Warped Tour kicks off 25th anniversary swan song at Shoreline

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Anti-Flag

Anti-Flag performs during the 25th Anniversary Warped Tour at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 20, 2019. Photos: Gary Chancer and Mike DeWald.

MOUNTAIN VIEW — Punk rock fans from around the Bay Area and probably beyond descended on Mountain View’s Shoreline Ampitheatre on Saturday to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Warped Tour—one of only three locations to host the event that for 24 years was a traveling festival.

Goldfinger

Goldfinger performs at the 25th Anniversary Warped Tour at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 20, 2019.

The show continues Sunday at Shoreline; a fitting locale that has hosted some of the most successful Warped Tour events, for the presumed final show.

Founder Kevin Lyman started Warped Tour to provide a home for the bands that didn’t fit with the rest of the musical landscape in the ’90s; hardcore, emo, punk and those tangentially related to those genres. The familial atmosphere was apparent on Saturday, with many cheering when polled by bands about how many previous incarnations of the fest they’d attended.

Simple Plan

Simple Plan performs at the 25th Anniversary Warped Tour at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 20, 2019.

Warped Tour was the annual rite of passage for the punk rock set, a reminder that school was out, the sun was bright, and the music was loud. Bands played 30- to 40-minute high-energy sets, with many of the lesser-known acts spending the rest of their day at merch tents meeting fans, while others could be seen to the side of the stage, watching their peers.

The festival footprint was spread over five stages, with the Ain stage located in a parking lot. While the moshing and crowdsurfing might have been toned down from what it was two decades ago, it was still very much in fashion on Saturday.

Kevin Lyman

Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman makes an appearance at the 25th-anniversary festival at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 20, 2019.

The lineup served as a celebration of both Warped Tour’s punk rock roots and its evolved diversity. While its foundation was built on punk and ska, the festival first introduced pop artists like Katy Perry and Bebe Rexha. Warped Tour provided ample opportunities for new faces and local talent to take the stage. Saturday featured vets like Less Than Jake, Anti-Flag and Goldfinger while also featuring non-punk acts like One OK Rock, Ariana and the Rose, and rapper Chali 2na.

Most bands showed their indiviual gratitude to the festival, fans and Lyman. When not keeping the massive festival organized, Lyman spent time in the festival’s museum meeting fans. While he hasn’t closed the door on Warped returning some day, many fans treated the day as though it might be their final opportunity.



Bad Religion

Bad Religion

Bad Religion performs at the 25th Anniversary Warped Tour at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 20, 2019.

Longtime punk rock stalwarts Bad Religion turned in high-powered, old-school three-chord punk performance with sharp lyrics raging against society and government. Frontman Greg Graffin joked about being thrilled to play on a bill on which the majority of the band actually played instruments. Bad Religion played a set that spanned decades, but kept all the material punk rock with just a hint of dirty blues in the guitar soloing of Brian Baker. The band included staples like “Los Angeles is Burning” and “21st Century Digital Boy.”

Goldfinger

Ska-punk Warped vets Goldfinger took the stage in the midday sun donning full suits. The band, backed by a brass section, churned out fast-paced, riff-heavy tunes that included its most fan-friendly songs. Frontman John Feldmann added some extra personality to the performance, reminiscing about Warped Tours of the past.

Simple Plan

Simple Plan

Simple Plan.

Canadian pop-punk band Simple Plan turned in an impressive and long (for Warped Tour standards) hourlong set spanning the hits. Songs that were once rooted in parental strife, loneliness and dysfunctional relationships have aged gracefully to become empowering and carefree, singalongs. The hooks were sharp, the band was tight, and the energy was frenetic on songs like “I’d Do Anything,” “Boom” and “Shut Up.” Simple Plan came into existence not long after the rise of Warped Tour and has spent nearly every summer on the annual punk road road trip.

 

 

 



Anti-Flag

Anti-Flag

Anti-Flag at Warped Tour at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 20, 2019.

Pittsburgh punk rockers Anti-Flag brought their socially and politically minded brand of music to the main stage in the afternoon. The band’s aggressive, yet melodic rock recalled contemporaries like Bad Religion in their messaging. The set included “Die for the Government,” “The Press Corpse” and “Brandenburg Gate.”

 

 

The Offspring

The Offspring

The Offspring performs at the 25th Anniversary Warped Tour at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 20, 2019.

While the Warped format doesn’t necessarily emphasize a specific headlining act, The Offspring did the honors of closing out the night once the sun went down. The no-frills production provided the perfect environment to let music do the talking long into the night. Dexter Holland and the band were in top form, dishing out classic pop-punk singalongs like “Come Out and Play” and “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy).”

 

Travie McCoy

Travie McCoy

Travie McCoyperforms at the Warped Tour at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 20, 2019.

Gym Class Heroes frontman Travie McCoy kicked off the day as one of the first acts to hit the main stage on Saturday. In a performance that blended soul with pop, he covered Gym Class’ biggest songs like “Cupid’s Chokehold” while mixing in some of his new solo material before closing with the Bruno Mars’ “Billionaire.”

 

 



One OK Rock

One Ok Rock

One OK Rock at Warped Tour at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View on July 20, 2019.

Japanesse rock phenoms One OK Rock highlighted some of the fest’s diversity in their much anticipated midday set. While the band’s sound is rooted more in modern rock, it drew a massive crowd that sang along with much of its material. Frontman Take Moriuchi was a dynamic presence, offering up vocals that tanged from aggressive to poppy.

 

 

Plague Vender

Hard rockers Plauge Vendor turned in one of the heavier sets of the day. Singer Brandon Blaine took the time to jump into the crowd to perform, singing and interacting with fans along the way.

Face to Face

SoCal punk rockers Face to Face churned out heavy riffs and machine-gun percussion for some of the most authentic punk rock of the day. The band represented the Warped Tour old guard, having played on the early incarcerations of the festival.

Frank Iero and the Future Violents

My Chemical Romance guitarist Frank Iero brought a unique brand of fuzzed out punk mixed with blues classic rock stylings for his set, which included plenty of material from his new record, Barriers.



Ariana and the Rose

Newcomer Ariana and the Rose was a strong example of how Warped Tour has evolved in 25 years. The New York synth-pop singer turned in a bouncy, danceable set  that relied more on synths. She talked to the crowd before introducing each song.

We The Kings

The Floridians were heavy on infectious melodies and made sure to include their staple, “Check Yes Juliet,” to close out the set. The band even mixed in a complete cover of Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle” and mixing in a snippet of Jason Mraz’ “I’m Yours” during “Say You Like Me.”

Follow writer Mike DeWald at Twitter.com/mike_dewald.

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