Music Photography Blog

by Adam Elmakias

Epicenter with A Day To Remember

I drove up to Fontana, California on September 26th to attend Epicenter – a two day outdoor festival with a stacked line up. One of the bands being A Day To Remember. I asked the A Day To Remember if I could come up and hang, they said sure and I was all in.

I left San Diego the morning of the 26th and met up with the guys at the hotel that afternoon. They had just flown in from Florida and wanted to just take it easy for the night. We hung around at the hotel for awhile and Alex and I got some food.

During sunset we shot some new quick press images in the hotel’s courtyard. It wasn’t a crazy production or anything, but the image was solid and used to tide showing me his birds Victory Records over until we had time to do a full shoot.

Alex showing me his birds
Fist pound remake

This is the image that ended up getting put to use.

I am not sure where exactly this image ended up, but I know it has a few full page ad’s in some magazines and is available as a poster online.

Snapped a solo shot for Neil!

Come dusk we all jumped into their fifteen passenger van and cruised on over to the venue. Everyone wanted to check out Eminem‘s set. If there is one artist I would love to meet, just to meet, it would be Eminem , his music meant a lot to me when I was in high school- heck it still does.

We got to the show and entered from the wrong side. I am not sure how we got in the fence or what happened, but Sal drove from the main entrance, through the crowd, to the backstage area.

We couldn’t get a secure spot from backstage to watch his set, so we walked out and watched it from the back of the crowd. Lots of old drunk guys. Eminem killed it, such an amazing rapper- he even brought D12 with him, which was quite the collaboration to witness in the flesh. My only complaint was that the backup singer who could match the voices of Hayley Williams, Pink, Rihanna and Dido perfectly- wasn’t really singing. The track would play and her face would be on the big screen, and she would stop singing halfway through. C’mon at least be good at being terrible if that’s all you got. Regardless, set was sick.

We headed back to the hotel and hung out for a bit. Tanner came up from San Diego to hang as well.


The Double Tree has free cookies, warm cookies. So good. I shared a room with Quinn, their merch dude and passed out for the night.

Come morning I met back up with everyone in front of the hotel to figure out the schedule.

This is Sal dishing out our laminates for the day.

First stop, the venue. Once we got there Tanner and I went to the box office to grab my press pass. Ont he way there someone gave us an drenched ice cold towel that we each draped over our neck. The guy that helped us skip the line and get our press pass through the back door was really nice. I guess he was working a festival that A Day To Remember was playing soon- he told us all about it. Rad guy! We headed back to the backstage area. Sal told me he forgot something at the hotel and he needed us to pick it up. Back in the van, stop at The Double Tree quick pit stop at In-n-out and then back to the show. I purchased In-n-out Josh and John – which by the way Josh, you still have to take me out to eat in return!

Hung out in their backstage RV for a bit and waited for them to go on.


Alternative Press Magazine had a photographer attending the show to shoot a feature for A Day To Remember , I felt bad for him- it was a hot day. The photographer was Jered Scott.

Jered Scott

I had never met him but we had a few mutual friends- so it was nice to put a face to all the stories I had heard. He was really nice and we talked shop/hung out for a bit. I tried to stay out of his way for the rest of the day so that he could get his job done. I was there mostly just hanging before my shoot in LA with Yellowcard. But he had client to please!

A Day To Remember went on at around 2:00 or 3:00, the sun was high and man I was cookin’. It was so hot! The venue had a fire hose they would spray the crowd with to keep them cold, I want a fire hose.

This guy was a stage manager on Warped Tour, I keep forgetting his name. I just call him sabertooth cause he looks awesome- he was helping out with the stage at this show as well
Alex setting up his kit
First pound

Josh getting warmed up

They killed it, great crowd reaction.


The band had to stay for a few hours do some interviews/photoshoots and all that fun press stuff. Tanner and I hit catering quick and then drove back to the hotel to hang.

We went back to the venue a little later to watch Blink-182 play. We got there a little early so we could get catering, again. The catering was really good surprisingly. I don’t remember what we got, but I do remember there being about 5 different coolers full of drinks. I spoiled myself.

I had never seen Blink-182 play live before. When I was a kid I just went to Linkin Park concerts. Blink-182 was good and a little bit funny. I don’t feel like the immature jokes had the same effect on me they would have had if it were the year 2000. First of all- I would have been ten years younger. Second, they would have looked twenty years younger. I enjoyed the drumming the most, Travis Barker blasted my mind. Most drummers get lost in the back behind their kit, he just danced all over the thing like never before.

Back to the hotel for some late night hangs, and then I passed out.

I got up at the same time the guys did so I could say goodbye to them. I also wanted to leave at a decent time so I could beat most of the traffic heading into LA. I was heading to an old friends place- Danny Kurily. I met Danny out on the road with All Time Low – he used to guitar tech for them. Now he has the fun job of being a personal assistant in Los Angeles, quite the life if you ask me!

Danny‘s place was really tricky to get to, lots of winding roads, but I eventually found it. We hung out for a bit and shot around. We wanted to get images of him, working for himself, so that was what we did. It was a simple composite as it just involved moving Danny around three times, while leaving the camera on a tripod and remotely snapping three images. The hard part was lighting it- by the pool. I accidentally moved my light/ box/ stand without the vagabond attached to it to weight it down. This resulted in a diving Bee. I have been scared to use it since then, I didn’t want it to blow up on me. I tested it out today actually and it worked perfectly fine. Sweet!


After we finished shooting we decided it was time to get some food. On the way to the restaurant Danny showed me a spectacular view of LA from around where he lived. it was beautiful, but also disheartening- the fact you can’t see stars in LA upsets me. We ate at Vegan Glory. The best Thai vegan food I had ever had, and the poser chicken actually tasted like chicken Yummm. Back to Danny‘s to edit the images and watch some TV. I passed out on his couch.

This trip has another day to it, I’ll cover it once more images are released by the band.