Back when they were still producing a healthy mix of ska and rock, No Doubt took part in the inaugural Warped Tour in 1995, which helped them promote their sophomore album The Beacon Street Collection. While that full-length didn’t produce any hits, just after they wrapped their time on Warped, they released “Just A Girl,” and that eventually rocketed towards the top of the charts, turning them into superstars in no time.
Before Fergie joined the band and they took over the planet with their hip-hop/pop blend, the Black Eyed Peas were just trying to make a name for themselves, like every other act on Warped Tour. Then a trio, the group was featured on the trek in 1999, before they’d even reached the charts in a meaningful way (and long before they owned them). There was no “Boom Boom Pow,” though social media star Jeffree Star would cover that tune when he took to the stage years later.
You might be hard-pressed to find a real instrument on a 3OH!3 album, but that doesn’t mean they’re not punk rock enough to be included! By the time they headed out to play a select few dates on the 2016 Warped Tour, they had already seen their songs “Don’t Trust Me,” “My First Kiss” and Kesha’s “Blah Blah Blah” break into the top ten and become massive hits, so it’s no surprise they were able to bring large crowds to their sets.
The Pharrell-fronted production trio has only just recently returned from a lengthy hiatus, but back when they were on their way up and more worried about grabbing the attention of musicians of every kind to potentially work with, they headed out on the road with Warped Tour to meet artists and make new fans. In 2002, Pharrell wasn’t quite as powerful as he is today, and it’s tough to imagine him playing this show now.
Nobody would classify Bebe Rexha’s music as “pop punk,” but she played Warped Tour nonetheless. The “Meant To Be” singer traveled the country with the legendary outing just last year, and things have been looking up for her ever since. Sure, she already had a handful of hit singles to her credit by the time she embarked, but there’s no question it helped raise her profile.
Just one year into the cross-country endeavor’s life, Beck signed on, and it helped bring him to another level. He was already a favorite of the alternative underground, but after Warped, he became something of a mainstream act and a household name, and he’s only gotten bigger and better in the decades then.
Warped Tour’s focus has always been on what’s up-and-coming in the rock, punk, and alternative world, but there are usually one or two hip-hop acts on the bill, just to spice things up and give people something different to hear if they need a change from guitars and screaming. Marshall Mathers was a part of the trek back in 1999, just as his album The Slim Shady LP was getting big.
While she’s always been a pop star in the making, the early days of Katy Perry certainly rocked, and her sound, as well as her attitude, made her a fit for the show. Perry was featured on Warped Tour in 2008, just days after she’d released her debut album One Of The Boys, which featured hits like “I Kissed A Girl,” “Hot N Cold,” and “Waking Up In Vegas.”
It’s not actually that surprising that Linkin Park was a part of Warped Tour...except for the fact that they didn’t get their start there. The group played the festival in 2014, at which point they’d already been superstars for 15 years. Warped is typically a launch pad for artists, but LP decided to do something of a victory lap and play a smaller gig (for them, at least) for fans, introducing themselves once again to some who hadn’t seen them in years (or ever).
The band was part of the 1997 Warped Tour, and they dropped their single “Fly” just as they began the arduous schedule connected to the string of concerts. Mark McGrath and company saw their song fly to the top of a handful of charts, and it wasn’t long after that time that they certified themselves as serious hitmakers, owning radio waves for years after their time on Warped.
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