Motion City Soundtrack were a staple for kids who forged their first musical tastes through Warped Tour. In the decade-plus since the Minneapolis rockers emerged with I Am the Movie, the roaming summer festival has featured the band 10 times.
Right from the band’s start in 1997, vocalist Justin Pierre won crowds over with his distinct, high-pitched croon and ear for catchy, self-deprecating pop-punk hooks. Throughout the years, he’s also proved to be an engaging songwriter, inhabiting the perspectives of exasperated lovers (“Hold Me Down”) and concerned parents (“Time Turned Fragile”). From rollicking sing-alongs like “The Future Freaks Me Out” and “Everything Is Alright” to introspective cuts like “Antonia” and “Skin and Bones”, the band’s songs gave thoughtful perspectives on mental health and self-doubt. And his deeply personal style of lyricism resonated with many bands who either toured with Motion City Soundtrack or who have emerged since.
Throughout the years, they’ve shared the stage with pop-punk titans like Blink-182 and Fall Out Boy, but perhaps even more importantly, they’ve helped foster the resurgence of emo/pop-punk as a genre that draws critical interest. With the emergence of contemporaries like Modern Baseball, Sorority Noise, and The Front Bottoms (the latter two of whom have toured with Motion City Soundtrack), the future of this style of music is bright, even as Motion City Soundtrack are finally calling it quits.
In honor of the influential pop-punk band kicking off their “So Long, Farewell” tour, Sorority Noise, Modern Baseball, The Matches, The Wonder Years, and P.O.S. all share memories of their experiences with Motion City Soundtrack to bid them a proper farewell.