for everyone. We had a great summer with these people, and we can’t wait to see where they’ll go next. We predict big things. Let us know what you think about our top choices! We would love to know what your top bands are!

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