Music festivals. A Summer pastime! There’s nothing better than spending your day surrounded by great tunes, scorching heat, and weird girls dressed in stuff they made from flowers. If you’re like me and you’re too poor to attend the upcoming events like Lollapalooza in Chicago, Riot Fest in Chicago, and the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago, you might just have to settle for a little thing called the Vans Warped Tour. Wait, why is everything in Chicago? Anyway, the Warped Tour kicked off its nationwide routing this week and its got the best line-up that the tour has seen in years. With over 100 bands that will see the stage, it might be tough deciding which set you want to spend your time with. Luckily, we’ve got you covered with the top five bands that shouldn’t be missed.

The Summer Set

The Summer Set should be playing arenas already, but since the music industry is devoid of any logic, they’re tearing it up this summer on Warped for the second year in a row. However, that’s not a bad thing. It just means they’re one of the best acts on the tour yet again. With an eight song set filled with old ones and newer ones, The Summer Set’s pop jams will have you singing even once you’ve moved on to watch the next band.

The Summer Set IheartradioMissing The Summer Set on Warped will lead to sadness

Cute Is What We Aim For

Cute Is What We Aim For ruled childhoods for years, but then they broke up. Now they’re back together and they’re about to rule adulthoods as well. Having last played Warped in 2007, live videos of the first few days so far show that they’re anything but rusty. Frontman Shaant Hacikyan’s vocals sound great, their new songs are better than ever, and for the first time in a long time, it finally seems like everything with Cute Is What We Aim For is going to work out.

Nick Santino

The best part of Warped Tour is their Acoustic Basement stage. Underneath a nice, smallish, slightly less-hot-than-being-out-in-the-sun tent is a plethora of artists with just their guitars. One of the most notable? Nick Santino, formerly of pop band A Rocket To The Moon. Santino is doing the whole country thing with his solo project, and its turned out amazing so far. Joining the likes of Anthony Raneri of Bayside and Mike Herrera of MxPx, Santino will be playing Warped in the setting that suits him best.


If Summer was a collective group of people, it would be Yellowcard. They've even got a song called 'Always Summer.' This year is, like, the band’s 15th Warped Tour or something, and they somehow get better with each and every performance. If it were just them playing on their own stage for the whole day, it’d be the best stage by far. They have a new album coming out in a few months, too, so you should probably be excited for that.

Yellowcard Warped TourYellowcard is giving it their all once again on Warped Tour


Anberlin is important to Warped this year, because in January, the band announced that they’re going to be breaking up. For those not attending their last U.S. tour in November, Warped will be the final time you see them. That’s it. Forever. Okay, in reality, they’re probably going to reunite in, like, six years, but it doesn’t change the fact that they’re one of the most influential bands in the genre. Their set this summer needs to be seen one last time.