The Stars of Warped Tour 2016: Five Bands You Need to Hear

The Vans Warped Tour is more than just a music festival. Since its inception 21 years ago, the event has helped launch megastars like Paramore, Fall Out Boy and My Chemical Romance. Inclusion on its lineup has become an indication of potential in the alternative rock world. Listed here are five of the most exciting bands on Warped Tour 2016. Some of them are widely known and others are rising stars, but all of them are worth your time and attention.


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With Confidence

With Confidence is an Australian pop punk band with boundless energy and an ear for catchy melodies. Their debut album Better Weather, which came out July 17th, is aptly named. Full of hopeful lyrics and hooky choruses, it’s delightful enough to bring the sun out from behind any cloud. Jayden Seeley, the band’s vocalist, is undoubtedly gifted, sounding raw and gravelly at one moment and gracefully hitting high notes the next. It’s not hard to imagine a future where fans can hear his voice simply by turning on their radios. With Confidence is skilled, spirited, and set for success.

Listen to: “Keeper,” “We’ll Be Okay,” “Voldemort

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Palaye Royale

Palaye Royale is one of the most innovative acts on Warped Tour. A self-proclaimed “fashion-art rock band” from Las Vegas, the trio crafts intricate, haunting songs that bring to mind everyone from The Doors to Oasis. Frontman Remington Leith is a true performer. It’s nearly impossible to listen to his dynamic vocals without imaging him striding across a stage. Drummer Emerson Barrett’s percussion matches the intensity of each song’s lyrics flawlessly, and guitarist Sebastian Danzig is adept at playing both delicate chords and edgy, addictive riffs. Listening to Palaye Royale is an immersive experience, much like watching a musical—an experience that alternative rock fans absolutely should not miss out on.

Listen to: “Warhol,” “Morning Light,” “Sick Boy Soldier

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Waterparks is unlike anything in the pop punk world today. With inventive, insightful lyrics, a knack for finding memorable hooks, and passion that shines through every song, the Houston trio stands out as one of the most entertaining and intelligent bands in the scene. Whether he’s celebrating nonconformity in “New Wave,” dissecting the music industry in “I’m A Natural Blue,” or expressing his existential fears in “They All Float,” frontman Awsten Knight sings every word with irrepressible emotion and earnestness. Guitarist Geoff Wigington supplies riffs that will linger in listeners’ minds for days, and drummer Otto Wood keeps each song bouncing along with percussion that’s far from banal. Simultaneously polished and experimental, the perfect balance of lighthearted wit and serious introspection, Waterparks deserves to have a following that’s every bit as immeasurable as the band’s talent.

Listen to: “Crave,” “Pink,” “Mad All the Time

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Crown the Empire

Crown the Empire sounds like the soundtrack to an action movie in the very best way. The Dallas post-hardcore band’s empowering music will make you feel as if you’re rising triumphantly from the ashes of an epic sci-fi battle. Backed by roaring guitars and resounding drum beats, Andy Leo’s anthemic choruses and David Escamilla’s emphatic shouts turn every lyric into a matter of life and death. Always explosive but never over-the-top, Crown the Empire knows how to capture primal emotion and translate it into songs that could fill skies with their brilliance.

Listen to: “Machines,” “Zero,” “Memories of a Broken Heart

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In 2004, Los Angeles-based rock band Yellowcard made a splash with the upbeat, nostalgic single “Ocean Avenue.” Currently, the group plans to disband after a farewell tour—so you should check it out soon, before it’s too late to see a live Yellowcard show! Yellowcard has a sound like no other thanks to violinist Sean Mackin, whose accompaniment melds with classic pop-punk instrumentation and Ryan Key’s yearning vocals to create uniquely juxtaposed masterpieces. The band’s next and final album, which is self-titled, will be released on September 30. If it’s anything like the last nine Yellowcard albums, it will be full of energy and honesty—and, of course, some truly awe-inspiring violin solos.

Listen to: “Breathing,” “Five Becomes Four,” “Lights and Sounds


Remember that this list is far from complete. The 2016 Vans Warped Tour lineup contains dozens of talented bands, each with its own unique merits. To see the complete list of bands playing Warped Tour, visit the official Vans Warped Tour website.


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