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16 Bands you should have seen at the FINAL Warped Tour

Bands you shouldn’t have missed, as told by Luke Jamroz

Photos by: Luke Jamroz

So long and goodnight to the storied past and everlasting emo tribute that is the Warped Tour. Kevin Lyman and co. have opted to bring the massive tour to a close, marking 2018 the year of its final journey through the United States. Born in 1995, the Vans Warped Tour is currently the longest running, largest traveling festival in the US. The event started out as an alternative rock celebration, it quickly grew into a punk lovers dream. Don’t be fooled with its punk roots though. Artists like Katy Perry, Gym Class Heroes, and Paramore have all cited Warped Tour as a brick in the foundation of their career. Fun fact: Country popstar and Season 3 The Voice winner Cassadee Pope started in a pop rock band called Hey Monday who, yes you guessed it, called Warped Tour home for a summer.


With 2018 being its last run around, we sent veteran S16 photog Luke Jamroz to capture the beauty, the grace, and the grit of Warped for one final time. Despite the smoldering heat and torrential downpour (because what’s a festival without unpredictable weather), fans camped out outside Charlotte’s PNC Music Pavilion until doors opened at 10 AM. Fans of young and old, veterans and newbies, rushed through security for a coveted barricade spot. The lawns were more bare than usual, meaning people were more interested in moshing in the pits than tanning from afar.


Perhaps the most priceless moments were the looks on parents’ faces as they dropped their kids off to a festival they once attended religiously. Some even braved the weather, walking through the festival arches alongside their kids, setting them free for a Warped experience of their own. Luke reported many a fan crowd surfing for the first time, and security helping them stay safe.

The most popular booth of the day was the Warped merch table. Everyone was grappling for their final chance at purchasing Warped Tour memorabilia that we’ll probably see on eBay soon enough… But to each their own! Next to the booth was a monster line of its own for an attraction in itself: a picture in front of the schedule board. Warped merch aside, there were plenty of opportunities to purchase merch, educate yourself, and participate in fun games throughout the Pavilion. Warped has been known for their plethora of nonprofits and community leaders at each date!

Thanks to Luke, we’ve got the 16 bands you should have seen while you were at Warped, in no particular order. Trust us. You seriously messed up if you didn’t. Don’t fret if you did though, because each band is sure to be on tour sometime this year or early next, so catch them if you can!

Mayday Parade
Website ~ Facebook ~ Listen to their latest tunes

One of the staples in emo pop, Mayday Parade literally belong on the final Warped Tour. The band has been on Warped Tour five times, whether they played the entire tour or bits and pieces. It’s only right that they finish out the tour’s final run with a throwback to 2008. Mayday Parade is currently out supporting Sunnyland, their sixth studio album that dropped June 15th via Rise Records.


Every Time I Die
Website ~ Facebook ~ Listen to their latest tunes

Like I said earlier, what’s a good Warped without ruthless weather? The boys in Every Time I Die are no strangers to the festival or its weather, so it was only fitting that they played their set during what felt like a monsoon. Luke reported that the photographers in the pit had to hide under the stage to don rain gear. Anything for that perfect shot!



Wage War
 Website ~ Facebook ~ Listen to their latest tunes

The absolute coolest part about Wage War’s set was the crowdsurfing. Duh! But what’s even cooler was when a fan in a wheelchair overcame the unlikely and crowd surfed to the front of the stage! The essence of Warped is community and music, both which shined through Wage War’s set.


Senses Fail
Website ~ Facebook ~ Listen to their latest tunes

Veteran Warped legends Senses Fail attended the tour for their seventh time, hitting up stages they were playing when they were a teeny tiny band. The band is currently supporting their seventh albumIf There Is Light, It Will Find You


Website ~ Facebook ~ Listen to their latest tunes

Waterparks have been the talk of the pop punk scene as of late, especially as they round the country on Warped for the second time. Twice prior, the band played the Houston dates as a hometown special. Despite only have two studio albums out, Waterparks are quickly making a name for themselves in the alt scene, and elsewhere. You can find Entertainment anywhere you stream music! 


Ice Nine Kills
Website ~ Facebook ~ Listen to their latest tunes


Luke reported that Ice Nine Kills stole the show… again! This comes as no surprise as the band is notoriously for a sick live show. Frankenstein impersonations from bassist Justin Morrow and a crowd surfing treat from Spencer Charnas reminded everyone why they were at Warped: for the once in a lifetime shows! They’re currently out supporting their latest single “The American Nightmare”, which will be featured on their newest record The Silver Scream, due out October 5th.


The Amity Affliction
Website ~ Facebook ~ Listen to their latest tunes

Warped 2018 really stepped up their legend game for the final run. Case in point: The Amity Affliction. This band is in a league of their own as they’ve toured in the Australian Warped. With a new album on the way, TAA are well on their way to hall of fame status.


Crown The Empire
Website ~ Facebook ~ Listen to their latest tunes

Crown The Empire are also no strangers to the sweltering heat of the mid-Summer stage. These Texas kids have been in CTE since 2010, and have dropped three full-length albums since. To be part of the final Warped after having gotten their start on the tour must have been a special moment, especially to share with the fans. They are currently out getting everyone hyped for a new record that will hopefully come in the Winter.



August Burns Red
Website ~ Facebook ~ Listen to their latest tunes

Pennsylvania’s August Burns Red are, you guessed it, no Warped newbies. In fact, they have inspired many a band that are on the final Warped run! ABA are currently out supporting Phantom Anthem.



Real Friends
Website ~ Facebook ~ Listen to their latest tunes

Real Friends have made their musical footprint while on Warped once again! The Illinois punks have also been included on the UK run of Warped, as well as several US dates in the past. Real Friends is currently out supporting their brand new record Composure.



Deez Nuts
Website ~ Facebook ~ Listen to their latest tunes



It’s hard to believe that Deez Nuts have been around before the infamous Vine, you know the one. This metalcore band came all the way from Australia to support their newest release Binge & Purgatory.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Listen to their latest tunes

Georgia metalcore kings Issues are totally used to the hellscape that is Warped weather, thinking absolutely nothing of the smoldering heat. The band’s newest record Headscape has been out for a bit, though they do have a new vocalist on board.


State Champs
Website ~ Facebook ~ Listen to their latest tunes

Pure Noise juggernauts State Champs are another band that belongs on Warped, especially the last one ever. Though they aren’t newbies to the Warped stage, they are absolute gods to the kids who walk around the Pavillon. State Champs are solidified a place in the pop punk hall of fame thanks to records like Around The World And Back and Living Proof.

In Hearts Wake 
Website ~ Facebook ~ Listen to their latest tunes

This Australian metalcore band is one of those underground acts you’re gonna see everywhere in a few years. Though they’ve got four full-lengths and a collection of EPs under their belt, they’ve really been hitting their stride this Summer on Warped. Check out Ark Prevails, with reimagined versions of Ark, anywhere you stream music!


The Maine
Website ~ Facebook ~ Listen to their latest tunes

The Maine “looked like they were filming a music video, not doing a Warped Tour,” said Luke. “That’s not a negative, they’re stage outfits were effortlessly polished!” Red pants and styled hair have been the M.O. for The Maine as of late, and have made it through an entire summer of Warped! Not many bands can say that.




Reel Big Fish
Website ~ Facebook ~ Listen to their latest tunes

Another band worthy of Warped royalty. Reel Big Fish are responsible for inspiring a plethora of bands who have been or are currently out on Warped. The ska punk legends are currently about to embark on a The Tickle My Tiki Torch Tour with Ballyhoo and We Are The Union.




And that’s a wrap! The final Warped Tour has come and gone, leaving many memories, scars, and photo galleries to cherish in the years to come. Check out the full gallery below for action shots of all your favs, and be on the lookout for some interviews from some of the Warped bands!

 See full gallery of the day!

Sheila Walsh graduated from USC Aiken in 2015 with a degree in English. While in school, she won an essay competition for an argumentative essay on why the arts are crucial to the education system. Additionally, she was recruited to play volleyball for USCA and contributed to a weekly journal discussing the life of a student-athlete. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC.

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