It's a common story for a not-so-famous band to work its way onto one of the many side stages at the Vans Warped Tour -- one of those stages that most of the kids walk right past on the way to a bigger band or a merch tent.
What's not so common is for that band to be on the tour a decade later as one of Warped's veteran acts.
That's where New Found Glory finds itself on the 18th edition of the punk/metal/emo tour, which fills the First Niagara Pavilion on Thursday.
"We're kind of the veterans now," says drummer Cyrus Bolooki. "I kind of hate to use that word. It used to always be, like, NOFX, Bad Religion, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. The bands that you looked up to. Now it's us and bands like Taking Back Sunday and Anti-Flag."
New Found Glory, from Coral Springs, Fla., formed in 1997 with a straight-up pop-punk sound popularized by Green Day and Blink-182, and broke out with a self-titled second album, stocked with the catchy single "Hit or Miss."
Through seven albums, including last year's "Radiosurgery," it's seen the popularity of pop-punk bounce up and down like the drum beat.
"It's weird. On this year's Warped Tour, there's almost a resurgence of pop-punk," the drummer says, noting the veteran bands along with relative newcomers like Man Overboard and Fireworks. "It's a testament to our style of music. They're not jaded fans, they're not there for trends. They're there for the style of music and the way it feels to listen to these bands. There's a nice camaraderie in the scene."
And that camaraderie, he says, extends beyond the pop-punk circle to the rest of Warped.
"There are so many different styles on the Warped Tour and a lot of heavier bands right now. I was reading different interviews, like Miss May I saying that 'New Found Glory got us into music.' Of Mice & Men wouldn't stop talking about New Found Glory. It's nice to see that respect, coming from all different genres."
If you're hoping to check out New Found Glory on Warped Thursday, you need to get there early because, even though it is one of the so-called headliners, there really are no headliners at Warped, and the band could play its 30-minute set at any time during the marathon day.
Mr. Bolooki says he's been spending a lot of time at the main stage in awe of Falling in Reverse and Of Mice & Men. "The music might not be my cup of tea, but watching those drummers is amazing." His advice to Warped fans, besides checking out those drummers, is, "There's no way to get to everybody, but do yourself a favor and find at least one new band today. There's so much to offer."
New Found Glory will be on Warped through early August and then hits the tour's British leg in November. After that it will come back to the States to mark the 10th anniversary of its third album, "Stick and Stones," which featured the band's signature single and "bros" anthem "My Friends Over You." It went to No. 85 on the Hot 100 and No. 5 on Modern Rock Tracks.
"It's still the biggest song we have, and commercially it reached out further than any song," Mr. Bolooki says. "We always play it last, so it will be weird to have it come up, what, second in the set."music
Scott Mervis: firstname.lastname@example.org; 412-263-2576. Twitter: @scottmervis_pg.