Since its maiden voyage more than two decades ago, Vans Warped Tour has long had the reputation of being responsible for discovering “the next big thing.” Countless spectators have watched bands and artists like Katy Perry, Eminem, and Avenged Sevenfold without realizing that they were, in fact, witnessing artists who would later go on to become the gatekeepers to their respective genres.
The travelling festival’s 2017 campaign was no different, giving fans a glimpse into what might be seen as the beginning of an ascent for many of their favorite bands who have yet to hit the mainstream, like Knocked Loose, and The Dazies, as well as somewhat of a redemption for the punk and metal veterans who graced this year’s lineup, such as GWAR, Anti-Flag and Boston's own Street Dogs.
But out of the dozens and dozens of bands that took to several stages and braved the absurd amount of rain that targeted Mansfield’s Xfinity Center on Wednesday (July 12), a few of those non-mainstream names seemed to really have that “thing” that made their fans go absolutely bonkers.
While many sets for local and brand new artists were cut short due to the weather, the experience was unlike any other, watching bands give it their all with the few precious minutes they had in the spotlight, as if this were their last performance ever. From under the canopy of the amphitheater to the Mutant South Stage placed in the back of the parking lot with nothing more than a plastic bag masquerading as a poncho to stave off the rain, droves of fans of so many different genres gathered together for what is sure to be a memorable afternoon for the Vans Warped Tour.
It was truly impossible to catch everything at Warped's Massachusetts stop -- and the numerous last-minute schedule changes because of the severe weather wreaked havoc on any pre-determined gameplan -- but below are four bands that caught our attention throughout the day.
Swipe or use your ← → (arrow) keys
Bad Cop / Bad Cop
California’s Bad Cop / Bad Cop was delightful as well. The all-female quartet burned through a short setlist with such tenacity, that it was as if Joan Jett had gone incognito, multiplied into four people, and brought every ounce of angst along with her. It was interesting to watch not only fans that were at the front barrier be engaged with the music, but also passers-by that turned their heads to see where that sound was coming from; many were reeled in, like a tractor beam had just found them on the outskirts of the growing crowd. By the time the Fat Wreck Chords group roared into their final song of the day, the rain had come back, but it didn’t stop Bad Cop / Bad Cop from setting fire to the stage, and leaving their mark on what is sure to be many more Warped Tour appearances (and beyond) for them.