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Warped Tour is still punk's time in the sun

Historically, punk rock isn’t the type of music performed under the glow of sunlight.

It’s ground out in garages, performed for neighborhood friends inside the local VFW halls and community centers. It’s perfected in dank, Pabst-soaked city bars and popularized within the type of legendary rock clubs that are now promoted via $30 T-shirts.

But in 1995, Vans Warped Tour changed all that. It brought the breakneck genre outdoors to places such as  LaSalle Park and unleashed an all-day, tattooed circus for fans of power chords and mosh pits. And though it’s expanded its tent a bit over its existence – sprinkling in hip-hop, metalcore and more polished pop rock (see: American Authors), the country’s largest traveling music festival is still imbued with the spirit of the DIY set.

The U.K. ska snarl of Sonic Boom Six. The Weezer echoes of Georgia’s Microwave, the female-led riot of Baltimore’s War on Women and the Irish stomp of Boston’s Street Dogs. They’re all part of Darien Lake's 66-band lineup – and ready to bring their art’s glorious grit into the open air.

2017 Vans Warped Tour: Starts at noon July 13 at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center grounds (9993 Allegheny Road, Darien Center). Gates open at 11 a.m. Tickets are $41.50 (Darien Lake, Live Nation).

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