July 5th, 2010 (day 11)
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
St. Louis, Missouri
I woke up at 4:00am, we were still in the parking lot- this couldn’t be good. I went back to sleep. I woke up again at 10:00am, why hello parking lot, you are still here. Our bus was broken and we couldn’t get going until late. Driving during the daytime is something that seldom happens on Warped Tour.
We headed to press, it was on the other side of the amphitheater, long walk, through lots of kids! Once we got there the guys had to do two interviews and a photo shoot with Todd Owyoung. I had never met Todd before, but he was a very nice guy. I gave him a few bracelets and watched him shoot Pierce The Veil.
Pierce The Veil had asked me before for my opinion on doing photo shoots at venues. When I first started off, I relied on them. It was how I made new clients, quick five minute photo shoots at venues with bands. However, from a band’s point of view, I would never do them unless agreements were signed that the images wouldn’t be used without band permission. Every band has an image to maintain and if they do photo shoots everyday and let all these random posed press photos of them surface, it’s not going to be pretty. Bands are full of regular people, and like regular people they don’t look their best every day from every angle. When the shoots are free it sounds like a good deal “free photo shoot”. Keep in mind, most of the time these aren’t headed to any publication, so the band isn’t going to get any press from the shoot. They might as feel be call “dear band give me your free time and you might look good in these images”. Now what is so enticing about that? Most established bands already know this, but some of the smaller ones have yet to pick up on it. Larger bands have experienced publicists working for them that know better- but smaller bands don’t. Either way, if you are looking to get a shoot with band- make sure your portfolio makes your subjects look better than they really do! This is nothing against Mr. Owyoung, he’s a good guy- just seemed like a good place to fit it all in.
Straight from the shoot to a signing. We walked around the other side of the venue this time around, it was a lot easier- no kids! They did their signing and then we headed back to the bus. The band had recently added a mustache decal to the front of the bus- perfect, no more getting lost and not being able to find our bus. Plus, it makes you laugh when you see it.
I found the stage manager for main stage and introduced myself. Bring Me The Horizon was on the main stage this year, so he was someone I need to know him once I started working on stage with them. It’ll make climbing all over his stage a lot easier when he is not yelling at me to get down.
Pierce The Veil was on last today, thanks to Warped Tour for working with them on their bus difficulties. Chris was busy so I role played tour manager all the way to the stage. We headed in the main entrance of the venue because to was closest to stage. Live Nation securities guards weren’t stoked, they wouldn’t let us enter. We showed them our laminates and they said no. We tried to keep walking but they put their hands on hands and insisted me stopped. We had a set to get to and couldn’t spend five minutes explaining to them why we could enter. We disregarded their requests and walked on by. It was getting towards the end of the day so a lot of kids were leaving, and they were making sure that none of them were getting back in. But All Access means go in and out of where you want, when you want. I am not trying to be a dick here, just have to get it done.
We got the stage and I hung around until about seven minutes before the band went on. Then I suited up. All went as planned during the set. Tino from Of Mice & Men, also good friend of the band from San Diego- iced Mike during the set. It was pretty funny, he had to drink it on stage.
That night I met a girl- I’ll keep her anonymous to avoid causing any problems, but she told me she was a photographer. Me doing what I probably shouldn’t do, judged her based on appearance. She seemed more like a groupie than a photographer. She immediately name dropped some band dudes she had “dated” so I kept my distance. I try to not be around these kinds of people, because chances are that someone I need to work with hates them, and being seen with a girl like that can mess you over. My judgement became true later that night as I witnessed her disappear onto a bus that she definitely wasn’t hers. Girls, you have it hard enough in this industry, and I apologize for the few “in” the industry that make it even more difficult for you.
I went back to the bus and got my camera ready for shooting at night- added a flash, grabbed my mono/light stand and embarked on a night time adventure. I went searching for Bring Me The Horizons bus and eventually found it- flame decals on their trailer and all. My goal was to talk to Sheep about me switching over to their bus soon, but all I found was an empty bus. I guess everyone went to a casino. Shit, back to the late night hangs. Everyone was partying by their trailers, talking, drinking- you know the regular! I grabbed a few shots of different people hanging. I never really spend more than five minutes with a group of people- I get anxious.. I don’t like in depth conversation- so I stick to small talk and take a walk. That has a nice ring to it. 1. Small talk 2. walk 3. stalk … repeat. I find that the less I talk, the more I shoot, so I sorta do a little of both. This way the people I am photographing are not totally freaked out when I creep over their shoulder.
Shooting at night can be a challenge- after all, these people are in their homes, and doing life in private. So when I go around shooting them at night it can be very invasive. I try to keep to shooting the people I know or that I have at least met. This way no one gets angry with me. If I ever have questions on whether or not I can publish them, I just ask.
That night we made a Wal-Mart stop, here is what I purchased.
• pepper jack cheese
• Mint Oreo fudge cookies!
• nail clippers
• Q tips
Again, trying to use my ingredients in the most ways possible. Tortillas and cheese, cereal with bananas, blueberries and honey (from earlier)- and once again I can eat everything alone. I got the Mint Oreo Fudge cookies because they are the closest thing you can get to thin mint girl scout cookies and they are absolutely amazing. Thank you Brian Buckley for introducing me to them years ago in Canada. I didn’t really eat the Oreos, but I put them on the table so everyone would eat them- community style.
July 6th, 2010 (day 12)
Verizon Wireless Music Center
Indianapolis, we meet again. I have been to the Indianapolis venue three times, this was my fourth. The first time I came here was as an attendee, back in 2007. Every year, it has been humid and hot as hell. Not fun, and a terrible place to do photo shoots. Go figure I have done four shoots here (Bring Me The Horizon, Bayside, NOFX, Confide) and five after this trip.
I woke up early and walked to the venue. Grabbed some breakfast and got stung by a bee. I got stung because I accidentally laid my hand on top of a bee- so it is sort of my fault. It must not have been very hard because my finger became swollen and then started getting better in a matter or minutes. I was stoked, back to shooting.
The shoot went smoothly and after it was done I ran with my gear back to the buses, it was rough. The ground was either gravel or dirt and I had both my Pelican, SKB, vagabond and camera bag. I wanted to make it back in time to see the soccer game. Antonio, owner of Angry Penguin, had arranged a soccer tournament. He provided goals and made the brackets, all you had to do was show up with your team and play. Bands vs bands, good form. I got there just in time to shoot some team photos.
Pierce The Veil was playing against The Swellers. It was fun to watch, I love soccer. We only had a five person team within the band, so they recruited Johnny from Attack! Attack! to help out- he was a skilled soccer played. Pierce The Veil ended up winning. Everyone was hanging out- Parkway Drive dudes, Bring Me The Horizon and the nevershoutnever guys were out and about as well. People were just watching and some subbing in and out of game- fun for all.
Bring Me The Horizon vs. The Bouncing Souls (bmth won)
After they finished playing I joined in for some free play. I am terrible at soccer, I always end up look like I’m scared of the ball. Because I am terrified. I am really flinty so soccer makes me squirm. I usually get a few laughs but I have fun so all is well.
July 7th, 2010 (day 13)
First Niagara Pavillion
I woke up a little late. I missed breakfast. Shit! Oh well, I had some food from Wal-Mart I snacked on. I totally forgot until the morning of- but The Devil Wears Prada guys were coming to the show today. I wish they were playing, I haven’t seen them live in forever! I remember this venue, I had photographed Madina Lake and Less Than Jake here last year. It is a very hilly venue and there is not much to separate the buses from the kids, so it can get very invasive when fans take it upon themselves to come and hang out.
I headed to Whitechapel‘s set and grabbed a few shots of their crowd- it was massive
I arrived at Pierce The Veils set early so I could prepare for their set. I tried to shoot as many images as I could before having to costume up- because once the costume was on I had to stay hidden.
Dave Shapiro also attended Warped Tour that day. When he was younger, he played drums for Count The Stars. He now works at The Agency Group and owns a few of his own businesses as well. He was recently featured on Billboards’s 30 under 30– quite an accomplishment. I look up to his work ethic and I feel like there is always something I can learn from him. We have a lot of mutual clients and he makes his way across the country to hang with them while they are on tour. I never know when I will see him next, but I know I’ll be seeing him.
I went over to the Amphitheater and watched Fake Problems and Ace Enders preform. Both really good artists. I received an an e-mail at some point during the day asking me to shoot all of Bring Me The Horizon‘s new press images for their next album cycle- sounds fun to me!
For their last song they had four different vocalist on stage, it was pretty epic. Left to right-
July 8th, 2010 (day 14)
Time Warner Cable Amphitheater
Cleveland Ohio, we meet again. Last year this was my last day of Warped Tour, and I spent it making my way to the airport. This year, I was here to stay. I had plans of meeting up and hanging with Aaron Van Dike throughout the day. He was a Ohio native, and a talented photographer, he’s also really funny. I met him briefly two years ago while he was hanging with Keaton, but never really got to know him well, stoked we could hang! I woke up to a text from him that read –
“I got your package, need anything else that you can’t get on tour? Heroin? Small Children? Haha”
He was bringing me a package, it had business cards, bracelets, and some cell phone batteries in it. Various tour essentials I had forgotten at home/ were delivered after I had already left. Anyway I did my morning routine and eventually hopped in Aaron‘s car as he neared where our bus was parked. Next, try to find parking. We couldn’t park anywhere. We ended up moving some caution cones and parking in a back area. The parking for this venue was wild, we were under a few bridge/ highways and cluttered in with some abandoned buildings, and then surrounded by water. Then try squeezing 65+ buses into the area, not a pretty sight. Good thing his car was small and compact or we would have had a rough morning.
Next we headed to the bus, it was really hot out and it wasn’t even 11:00am- which meant it was going to be burning come 2:00pm. We grabbed some water and I showed him around the bus. It went something like “This is the front, this is the middle, and here is the back”. There is not much to show on a bus as it is essentially a long narrow hallway with some compartments to sleep and sit on. I opened my package and grabbed my business cards and bracelets. As a thank you I gave Aaron a few bracelets for bringing me my package. He was stoked, I was as well.
We went to the main entrance and grabbed Aaron‘s press pass. Everything is a lot easier with a laminate on Warped Tour, you can just walk wherever, less time spent figuring out how to get from point A to point B means more time to shoot. Pierce The Veil was on first, so we walked to their set on the other side of the park. I started putting on the intro suit which Aaron got a kick out of. He grabbed a few pictures of me getting geared up. (thanks man) I was stoked. Let’s be honest- this is a pretty cool job. Hate it, love it, I dress up in a day of dead costume and act like I’m drunk for 30 seconds a day in front of a bunch of really excited young ones. Down.
I introduced the Aaron to the band/ crew and asked if it was cool if he shot from stage. They gave him the OK and we were good to go. I stomped on stage , danced, and then got off and grabbed my gear. Everyday they pretty much played the same set as far as where they were located on stage. I got this shot of them, finally. Right as they started climbing on top of their amps I ran out to the middle of the stage and laid down. Grabbed the image as they jumped, and then jumped off front of stage and ran through the side entrance.
The set went great and soon after it ended Aaron had to depart to do his job for the day. He was assigned by Alternative Press magazine to follow Andrew WK around for a day- what an awesome gig. Andrew WK, epitome of party.
I headed back to the bus and worked on some editing and e-mails. It was a hot one so I decided to take it easy during the day. I took a quick stroll in the general area to scout for some shooting locations for later. I had my first shoot of many that would happen this summer with with Bring Me The Horizon that afternoon. I wanted to get started on a good note. I found a rad location, about a five minute walk from Bring Me The Horizon‘s bus. It was a perfect, a big open area with nice surroundings, nothing crowding the sky. It must have been some kind of quarry, not exactly sure what it was, but it worked.
festival grounds bus parking shoot location I headed back to the venue and shot Pierce The Veil at a signing quick, and then back to the bus. I met up with Daniel around 4:00pm or so and grabbed all my gear. We walked to the location I had picked out and shot a handful of test shots in different areas that weren’t too far from each other.
Bring Me The Horizon showed up about an hour later and we shot for a good thirty minutes. The shoot went terrible, my fault, nothing useable, scrapped it all together. So much for starting off on a good note haha. Oh well, it happens- luckily we had a few more weeks to get everything shot. Daniel and I were covered in some kind of suit/ dust by the end of the shoot. No good. We took the gear back to the bus and went and washed ourselves off. I noticed I couldn’t find my spare batteries I ordered that Aaron had delivered them that morning. Yep, definitely left them inside the package and threw them away. Bummer.
I was planning on meeting up with Mike Shea, the owner of Alternative Press magazine– but he ended up getting too busy last minute so we had to reschedule for the Michigan date. Bummer, I have really wanted to meet him for awhile now. I met up with Aaron and his friend Gino Locascio by the main stage to catch Bring Me The Horizon‘s set. Yep, They were closing the show again. I asked Sheep if I could shoot up front in front of this flag that sat stage left by the front edge of the stage. It was in plain view to everyone watching so I definitely had to run it by him first, just to be safe. He said go for it, so I did. They put on a good show, the main stage was under some sort of giant tent, and it made everything sound all the more full /epic. They did this whole circle pit around the sound booth thing, the kids loved it and it looked really fun.
They had a sick bus this year, two bathrooms and a shower. Pumped to ride on this thing. They had huge flame decals on their trailer, no sure the reasoning behind this, but it made finding their bus a lot easier. Their bus sported a neon green under-glow somewhere close to the center of the bus. I have never seen this before on a bus, but it looked like something out of The Fast and The Furious.
I couldn’t find any of the guys, they had all went somewhere that night but I wasn’t sure where. I walked around for twenty minutes on my own, did some laps. I ran into a few of the guys from We Are The In Crowd, and visited Pierce The Veil‘s bus. I eventually made myself comfortable at an Every Time I Die BBQ. I only knew a few people there, but I stuck around for a good ten minutes and made some small talk. After a bit I went back on over to Pierce The Veil‘s bus again. Someone had brought them this huge tins of treats, I’m talking huge. There was puppy chow, chocolate chip cookies, and two other types of treats I couldn’t really remember. They were all delicious though, I ate so many of them. Not the best thing for my health, but I was starving and there was a lack of BBQ at this night.
Back to Bring Me The Horizon‘s bus- Vegan and Lee were hanging out on the bus and saying they were hungry. I had brought over my food supplies and offered to make them some tortillas and cheese. They said they were down and I was more than game to hook it up. Two slices of pepper jack, one tortilla. Tear cheese into pieces, place it evenly all over the tortilla and the roll that deliciousness up – nuke it! They both approved of my simple creation, if I could even call it that. I made one for myself, grabbed a seat and participated in our mini-feast.
Bus calls were staggered that night, something along the lines of buses #1-10 at 11:00pm, #10-50 at 12:00am, and #50 and up at 1:00am. This was done to avoid a traffic jam at the boarder crossing into Canada. Warped Tour sends manifest sheets ahead of time to make everything go smoothly. However you never know what’s going to come up. Everyone flooded the bus within the last twenty minutes before bus call. We left a little after 12:00am and it was a relatively ordinary first night. By 1:00am I had collectively gotten a “Wacko, you are riding with us now?” question for every person on the bus. Sheep made the decision to let me ride on the bus, and they probably didn’t have much say- so I understand them all not knowing. Still funny though!
I lucked out with my bunk on Bring Me The Horizon‘s, I wasn’t supposed to have one but one of their mercy girls couldn’t get her passport in time for border(unfortunately). Bummer, but I’ll take it for a few days! I liked my bunk on their bus, about 3/4ths of it was open towards the aisle, but then by my feet there was an area that had a third wall. It worked great so I could shove all my stuff by my feet and it wouldn’t fall out. I was on the top again, which meant there was going to be more hopping in my future. There aren’t ladders, or anything of the sort on a bus, you have to climb your way up to your bunk. The only ledges for you to put your feet on are the sides of other people’s bunks. You have to be light on your feet and mostly pull with your hands, as the last thing you want to do is wake someone up.
Here is a quick run down of the people on the bus
1. Sheep is their tour manager, he handles everything they do all day, every day. I don’t know Sheep’s real name
2. Lee plays plays guitar
3. Matt (Vegan is what people call him though) plays bass and Fifa
4. Oli does lead vocals
5. Tom is their drum tech, videographer, and Oli’s little brother
6. Dean is their guitar tech.
7. Flip is a crazy guy who does their merch.
8. Jona plays guitar and does backing vocals.
9. Matt plays drums and Fifa
10. Phil does front of house
Their bus driver, Al, a great guy. He drove for There For Tomorrow last year so I had gotten a chance to meet him then. It was nice riding with him again. Bus drivers can really make or break a bus. If they are strict, the rides can be very boring, but if they are tolerant and easy going you can be loud and mess around while driving. Al was the latter, while at the same time strict enough that it didn’t get out of control. I asked him how long until the border and he said that he thought it was going to be a little bit. I decided to pass out for awhile and get some sleep.
I woke up at 3:00am to sheep saying “Everyone off the bus, border, we are at the border”. I half jumped outta my bunk half let gravity take ahold off my feet and stick me to the floor. Grabbed my shoes and stumbled out the front of the bus. Crusty eyes, soar throat- oh how I love the dry ass bus atmosphere. Everyone was in their pajamas, some in a little bit less, standing outside the bus. The guard had all of our passports in hand and we had to follow him to a building. Then we stood in line behind about six other people. After standing in line for about ten minutes, they said we were good to go. We didn’t even have to do anything- allllrighty then! I am not quite sure what the point of that was, but I wasn’t complaining. I wasn’t too stoked on having to talk to security or some person behind a desk at 3:30am.
Back to the bus. I turned my cellphone off and took out the battery. I wouldn’t be using it for the next few days, I don’t like any ridiculous high fees just for being in Canada.
July 9th, 2010 (day 15)
Toronto, why are you gloomy, wet, and rainy? This was no fun. I was looking forward to a happy Canada day, but it was overcast and depressing. Give me some sunlight! I need vitamin D. I didn’t have any internet and I had to send out some files to The Devil Wears Prada, and they were overdue. Not a good situation. Sending out big files on Warped Tour is never a good time- it usually involves heading to a local Panera/ Starbucks to grab some free WiFi. Bus WiFi is much too slow, it’s just a cell phone card in a router, one of those 3gig a month set ups.
I went to get some breakfast and then headed back on the bus. I was staring at my feet while I walked on the bus. Looked up and there were three familiar faces staring at me. It took me a second and then I said “Hello guys, I think I am on the wrong bus”. The Hey Monday people have always been great to me, they responded with “Yes you are” followed by some slight laughter. I turned around and exited the bus, shuffled one to the left, and walked on the correct bus. I am surprised this didn’t happen more often, I find myself zoned out about 50% of the day into some other world where all I am doing is thinking about what I am going to do next.
I texted Jeremy, nicknamed Boner- nevershoutnever‘s tour manager, and asked him if I could barrow his internet. He said sure so I headed to their back lounge and kicked it. I met a guy named Chris from Polar Bear Club in their back lounge and then a few people from his crew were hanging as well. Sent out some e-mails, hung out and had a good time.
I did a lot of walking. I didn’t really walk anywhere, but I did walk everywhere. Andrew Unden hopped on the tour now. I forget when exactly he got off and on, but he was on now!
I found the D-TOX tent, Canada’s equivalent to our Hot Topic. They were holding signings with a few bands from Warped Tour. The posters that Pierce The Veil and Whitechapel were signing were both giant blown up press images I had shot for them. I snagged a few of each and stuffed them in my pelican case. A few posters with creases is better than no posters at all.
Now that I was with Bring Me The Horizon I had to make sure I was at their set everyday. I don’t think I did Pierce The Veil‘s intro that day, but I am not exactly sure. I made sure to be back at our bus about forty minutes before the guys went on, this way I could walk with them to the stage and grab shots along the way. I photographed them warming up, getting their gear on, and hanging around backstage before they played. I usually try and plan before the set just exactly what shots I am going to shoot that day. Because I have the luxury of being able to shoot them twenty or so times, I can grab different shots each day. For example, today I went to stage right and hid in a corner that I wouldn’t be able to get to after the set started. Other days I would sit behind the amps and shoot them as they walked on stage, and then shoot from behind the drums for the rest of the set. Always trying to switch it up.
Bring Me The Horizon ‘s set was a very active one for me. They started off with a song that everyone could chant group vocals too. As soon as the song kicked in three of the members would jump off the front of the stage, climb the barrier and lean into the crowd. The kids flipped shit. Lots of jumping, lots of screaming- made for some interesting photographs. From time to time I would shoot my daytime live sets with my ND filter on so that I could shoot with a wide open aperture and get some good depth of field. I would usually just turn up the shutter speed to expose correctly, but I wanted to get some motion blur in the shots as well to help shoot the movement.
I had plans to meet up with a girl from Toronto, her name was Jessie Lau. I have talked to her on and off for awhile now. She e-mails me questions and I try to help her along. I e-mail her my blogs and she corrects them for me so that my blogs make sense. It’s a good relationship! Anyway, we met up for fifteen minutes and talked about photography junk and other random happenings. Nice girl, fun time, I gave her a bracelet. At one point while we were talking the Pierce The Veil guys walked by and gave me a hard time for I don’t even know what. Next stop, catering. Time for some food!
I forgot how I managed to get food that day, but I did, someone gave me a barcode number or something. I waited in line for a bit, grabbed a plate and started walking down the row of food. They had a bunch of local volunteers there to serve food. That’s actually how it was every day. The deal was that they had to serve food for two hours or so, and then they were rewarded with free admission/ backstage passes- plus they got to serve all their favorite musicians. As I was going down the line I realized that all the volunteers serving food were literally shaking. Bodies trembling I looked the third girl I saw doing this in the eye and asked- “Why you shaking the chicken so much? What’s going on? I am so confused ” as I half smiled and half laughed. She didn’t really say anything to me, just looked me in the eyes with a don’t you get why my bones are shaking look. I responded as if that is actually what she said- “What the hell is going on?” She shifted her eyeballs to my left, her right. I looked to my left, Christopher Drew of nevershoutnever. I looked back at the girl and asked “This guy?” as I pointed as Chris. I shoulda known, this kid is an pretty popular at the moment / every girl wants to touch him somewhere. I gave her a “ooooo I get it” and shouted to Chris ” C’mon man, you are making them shake my food up”. So wild, I wish I could make people shake, or be strong enough to just pick someone up and shake them.
The Pierce The Veil guys mentioned that an interview asked them some questions about me and they talked about what I ate. The interviewer is McKenna Gray and she runs a webzine with her friend. I have been meaning to meet up with her and talk about photo stuff but we never got around to it this trip. Hopefully next time! Here is the interview, “my” segment starts at 5:00. Thanks McKenna, I thought this was awesome- not be self-absorbed, it’s just that stuff never really gets asked about me, why should it? I just thought this was really rad.
That night there was a BBQ by the buses. It was themed but only a few people really dressed up- but everyone came and hung out. Lots of food and alcohol for all, good music. Great atmosphere. I lost my viewfinder eye rest at one point during the night, I was bummed, I searched for it for a little bit and eventually came to the realization that I don’t even need the thing and moved on with my night.
At one point during the night I ended up in a conversation with Cherie, Andrew WK‘s wife and sidekick on stage. She danced with him everyday. She handed me her business card and explained to me how she was a trainer/ dancer. I could tell she was very very fit. She told me about a club they opened up in New York and what they had been up to recently. I didn’t really know much about Andrew other than the fact that he liked to party. There was one problem with that, I had yet to see him at all on Warped Tour, except for when he played. I had only seen her out and about. I figured asking what the deal with that wouldn’t hurt, so I did. “Where is Andrew? I never see him around at night”. She went on to explain that he does about three hours of press a day, performs, a few hours of signing, eat, take showers etc. By the time he finishes dinner, he is pretty exhausted and just wants to go to bed/ take it easy. I totally understand, I guess I just assumed he went out and partied, but I didn’t realize how much press the guy got.
You really have to see this to know what I am talking about, it’s pretty awesome.
I walked around, spoke with random people and ended up hanging in the giant indoor area watching a few people play soccer.
July 10th, 2010 (day 16)
Parc Jean Drapeau
Ahh montreal. I have been to Montreal once before, back in 2008 while I was out with Settings on Warped Tour, we spent an off day in downtown Montreal. It was a blast, after all the drinking age in Montreal is 18, and I was 19 at the time, so a dream come true for any US citizen that can’t wait 21 years to get a a little shitty.
I got off the bus and looked around. Where the heck were we, well I looked up, and there was a bridge, so under a bridge was where I was at. I saw a merch dude and asked him how far the walk was, he said about 15 minutes. Shit, I had to (shit), but not in 15 minutes, maybe 15 minutes ago. There was some kind of dumpster area right next to all the buses and I went searching for a porta potty. I was hesitant, but believe it or not there were two. So random.
I hurried in the direction of the venue, as I wanted to get there before breakfast was over. So hungry, after all I haven’t eaten for over 10 hours. The worst thing about sleeping , not being able to eat. I started walking down a dirt road towards the venue. I must have walked passed 10 buses in a single file row on the road, before coming around the bend and seeing a good half mile stretch of street I had to cruise down next. After the row of buses ended, on my left there was a parking lot full of all the other buses on the tour. I guess the area we were playing on originally built/designed for the Olympics? Pretty rad. I soon passed a skydiving simulator, which was essentially a really loud giant fan.
I made a display for my bracelets out of a Pringles can, gaffers tape, a spoon, and some plates. It lasted for about an hour. I was stoked on it but it really didn’t do anything so I just used it to store my bracelets.
I shot Bring Me’s set live from stage right again. Forest and Johnny were hanging out by the back of the stage.
I didn’t think I was shooting for another few hours but I wasn’t for sure. Either way, I tried to find a spot that would work regardless of the time of day. Oli sat down with me and went over a few looks with example that he thought worked really well. We bounced ideas off of each other and eventually came to an agreement on the type of image I would try to capture.
Took a break on the bus and hung around with everyone. An hour passed and before I knew it, it was shoot time. We shot at about 5:00 or so I believe, but I can’t recall exactly. I set up at the first location, tested light to the best I could without any models. I left my gear alone as no one had access to the area it was in. Headed back to the bus to grab the guys, they were on time, awesome. This is a very rare occurrence in the industry- everything is always so last minute. We headed to the first location and shot away for about 10 minutes, a few different looks. I thought the images turned out solid. We had a bit more time so I asked if we could do another location quick. They said sure, perfect. We shot by the water and lower bridge. Nothing as cool as the first location, but a few different looks can never hurt. Band headed back to the bus and I packed up all my gear and threw it back into the trailer
Mike Posner was sitting a few tables away from me. I forgot to mention that a few days ago Alternative Press magazine scheduled me to photograph him on the 11th for a cover/feature. I decided to meet up with him a few nights earlier and introduce myself. I didn’t know him, but I had a friend that was sharing a bus with him so he introduced us. Really nice guy, I thought he was on drugs or something crazy he was so nice- but he was really just a genuinely nice guy. I looked up at him and he was wearing headphones and doing some vocal warm ups. He saw me looking and said what up with a slight chin jolt in and upwards motion. I did the same back and he proceeded to give me a high five from about twenty feet away. I laughed and high fived him from where I was sitting. He yelled “air highfive” – I continue to laugh. This guy was goofy, but he meant well and it ruled.
Catering was right next to Pierce The Veil‘s stage, so I walked out of the fence and over to their stage. On goes the intro suit. I would wait to put the mask on until about a few minutes before the set would start, it was the hottest part. Vic would always have to correct me because I wouldn’t mindlessly wander somewhere that the crowd could see me- before I went on stage. He would say “Adam, get back here, it has to be a surprise” , which makes total sense. My mind just floats around in nowhere land a lot. So much to process!
The sun was setting and they were on second to last, with Hey Monday closing it off. There weren’t many kids there, as expected this late in the day. But the kids that were there were all big fans of Pierce The Veil. A small but devoted crowd is always fun to watch, everyone knows the lyrics.
Walking around throughout the day I ran into about three different photographers that stopped me. Out of the three, I can only remember one and that is because she posted this picture of me online. If you are reading this and I met you, please send me your info so I can update this accordingly. Sorry I can’t remember names that well!
First stop, the closest parking lot to the venue, not where our bus was. I got off anyway just because I thought I could walk faster then they could unload and get to my parking lot. I was wrong, they passed me about half way there. I didn’t mind, it was perfect out now that the suns had almost set.
I went to the bus and changed into a little bit warmer of clothes, switched out cards and batteries and ditched the camera bag. It was a relief to get the thing off my back for the rest of the night. I put the flash on my hot shoe and attached the mini soft box to it. Time for some hang out photos. We were parked right next to the Every Time I Die guys and they were having a BBQ by the trailers. Bring Me The Horizon and Every Time I Die were good friends as they had done a full US tour together about half a year ago, so they hung out a lot.
Andy, guitarist of Every Time I Die, was cooking all different types of meat. I guess he charged people a reasonable price and cooked them up a steak, or a hot dog or whatever else they may be in the mood for. I liked the sense of family/ friendship that was shared between most touring bands. Even if their musical tastes were polar opposites- as long as everyone respected one and other, they would get along.
After a little bit of walking around a what I would call a “well into his night” Oli stumbled into me right outside of the bus. He put his hand on my shoulders and said “Let’s take pictures, let’s do a photo shoot”. I responded with “what do you mean, now?” He had his mind made up”Yes, I want to remember tonight”. I laughed and said “fair enough, let’s go to the bridge”
We headed past the party area, and around the fence that blocked off the bridge. We were so far away from any form of civilization that the sky was clean and the only sounds you could really hear were coming from the highway that ran above us. Around another fence and up a small hill of dirt- I jumped about a foot onto the bridge. I am not sure what this bridge was used for in the past, maybe transporting materials, it was too big for people. Either way, it wasn’t in use now and it was sketchy. Oli told me he couldn’t really see so I had to guide him up the side of the bridge. The side I went on was too difficult, so we went up the other side. To avoid falling over he held onto my shoulders and I led him out to the center of the bridge. He kept asking me how high up we were and wouldn’t move any quicker then a slight shuffle. If I was in his mindset I would probably be the same way- but I wasn’t so I just reassured him all was well. We must have looked all kinds of ridiculous walking across that thing really slowly together.
After about fifteen minutes of shooting, fireworks started going off. They were huge, and not too far away. Holy shit, this was scary. It took me a bit to adjust to the loud boom and bright lights. The images started to look trippy with all the fireworks in background. Long shutter speed to capture the natural light, combined with a flash to capture Oli. About 95% of the images looked weren’t even useable, it was very hit or miss.
I had a shoot the next morning, but because I was in Canada I had no way or reaching my assistant/ day of contact until the next morning. Border crossing was effortless, the boarder patrol guy was a dick and yelled at us for no reason- but definitely expected as we were dealing with US border guards this time around, not Canadians.
July 11th, 2010 (day 17)
I woke up and turned my phone on immediately. My assistant for my shoot that day, Mark Loper had sent me a few texts/ called wondering where I was. I forgot to mention I would be in Canada for a few days to him, so he was confused to why I wasn’t responding. I told him the shoot was still a go and to head over whenever. I got out of bed as quick as I could and got ready for the day. I walked around to breakfast, grabbed some quick food and then did a walk around the whole venue and parking area looking for areas to shoot. This was the worst venue so far for a photo shoot. Well, going to be a fun one today. He texted me and said he was about five minutes away. I walked to the car entrance for the venue and hopped in the car with him. With the laminate they let us park by the buses, so that made life easier.
First Mark and I headed to the bus and I showed him around the inside. We both hydrated ourselves and grabbed the gear from the trailer. I needed a stool for the shoot but couldn’t find one. The Rocket Summer was parked next to us and I asked his merch girl, also his wife- if we could borrow a stool from her ( I could see one in the trailer). She said of course and just to bring it back to the merch tent after we were done. I thanked her and we headed on our way. I had decided to shoot in an empty back corner area of the parking lot. I figured we were shooting early and we could be in, out, and on with our days before a lot of people arrived. It was a little bit of a walk but between the two of us we did a pretty good job of carrying all the gear.
We set up one octabox and shot a a few test shots. Looks good to me, first location secure, and we would walk to another parking lot area after and shoot some more images. I asked the security guards/ people parking the cars how long it would take for the lot to fill up to the point we were at. They told us we would be fine for the next few hours. Perfect! I told Mark to wait by the gear and I was going to meet up with Mike‘s publicist.
I met up with her and she asked if we should go scout some areas or what I had in mind. I showed her the test images on my camera and she approved. Got that out of the way. The label had arranged for Mike to have a stylist, wardrobe, and a MUA come along as well- which makes my life a lot easier. I waited on the bus with them for what seemed like an hour while I simultaneously was in contact with Mark on my phone via text. I had texted him an apology for having to wait so long by himself, he was a good sport about it and understood it was out of my control. He told me the lot was filling up and we were getting kicked out. Shit! By that time Daniel had texted me ready to help out as well so I sent him in Mark’s direction to help him move all the gear to my backup location- the second location and other parking lot. It was awfully difficult explaining to Daniel where he should go. I would have gone with him and introduced him to Mark and all, but I had to stay on the bus and okay wardrobe/ give the team a run-through of where we would be shooting/ what kind of shots I needed to get.
I was probably on the bus for another thirty minutes before the whole team got going. We were mobile! Our team in total was eight- one MUA, one stylist, two wardrobe, one publicist from label and her intern, Mike and I. The walk was quick, about four minutes, but it was so hot out that once we got to the location they had to touchup his make up from the sweat. He was wearing a long sleeve leather jacket, so I understood the sweating. I was in short cut off jeans and a beater, and even I was sweating. I introduced everyone to Mark and Daniel and instructed them on what lighting set ups I had in mind. I matched my first location with the outfit Mike was already wearing and went from there. While the guys were occupied with setting up the light and Mike was still being worked on I did a quick walk around to the other locations we would be shooting at. I photographed them quick, and then showed the team so that they could prepare outfit’s for each one. I didn’t really have any locations in mind, I just made them up on the fly and winged everything.
For the first location Daniel was my stand in model and Mark was on lights adjusting them according to my directions.
Towards the end of the second location cars started getting parked in the area we were shooting, we finished up quick and moved onto the last two locations around the corner. Mike had a massive radio single at the time so there were a couple hundred kids coming to the shows every day just to see him. Five of the super fans found our shoot while they were walking from their car to the venue. They took a quick photo with Mike and tried to follow us to the last locations. I asked Daniel to handle it and he did, Daniel rules.
First we shot on a hill around the corner. I lit this with one octabox right over my head.
At first we used a light, but I think we ended up scrapping it for all the images that were used. I can’t quite recall.
After the shoot was over we walked the gear back and returned the stool to The Rocket Summer. I walked around with Loper for a bit and gave him the rundown of where he can shoot and such. We went and picked up our press passes and I had to split up with him to get some work done. I headed back to the bus to make a client gallery for the shoot. I got a text from Vic a few minutes before they went on that said “Where you at?” Shit, I sprinted to their stage as fast as I could, did their intro and then went back to the bus.
Jeremy Saffer texted me about halfway through the day, it took a bit for me to have time to meet up, but eventually we did. We hung out in the shade of a bus and talked about what we had each been up to for the past few months. He also bought me a few hotdogs from a stand! They were so good, and they made me feel very sick. Jeremy’s assistant Nick was with him as well. I met him back when I did a workshop with Jeremy on the east coast. Awesome guy.
I headed to catering and met up Mark again. We grabbed some drinks from the coolers and sat down on some grass under a lone tree’s shade. Long day, lots of sun, it was nice to relax for a bit and just hang out. Rejuvenating. We made plans to meet back up right before Bring Me The Horizon played so he could shoot them from the stage. I went back to the bus and prepared my gear for their set and then headed to the stage. I met Mark by the barricade and walked him back stage.
We both shot their set and then headed back to the bus.
On our way back to the bus a younger kid with a camera slung around his neck came up to me and said “Hey Adam what’s up?” I was certain I had not met him before, but my memory is terrible so I asked “where do I know you from? He said “I’m Chris, I came to your workshop with Jeremy”. I was confused, there were about eleven people at our workshop, and I could picture each one of them in my head, I spent two days with them all. None of them were 5 foot 3 and 16 years old. I responded with a “no, no you didn’t”, I knew I was right but something in my head kept saying I was wrong, you never really think someone is going to lie to your face like that- at least I don’t think so. He seemed a little startled and quickly responded with “Well, I was there before it started, helping you guys set up and then I left”. Am I crazy? Did this guy really come? No, I know I am in the right here. “Dude, you weren’t at the workshop? Anyway, what’s up, what did ya need?” All this while Mark was standing next to me equally as confused, he was at the workshop as well and didn’t recognize the youngster.
He proceeded to ask me for Christopher Drew’s
phone bus number because he had lost it. Chris is the lead singer of nevershoutnever, and anyone who is his friend just calls him Chris. I told him I couldn’t just give him someones bus number. What was up with this kid? I couldn’t really figure out his motives for lying to me, usually a lie has a purpose but what was his? And how did he think I wasn’t going to notice? So very confusing. After I turned down his request for phone number he said it was nice meeting me and moved on. I didn’t really know who he was but throughout the night I gathered that he was a young guy that most people refer to as “Andy Milinokis” because his build resembled the famed Television star, Andy Milinokis. I was really bummed, Milinokis was on of my nicknames. I don’t resemble the character but my last name was almost as hard to say as Milinokis. Oh well, can’t have them all!
Bottom line- this is the type of person you want to avoid in the industry. Not because he has invisibility powers and steal you nickname- but because he name drops people he doesn’t know and lies. That is actually one of the main points I made in my workshop, don’t name drop people you don’t know- everyone knows each other in this industry. It’s big, but not as big as you think. The last thing I want if for this type of person referencing me as they go throughout a festival trying to connect with artists I also work with. Ya know?
I said goodbye to Mark and met up with Jeremy to say bye to him as well. He bought me two hot dogs from a stand and they were delicious. Thanks Jeremy, such a nice person.
As the night went on I did my regular, walk, talk, stalk- repeat. I ended up on Pierce The Veil‘s bus for a bit, I missed the guys. They were family and they treated me well. When I was home I hung out with Mike and Tony a lot, and now being on tour it was nice to have actual friends from home around, not just tour friends. I love the friends I meet on tour, but nothing is quite like the place you call home- even if it is the bearded well constructed pile of metal.
There was a guy hustling people in the bus area, he was doing the whole 3 card monty gig. It was funny how many people he fooled. To me, it’s common sense- don’t play this shit. He does this for a living, all day everyday, and makes a bunch of money doing it. How the heck are you going to beat someone at their own game? Oh well the challenge itself threatened people’s masculinity enough that it drove them to try and prove him wrong. He ended up just making them look stupid and beating every last one of them. I laughed and continued on with my night.
This guy was making a lot of money recycling, this must have been one of his most profitable days ever. Recyclable containers littered at least 25% of the festival grounds. Well they used to, until this guy arrived.
We had an off day the next day, and our drive was only thirty minutes or so from the venue. This meant a late night of partying for almost everyone. I witnessed someone let their friend punch them in the face, and then he got to return the favor afterwords. I think it was someone’s birthday but I can’t really remember. I didn’t feel like going to the BBQ so I grabbed some lawn space, laid down and called my girlfriend. I need some time apart from the tour every once in awhile or I would go crazy. It’s hard being around hundreds of people 24/7. Warped Tour was exhausting in everyday possible. My mind was sore from constantly thinking about what to shoot, my ears were overused from all the loud music, and my body was aching from walking for upwards of six hours a day.
Now that we were back in the US, we had gained our passport-less crew member again. this meant I had to give her the bunk back and grab back lounge for the remaining of my stay. Back lounge was basically a place everyone threw everything they couldn’t fit in their bunks, or just didn’t want. Every night before I went to bed I would have to redistribute armfuls of clothes and luggage to the floor and to one side of the lounge, so I could sleep on the other. Don’t get me wrong it was comfortable and I loved having a place to sleep, just very cozy!
Six Flags in the AM, gotta embrace off days.
July 12th, 2010 (day 18)
Six Flags New England
I woke up at about 8:00am and we were still driving. I could tell we were close because we were hitting stop signs and stoplights, something you don’t get on the highway. I looked out my window as we rounded a shopping center and pulled into the parking lot. There was a Panera Bread to my right, and a Walmart in front of me. I went inside Walmart and ran some errands along with Sheep and a few of the guys from the crew. I purchased stamps so that I could send out some bracelet orders. I got back to the bus a little early and asked Dean if he wanted to go to Panera Bread with me. He had never been to Pantera Break, so I told him it was on me–I was stoked a new person to enjoy Panera Bread for the first time! What more could I ask for this early in the morning? Dean ordered soup, they didn’t have soup. He ordered a sandwich and I got a bacon turkey bravo. Back to the bus.
We drove a few minutes and pulled up to Six Flags over New England. It was a clear day, no clouds and the morning sun was blinding through the windows. After my eyes adjusted I could see about six other buses that were parked in the same parking lot as us. If you could even call it a parking lot that is, we were in a big open field with some gravel thrown around, but it worked. Once we stopped Sheep told us we needed to bring our ID’s to get in. I couldn’t find any shorts so I went into the trailer to find Bring Me The Horizon merch basketball shorts, I couldn’t find any of those either- except for the extra larges. Oli came out and put on a pair of their girl shorts that they sold. I thought if Oli can do it why can’t I? I walked on the bus and was greeted with a unanimous vote of laughter. I immediately understood why couldn’t pull this off, because I just wasn’t Oli. There was also the fact that my package was showing through my shorts, and we’re in a small confined area- that could have been it. Either way everyone was laughing at me went back to the trailer and settled for the large pair of basketball shorts.
We half checked in at the entrance and half walked in, I don’t think all of us really had passes due to all of the girlfriends that were on tour/ I was tagging along- but it worked out. We all headed over to get our line jumps for the day, and the best part? They were free. All the guys had to do was a quick 30 min. signing at the Six Flags, and we received free admission and line jumps for the day. Well I couldn’t exactly take my DSLR on the roller coasters, so I had a day off. I can handle some roller coasters but not the big ones. As soon as I entered the amusement park I could pick out the rides that I knew I was not going to go on. These rides were any of the ones that I could already see poking out over the top the rest of the amusement park. I’m not that big of a fan of roller coasters, I want to like them however I just hate the feeling it gives me. I can handle some of the smaller ones but as they start to get a little wild, I can’t handle them. I can never really do the ones that just spin in circles and flip you upside down- they are boring. I can however do the long adventurous ones, that’s more my style.
We split up into four different groups. I was grouped with Dean, and Flip. We headed towards a few roller coasters, some of the smaller ones to start out with. I could handle these. After a few rides we headed back to the entrance and met up with a few more of the Bring Me The Horizon crew and band. We headed over to the water park area and purchased a locker. I shoved everything but my shorts inside and followed everyone to the lazy river. Just as we were entering the ride, Every Time I Die and crew were exiting the river. Instead of setting their tubes down for the next person to take, they chucked them all at our heads. Theu got back in line with us and we all went on lazy river together. There were about 12 or 15 of us total- 75% of which were covered in more tattoos than clothing. The best was Andy from Every Time I Die, he was a big boned man, with a lot of tattoos and a deep voice- very intimidating. Here is an image I snapped of him a year ago, just so you can picture him better.
We treated the lazy river more like a jungle gym. We did it all- stacked the tubes, surfed the tubes, chain link the tubes, and last but not least- traffic jam to the whole damn River. after about 30 seconds of traffic jamming the river the lifeguards started to yell/ whistle at us, but we didn’t budget. Everyone just started yelling back “It’s a traffic jam! We don’t know what to do! Were stuck!”. No one in the river that was stuck behind us was angry, they were just laughing along. The lifeguards couldn’t really do anything else other than whistle, it was funny. I wish I could have brought my camera into the park.
We eventually exited the lazy river and headed to water slide that was on the other side of the water park. Our line jumps didn’t apply to the water rides, so we had to wait in line. The line started at the slides and raft down the staircase all the way down to ground level. Our group had thrown down and there were only about six of us standing in line for the water ride. A kid one level below us yelled out that Oli and said “hey! Are you guys would Bring Me The Horizon?” Oli responded “yea mate”. The kid then asked “Have you seen Oli around?” Oli responded very relaxed ” no, I haven’t”. I guess if you’re not familiar with the band, you wouldn’t really understand how ridiculous this question was. So let me lay this out for you. Oli, is one of the most if not the most recognizable front man on Warped Tour. Not to mention the fact that this shirt was off, so you could see all of his tattoos that covered his torso, and the fact that he spoke with an English accent should have given way. But for some reason this kid was oblivious. I wanted to say something so bad, it was on the tip of my tongue! Clenched my teeth, laughed to myself and went along waiting for my turn to go down the slide. Oh the small things in life.
It was about 1:00pm or so by now and the band had to be back by the entrance for their signing. We walked with them and split up again after the fact. Flip, Dean, and I secured one of the fast passes and hit a bunch of different rides. I told them I would go on all of them but the big ride. They immediately gave me a hard time for it. I had my mind set in stone though, big ride, not going to happen. It was massive. The wooden rides sucked and hurt, and there was one other ride that took you forwards and then backwards that made us all feel like shit. We had rode a little over a half dozen of different rides and it was probably about 4:00pm by now. If we didn’t have line jumps, that would have been enough time to go on three rides. Luckily we got to skip the lines, I can’t stand lines- there is nothing fun about them! We took a break and got some Coldstone. The first one we went to was a Coldstone “express” or something of the sort, and had a limited amount of flavors. Not good enough, we headed to the regular in-park Coldstone and each got our own dish. Cake Batter with pie crust, can’t top that.
One of the few rides we hadn’t gone on yet was Bizzaro, the biggest ride there. Relative to all the rides in the world, this is probably still a very simple and small ride- but relative to what I had been on in my life, this was gigantic. I agreed to walk there with them but I didn’t want to go on. We got there and it was closed for maintenance for thirty minutes or so.
We hit a small ride that was in close range to Bizzaro to kill time, and then headed back towards it. It was back up and running! We pretty much cut the whole line and were right up front, and queued to go next. Somewhere between the start of the line and the ride, the guys convinced me to go on the ride. I was so anxious, heart racing, mind ready to shut off. I didn’t want to do this, but the guys were assuring me everything was going to be alright. I wanted to do it, but at the same time I didn’t. The day of riding roller coasters definitely made this easier for me, almost like a few warm up runs. Every roller coaster I had gone on that day was bigger then any one I had ever been on in the past, so in a way, this was just stepping it up a little bit more. My mind convinced some other part of my mind that this was okay to do. Next thing I knew I was in the seat next to Flip, Dean in front of us. I told them I was scared as shit, and I didn’t want to go. They told me it was going to be alright. Carts shifted and we started creeping forward. We latched to the conveyor belt and it cranked us up the steel beast. Now Flip and Dean had simultaneous changed their reassurance from “It’s gonna be alright, it’s not that bad Adam” to “This is going to be intense, really fast, so scary”. I knew that’s what it was going to be, but for some reason them reassuring me I was going to be alright still put me at ease. I was not at ease anymore. I grabbed Flip’s hand and squeezed tight. He gave me a look like “Really?” I told him I was scared as shit. He didn’t care, he was to stoked and focused on our view we had from on top of the top. I was ready to explode, this was so high up, even writing this from the comfort of my home is making my stomach twist.
We crept to the top “Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck” was all I could think of yelling. I mean I didn’t think that, I was yelling it. As we slowly dropped over the arch I froze. Like a squirrel in the street, my body didn’t work. The first drop was the worst and after that I could handle it, but damn that thing was quick. I didn’t move much until we got off. One of the scariest things I ever put myself through in my own life. But I loved it, it was fun and I was stoked I did it. I thanked the guys for helping me and apologized to Flip for squeezing his fingers, I know he needs those precious things to sell merch with.
Back to the bus as we waited for everyone to gather. Once everyone arrived we headed a few miles from the park to our hotel. Everyone was staying at the same hotel so we could all hang that night. I was starving, I got off the bus and immediately headed to Red Robin across the street with Phil and the girl that forgot her passport, I can’t recall her name. We initially got there with three people but by the time we had ordered there were seven of us. It’s always fun traveling as a large group to these restaurants in the middle of nowhere.
I ordered a burger and asked for my French fries as an appetizer. I got ranch dipping sauce and ate way more than I should have. All the guys ordered drinks, lots of drinks. I don’t think our waitress had a dull moment or helped another table while she was waiting on us. She would bring back three drinks and have to go get four more. By the time my Royal Red Robin burger arrived, I was full. I packed it up to go and felt like crap. I was stuffed full of trash food, bad form Adam…it just tasted so good.
Everyone was cooking out and the bus was empty, I decided it would be a good time to grab a shower on the bus- so I did. Bring Me The Horizon was the only band on Warped Tour I knew of that had a shower on their bus. It was a great luxury to have on warped, and it should be a necessity. I went to the back lounge and shut the back door shut. Clothes off, water on- man this thing actually warmed up to a nice temperate, a pleasant surprise. I can’t handle cold showers when I am already cold, then again can anyone? I was directed to conserve water as much as possible, so shower on, get wet, shower off, soap on, get clean, shower on, rinse off, shower off, the end. So refreshing.
It was dark by now and when I walked off the bus I could see across the parking lot that everyone was cooking out. Oli’s dad was manning the grill and it smelled amazing. I was full from dinner and still had my burger leftover so I just hung out for a bit.
Come late night we walked to a movie theater that was close. Almost everyone in Every Time I Die, Bring Me The Horizon, and You Me At Six went to see the new Predator movie. However two of the You Me At Six dudes were planing on seeing the new Twilight. No comment. The theater was in a mall that had been closed for an hour now, so it was desolate- but the movie theater was still open.. We walked the length of the mall and ended up at the theater. I had brought my burger with me because I was still hungry. Ticket taker guy was not letting this happen.
“You can’t take your food in” he ordered.
I lied “Really? c’mon man, we just walked here from going out to eat and I have nowhere to put it.”
“You can’t take your food in the theater”
I reluctantly followed his request and left my burger right out by the ticket stand “I’ll be back for this, very soon”
Predator was eh, I have noting much to say about the movie- but then again I wasn’t expecting an award winner. I took about four breaks during the movie to chomp on my burger. I think the ticket guy made his personal mission to make sure O didn’t take my food into the theater, he was right there every time I went back to eat my burger. I worked at Sundance Cinemas when I was younger and we let people take whole meals and booze into the theaters, but this wasn’t Sundance. Oh well, I’m stubborn, I deserve to be told no once in awhile.
We walked back through the mall to head out, only everything was shut, so we had to walk all the way back to the theater, and out one of their doors, then walk back. It was late, I was exhausted. I cleared a nest in the back lounge , curled up and crashed out.
July 13th, 2010 (day 19)
I woke up feeling like a zombie, not sure why but I didn’t sleep very well. I slept walk to the catering area and ate a bunch of pineapple, man I love pineapple. I headed back to the bus and got some quick computer work done. Grabbed my camera gear and went out for a walk. I got a text from Vic- “You doing intro? we play first :)”
They went on in twenty minutes. Oh shit, totally forgot again. I made a mad dash for their stage and got their about fifteen minutes before they went on. I couldn’t find the suit. Andrew and Forest looked for it everywhere they could think of, no go. All I had was the mask, hat and the staff. Oh man, I didn’t look cool. But at least I had the mask to shield my face.
I went to Pierce The Veil‘s bus and hung out with the family. I decided I can call them family cause they rule and on tour we pretty much are family, a diverse family, but still- family. They were practicing for their acoustic show which was luckily under a tent.
I waited out in the crowd for them to go on and had my rig set up, camera 15ish feet in the air or so. I extended my light stand legs so that I could have some support, but in order to do this had to sacrifice some height. I think it was worth it considering I was crammed in-between a bunch of kids and didn’t want to drop my camera. A few people kept tripping over the legs so I decided it would be a good idea to stand over it a little bit more, this way no one would trip. Once they went on I fired off a few shots with my remote and lowered the camera back down to check them out.
The sun was almost directly overheard, you can see people’s shadows are only a foot or two away from their feet. I prefer the sun to be much lower in the sky but I can’t shoot during sunset all day, that wouldn’t really make sense. I switched locations to the left side of the stage. The images didn’t look too great so I walked to the back of the crowd and shot from there. Much better!
When it rains on Warped Tour everyone hides out and hangs out wherever they can. When you are working there are usually tents above your head to shield you from the weather- or more importantly keep the gear dry. But when you aren’t working the only place that is dry other than the bus, is the trailer. A bus gets packed out quickly and to have twelve people trying to live on it can get stuffy.
July 14th, 2010 (day 20)
Darien Lakes Fields
Darien Center, New York
I woke up a bit early because getting into the venue was so goddamn bumpy. We were atop a giant hill that overlooked the festival grounds, amphitheater, and a Six Flags that was connected to the venue. Sick, now that I liked roller coasters I was pumped- gonna get my coaster on. But first, find the mustached bus. Pierce The Veil was the last to arrive that day. I was feeling like the suit would be a good thing to revisit today, so I hopped on their bus and slipped it on. It was a little bit of a walk to the crowd but once I got there it was worth it. I walked up and down the line a few times, stood by where the cars entered and waived, and accidentally crossed paths with a Motion City Soundtrack acoustic show. I turned off my music for a bit whenever I was close to them.
You can spot me for a split second at 1:59 in the back right corner of the shot, walking with a sign. There is a guy running up to me who is Brian, a friend of mine.
I had my third Bring Me The Horizon shoot later that day, so I scouted the area by the buses looking for places to shoot. My options were a stone path, woods, grass or more woods. Woods it is! The goal was to get images that could be used for the fall- so they needed to be in coats and such to match the seasonal weather. Shade seemed like the obvious decision or I was going to have a bunch of whiny accented men- and who needs that? They are already hard enough to understand.
In order to get to the location I had to dip through a small hole in a fence. I made the hole a little bigger and got rid of any of the sharp edges. I knew they wouldn’t be pumped on the crawling through a small hole to get to our shoot, and I didn’t want to rip their clothes on top of that. I walk up and down a makeshift path that was about ten feet into the forest and grabbed a bunch of different shots. I found a spot that framed up nicely and allowed the sun to be at their backs, perfect. Logged it to my memory and walked back to bus world
I ran into Daniel right outside of Emarosa‘s bus and went on with him. Everyone was talking about going to Six Flags now quick before they played in two hours. I wanted to go really badly. I told them I was down. It ended up just being me, Daniel and another guy- no one else wanted to come. Oh well, the small the group the easier. We got into the Six Flags just fine with our laminates, but when we tried to hop on the rides via the fast track lane they wouldn’t let us. They told us we had to be escorted and do a bunch of stuff that we had no idea about. Warped Tour told us we could just go in and head down the fast track lane and they would let you on. I had no problem with waiting in a few lines for a few minutes, but I wasn’t trying to stand in line for an hour. Luckily all the lines were short anyway. I guess this Six Flags wasn’t doing so well.
We waited in line for a few rides before running into Courtney and Brittany. They had white tattoos their knees that said Brit and Court, get it? I think they were tattoos, maybe it was something else, I can’t remember. We joined up with them and tried to find some line jump passes. Another group told us that if we went to the picture area of the superman ride, they would hook it up with some line jumps. We went there and I asked them if we could have some passes, they said sure and grabbed some for us. Well, that was easy enough.Thank you! I went on every ride that wasn’t throw you around in circles over and over again based. I even rode up front for the first time, it’s way more intense up front, now I understand why people like being in front.
Daniel and I split up- he headed to Emarosa‘s set and I went to the bus to prepare for the photo shoot. The guys were on the bus so I told them to bring layers for the shoot, and that we would be shooting for thirty minutes tops. After Daniel finished working he met me back at Bring Me’s bus where we gathered all of the gear and walked to the location. We opened up all the cases just outside of the fence and brought in only what we needed. One octabox and one gelled 7 inch reflector. I put a yellow gel on the light with a reflector so it would reinforce the tones the sun already casted on the woods. Gelled light was shot from behind and octabox was set above camera and shot at a 45 degree angle down at the guys.
After we finished setting up I headed back to the bus and grabbed the guys. It was funny seeing them walking around in coats even though it was probably close to 90°F out, or more. I held the fence open as they all squeezed through and headed in after them to guide them to the location. It was only about 100 ft from the entrance, not far at all. The forest’s cover decreased the temperature by about 15°F at least and made it bearable for them. I took a few test shots and we were good to go. I arranged the guys in simple/ basic position and shot away. My goal wasn’t to get ground breaking amazing images- just solid press shots of the band that made them all look like attractive men. We shot a few different poses with each of the two clothing styles and finished in under fifteen minutes. Painful and quick!
I don’t think these images have been released anywhere, but once they are I’ll post my edit’s of them. I think there are two different version floating around as I edited some of my own images, and Oli edited the rest.
After the photo shoot Jona stuck around for a little bit because he wanted to climb inside a dead/ hallowed out tree and get a photo of himself in it.
After the shoot the guys had to head directly to the bus to get ready for their signing. Daniel and I packed up the gear and loaded it back into the trailer. We split up and hopped back on the bus. The guys were literally just getting ready to leave. I followed them to the signing. In order to get there we had to walk through the middle of the venue- a lot of fans. I think that Sheep is one of the best tour managers I have seen, he does it all. Oli is probably one of the most recognizable faces on warped, and a lot of kids want to meet him. Sheep somehow got him all the way to the signing without being stopped once. Once we got to the signing I realized why it was so easy to get there, all of there devoted fans were in line waiting for an autograph, all 500 of them. One of the longest signing lines I have seen on Warped ever goes to this band. I think the only other people I have seen get lines this long are Chris of nevershoutnever and then Katy Perry two years back. Still, it was insane.
I have a good amount of respect for the way Bring Me The Horizon treats their fans.. Whenever I have been around them, they always stop and sign/ take pictures with fans. As long as the fans are respectful of the band, the band respects their requests. They sat at their merch tent and signed every last kid’s poster who was in line when they got there. I think it took them something like two hours. Most bands won’t stay longer then an hour, nice of them to devote the time they had.
After his set I went to catering and hung with the Pierce The Veil guys, and then followed them back up to the bus. I passed by Ben, Suicide Silence‘s guitar tech had hot wings and they looked so good. I hadn’t really eaten well all day, so anything looked good. But even if I was packed full of food, these would look amazing. I asked him where he got them from. He said the Buckley’s (of ETID) parents were cooking them by catering.
Towards the sound booth I traveled, Phil was there doing sound and I asked him if I could shoot from the barricade. He said sure. This is the barricade that guards the sound guy from the crazy mosh pit kids. I stood up on it and shot over everyones head. I had Bring Me The Horizon‘s set memorized by now so I was able to know where to look, and when to look there. This made getting certain shots easier, like this jump shot for example.
It’s not that I take a lot of pictures of naked dudes, well I do. But it’s just that they are naked so often, that a lot of my images are bound have naked dudes in them.
It was a long night of partying, not for me, but for everyone else. I walked around and photographed random people doing drunk things. I might as well have been drunk, I could barely walk as I was so exhausted. My feet were throbbing and it felt like my shoes didn’t even exist. It was a long day! Suit, Six Flags, shooting, photo shoot- so much walking!
Goodnight hilly venue.