For 22 years, the Vans Warped Tour has been one of the major highlights on the contemporary punk-rock calendar. Ever since founder Kevin Lyman convinced L7, Sublime, Quicksand, Sick of it All, Deftones, and more to join forces and tour the nation for two months during the summer of 1995, fans of rowdy, dance-friendly music have been keeping an eye out for the Warped Tour lineup announcements, year-after-year.
There are always a few surprises. Katy Perry, for example, was on the bill in 2008. Her early brand of stomping pop fit in perfectly well with some of the other more accessible bands on the bill, but that doesn’t stop the average pop-punker’s brow from furrowing when reminded of this occurrence.
Nowadays, the definition of “punk” — when applied to the Warped Tour — is stretched, to say the least. All manner of indie and alt-rock groups make it onto the bill, and that eclecticism has only helped the package tour to survive. Here are four of the bands performing this year that aren’t necessarily traditional Vans Warped fodder. Indeed, none of them have played the event before.
Barb Wire Dolls
L.A.’s Lemmy-approved hard rockers the Barb Wire Dolls are led by the inimitable Isis Queen, a disciple of Wendy O-Williams (of the Plasmatics) who is certainly not afraid of her sexuality. Queen is a badass front-woman with a tremendous set of pipes, and she will play this rock ’n’ roll game by her own rules. Her co-founder in the Dolls, guitarist Pyn Doll, is also a pro surfer, so naturally he’s always been interested in Warped Tour.
“I never went to it because I was never in America at the time,” the guitarist says. “I’ve always liked it…
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