Summer coming around means a few things: school is out until the fall, the weather is scorching almost every day, and the annual Vans Warped Tour is set to roll through a city near you between June and August. The traveling tour is in its 21st circulation, bringing its festival-type setting to amphitheatres and parking lots all over America, and for some bands and fans alike, it’s the most important event of the summer.
In this year’s lineup there’s a surplus of great female-fronted bands, including Tonight Alive, Bad Seed Rising, and Sykes. In Hartford, even PVRIS made an appearance, with vocalist Lynn Gunn jumping onstage with Tonight Alive for a featured performance of “Lonely Girl.” The favour was returned later as Jenna McDougall joined PVRIS’ performance. Emarosa‘s energy is unabashed, making it hard for anyone to follow them on any stage. They are set for big things; perhaps next year they’ll be on the main stage causing pure chaos with an even larger crowd.
There is also a lot of pop-punk on this year’s tour. Veteran favourites like Yellowcard and Sum 41 are sharing stages with the likes of Real Friends and State Champs, with the latter being joined by a couple of blow-up hype men. Issues are touring off the back of their newest album and things get a little wild during their set, perhaps due to the introduction of the beloved Pokemon theme song (which is particularly hot right now).
As always, the atmosphere on the tour is lively and welcoming; despite the heat it is something shared amongst everyone and it’s a chance for people to be themselves without fear of judgement. It’s also why people, including bands, come back year after year. Here is our exclusive gallery from the day, all photos by Kelly Hamilton.