Oh, the people you'll meet at the annual punk rock road show. Here are six of them.
Illustrations by Levi Greenacres
Identify her by: High-fashion soft-grunge-cum-goth attire, a look of utter boredom, no less than two Monroe piercings, and a pair of heels because, let's face it, in under an hour she'll be backstage sipping Patron with some eager guitar techs who follow her on Instagram.
Bands she's excited to see: Pierce the Veil, Metro Station, Riff Raff.
Identify him by: The parental unit lurking 20 feet behind him and his crew. He's desperately trying to find the moment to break away and start some shit in the pit, only to get spit out two minutes later with a Vans footprint and sweat all over his sunburnt face and his Tony Hawk T-shirt torn in half.
Bands he's excited to see: Silverstein, Family Force 5.
Identify him by: Entry-level gauges and leg tats, though if it wasn't for those, you'd mistake him for a frat guy. Rather than moshing, he's spent most of his time either on his phone outside the gates wrangling nonexistent press credentials or near the merch booths trying to impress girls with his intimate knowledge of hot, new unsigned bands from some obscure town's metalcore scene. Hit him up, bro.
Bands he's excited to see: Blessthefall, August Burns Red, any band that's been on the cover of Alternative Press at least twice.
Identify him by: The SoCal rockabilly look—the only one you can tastefully age into while retaining some degree of edge. He persuaded his ex-wife to give him custody of the kids on a weekday so he'd have an excuse to work out some aggression on total strangers in a hot parking lot.
Bands he's excited to see: H20, Man Overboard.
Identify them by: His beard and cargo shorts; her pink hair and matching socks. This gregarious twosome are catalysts for pogo pits all day long. They'll make sure no one goes without water or a hand to pull them out of the pile. The Warped Tour is all about unity, dudes!
Bands they're excited to see: Four Year Strong, Motion City Soundtrack, the Wonder Years.
Identify them by: Tank tops, beer guts, sleeves of tats and receding, flat-ironed comb-overs. These depreciating scene-lifers will jump out of an old van with Idaho plates and accost you with a boombox blasting their band's demo. They say they're "going on the Warped Tour," but all they're really doing is following it around and getting drunk in the parking lot until security tells them to scram.
Bands they're excited to see: On the off chance a free ticket gets thrown their way, the Bros will watch Memphis May Fire, Senses Fail and We Came as Romans. But their band is obviously better.
THE CERTIFIED PIT STARTERS OF WARPED TOUR 2015
Knuckle Puck, "Swing"
No Warped list is complete without at least one cut from a band on Beaverton's Rise Records. The sizzling power chords and shout-along vocals of Knuckle Puck's debut LP, Copacetic, are a staple of Warped rosters for decades.
Lee Corey Oswald, "Snowglobe"
Weezer's best days are behind it, but Portland's own Lee Corey Oswald refuses to believe the power of massive riffs and a few well-timed "oohs" are ever past their prime.
Four Year Strong, "Heroes Get Remembered, Legends Never Die"
This blitzkrieg of double-kick drums, chugging guitars and hardcore breakdowns is the calling card of this Massachusetts "beardcore" group. It's big, dumb fun that's impossible to not sing along to.
Pierce the Veil and Memphis May Fire might be carrying the torch for hardcore shredding with a Castlevania-tinged flare for the gothic, but this 2006 stalker anthem bangs like no other since.
Motion City Soundtrack, "When You're Around"
Why this quintet of frizzy-haired Minnesotans is still plugging away at the Warped Tour is beyond comprehension, but its spastic synth-pop and wry lyrical attack is always welcome.
August Burns Red, "Wrecking Ball"
Perhaps the foremost metalcore cover of a Miley Cyrus track currently in Internet circulation? You betcha! Do yourself a favor and familiarize yourself with the "wall of death" before getting anywhere near this one.
Senses Fail, "Can't Be Saved"
A lot of the headlining bands sound like Senses Fail—and vice versa—so you may as well stick with the New Jersey screamo band that has enough bankable tracks to merit a greatest-hits record, right?
SEE IT: The Vans Warped Tour is at the Portland Expo Center, 2060 N Marine Drive, on Friday, Aug. 7. Doors at 11 am. $37. All ages. See vanswarpedtour.com for complete list of bands.