Scan the 2017 Vans Warped Tour
music lineup, and a few familiar names might pop out. The 23rd annual touring music festival is scheduled to hit Phoenix on Thursday, June 22, and its roster includes five Phoenix-based bands: Tempe rapper Futuristic, punk band Playboy Manbaby, all-woman outfit Doll Skin, metalcore outfit Blessthefall, and French-born art rockers The Dukes.
Though all these musicians call the Valley home, their backgrounds, style, and experiences with the Warped Tour widely vary. New Times
caught up with some of the locals before they headed out for various stretches of Warped, which runs from mid-June through early August.
vocalist Robbie Pfeffer
says he attended Warped Tour in high school, and this will mark the band’s first appearance at the long-running pop-punk-centric festival.
“Honestly, I’m just real stoked we’re on it,” he says. “Also, I’m excited to see GWAR; I’m gonna cool myself off with fake blood.” They’ll be on the docket June 22 and August 6.
drummer Meghan Herring echoes that enthusiasm. She says all her bandmates have attended Warped Tour in the past, and she’s gone every summer since 2011. The four-member group will be playing Warped Tour for the first time, and performing from June 16 to 25 (so there’ll be a home show at the end of their stint).
“We have a lot of great friends who show up to jam along with us,” Herring says. She also says they’re excited to tour with Streetlight Manifesto — along with Fire From the Gods, Dance Gavin Dance, and Strung Out, among others. “We talk about Warped Tour almost every day,” she says. “We are so beyond psyched.”
(We can only assume Scottsdale-based Blessthefall
feel the same. They could not be reached for comment, but are playing Warped from June 16 to August 6.)
As for the other Phoenix-based acts, this will be their first Warped Tour, period.
The man behind 2016’s As Seen on the Internet
says he’s never been to Warped Tour, but “my brother goes every year, though.” Playing the Journeys Left Foot stage for the entire festival, Futuristic says he’s mentally prepared for that Valley date.
“Shows in town are way different,” he says. “Hella family and friends all wanting to get in for free … phone blows up nonstop. You get to stay at your own house and be regular. It’s actually kinda weird.”
The rapper’s thoughts on the 2017 lineup? “I don’t know a ton of the acts, but I’m excited to share the stage and a bus with my homie Watsky,” he says. “It should be a good summer!”
The Dukes, on the other hand, have only imagined what Warped Tour might be like.
European musicians Greg Jacks and Francois Maigret comprise The Dukes, and they’ve played in French rock bands like No One Is Innocent and Superbus. Jacks says they’ve been an official Phoenix band since 2014.
The Dukes are scheduled to tour June 27 to July 2, meaning they’ll miss the festival’s Phoenix date. But if the two are in town on June 22, they might just attend as an introduction.
“I heard about it since I was a teenager, but I’ve never been to any Warped Tour date,” Maigret says. Jacks chimes in, “Me neither.”
Jacks describes Warped Tour in France as a big deal. “It’s huge,” he says. “It’s legendary.”
Maigret explains, “It’s like an American punk icon. When people think about American punk rock, they think about the Warped Tour, instantly.”
So, when The Dukes’ manager asked if they wanted in, Jacks says, “It was a no-brainer.” Maigret agrees.
“At the Warped Tour, I think we’re going to give them exactly what they want,” he says. “It’s only the two of us, but it’s loud as hell.”
The 2017 Vans Warped Tour is scheduled for Thursday, June 22, at Fear Farm Festival Grounds. Tickets are $49 and up through vanswarpedtour.com.