Best of Vans Warped Tour 2017

Best of Vans Warped Tour 2017
Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
Tinley Park, Illinois

 Vans Warped Tour 2017

The crowd at Vans Warped Tour in Chicago are big and ready to have a good time. This year the fans were walking around like deer in headlights. It could have been the heat but also the suicide of Chester Bennington that was two days before. He died on Chris Cornell’s birthday, another great who committed suicide. The messages from the bands and the posters were “It’s okay to not be okay.”  I did feel like it was an extension of a scene from 13 Reasons Why but what we do to soothe ourselves after trauma is almost always going to be on a poster.  

In the 23rd year of the largest and longest running traveling festival, Vans Warped Tour has fans like no other festival. They are not the homogeneous crowds at rock festivals because the bands are so diverse. You have rap, singer songwriter, rock, punk and metal. The fans are aged 5-90 and every ethnicity and body type.  No one cared about the amount of skin that was showing from any person.  The fans and bands are so inclusive at Vans Warped Tour and that is what makes it one of the best festivals in the country.  

When we arrived, the fans made a run for the water stations!  What was nice this year was that there was additional time for entry.  You could make your way to the schedule and figure out when your favorite band was playing.  What was not good was that no shows were happening in the amphitheatre where you could sit and get a break from the sun.  Sure, there was tent set up to block the sun but you had to sit on the ground and you could not see any shows from the tents.  

Enough about what could be improved.  Every year there is a band that sells out their merch at their merch tent.  This year there was a tie between I Prevail and Gwar.  I think all the regular Warped Tour fans were surprised to see Gwar on the lineup this year.  Though Gwar has been through many iterations, they still provide a great live show.   And fans, old and new, know they have had a unique experience seeing them live.  I Prevail, has been on the scene for only a little while but they are gaining popularity dramatically since their formation in 2013.  They are social media minded and their songs resonate with a large group.  (Learn more about them in my interview here.)

Best Breakout Band

Without a doubt, the band on everyone’s lips was Bad Cop/Bad Cop as one of the must see bands.  The band played the Hard Rock stage so I knew they were going to rock.  The band is an all female band that lists their interests as ‘donuts’ on their Facebook page. So you know they have be awesome.  The band has catchy songs and really are just having fun performing.  

 Vans Warped Tour 2017

Best Crowdsurfing Band
I Prevail

I Prevail is a metalcore band from Southfield, Michigan.  I have been one of their ardent supporters and am extremely thrilled they have gotten so popular.  Each year there is a band where more body surfing occurs than you think is possible.  This year it was I Prevail who’s fans set the standard for the most people up in the air.  There was an endless stream of people who went from front to back the whole set.

 I Prevail Vans Warped Tour 2017

Best Artist Before They Become Untouchable
Andy Black or Futuristic
Vans Warped Tour has had several huge stars on their stage from Green Day, Weezer, My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy, Katy Perry, and Paramore. We make our prediction about who the next superstar is going to be. Andy Black (Biersack) is the lead singer of metal band, Black Veil Brides. Black Veil Brides has slowly gained tremendous success with each album they release. Their fans are fervent supporters of their message of believing in yourself when you are different. He has had a fairy tale romance with Juliet Simms (Biersack), an American singer who rose to fame on The Voice. They married in a ceremony in April of 2016. (We later find out they have been married legally since 2012).

Andy Black has a pop sound versus the metal sound of Black Veil Brides. While performing, his sway with the audience was undeniable. When he moved toward the audience, there was unadulterated screaming and fans wanting to touch him and called his name in earnest. He is starring in a feature film called American Satan to be released this year on Friday the 13th of October.  The movie also stars Ben Bruce of of the band, Asking Alexandria, Denise Richards, Malcolm McDowell, and John Bradley-West (Samwell Tarley from Game Of Thrones).  The trailer looks like it will be a blockbuster and will move metal music back to popular culture again.  

Futuristic is a rapper unlike any others.  He has gained success through social media and done it without a label.  He really has done what he has wanted from the ground up.  What stands out about Futuristic is how relatable his lyrics are to his generation.  I guess that is still the millennials but those specifically twenty-five and under.  Plus, his speed as a rapper is impressive.   

Vans Warped Tour 2017

Best Band With A Message
Fire From The Gods

Fire From The Gods is a metal band from Austin, Texas.  Their Facebook states “Free from hate. Free from pain. Free to choose our own path.”  Their album Narrative Retold is one of the best of 2017 with the song “Excuse Me” that brings a message that everyone needs to listen to. Yet is it not the only song with the message. We have to listen to “Evolve” and “End Transmission” and really the entire album to get the message. Their live show is mesmerizing and powerful.  

Best Retro Sounding Band
William Control

Somewhere between Black Veil Brides and Depeche Mode is William Control and The Neuromantic Boys.  They are electronic, dark and catchy.  I almost missed them as they were the last band playing in Chicago.  It probably also helps that he could probably be mistaken for Corey Feldman.  Regardless, I felt like I was stepping back in time listening to the sound of his band.  

Vans Warped Tour 2017

We love the excitement of seeing bands live and finding new and good bands at Vans Warped Tour this year and hopefully for many more years to come. 


Click on artist for their full photo gallery from Vans Warped Tour:

American Authors
Andy Black
Bad Omens
Fire From The Gods
I Prevail
Jule Vera
Memphis May Fire
Neck Deep
New Years Day
Our Last Night
Stick To Your Guns
The Acacia Strain
Too Close To Touch
Various Artists

Best of Warped Tour 2015

Best of Warped Tour 2015
Best Rock List attended two dates of Vans Warped Tour in 2015. We attended dates in Chicago and Milwaukee.

Best performances

Mod Sun
Movement On Dreams + Stand Under None
Mod Sun is all about happy, living life to the fullest, and having fun. I would describe him as a Jimmy Buffet for Millenials.
The band is fun and accepting. They had a wheelchair fan come out eleven-year-old girl and she knew every single word to the song, “Happy As Fuck” in Chicago. It was an amazing performance. You can watch the video here Kylee video

We caught Arkham’s one-off show in Milwaukee on the Kevin Says stage. They are a punk band from Chicago. Their show was energetic. When the singer Adam Bevel had a nosebleed, he just went on with the show. and it was almost like a metal show with a bloodletting. The crowd is always mixed at the Kevin Say stage and today was no exception. Several fans were happy to participate in singing/screaming along with Arkham.


Click to view complete Arkham Photo Gallery









The electronic metal band from Japan. The band was formed in 2006. Crossfaith was on Warped Tour in 2013. Crossfaith has what it takes to go the distance. They have talent and determination. We learned a little about where they are from in Osaka, Japan in our interview with them.


Click to view complete Crossfaith Photo Gallery









Pvris hot off a win of Alternative Press’s Breakthrough Band. With two EPs and one full length album “White Noise” that was released in November of 2014. The album has been greatly received.  The songs “St Patrick”, “Holy” and “My House” are lyrically amazing.



Click to view complete Pvris Photo Gallery















Mallory Knox
Mallory Knox is a U.K. band that had recently been on tour with Sleeping with Sirens and Pierce The Veil prior to Warped Tour. Their latest album Assymetry came out in October of 2014. Find out more about Mallory Knox and Assymetry by watching our interview with Mikey.



Click to view complete Mallory Knox Photo Gallery and Interview















Asking Alexandria
Warped Tour was the United States first look at Asking Alexandria with new vocalist, Denis Stoff. I had my doubts that Denis Stoff could pull off the same quality of vocal style as Danny Worsnop. I was proven wrong.  Denis Stoff seems to complete the band in a cohesive way more than Worsnop ever did. He fits quite nicely with their image and his skills as a vocalist are on par with Worsnop and we daresay better than Worsnop live. Asking Alexandria’s new song “I Won’t Give In” is a statement to the world that Asking Alexandria will persevere.


Click to view complete Asking Alexandria Photo Gallery












Bebe Rexha

A prolific songwriter with songs such as “The Monster” by Eminem with Rhianna and “Hey Mama” by David Guetta featuring Nicki Minaj. Bebe Rexha is striking out on her own and released an EP titled I Don’t Wanna Grow Up. In addition to performing songs off her EP, she also performed hits that she wrote. She is a gorgeous woman and immediately fans were drawn to her as a performer. They already knew most of her songs.

Kaya Stewart
Kaya Stewart is a new fresh face that is the offspring of Eighties rock royalty. Her father is none other than Dave Stewart of The Eurythmics. Kaya is only fifteen and her lyrics are sincere, honest, and sweet. Find out more about her relationship with her father and plans for the future in our interview.

Family Force 5
The Christian power band has the most enthralling show of the entire tour. Their style included Eighties inspired clothing, neon triangles, and trampolines. Every person should make sure to see this band live if they ever have the chance. What fans get is a band that is high energy, fun and entertaining. Vocalist Crouton (Jacob Olds) was airborn a lot of the time during their performance. Their show is mesmerizing and the best fun of Warped Tour.

Black Veil Brides
When the men in Black Veil Brides look at a fan, the fan may scream or faint especially if the fan is female but occasionally when they are male too.  Black Veil Brides sound is metal or even hard rock.  The band has some of the most dedicated fans who dress like them and scream along to their lyrics like there is no tomorrow.  The frenzy surrounding Andy Biersack is a teenage emotion on crack or at least a Venti Double.  Girls still think they will be able to marry him even though he is taken by fellow Warped Tour artist and The Voice finalist, Juliet Simms.



Click to view complete Black Veil Brides Photo Gallery















Pierce The Veil
A lot of the fans showed up for Pierce The Veil. So many fans that there was a crowd halfway across the grounds in Chicago. Despite the fact that Tony Perry was not on the tour because of a mountain biking accident. His fill in, Jesse Barrera, had no problem with their set. Tony Perry is the offspring of rock royalty also. His father is none other than Joe Perry of Aerosmith. Pierce The Veil has made a name for themselves with poignant lyric writing headed up by brothers, Mike (drummer) and Vic (vocalist) Fuentes. The entire band the deceptive look of teenagers while being in their thirties. Perhaps the tattoos make them look younger. Their set consisted of:

The Divine Zero
May These Noises Startle You in Your Sleep
Hell Above
Bulls in The Bronx
Yeah Boy and Doll Face
King For a Day

Warped Tour was skewed toward the younger crowd with the bands on the tour.  The tour continues to outdo itself each year.  Each year, everyone asks will there be another Warped Tour and how can it be any better than this year.  It is different each year and continues to persevere and excite every year.  We cannot wait until next year.