Warped Tour returned to Atlantic City for the second (and last) day of the weekend event on June 30th. Unlike the previous day, there wasn’t even a hint of rain in the forecast.
The lineup was loaded from the get-go, and fans took advantage of the gentle surf to wade into the water while taking in early sets from the likes of Atreyu and Anti Flag. In the afternoon, festival founder Kevin Lyman made another appearance on the main stage, this time bearing good news: Warped Tour was donating $30,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City.
And of course, the evening brought the weekend’s heavy hitters like Taking Back Sunday, The Offspring and blink-182. Here are five things that stood out:
One of the first bands to take the stage on Sunday, Stacked Like Pancakes drew the early crowd in with a ska-infused cover of Yellowcard’s “Ocean Avenue.” From there, the band got the audience into their own discography. On track “It’s Too Late”, lead singer Kellen McKay stood atop the crowd to rap the high-flying breakdown. As the song came to a close, two skanking circles converged to make one big circle pit. The vocalist then got a sea of middle fingers raised as he railed against President “45”, complete with balloons of Trump as a baby floating through the crowd. They closed things out with their rollicking hit “SFDD,” with their trombonist’s swerving beat keying the track.
Three Voices Are Better Than One
“We have some things to say, but we’re gonna let our songs do the talking,” said The Doped Up Dollies’ vocalist Sirae Richardson after early track “Papa Plays the Drums.” The trio of singers did just that, effortlessly riffing off each other’s voices while backed by a hearty brass section. On “Oi DJ,” singer David McWane (also of Big D and the Kids Table fame) joined the front line to provide some supporting vocals. Afterwards, the three Doped Up Dollies singers traded off vocals on “Black Cat” before teaming up one more time while swaying to the beat.
The Greatest Showman
How many people can say they’ve seen a “punk rock circle pit Shakespeare soliloquy”? Attendees at The Used’s set got just that, as theatrical frontman Bert McCracken guided the crowd through the band’s biggest hits. Whether it was orchestrating the audience’s noise level with the mere wave of his hand or doing dramatic spoken word interludes between tracks, McCracken was in full command of the crowd through hits like “The Bird and the Worm,” “All That I’ve Got” and “I Caught Fire.” McCracken even welcomed Sleeping with Sirens’ singer Kellin Quinn for an assist, and interpolated Rage Against the Machine’s “Killing in the Name” to close out the set to raucous cheers.
Mics Are for Singing and Swinging
Taking Back Sunday fittingly took the stage on Sunday, and lead singer Adam Lazzara was in peak mic-swinging form. In fact, his mic swinging got so intricate that it required a stage tech to untangle the cord right after the band kicked off with “What’s It Feel Like to Be a Ghost?”.
While onstage, Lazzara reflected on how the Long Island band’s 20-year career often crossed paths with Warped Tour. He specifically recalled how “Set Phasers to Stun” dropped while they were on the 2004 Warped Tour in the lead-up to the release of sophomore album Where You Want to Be. In addition to the latter track, Taking Back Sunday leaned into the output from their early albums, rocking through cuts like “You’re So Last Summer” and “A Decade Under the Influence.” On “Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut from the Team),” the crowd screamed the words so loud that Lazzara didn’t even need to sing; he just flashed a huge grin while taking a bow. The rockers saved their smash hit “MakeDamnSure” for last, and the crowd clapped along to the thump of the kick drum as the track reached its mid-track breakdown. As the song ramped back up in intensity, the audience shouted the chorus one last time.
Summer at the Warped Tour: Worth the Wait
When blink-182 took the stage, a security staffer estimated there were roughly 30,000 fans in attendance on the second day of the festival. Thousands of those screaming fans would soon make their presence felt when bassist/vocalist Mark Hoppus, drummer Travis Barker and guitarist/vocalist Matt Skiba took the stage. With blink-182 in the midst of celebrating the 20th anniversary of Enema of the State, the band fittingly kicked off their set by playing the classic record front to back — even squeezing in the blitzing “Family Reunion.” For “Adam’s Song,” the band asked for fans to raise lighters, cell phone lights and vapes and were greeted by a sea of bright lights as far as the eye could see. Other highlights from this portion of the set included a sea of crowd surfers crashing toward the barricade for “What’s My Age Again?” and Barker’s rapid-fire drum beat on “Anthem.”
After the Enema of the State portion, the band went on a mini-run through their other hits, from “Feeling This” all the way to recent single “Generational Divide.” It’s also worth noting that Skiba proved himself a capable member of the team, filling in for Tom DeLonge’s parts. While he doesn’t have the distinctive nasally delivery, he more than held his own — especially when trading off on vocal duties with Hoppus on fan favorite “I Miss You.” Of course, the Warped Tour-referencing “The Rock Show” was a huge hit, and the crowd stayed rowdy through final track “Dammit.” After the distinctive opening guitar riff, the crowd roared along to the lines. Hoppus even managed to weave a bit of TLC’s “No Scrubs” toward the end as the final crowd surfers made their way to the stage. If this is growing up for the Warped Tour, it’s clear there’s still an immense appetite for the legendary festival even if only for a few days every summer.