The Vans Warped Tour is getting old but staying young.

Getting Cocky 

The Vans Warped Tour is getting old but staying young.

The Vans Warped Tour, the original punk-rock summer camp, is celebrating its 12th year this summer. According to tour founder Kevin Lyman, this shouldn't be happening.

"We should never talk in the present," Lyman says. "We should be talking in the past tense, like this is history. For this to still be around 12 years later ... I can't believe it."

In addition to the usual lineup of contemporary punk, hardcore and emo bands, this year's tour brings the Warped debut for historic punk act the Buzzcocks.

Pete Shelley founded the Buzzcocks in the late '70s in Manchester, England. The band quickly grew to be one of the most influential of its time, laying down the foundations for the pop punk that figures so heavily in the Warped Tour's lineup. Version 6.0 of the Buzzcocks includes original members Shelley and Steve Diggle. Both play on this year's 'Cocks album, Flat-Pack Philosophy, which proves that bands today can still learn a thing or two from these punk legends.

"Every time we play a festival in America, there are always bands on the side of the stage, and they tell us after the set, 'If it wasn't for you, we wouldn't have started a band,'" Shelley says. "I don't recognize most of them, to be honest, but it's always nice that people liked us enough for us to be an influence on them."

Fellow acts on the tour, such as Anti-Flag and Thursday, have paid homage to the Buzzcocks by covering the elder band's songs.

"There's this band called Thursday," Shelley says. "They did a cover of 'Ever Fallen Love,' off the 1978 album Love Bites. It will be interesting meeting them. [I'll tell them] 'Thank you for doing a good version.'"

One of the reasons older acts play the Warped Tour is in hopes of attracting a newer, younger audience.

"Kids will go to see bands like Motion City Soundtrack or Underoath and end up catching them [the Buzzcocks]," Lyman says. "I feel like people will walk away and find they're still very relevant."

Other bands on the tour: NOFX, Against Me, Less Than Jake, Everytime I Die, the Academy Is, Helmet, the Casualties, Saves the Day, Gym Class Heroes, Aiden, Cartel, June, Over It, Plain White T's, Rise Against, the Bled, the Smashup, We Are the Fury, Catch 22 and Bouncing Souls.

Oh, and one band just as seasoned and classic as the Buzzcocks — Joan Jett and the Blackhearts — jumps aboard this year.

"I always have kids coming up to me and saying stuff like, 'Wow, I didn't know they would be here,'" Lyman says. "You and your friends could all go to the same show but end up having completely different experiences. That's what I hope for."

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