Warped Tour Preview: Week 1


Warped Tour Preview: Week 1

by Jess Swarner


If you’re still longingly listening to your compilation CD and annoying your friends with repeated stories about all the autographs and pictures you got with bands at a past Warped Tour, I (finally) have some happy news for you. Since waiting a whole year between each Vans Warped Tour can be extremely gut-wrenchingly painful, the tour’s website releases the names of five bands from the upcoming line-up each Wednesday evening throughout the winter. This past week marked the long-awaited first announcement for the 2015 Tour, and the mixed-genre group of rising artists certainly did not disappoint. Here’s a closer look at the acts that will be gracing the stages this summer:


  1. Kosha Dillz: hip-hop, alternative

Background: Kosha Dillz, the stage name of rapper Rami Matan Even-Esh, began rapping in 1999 at the age of 17. He released his first 12-inch “Chainsaw Music” in 2005 and collaborated with Matisyahu on the song “Childhood” in 2006. Since then, he has released three albums with the most recent being 2013’s Awkward in a Good Way on the label Murs 316.

Why You Should Check Him Out: Kosha Dillz is not just another rapper—his Israeli heritage and struggle to accept his Jewish identity give him a unique perspective on life and the hip-hop scene. He has toured with well-known and well-loved artists including Aesop Rock and Cage the Elephant, and has also been featured at Sundance and South By Southwest festivals.

Youtube/Spotify these: The Alien Song (feat. Homeboy Sandman, MC Lars & Geo of Blue Scholars), Zionist Yoga, Garage Sale


  1. Palisades: dance, post-hardcore

Background: Forming in Iselin, New Jersey, in 2011, this six-piece released their EP I’m Not Dying Today in 2012 and their first full-length Outcasts with Rise Records in 2013. The band is currently working on their sophomore release.

Why You Should Check Them Out: Palisades has toured with Warped Tour favorites such as Like Moths to Flames and Crown the Empire. They are very similar to hardcore band I See Stars, who made a name for themselves by mixing heavy guitars and screaming vocals with electronica-influenced beats. Also recently featured on Punk Goes Pop Vol. 6, the band produced a solid cover of Pharrell Williams’s “Happy.”

Youtube/Spotify these tracks: Your Disease, Disclosure


  1. Handguns: pop punk, rock

Background: Hailing from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, five friends make up the core of this band which has experienced dramatic line-up changes since its inception in 2008. They have released two albums with Pure Noise Records, with their newest one, Life Lessons, having just hit the shelves this past July.

Why You Should Check Them Out: Having toured with modern pop punk greats The Story So Far and the Wonder Years, Handguns produces fun music with the classic pop punk themes of staying young and avoiding 9-5 jobs—their version of hell. These dudes played the 2013 Warped Tour, so they will definitely be prepared to put on another good show this time around.

Youtube/Spotify these tracks: Stay With Me, Early Retirement


  1. Front Porch Step: acoustic, emo

Background: Front Porch Step is the project of Newark, Ohio, solo artist Jake Mcelfresh. Mcelfresh began playing under this name in 2012 and signed with Pure Noise Records in 2013 to release his album Aware.

Why You Should Check Him Out: Front Porch Step is what would happen if you took Matt Nathanson or Mat Kearney and told him to act as pop punk as possible, i.e. wailing about ex-girlfriends with an acoustic guitar. If you get really excited when your favorite bands release acoustic versions of songs, you’ll probably be really into this. Mcelfresh also played on last year’s Warped Tour which shows that he’s got a pretty impressive amount of support for an acoustic solo artist. He will be headlining a tour with bands Have Mercy, Alcoa, and Head North that will pass through Mesa in March, so you will have another opportunity to see him live if (God forbid) Warped Tour doesn’t work out for you.

Youtube/Spotify these tracks: If I Tremble, Drown


  1. Neck Deep: straight up pop punk

Background: This group of five from Wales started doing their thing in 2012. They released two EPs leading up to their first full-length Wishful Thinking, which debuted in January 2014 on the beloved punk label Hopeless Records. They are currently beginning work on their sophomore effort, which will be aided in production by none other than A Day to Remember’s vocalist Jeremy McKinnon. (For those of you who don’t pay much attention to this genre, this collaboration is a big deal!! Small band rising quickly to fame meets one of the rulers of the scene.)

Why You Should Check Them Out: Neck Deep is absolutely exploding in popularity in the punk scene. Winner of Kerrang! magazine’s 2014 Best British Newcomer award, these guys have high expectations placed on them, and they are talented enough to consistently deliver. They played last year’s Warped Tour but have gained a lot of touring experience since then, so this summer’s show should be even radder. If you find yourself in their crowd, prepare for some intense moshing and circle pits—I watched some girls almost get trampled during their set when they performed at the Nile. But, that goes to show that they know how to rile up a crowd and encourage mass angst.

Youtube/Spotify these tracks: Losing Teeth, A Part of Me (feat. Laura Whiteside), What Did You Expect?


The 2015 Warped Tour will be stopping by Mesa at Quail Run Park on June 23. Tickets go on sale next Friday, 12/12, and increase in price as the months go by. Yes, it will be hot. Yes, it will be crowded. But if the line-up announcements continue to be of this high quality, you won’t want to miss out on the best day ever.