For the second time this week, I’m in a cold and rainy Nottingham, awaiting to get inside Rock City. The problem this time is that there are huge queues on both sides of the doors, and openers The Story So Far have already started to play. Just for the record I hate when venues stick a band on so early people miss half the set waiting to get inside. 

Despite this, I get in and find a good spot The Story So Far. The size of the main hall at Rock City can sometimes swallow bands but the Walnut Creek, Califronia band manage to control the space well. The crowd responded unbelievably well to the bands energy, a rarity for an opening band but it’s clear there’s definitely interest in The Story So Far tonight. Tracks like ‘Quicksand’ command huge sing alongs from the crowd with frontman Parker Cannon letting the crowd take the lead for a few lines. Overall, a great start to the night. I’m sure that The Story So Far have won over some new fans tonight as well as impressing the existing ones. (3.5/ 5)

View on Flickr. Photos by J Leadbetter.

Man Overboard are next, I love this band, especially live. The combination of cheesy vocals and sloppy performance somehow just works so well, especially in contrast with their recorded output. Vocalist Zach Eisenstein doesn’t have the best voice in the world, but in a live setting there is something about the rawness of it all that just works. They waste little time talking in between songs, racing through tracks such as ‘Rare’, ’World Favourite’ and ‘Real Talk’ in quick succession.They certainly aren’t for everyone but Man Overboard seem to be winning the audience and by finishing off with crowd-favourite ‘Love Your Friends, Die Laughing’ they’ve left a lasting impression on old and new fans. (3.5/5)

View on Flickr. Photos by J Leadbetter.

The headliners on this tour are rotating each night, so Less Than Jake are next to play. I’ve never really got ska and tonight didn’t change my opinion. With an energetic, crowd-pleasing set that stretched across the bands twenty years together, tracks like ‘Plastic Cup Politics’, ‘How’s My Driving, Doug Hastings?’, ‘Johnny Quest Thinks We’re Sellouts’ and ‘Gainesville Rock City’ failed to grab me and along with the terrible jokes inbetween songs, I felt their set dragged on a little too long. (3/5)

View on Flickr. Photos by J Leadbetter.

For many tonight was all about headliners New Found Glory and as always they never fail to put on a great show. And tonight is extra special as the Pop Punk legends play ‘Sticks And Stones’ in its entirety. Blistering through the first three tracks to a euphoric crowd and it’s great to finally hear ‘Sonny’ and ‘Singled Out’ live as the room had a great atmosphere with a party-like atmosphere throughout as tonight was all about appreciating a great record in ‘Sticks And Stones’. It was great seeing one of the definitive pop punk records played out in full, and as always New Found Glory put on an energetic show. (4/5)

The first night of ‘The Road To Warped Tour’ was a lot of fun from start to finish. Two classic punk bands and two emerging pop punk coming together celebrating all things “Punk” in preparation for the all-mighty Warped Tour even if there’s was a slightly too long delay between bands. Nevertheless it was a fantastic time.


Words by Ryan Clayton (@clayton_ryan). Photos by J Leadbetter (@J_Clique).

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