This past Thursday, I attended my eighth Warped Tour, and I can easily say that it was the best one I’ve ever been to. Before going I made a list of my top (seven) bands to see and, for the first time ever, was able to see every single one of my top picks, as well as a handful of others I hadn’t planned on catching. With so many solid sets back to back (to back to back), it was a fantastic day of music, and a younger version of myself would’ve gone so hard in the pits. This week, I’m looking back on the best songs from some of the best sets I saw. If the tour’s yet to hit your city and you plan on going (as you should), these are the things you can’t afford to miss.
1. “The Walking Wounded” – Bayside
Bayside was near the very top of my acts to see this year, and their set didn’t disappoint one bit. Somehow managing to fit eight songs into half an hour, it was a solid string of great performances spanning their career nearly perfectly. “The Walking Wounded” was a definite highlight of the set. Jack O’Shea’s face-melting playing will never cease to amaze me, and he straight-up murdered this solo. From Anthony Raneri’s flawless vocals to killer drum fills and bass you can actually hear, I don’t think there’s a better live band around right now. And, with the amount of material they’re playing on this tour, it’s the biggest bang for your buck in terms of spending time on the Warped Tour this year.
2. “King For a Day (Ft. Kellin Quinn)” – Pierce The Veil
When I last saw Pierce The Veil on Warped Tour, I thought they sounded good, but the amount of improvement they’ve made in terms of their live show in the past two years is remarkable. From the sheer amount of energy to the passion you could see in their playing to how great everything sounded, it was obvious that they more than deserved their spot on the main stage. As an added bonus, Kellin Quinn of Sleeping With Sirens came out to sing his parts on “King For a Day.” Unless Isles & Glaciers reforms and starts touring, it’s not likely that you’ll see two singers this great sharing the stage like this very often, so make sure to do it while you still can.
3. “Unknowingly Strong” – Make Do And Mend
I’m not sure how frequently Make Do And Mend is playing the Acoustic Basement stage, but they should be doing it every day if Warped Tour knows what’s good for it. There wasn’t a stage I was more excited for, and, while there were unfortunately some sound issues during Anthony Raneri’s set, I think it’s well worth checking out periodically throughout the day. While I missed Make Do And Mend’s full-band set, the acoustic one really sticks out as a highlight of my day, and this song was a big reason why. While it (obviously) didn’t include the drums, everything about the performance was spot-on, with the passion in the vocals shining through and the environment just feeling so naturally suited to this sort of show. If it had gone on all day, I would’ve been there all day. If they play this stage on your date, don’t miss it.