The Vans Warped Tour, the long-running summer staple that is in its 18th year, brings another diverse line-up to town at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Reliant Center parking lot. What started out as “punk-rock summer camp” has evolved, integrating metal, pop, indie and hip-hop acts into the mix. This year, the tour lacks a true headliner but has new-school stars such as Falling In Reverse, Four Year Strong and All Time Low, along with veterans to the Warped scene in the Used, Yellowcard and Taking Back Sunday.
New to the 2012 edition is an acoustic tent, which will feature solo sets from Bayside’s Anthony Raneri and Vinnie Caruana from I Am the Avalanche.
With more than 70 bands on the bill, 29-95 offers your guide to five bands not to miss.
Rock ’n’ roll isn’t dead
Remember when rock ’n’ roll was dangerous? Metal stalwarts Every Time I Die is a great reminder of what it was like to freak out your parents with your music. The band has developed a nice niche with the hard-core and metalcore crowd and features one of the scene’s best frontmen in Keith Buckley. Buckley and co. always put on an entertaining show.
Punk isn’t dead
If you are looking for DIY ethos and music with a message behind it, Pittsburgh punk rockers Anti-Flag is the way to go. While Anti-Flag’s Chris Barker and Chris Head spent 2011 playing in the indie/alt-rock group White Wives, and Justin Sane released some solo work, the band still had plenty of vigor for its latest release, “The General Strike.” If you’re looking for music with activism and aggression, then the mosh pit for Anti-Flag is the place for you.
Pop-punk isn’t dead
New Found Glory lives by the mantra of “pop punk’s not dead” and has become one of the genre’s proud flag bearers. After riding Green Day and blink-182’s wave of momentum, New Found Glory established its own world-wide following and brand of modern pop-punk. These guys put on one of the best live shows and define what a “summer” band should be.
Ska isn’t dead
Despite an ongoing war with its own label, Victory Records, Streetlight Manifesto still is going strong. Streetlight Manifesto urges fans to buy its music directly from them at shows or even download for free rather from the label or iTunes. The band doesn’t hesitate to stand up for what they believe in, and its catchy ska isn’t too shabby either.
Emo isn’t dead
Taking Back Sunday probably wouldn’t be too keen on wearing the “emo” tag, but its debut album, “Tell All Your Friends,” was an instant classic and helped set off a rebirth of that disparaged three-letter word. The original group from that release is back and better than ever. One of rock’s better live acts, Taking Back Sunday should top your to-see list.
Vans Warped Tour
When: 11 a.m., Sunday
Where: Reliant Center parking lot