The Vans Warped Tour is turning 18.
That means attendees at the first couple of festivals might now be buying Vans Warped Tour tickets for their offspring. Perhaps, in 2012, there will be families attending the Vans Warped Tour when it comes to Las Vegas on June 20 or when the Vans Warped Tour comes to Houston on July 1. After all, nothing says family time like a set from Motionless In White or Chelsea Grin. By the way, the tour launches June 16 in Salt Lake City and wraps Aug. 5 in Portland Oregon.
Land of Punt thinks it’s about time that someone culls through the hundreds of bands and performers that have taken part in the Warped Tour over the years and come up with a list of the ten greatest. Fortunately, someone accepted our challenge. That someone was of course us. We used a variety of criteria to whittle our list down to just ten acts: album sales, industry awards, critical acclaim, and musical influence, significance, and historical impact. We understand that you may have seen a five-piece metalcore outfit on an auxiliary stage in 2004 that blew your mind away, but our list isn’t about the greatest performance at a Vans Warped Tour stop. Our list is about the greatest bands that have made at least one appearance on the Vans Warped Tour.
10. Bad Religion (1998, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2009)
Bad Religion is one of the most influential American punk rock bands of all-time. Whenever it looked like punk rock was going away, Bad Religion was there to keep it going. Through their 30–plus year career, Bad Religion has influenced countless punk and rock bands. They’ve also sold more than 5 million albums and charted a few singles. That’s not bad for an independent band.
9. Blink-182 (1996, 1997, 1999, 2001)
Blink-182 has sold nearly 30 million albums during their career and practically invented the sub-genre of pop punk. Bands that have been influenced by Blink 182 include Fall Out Boy, Yellowcard, and New Found Glory, just to name a few. Their 1999 album, Enema of the State, is their best-selling studio work while their follow up, 2001’s Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, went to number one on the Billboard 200.
8. Dick Dale (1997)
Dick Dale is probably the oldest performer to ever step foot on a Vans Warped Tour stage—he was born in 1937. Dale is known as the “King of the Surf Guitar.” With his adroit staccato picking, and his innovated use of reverb, Dale pioneered both guitar playing and guitar technology. When you hear surf guitar music, chances are good you’re either hearing Dale or someone ripping him off.
7. Billy Idol (2005)
Before launching his solo career, Billy Idol was a member of a rather important punk rock band, Generation X. After the group disbanded, he released a string of successful, radio-friendly, punk-esque singles. Four of which peaked inside the top ten and one, “Mony, Mony” (Live), went all the way to number one. His memorable music videos made him one of MTV’s early superstars.
6. Weezer (2000)
Weezer is a highly influential alternative rock band that has crossed-over into several sub-genres including pop punk, power pop, and emo. The band released their first album in 1994 and since that time they’ve sold more than 50 million records. Weezer’s most successful singles include “Buddy Holly,” “Island in the Sun,” and “Hash Pipe.” They are one of the greatest rock bands of their generation.
Highlights of the 2012 Vans Warped Tour
June 17 – Vans Warped Tour tickets for Denver
June 23 – Vans Warped Tour tickets for San Francisco
July 6 – Vans Warped Tour tickets for Auburn Hills
July 13 – Vans Warped Tour tickets for Holmdel
5. The Black Eyed Peas (1999)
The Black Eyed Peas are one of only three Warped Tour veterans to play at a Super Bowl halftime show (the other two being No Doubt and M.I.A.). However, BEP are the only band to ever headline (Super Bowl XLV). That alone puts them on our list. They’ve also sold 60 million albums, won six Grammy Awards, and are one of a few artists to simultaneously hold the top two spots on the Billboard Hot 100.
4. Green Day (2000)
As far as we can tell, Green Day is the only Vans Warped Tour band whose music was turned into a Tony Award winning Broadway musical. “American Idiot” ran for a year on the Great White Way. Green Day has sold 65 million albums and received five Grammy Award noms. Despite releasing their debut album in 1990, the band is often mentioned in the same breath as The Clash, Sex Pistols, and The Ramones.
3. Sublime (1995)
Sublime makes the list for what they’ve accomplished and is placed third for what they could have been. Frontman Bradley Nowell had “it,” and had he lived Sublime would have been one of the greatest bands of all-time. During their run, Sublime sold 17 million albums and helped revitalized both punk and Ska in the mid-1990s. Years after Nowell’s death, Sublime’s music is still a source of inspiration.
2. Katy Perry (2008)
Katy Perry’s third studio album, Teenage Dream (2010), produced five number one singles. The only other artist to do that is Michael Jackson. Perry also set a record by being in the top ten of the billboard 200 for 52 weeks—it was later stretched to 69 weeks. Her albums, One of The Boys and Teenage Dream, have combined to sell more than 8.5 million copies. The amazing success of her music, coupled with her acting and celebrity appearances, have made Perry one of the biggest stars in the world.
1. No Doubt (1995, 2000)
No Doubt has been commercially successful, highly influential, and critically acclaimed. Led by the stunningly beautiful Gwen Stefani, the third wave ska band has sold 35 million albums, earned 10 Grammy Award nominations, and launched one successful tour after another. Their 1995 opus, Tragic Kingdom, is their masterpiece and one of the greatest albums of all-time.