Headbangers Brawl: What bands should play the final Warped Tour?

Posted by on February 21, 2018

This past weekend, the Vans Warped Tour found itself in a bit of a Twitter dispute over what bands should appear on the lineup of its final run this summer. Unsurprisingly the talk centered around what ‘00s punk and emo bands fans would like to see play a 30 minute set in amphitheater parking lots one last time. However, it got us to think about what metal and hard rock bands are likely to play the final Warped Tour. After all, the touring festival has had its fair share of heavy acts grace its multiple stages over the years, everyone from Avenged Sevenfold in their early metalcore days to GWAR just last year. So here’s the question: What heavier acts should play the final Warped Tour?


Zach S: Well I’m pretty confident that younger metalcore bands like Of Mice & Men will once again return to the Warped Tour. Actually, Of Mice & Men would make a lot of sense since while they’ve been on the tour numerous times, it would give Aaron Pauley a chance to show off his new role in the band to a larger audience. However, I would love to see some more veteran acts like Suicidal Tendencies return to Warped Tour, bands many younger fans into hardcore and punk might often forget how influential they were to their favorite bands.

I also would really love to see Body Count (who actually reunited at the Warped Tour 15th anniversary party in 2009) do a proper Warped Tour run. I always loved the story of how Ice T reached out in 1999 to play the Warped Tour just for the hell of it (marking one of the first times rap had a presence on the then primarily punk focused tour). Plus, after recently earning a Grammy nomination, playing the Warped Tour this summer could prove to be a fun victory lap for Body Count, as well as a way reintroduce themselves to younger fans (sort of like how they did at Mayhem Fest back in 2014).

But now here’s an idea you might scoff at … what about Limp Bizkit? Ok, here me out! First off, let’s not forget that Fred Durst and co. played Warped Tour in 1997, right before they blew up with 3 Dollar Bill, Ya’ll. Many will admit that seeing Limp Bizkit play the festival at the time was a refreshing change during a day filled with 90s punk bands, so there’s definitely a nostalgia play with it being Warped’s final year. Plus, it could prove to help Limp Bizkit reconnect with fans and maybe even make a few new ones. Sure they’re still a long way from being taken seriously again, BUT the past few years have brought back a small nu metal resurgence (ok, more like a lot of fans looking back at nu metal albums fondly) and even some willing to admit that Limp Bizkit is a guilty pleasure. I don’t know if I’d bother going to see them play for an hour in a club (even for free). But a 30 minute set from Limp Bizkit sandwiched in between a ton of other bands in a festival setting could actually be a lot fun, maybe even remind me how I once did like a few of their songs… or worst case, provides an opportune time for a bathroom break.


Jeff: Limp Bizkit?  C’mon now.  You want to make that tour significantly worse than it already is? You want more empty space in the parking lot to yourself? 

Look, it’s beyond time to put this tour to bed and while it’s great that I can socialize in the parent’s tent,  there’s nothing left there for those of us in our 40’s.  
Might I go if Body Count were to play? Maybe.  I’d also really dig a Rollins Band reunion (with Chris Haskett, Sim Cain and Melvin Gibbs or Andrew Weiss), maybe some Sick of it All, Snapcase and Hot Water Music.  Nerve Agents weren’t hurt either.  But if it’s mostly Hot Topic stuff, I would have to seriously take a pass.
And here’s a couple names out of nowhere that would make me get up and take notice…  Shelter and Baby Gopal.  You don’t know Baby Gopal? You should.  For good measure,  Into Another. 
Bram: I think we know more or less what we’re going to get. I’d be pretty surprised if at least a third of the band isn’t a “Warped Tour’s Greatest Hits” list. The tour has done so much to cater to punk, pop-punk and emo over the years that they should probably get those bands that played multiple runs to do it one last time. I’m guessing it’ll sound like a Tony Hawk Pro Skater game, with the likes of Bad Religion and The Offspring playing. However, they’ve given a ton of heavier bands their first mass exposure to audiences other than strictly metal and hardcore fans. Deftones and Hatebreed played the fest, and lets not forget that Sugar Ray and Kid Rock did too. Some bands, like Every Time I Die, play just about every year.  And in the last few years, Kevin Lyman has been filling in the void that the demise of the Mayhem Fest left by making at least one of the stages all-metal, so here’s hoping he keeps it interesting for this, it’s final year. Code Orange and Power Trip would be good bookings for the last run as far as young blood, but it would be nice to have some bands for those who might have grown up with the festival.
Nick: Hearty second on Code Orange and Power Trip, and if Every Time I Die ends up on the last Warped, I’ll probably go. Knocked Loose have a lot of hype behind them these days, so I think it’d be pretty appropriate to have them too. I’ve honestly only ever been to a couple Warped Tours in my life; stuff like Mayhem and Summer Slaughter (and New England Metal & Hardcore) were more my bag in terms of the highest volume of bands I actually wanted to see. I’m torn between having it be a big parade of legacy acts, versus really giving some new blood a chance to shine. There’s definitely a sweet spot it could hit and be pretty awesome this year.
Zenae: It’s doubtful that there will be many heavy metal acts for the final Warped Tour run. I can only predict, they’ll try to bring main punk/pop punk bands such as Blink 182, Weezer, NOFX, Less than Jake, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Rancid, The Ataris, Bad Religion, MXPX, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphy’s, Sick of it All, Bouncing Souls, and Boysetsfire along with bringing a special-guest act, which could be At the Drive-In or Suicidal Tendencies. It would be more surprising to see a few reunions than adding heavier bands. For example, The Misfits but, that is a bit unrealistic. Others I could potentially see would be the Distillers, L7, or even the Runaways to make a one-time-only return. These returns are more realistic to see than re-inviting Avenged Sevenfold or Deftones for the final run. Who knows, maybe they will bring GWAR for another round or it will be filled with fresh groups altogether. 

Aside from expecting a handful of modern metalcore bands, if it was up to me, I would love to see Slayer extend their farewell trek with Warped Tour and add a few other thrash acts including Overkill, Exodus, Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament, and maybe, Metallica.


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