No Country’s Guide to Nashville Warped Tour 2017: 15 Can’t Miss Performers

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Returning to Nashville for the fourth year in a row, following an extended Music City absence, the long-running Vans Warped Tour, now in its 23rd consecutive year (making it the longest running traveling summer fest by a huge margin), is back in town Tuesday, June 27 at The Fairgrounds Nashville (formerly known as the Tennessee State Fairgrounds). Gates for the all ages affair open at 12:30 p.m., with music slated to start shortly thereafter, usually running through the early evening. Tickets are still available online or at the gate, and, while early bird rates have passed, at $49.99, you’re still averaging less than $1 a band, or if you’re showing up after work, you can snag $30 tickets at the box office after 4 p.m.

While Warped’s lineup is, and has long been, largely aimed at the teenage demographic, the fest has always maintained a fairly eclectic lineup, balancing a healthy crop of legacy acts with a new batch of artists ranging from punk to ska to hardcore to metal to hip hop to EDM to indie and everything in between. This year’s bill double down on a commitment to quality over quantity, and boasts some of the best legacy acts we’ve seen in a few years, especially if you’re a nostalgic 20-something. To help you navigate the over 65-act bill, spread out across seven stages, we’ve rounded up our top performers, and ranked the 15 you don’t want to miss. Check out our picks below!

#15: TROPHY EYES

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Full Sail University Stage

’90s nostalgia is all the rage right now, and Australia’s Trophy Eyes seem unabashed in borrowing visual and sonic cues from the decade. Their sound, however, lands more in the realm of pop punk, with flourishes of angst and melodic hardcore peppered in.

LISTEN | “Tired Hearts”

WATCH | “Chlorine” (Official Music Video)

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#14: SICK OF IT ALL

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Hard Rock Stage

While many of Warped’s newer hardcore and metalcore bands are a bit too overproduced and gimmicky for us, New York originals Sick of It All, now more than 30 years into their prolific run, bring the old school, no frills stylings and still rip hard.

LISTEN | “Uprising Nation”

WATCH | “Road Less Traveled” (Official Music Video)

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#13: THE DUKES

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Full Sail University Stage

Hailing from France, art rock duo The Dukes are considerably more straight up indie rock than your typical Warped Tour fare, providing a great option if, like us, you’re looking for something off the beaten paths of metalcore and mainstream-grabbing “pop punk.”

LISTEN | “Genius”

WATCH | “Just in Case” (Official Music Video)

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#12: CKY

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Journey’s Left Foot Stage

Finding initial success through ties to Jackass and skate video culture (drummer Jess Margera is Bam Margera’s brother), PA alt metal outfit CKY amassed something of a cult following. After a rocky few years, the band are refocused and back on track with a new LP.

LISTEN | “Replaceable”

WATCH | “96 Quite Bitter Beings” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramSpotify

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#11: BARB WIRE DOLLS

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Skullcandy Stage

Hailing from Greece (though now apparently LA based), Barb Wire Dolls adopt a grungy, old school punk bent and look, giving them a bit of an out of place and time feel. A newer act, they could easily be mistaken for one of this year’s legacy bands.

LISTEN | “Blind to Your Misery”

WATCH | “Back in the USSA” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramSpotify

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#10: MUNICIPAL WASTE

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Hard Rock Stage

Fusing thrash metal and hardcore punk, Richmond’s Municipal Waste have steadily become one of the most dependable and rabidly beloved bands in the scene. The dropped their sixth full-length, Slime and Punishment, just last week, so expect some fresh tunes.

LISTEN | “Slime and Punishment”

WATCH | “You’re Cut Off” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | SiteFacebook | Twitter | InstagramSpotify

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#9: SAVE FERRIS

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Journey’s Right Foot Stage

Back with a new lineup 20 years after the breakout success of their debut, amidst the ’90s ska punk boom, LA’s Save Ferris and skilled singer Monique Powell are sounding absolutely rejuvenated and ready to return to Warped after decades.

LISTEN | “New Sound” ft. Neville Staple

WATCH | “Come on Eileen” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | SiteFacebook | Twitter | InstagramSpotify

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#8: WAR ON WOMEN

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Skullcandy Stage

Co-ed, feminist, hardcore Baltimore punks War On Women tackle topics like rape culture, street harassment, the gender wage gap, and transphobia, and have made it their mission this summer to address some of the harassment issues Warped has experienced in recent years.

LISTEN | “Servilia”

WATCH | “Second Wave Goodbye” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramSpotify

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#7: THE ATARIS

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Hard Rock Stage

It’s been a decade since drama plagued pop punk trailblazers The Ataris released an LP, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re responsible for Blue Skies, Broken Hearts… and So Long, Astoria, and that goodwill goes a loooong way.

LISTEN | “All Souls’ Day”

WATCH | “In This Diary” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | Facebook | Twitter | InstagramSpotify

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#6: MICROWAVE

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Skullcandy Stage

An up and coming group we’ve raved out in the past, Atlanta’s Microwave combine post-hardcore, indie rock, and raw, resonant punk, crafting some of our favorite releases of the last few years. It’s rare to see young bands this good on Warped nowadays- cherish them.

LISTEN | “Stovall”

WATCH | “Dull” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | SiteFacebook | Twitter | InstagramSpotify

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#5: BAD COP / BAD COP

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Hard Rock Stage

The latest breakout band from Fat Mike’s Fat Wreck Chords, LA’s Bad Cop / Bad Cop made a splash in the punk world with their 2015 debut LP, Not Sorry, and followed it up this year with the more personal, aggressive, and dark followup Warriors.

LISTEN | “Nightmare”

WATCH | “Sugarcane” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | SiteFacebook | Twitter | InstagramSpotify

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#4: ADOLESCENTS

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Hard Rock Stage

Since first emerging onto the SoCal pop punk scene in the early ’80s, the Adolescents have been an instrumental, if not underrated, influence on helping define pop punk. Gone for all of the ’90s, the band have been back and churning out new music for over 15 years.

LISTEN | “Amoeba”

WATCH | “Kids of the Black Hole” (Live)

CONNECT | SiteFacebook | Twitter | Spotify

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#3: ANTI-FLAG

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Hard Rock Stage

Long-running punk outfit Anti-Flag are at their best when politics are at their worst, which means it’s a hell of a good time to see Anti-Flag right now. Seasoned Warped Tour vets, the band’s message and activism are as pointed and ferocious as their music.

LISTEN | “Song”

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WATCH | “Vid” (Official Music Video)

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CONNECT | SiteFacebook | Twitter | InstagramSpotify

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#2: STRUNG OUT

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Hard Rock Stage

Though they never broke out to the degree of some of their peers in the ’90s pop punk explosion, SoCal pioneers Strung Out have maintained a respectable indie career and cult following, renowned for their technical, fast chops and metal sensibilities.

LISTEN | “Too Close to See”

WATCH | “Modern Drugs” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | SiteFacebook | Twitter | InstagramSpotify

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#1: GWAR

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Mutant South Stage

Ranked number one just for the sheer insanity of the prospect of GWAR on Warped, the in-character, shock metal loving aliens bring the gore, theatrics, and social commentary. Presumably they’ll play last, if we’re getting even a fraction of their normal stage show.

LISTEN | “Madness at the Core of Time”

WATCH | “Sick of You” (Official Music Video)

CONNECT | SiteFacebook | Twitter | InstagramSpotify

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