This summer's Vans Warped Tour will boast some impressive and eclectic artists to draw fans of punk, hip-hop, and hardcore right alongside the inevitable Hot Topic zombies. The venerable festival hasn't always evolved smoothly, but this year's Minnesota lineup is particularly impressive. It comes to Canterbury Park in Shakopee on Sunday, but the tour is already in full swing. Here are our five must-see acts for this year's biggest punk party.
Remember five years ago when everyone born after 1993 got really into A Day to Remember? That wasn't great -- Four Year Strong is their chance at doing it right. The band sounds like what the late-2000s pop-punk and emo should have turned into, and they play sets marked by both ferocity and inspiration. If we're lucky, they will be one of the first bands of the day, because they know how to kick off an event with bolts of unprompted energy seldom seen elsewhere.
The uncategorizable quartet from the U.K. has a new, thus-far untitled album in the works to tack atop their already stellar live show. Taking inspiration from such disparate sources as punk, hardcore, dubstep, trance, and The Zeitgeist Movement, Enter Shikari has an eclectic cocktail of socially conscious songs.
Pure hardcore acts are few and far between on a tour that has kept Zumiez stores alive for the past decade. Terror's presence is even more impressive given the band's steadfast dedication to its genre and culture. And given that these guys are headed on an extended European stint after the Warped tour, this may be the last shot for a while to play musical Fight Club with some legends.
Ska is a pretty polarizing genre, but Less Than Jake is a hard band to dislike. On top of the melding of pit-stompers and catchy grooves, the band has a more dedicated history with the tour than any other band, having played 365 Warped shows by this year. Boasting the live energy that only a punk band with a horn section can, and a musical attitude completely emblematic of the summer tour, the Warped veterans will undoubtedly be a staple of the day.
This Colorado group won Westword's Best Hip-Hop Band Music Award from 2010 to 2012. With their new record, Be Calm, showcasing the band's mixture of sparking lyricism, indie-rock riffage and soul-inspired hooks, Air Dubai should offer a standout performance.
The Vans Warped Tour will be held Sunday, July 20, at Canterbury Park.
For tickets and a full list of artists playing the festival, check out the website for the Minneapolis date.
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