Pop punk found new life in 2020. Young bands blossomed, while hip-hop and pop acts picked up guitars. Maybe you’re one of the many fans who rediscovered old favorites on social media. Possibly, Chase Hudson (aka LILHUDDY) acted as your power-chord gateway drug.
If so, welcome. There’s so much to see. And if you thought the music was great, just wait until you experience a live show. There’s nothing like a good pop-punk performance. As live music makes its return, tour announcements are coming in droves, and artists are dropping hints that they are looking to hit the road.
There are so many bands we hope will tour this year that it’s hard to know who to single out. Here are some bands we’d love to catch onstage in 2021.
Machine Gun Kelly’s Tickets To My Downfall tour might be the hottest summer concert in our scene. Supporting act jxdn, whose TikTok prowess helped propel pop punk back into the mainstream in 2020, amplifies the lineup. But it’s the ticket’s third artist, KennyHoopla, who deserves mention. Travis Barker’s master pupil owned the Alternative Airplay chart with “estella//.” And “hollywood sucks//,” a perfect pop-punk song, is a high point on his new project, SURVIVORS GUILT: THE MIXTAPE//.
When the Rock And Roll Hall of Famers announced their partnership with Fall Out Boy and Weezer on the Hella Mega tour in pre-COVID-19 times, it was the show for pop-punk fans. My how things have changed. Since the September 2019 announcement, Green Day dropped their 13th album, Father Of All Motherfuckers, All Time Low struck gold with “Monsters” and pop punk roared back on social media while diversifying its catalog. The genre finds itself in a better place, meaning the Hella Mega tour faces stiff competition. Green Day are likely just fine with that.
All Time Low
Speaking of All Time Low, it’s time for the long-awaited tour supporting the masterful Wake Up, Sunshine. With a plethora of popular new tracks to play, the Baltimore natives embark on back-to-back trips. First, the Sad Summer Festival with the Story So Far, the Maine and rising stars Grayscale, Movements and Destroy Boys. Then, a highly anticipated fall tour with nothing,nowhere. and Meet Me @ The Altar.
The second Maryland pop-punk act on this list, Pinkshift hit the road with Mannequin Pussy and Angel Du$t in September. Finally able to flex their scene hit “i’m gonna tell my therapist on you,” the band earned Paramore comparisons in a recent USA Today article. But there’s more to this crew, with doses of the Used and Sum 41 present in their sound. A strong showing on America’s stages would support Pinkshift’s rapid rise.
Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR is so successful that its head is spinning. And, for the first time since maybe Avril Lavigne in 2002, a pop sensation blows up with an album drenched in pop punk. Rodrigo has yet to announce an official tour, but we’re really hoping there is news to come. She has already performed on SNL and expressed her own desire to hit the road via Twitter. You have to think a tour will come in 2021, right?
This one is for our friends down under. Stand Atlantic’s Pink Elephant blew everyone away in 2020. Now, they’ll finally be able to take tracks such as “Jurassic Park” and “Eviligo” on the road. Stand Atlantic will start traversing Australia July 8, with the tour wrapping up at the end of August.
This is more of a request for a tour, as the group have yet to announce any official plans . Action/Adventure are one of Pure Noise Records’ fastest-rising stars. With a slate of excellent new music, the stage is calling the Chicago natives. But it doesn’t appear they’re gracing us with 2021 tour, yet. At the very least, get on this band’s email list or find a way to be notified of when tour dates drop. You’ll want to say “I saw them when…”
Following a breakout 2020, Hot Mulligan cross the country in November to support both you’ll be fine and I Won’t Reach Out To You. Fall feels like the perfect season for their long-awaited tour—drifting, multicolored leaves under gray skies is the perfect ambiance for heartstring tuggers such as “BCKYRD” or “Please Don’t Cry, You Have Swag.” Hot Mulligan are the perfect flagbearer for “sad boi” pop punk, honoring the legacy started by the Story So Far, the Wonder Years and the like. The band truly arrived in 2020. A new audience eagerly awaits when they grace the stage in a few months.
New Found Glory and Simple Plan
The Pop-Punk’s Still Not Dead Tour aptly reflected the scene’s status in early 2020. Heyday bands from the early 2000s drew the biggest crowds, while acts who spurred the mid-2010s mini-revival were pushing their fourth or fifth albums. With added downtime during the pandemic, Spotify bingers and TikTok watchers rediscovered their love for simple power chords. New acts breathed life into the genre, while the list of undiscovered talent grew in every corner of the country. Suddenly, the co-headlining tour between New Found Glory and Simple Plan seemed inappropriately named. Maybe their 2021 tour should be titled “Pop-Punk Is Back And Better Than Ever.”