It’s January, and that means we get more Warped Tour announcements to assuage our post-holiday depression. With a bunch of great bands already revealed, 2015 is shaping up to be one of the best years for the tour in sometime. You never know what to expect when punk-rock summer camp rolls through your town, but with new developments in 2015, and a few awesome things that happened on last year's tour, you can't miss this year's run. Here are 10 reasons why you should be especially excited for Warped Tour this year:
1. The full lineup
It's only January, so we haven't seen the full lineup yet. (We’ll probably see that around March.) But if the bands announced thus far are any indication, it's gonna be a good one. The Wonder Years, Blessthefall and Riff Raff—Riff Raff!—are just some of the acts announced that showcase Warped Tour's sonic diversity in 2015. By the time the full roster is revealed, don't be surprised if this is one of the better tours of the past five years. Until then, continue obsessively checking every Wednesday, and get your weekly four to five band fix.
2. Be ready for surprises.
Last year, Kevin Lyman & Co. hit us with two major surprises—the first of which was A Day To Remember playing a surprise set at the Chicago date. The next surprise: Linkin Park showing up to perform at the Ventura, California, date. This one was equally as exciting for the fans and the musicians, many of whom performed with the band. (LP played songs with members of Issues, the Devil Wears Prada, Yellowcard, Breathe Carolina and A Day To Remember.) Let's see what Lyman has up his sleeve this year, and let's never stop wildly speculating about an appearance from Blink-182.
3. Asking Alexandria
This came as a bit of a shocker: Last night, Asking Alexandria split with longtime frontman Danny Worsnop, who will now be playing full time in his new band, We Are Harlot. But along with news of Worsnop's departure, the band broke announcement protocol and revealed that they will be playing the Vans Warped Tour all summer. (They also basically implied they already have a new singer.) Seeing a band the size of AA—a main stage act—essentially start from scratch on the scene's biggest stage is going to be quite the spectacle and one more reason this tour is a must-see. It's hard to think of a better way for a band with a new singer to prove themselves.
4. Pop-punk is having a moment again.
The pop-punk resurgence is going full-steam right now, and 2015 looks to be one of the biggest years for the genre yet, with new albums on the way from many of its current leaders: the Wonder Years and the Story So Far, to name a few. Pop-punk, arguably Warped Tour's house genre, already had a big summer in 2014, with great performances from Yellowcard, Real Friends and Four Year Strong. It’s still early in the lineup announcement stage, but expect to see some of the genre's best and brightest tearing it up all summer long.
5. This is our culture.
This rings true for every other year, but Warped Tour is one of the few times a year when our entire scene comes together. It's a place where you can watch—and probably even hang out with—musicians who are just like you. This tour is where our culture comes alive, and no one—not even hipster critics who write off your music taste because you don't like “real punk”—can take that away.
6. The live stream
How great was this? For the first time last year, the entire first day of Warped Tour was streamed live on YouTube for the entire internet to watch. With awesome performances and interviews, it was the best way to get hyped about the traveling circus' arrival in your hometown, and it almost felt like getting to attend a second date for free. Do it again this year and let us waste a summer day indoors.
7. The moshing
Warped continues to get more brootal ever year, with metalcore becoming one of the dominant forces on the tour. This gives options to those who aren't really into pop-punk or some of the more melodic genres. With bands like Blessthefall and Fit For A King already announced, there's probably an entire army of heavy bands still on the way. Mosh pits, circle pits and walls of death will be a great way to break a sweat this summer.
8. The merch
Warped Tour is like a merch collector's dream. Along with the multi-stage madness, the tour is a shopping mall of endless goods exclusively from the artists you love. Band tents usually give you the chance to buy CDs and T-shirts face-to-face from the musicians themselves and you can see their gratitude.
9. Onstage orations
It seems like every year there are a few good stage rants where impassioned musicians spar with the evils of their surroundings. The combination of the grind of touring and the blazing heat can turn into a powder keg of explosive opinions. Using the Warped Tour stage as their platform, we've seen bands take on everything from sexism to racism to other bands. The tour tirade has become a kind of tradition since the days when NOFX's Fat Mike would use the stage to basically call out whomever (and whatever) he wanted. With the presence of a band like Attila (and the prolific, controversial year they just had), all bets are off.
10. We still don't know who the major headliners are.
It's safe to say none of the major headliners have been announced yet. In fact, looking at the lineup so far, most of the Main Stage bands have yet to be announced. Last year, the big headliners were Falling In Reverse, Of Mice & Men, Motionless In White and Mayday Parade. What are the chances Warped Tour repeats these? Probably pretty slim. If you think about the other bands in the scene who are that size or bigger, it's a short list, making it fairly easy to come up with a few likely prospects—and suddenly, things get really exciting. Place your bets.