Vans Warped Tour - Live in Atlantic City - Sunday (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Vans Warped Tour

Live in Atlantic City - Sunday (2019)

live show

Sunday was the much more stacked day for me at this particular special 25th anniversary Warped Tour. There were about five bands I was really interested in seeing the day prior, and a solid dozen today. I got there in time to catch most of Anti-Flag’s opening set, but unfortunately, yet again missed a couple of their best songs (“You’ve Got to Die for the Government” and “Turncoat”). They actually played as a five-piece with a dedicated backup vocalist, which was interesting, but they sounded pretty decent overall as a result. So yeah, we know, we know: Anti-Flag is corny faux-political punk. But I dunno, it’s fun music, and while I haven’t followed them since 2006 (hard to believe I checked out over a decade ago), and they’re certainly far from the first band I reach for in 2019 when I have a hankering for melodic punk, they’re a decent enough nostalgia trip with some catchy tunes that carry some sort of meaningful context. Their short anti-racism/etc. speeches got expectedly loud cheers. For closer “Brandenburg Gate”, they actually set up the drumkit on the sand in the crowd and had their drummer play out the song there, and I think at least one of their guitarists hop down there too. Audiences love that shit.

Set list:

1. You’ve Got to Die for the Government

2. Turncoat

3. This Is the End (For You My Friend)

4. Fuck Police Brutality

5. Cities Burn [?]

6. American Attraction

7. The Press Corpse

8. Brandenburg Gate

This trend continued with H2O, who honestly probably didn’t know they were following in Anti-Flag’s crowd-level participation footsteps since they were playing a bit of a ways away on the Monster stage. The veteran melodic hardcore act were also celebrating their own 25th anniversary, and they still put on a pretty good live show. It took three songs (right after “1995”) for frontman Toby Morse to get vocally fed up with the barricade, saying he always hated this aspect of Warped Tour, and went down into the sand with the rest of the audience to perform there for close to half of the set. “Family Tree” had a 360° degree sing-along with everyone surrounding Toby, especially when they threw a bit of Fugazi’s “Waiting Room” into the bridge (which already originally nods to Warzone too). It was a fun basement show vibe for four songs...albeit with sand on the ground. He went back up on stage after “Sunday”, and then the set had some special guest appearances by Toby’s son, Max, who played drums for the fun and fast “Nothing to Prove” and then handled fierce guest vocals on “Guilty by Association” (his nickname is Maxball, after all) and definitely looked like he could front a modern hardcore band. They closed with “What Happened?”, and I was a little disappointed Matt Skiba didn’t come out for his guest vocal part.

Set list:

1. 5 Year Plan

2. Everready

3. 1995

4. Family Tree

5. Still Here

6. One Life, One Chance

7. Sunday

8. Nothing to Prove

9. Guilty by Association

10. What Happened?

From there, the main stage had four bands in a row playing that I was interested in seeing, so it was an easy campout situation at that point. Circa Survive was up first with their mix of spacey post-hardcore, alt-rock and emo, and they played a good mix of their more anthemic stuff (“The Difference Between…”) and psychedelic stuff (“Rites of Investiture”). They even had their signature large inflatable balls (in the form of giant beach balls, of course) being bopped around the crowd. Frontman Anthony Green looked as wide-eyed and wild as he usually does; in fact, during “Child of the Desert”, a crowd-surfer tossed him an orange, which Green caught and promptly chomped into, squeezing the juice in his mouth and then tossing the ravaged remains into the audience (who grossly reached for it and tried to catch). They were pretty good, and they had a great reaction. Before they wrapped up closer “Get Out”, Green commanded the crowd to “crowd-surf me all the way to the ocean and feed me to the sharks!”, which I think they came pretty close to doing. He just kept going until he was out of sight -- I truly think they may have carried him all the way to the water.

Set list:

1. Act Appalled

2. Rites of Investiture

3. Child of the Desert

4. The Difference Between Medicine and Poison Is in the Dose

5. Holding Someone’s Hair Back

6. In the Morning and Amazing…

7. Get Out

Thrice put up a strong case for set of the weekend. It was no-frills (not that many bands had any during their 40-minute sets), played super tight and professionally, and was a great mix of their arty alt-rock and heavy post-hardcore. I was particularly pumped to hear the excellent “Of Dust and Nations”, which is close to a top 10 Thrice song and an honorable mention at worst. They played other fan favorites like “The Artist in the Ambulance” (which probably got the biggest reaction), the Killswitch Engage-inspired “Under a Killing Moon”, and jauntily heavy closer “The Earth Will Shake”. They included a few newer ones too, though, like the underrated “Honey” and brand new B-side “Deeper Wells”, which has a fun punked-up edge that’s unusual for them these days.

Set list:

1. Yellow Belly

2. The Artist in the Ambulance

3. Silhouette

4. Of Dust and Nations

5. Honey

6. Deeper Wells

7. Under a Killing Moon

8. The Earth Will Shake

Again, it was easy to stay put with the Menzingers up next. They have a sound that’s perfect for Warped Tour, even if they’re something of a newer band when putting the entire history of the tour into context. Alone, they’re basically melodic punk vets, five albums deep and headlining House of Blues-sized venues around the country now. They played the hits (though no “Gates”!, though I suppose they filled the void of sentiment with “Lookers”) and people were really lovin’ it. I was a bit surprised they didn’t throw in one of their newest one-off singles, but it was hard to complain with the set too much. They stuck to their most popular albums, and that was okay, as it made up a nice 10-song set that felt anthemic and urgent.

Set list:

1. Tellin’ Lies

2. Good Things

3. House on Fire

4. The Obituaries

5. Lookers

6. Thick as Thieves

7. I Don’t Wanna Be an Asshole Anymore

8. After the Party

9. Nice Things

10. In Remission

There was one more set before it was time to move, that being the Starting Line. The Drive-Thru pop-punkers are on a reunion tour of sorts. I definitely liked them back in the day, but I preferred frontman Kenny Vasoli’s project after that, Person L. Heck, I wasn’t really sure how well their songs would hold up (and they didn’t fully, admittedly), but it was still a fairly fun time. The crowd felt a little lower-key than usual, but halfway through it became an endless parade of crowd-surfers and anyone in front really had to watch their head from getting kicked in. Vasoli was having a pretty good time, jumping and flailing his bass around. Before they played “Island”, from their most recent LP, 2007’s Direction, he quickly went to the mic to iterate that “Direction is our best record,” which I suppose might be a controversial opinion among Starting Line fans who vow by their rather poppy, early Drive-Thru teen pop-punk material.


Set list:

1. Up & Go

2. Surprise, Surprise

3. Given the Chance

4. Leaving

5. Are You Alone

6. Making Love to the Camera

7. Island

8. Best of Me

I spent some downtime grabbing some tacos and hydrating before moseying over to the Monster stage for Quicksand’s set. They actually headlined the second Warped Tour, so their place here was very appropriate, but they’re definitely a bit of a time and place band and the scene showed that. They had easily the smallest crowd of any band I watched that weekend, and even then, much of the crowd seemed like curious onlookers and not necessarily diehards (I don’t think the kid in the Varials merch in the pit was necessarily a long-time fan). The three-piece played a pretty decent set, and the laid-back, beachy-looking Walter Schreifels looked like he was in the right place. Obviously it was a pretty relaxed time, though there was a little bit of weird pit action (and I think someone lost a ring at some point, so that kinda broke up the action as people sifted through the sand). But it was nice to just “sit” back and headbang with some personal space for once that day. I would’ve loved to hear “Head to Wall” (it’s crazy they didn’t play it) and “Cosmonauts” (less crazy, but would have been nice), but whatta ya gonna do?

Set list:

1. ?

2. ?

3. Thorn in My Side

4. Illuminant

5. Warm and Low

6. Lie and Wait

7. Blister

8. Brown Gargantuan

9. Omission

10. Dine Alone

11. Landmine Spring

Taking Back Sunday had a huuuuge crowd I think they would have had either way if Blink-182 wasn’t set to play in just another two hours or so. I got there just as they were finishing up their second song, “A Decade Under the Influence”. They played plenty of the fan favorites as frontman Adam Lazzarra sauntered around the stage swinging the mic and giving off his jovial southern preacher vibe, cracking some jokes about headliners Blink. They also threw in the more recent “Tidal Wave”, the Ramones/Clash-esque punk song that definitely seemed appropriate for Warped Tour and offered a reprieve from their otherwise consistent mall-emo vibe. Their bread-and-butter in that area is still tasty, though, with “A Decade Under the Influence” and “Cute Without the ‘E’” still some of their best songs and top-of-the-pops when it comes to stuff like this.

Set list:

1. What’s It Feel Like to Be a Ghost?

2. A Decade Under the Influence

3. Error: Operator

4. Tidal Wave

5. Set Phasers to Stun

6. Liar (It Takes One to Know One)

7. You Can’t Look Back

8. You’re So Last Summer

9. Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut from the Team)

10. Looking for a Fight

11. MakeDamnSure

Long-running Cali vets the Offspring came up next as the Blink-182 preamble. They had one of the longest sets of the day and were able to really stretch out and play a nice array of hits and deeper cuts from across their catalog, plus an AC/DC cover of “Whole Lotta Rosie” that seems to be a more recent habit of theirs for festivals. While they don’t get a ton of radio play these days, they were easily one of the three biggest punk bands for a while (even if their biggest singles all seem a bit novelty) and it seemed like they were constantly on the radio (and still are as far as whatever modern rock radio stations are left). Their superstar presence still resonates somewhat, as everyone sang along to chart-toppers like “Come Out and Play”, “Why Don’t You Get a Job?” and “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)”. It was cool to hear “Gone Away” after only seeing them play a piano ballad version of it the year prior on their tour with 311, as well as probably their best single, the OC punk-influenced “The Kids Aren’t Alright”.

Set list:

1. Americana

2. All I Want

3. Come Out and Play (Keep ‘Em Separated)

4. It Won’t Get Better

5. Want You Bad

6. Staring at the Sun

7. Whole Lotta Rosie [AC/DC cover]

8. Bad Habit

9. Gone Away

10. Why Don’t You Get a Job?

11. (Can’t Get My Head) Around You

12. Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)

13. The Kids Aren’t Alright

14. You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid

15. Self Esteem

Finally, it was time for big headliners Blink-182 to play -- although, unfortunately due to extenuating circumstances, I wasn’t able to stick around for them. This is an Enema of the State 20th anniversary tour for them, though, and they played it in full for what I imagine was a very, very large crowd. Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker, and Matt Skiba played the album in full, dedicating “Aliens Exist” to ex-member and extraterrestrial enthusiast Tom DeLonge, with a bonus of “Family Reunion” thrown in there. They followed it up with an eight-song bonus of old favorites and newer material, though with two minute-long-ish songs (“Built This Pool” and “Generational Divide”) I imagine it was pretty breezy. Here’s a fan-shot video of the whole set, and the setlist.