Jono’s 5 Bands To Watch At Vans Warped Tour!

A week or so ago we just finished our trek on the Vans Warped Tour. As my last post suggested, it was a LOT of work, but was an amazing experience full of crazy stories and awesome friends. I wanted to share my list of bands that I made a point to watch whenever I could.

Motion City Soundtrack

We had the pleasure of touring with these gentlemen in early 2010 if I remember correctly. I’ve always been a fan, but the tour we did with them showed that they’re not only a great band, but great people. In 2010 we were also on Warped Tour together and became even better friends. This year we were all pretty happy to know we’d be in the same boat again. Their whole set is full of their best songs and every member of the band seems to give 110% when they play, including their new drummer Claudio Rivera. Seeing them was always the highlight of my day.

The Black Dahlia Murder

Seems like an oddball pick, but we have a history with these fellow Michiganders. At least 7 years ago we played a local community center in my hometown of Fenton, MI with a band called A Wilhelm Scream. In the crowd I noticed Trevor from Black Dahlia watching and I went to go fanboy after the show. As I walked up he asked if I was in The Swellers and told me he bought our merch. I freaked out. We kept in touch and he took us record shopping in Detroit and introduced me to some of my favorite bands. Actually being on a tour with them was a treat, because let’s face it, they’re the easily the heaviest, most evil band on all of Warped Tour (other than Forever The Sickest Kids). They ruled every day.


Unfortunately we only overlapped a few dates on our Warped Tour runs, but these guys are a must-see. Their brand of melodic, emotional hardcore sticks out like a welcomed sore thumb on this tour. We’ve played with the guys for years and it makes me feel so good to see how huge they’re getting. People are finally catching on and it’s well-deserved recognition. Get their new album that just came out too!

The Early November

Another situation similar to Motion City, we got to tour with TEN a few years ago. It was one of the most fun, relaxed tours we’ve done in forever. The guys are all incredibly nice and seeing the type of emo/rock that we grew up with, especially by the older, more polished musicians, was much appreciated. The songs mean something and they work their asses off even after years of doing it. You get an experience instead of a 30 minute set.


I only got to catch one of their sets, but this is the band everyone is talking about on Warped. They go crazy and have some pretty badass songs. Usually things get broken on stage and I heard there was some agreement where they had to lay down wood on the stage everyday so they couldn’t break it. That’s pretty badass. Usually once a day someone would come up to me and say, “DUDE, DID YOU SEE LETLIVE?!?! HOLY SHIT.” So, there you go.

What band playing Warped is YOUR favorite?

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