Music Festivals

Warped Tour 2014: The five most interesting bands on the lineup

This summer's Vans Warped Tour will boast some impressive and eclectic artists to draw fans of punk, hip-hop and hardcore right alongside the inevitable Hot Topic zombies. The venerable festival, hasn't always evolved smoothly, but this year's Denver lineup -- the last stop on the tour -- is particularly impressive. It comes to Sports Authority Field at Mile High on August 3, but the Tour is already in full swing. Here are our five must-see acts for this year's biggest parking lot party.

See also: Breathe Carolina takes a side trip with the Vans Warped Tour

Four Year Strong

Remember five years ago when everyone born after 1993 got really into A Day To Remember? That wasn't great -- Four Year Strong is their chance at doing it right. The band sounds like what the late 2000's pop-punk and emo should have turned into, and it plays sets marked by both ferocity and inspiration. If we're lucky, they will be one of the first bands of the day, because they know how to kick off an event with bolts of unprompted energy seldom seen elsewhere.

Enter Shikari

The uncategorizable quartet from the UK has a new, thus-far untitled album in the works to tack atop their already stellar live show. Taking inspiration from such dispirate sources as punk, hardcore, dubstep, trance and The Zeitgeist Movement, Enter Shikari has an eclectic cocktail of socially conscious songs. The band stops in Colorado only rarely, and deserves your full attention when it does.


Pure hardcore acts are few and far between on a tour that has kept Zumiez stores alive for the past decade. Terror's presence is even more impressive given the band's steadfast dedication to its genre and culture. And given that these guys are headed on an extended European stint after the Denver Warped date, this may be the last shot for a while to play musical Fight Club with some legends.

Less Than Jake

Ska is a pretty polarizing genre, but Less Than Jake is a hard band to dislike. On top of the melding of pit-stompers and catchy grooves, the band has a more dedicated history with the tour than any other band, having played 365 Warped shows by this year. Boasting the live energy that only a punk band with a horn section can, and a musical attitude completely emblematic of the summer tour, the Warped veterans will undoubtedly be a staple of the day.

Air Dubai

This hometown group won Westword's Best Hip-Hop Band Music Award from 2010 to 2012. With its new record, Be Calm, showcasing the band's mixture of sparking lyricism, indie-rock riffage and soul-inspired hooks, Air Dubai should offer a standout performance to the Sports Authority parking lot.

The Vans Warped Tour will be held August 3 at Sports Authority Field.

For tickets and a full list of artists playing the festival, check out the website for the Denver date.

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Caleb Williams