The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Jen’s Top Ten’s: Bands I want to see at Warped Tour 2018

Ugh. It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for — the lineup release for the final cross-country tour for the Vans Warped Tour. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that my favorite festival is coming to an end. The highlight of the last four years have definitely been the days that I attended Warped. And now, it’s coming to an end, and the long-awaited lineup was just released this past week.


Fans have been speculating for months about who was going to play the last tour, with guesses ranging from plausible to never-gonna-happen (*cough cough* a My Chemical Romance reunion). Alas, the lineup has been revealed and the consensus is split: some are very ecstatic about the lineup, and some are incredibly disappointed. As for me? I’m definitely excited, but I can see where people were disappointed.


Before I jump into my top ten picks, I want to address the certain marketing tactic that they used to announce the bands. As always, they post a photo with all the bands written on it in alphabetical order, with asterisks by the bands that weren’t playing the whole tour. This year, instead of asterisks, they put those bands in a purple font as opposed to the black font. At first glance, you don’t realize that they aren’t playing the full tour until you see the fine print at the bottom.

A lot of fans were upset about this, mostly because some really big bands are playing, with a lot of them only playing select dates. This sucked, because there are a lot of big names, Warped-esque bands, such as All Time Low, Asking Alexandria, Bowling For Soup, Sum 41, and Taking Back Sunday, that are only playing one or two dates. While they do clarify that they aren’t playing the full tour, one can’t really tell at first glance, which makes the lineup a little bit more disappointing.

But enough of that. I’m still pretty pumped about the bands that are playing the full tour, which all ten of these are.

1.) Movements

Movements photo:

I CAN’T CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT TO SEE THIS BAND LIVE AGAIN. I saw them at last years Warped Tour, when they were on a small stage with a small crowd, and this year they have been upgraded to the MAIN STAGE! These guys released a killer album last October, titled “Feel Something,” which skyrocketed their career (hence the spot on the main stage). If you’re into post-hardcore emo, then you definitely need to check out this band.

Favorite song: Vacant Home

2.) The Maine

The Maine photo:

The Maine also released an amazing album last year, “Lovely Little Lonely.” I’ve only seen them once before, but that was before LLL came out and before I was really that big of a fan. The Maine are a rock band from Arizona, and they’ve played Warped shows in the past. Now that I’m into their music some more, I’m really excited to see them this summer.

Favorite song: How Do You Feel?

3.) State Champs

State Champs photo:

Tbh, I’ve seen State Champs like 5 or 6 times already. What can I say? They’re one of my all-time favorite bands that also happens to be one of the biggest in the pop-punk scene today. When I first saw them at Warped Tour back in 2014, they were still relatively small. I’m excited to see them again this year, back on the main stage, performing my favorite songs. Talk about coming full circle, huh?

Favorite song: All or Nothing

4.) Knuckle Puck

Knuckle Puck photo:

Knuckle Puck are a band that I’ve fallen deeply in love with over the last few years. They just released their sophomore album, “Shapeshifter,” this past October. It took a little while to grow on me, but I absolutely love it now, so I’m definitely excited to see them play some of their new material live.

Favorite song: Want Me Around

5.) Real Friends

Real Friends photo:

Whenever I think about Real Friends, I think about the first time I saw them at Warped Tour 2014. If you couldn’t tell already, that years Warped Tour was an amazing year that got me into a lot of my current favorite bands. Real Friends are a pop punk band from Chicago, and they always give fun performances no matter where they play, but there’s something a little bit more special about their Warped shows.

Favorite song: Summer

6.) Grayscale

Grayscale photo:

At this time last year, I had no idea who Grayscale was. And now, I. love. them. I discovered them shortly after the release of their 2017 pop-punk album “Adornment,” and now I can’t get enough of them. They’re still relatively small(ish), and I think those are some of the most fun sets to see live at Warped. I haven’t had the chance to see them live yet, and I hear that they’re awesome, so I’m excited.

Favorite song: Beautiful Things

7.) Broadside

Broadside are a pop punk band that I tried to see at Warped 2016, but just barely missed. They also released an album last year, “Paradise.” I haven’t listened to it too much, but from what I’ve heard of it, it’s pretty good. I loved their album “Old Bones,” and their sound overall, so I hope that I get to see them this year.

Favorite Song: Coffee Talk

8.) Simple Plan

Simple Plan photo:

You might be thinking, “Simple Plan are still around?” and the answer is yes, yes they are. I actually got to see them live here in Iowa City a couple years ago for the University of Iowa Homecoming (review of that here). While that was a fun, outdoor night show, I want to see them during the Warped atmosphere. They’re definitely one of the more popular Warped Tour veterans, having played the festival 1999-2005, 2011, 2013, and 2015. I’m excited to hear their most popular tunes.

Favorite song: I’m Just A Kid

9.) With Confidence

With Confidence photo:

After some drama went down with the band over the past year, they’ve been kind of silent. But now, they’re ready to play Warped this year, and I’m pretty excited. I saw them as an opening band once, but what I’m really looking forward to is seeing them at Warped.

Favorite song: Voldemort

10.) Mayday Parade

Mayday Parade photo:

And last but not least, Mayday Parade. I’ve already seen them live a handful of times, two of those being at past Warped Tours, but nonetheless, I’m still excited to see them. Mayday Parade always puts on a great show with their outstanding stage presence. They’re always so excited to be playing live, making the Warped experience that much better.

Favorite song: Just Say You’re Not Into It

So there you have it! Make sure to stay tuned for my review of the festival this summer. In the meantime, check out my review of Warped Tour 2016 here, Warped Tour 2017 here, and also my thoughts on the end of Warped Tour here.