The Van's Warped Tour, lovingly dubbed punk rock summer camp by its patrons, veterans and attendees, celebrated its 20 year anniversary this summer. That's two decades of the heat, the pop, the punk and the pop-punk. This year was especially noteworthy because of the number of women (and female frontwomen!) who played the traveling festival. Just ask Sydney Sierota of Echosmith and Taylor Jardine of We Are The In Crowd. There's nothing more punk than moves towards equality.
Click through this list, then check out more of our picks for the Best of 2014:
5 Seconds of Summer entered 2014 as One Direction's buds, the pseudo-punk rock teens from Australia dedicated to sounding like All Time Low and behaving like pre-pubescent, PG-13 versions of Blink-182. After releasing their self-titled debut full-length, playing Good Morning America, the Today Show, Jimmy Kimmel and Fallon, growing exponentially in popularity and rivaling the 1D boys as one of the biggest bands on the planet, 5SOS have proved they play second chair to no one. Oh, and they won Best New Artist at the American Music Awards and Song of the Year at the ARIAs (Australia's Grammys) for the undeniable "She Looks So Perfect." If you're not a believer now, just wait until 2015.
Less than two years after iconic New Jersey emo band My Chemical Romance called it quits, frontman Gerard Way announced a new musical direction: He was going solo and Britpop, swapping his characteristically vampiric appearance for mod, monochrome suits. The result is a rock album that's converted even those most adamantly opposed to MCR in its most mall punk days. What's more punk that proving everyone wrong?
The year had its fair share of viral music vids, most of which exist in Frozen or Taylor Swift "Shake It Off" territory. Not for one brave drummer, who did the impossible: This guy tackled both Travis Barker and original Blink percussionist Scott Raynor's iconic beats. Kye Smith covers almost the entirety of the band's discography in five minutes. That's six albums! Feeling pretty lazy right about now, huh?
Benji and Joel Madden made their musical comeback with a new band, the Madden Brothers, a new record, Greeting From California...and a new sound. It's a giant departure from their angsty Good Charlotte days, but we're just happy to have them back and touring. The boys wrote "Amnesia" for 5 Seconds of Summer, but we wanted original stuff...and we got it! While you've got GC on the mind, take our quiz to determine which of boys' songs best describes your life.
Emo was birthed from hardcore, the heaviest of punk genres. The '90s acted as the hotbed for this overly sentimental music, and if you're in your twenties now, chances are you lived through the sad stuff during adolescence. In 2014, all those bands you grew up on decided to reunite. From Sunny Day Real Estate to The Promise Ring to Blood Brothers, this year was big for math-y guitar riffs and melancholic melody.
The cult classic flick SLC Punk! is required viewing for all fans of the genre. The 1998 film follows the adventure of Utah's finest working class punks. Now 16 years later, they filmed a sequel sequel! Punk heroes Screeching Weasel and Dwarves performed at the movie's culminating concert scene. Good stuff!
When political punk heroes Pussy Riot aren't out and about trying to save the world (and their native Russia), the ladies are, well, in a band. While on The Colbert Report in February, Pussy Riot invited host Stephen Colbert to join the band. We're still waiting for our invites...
When talking about pop-punk, look no further than Green Day. They are the all-American pioneers of the genre, making oversize Dickies shorts and tube socks a look. Their title as the kings of power chords began with Dookie, their iconic 1994 LP. To celebrate it's twentieth birthday, we asked some of your favorite bands, like Taking Back Sunday and Yellowcard, to share their favorite memories of the album. Check it out here!
Truly the Goddess of punk rock is Laura Jane Grace, frontwoman for Against Me! Laura revealed her transgender identity after fronting the punk band for 16 years. She began hormone treatment and, this year, released a new album, the immensely powerful Transgender Dysphoria Blues. Check it out!