Music Photography Blog

by Adam Elmakias

The Vans Warped Tour 2011 (1 of 2)

I traveled around with The Vans Warped Tour this year. I decided to only do a little under two weeks this time around as last year I did the whole thing, it was very time consuming and exhausting. You can view my last years blogs here (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). If you want to know more about life on Warped, read those blogs, they go very in depth. Anyway, less text this year, mostly images. Here are my favorite images from the summer. If you like any of the images post them on your Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook etc. – I just ask that you please tag me when possible. Thank you!

I flew out to Little Rock, Arkansas on the 21st to meet up with We Came As Romans on the 22nd. I got in that night, tweeted my location and checked into my hotel. One of the guys in There For Tomorrow saw my tweet and texted me. Turns out they had just played a show in the area. We arranged for them to pick me up from their hotel and I hung out with them for a few hours. We went coning at a local Micky Ds- it was wild. If you don’t know what coning is, look it up on YouTube. We also hit a convenience store that was the single most ghetto place I have been. I can’t even describe it, but it was out of control.

We went back to their hotel after. This is Dave.

A random security guard talked to us that night while we were hanging in the parking lot. He lectured us on everything there is to know about being a security. I think he talked to us for a grand total of 30 minutes, punishing. There are some characters in Little Rock that’s for sure. then I caught a cab back to my hotel late that night.

The next morning I took the hotel shuttle to the venue and met up with We Came As Romans. I had been assigned to shoot their press images while we were on the road. Not exactly the easiest of jobs- but we made it work. This baby made an appearance at our shoot.

Brian Nagan, my long lost best friend. I did my first tour in March of 2008 with Brian’s band, Four Letter Lie. Now he is out doing merch for We Came As Romans– which suits him quite nice.

Impromptu bike gang photographs

Bus life

The Vans Warped Tour didn’t official start until the 24th, but all the bands/ crew get there on the 23rd so they can set up, make sure everything runs smoothly, have meetings etc etc. There are 800 people on this tour- lots of stuff to coordinate.


June 23, 2011 – Dallas, TX

Alright, now for the festival shots. Shooting Warped Tour every day can get kind of boring at times as the stages do not change. Every night they pack up the stage into a semi, and every morning they build it up again. It’s quite impressive to witness. The festival runs from about 11:00am to 8:00pm , so the sun is my light for these live shots. They turn on stage lights towards the end of the night, so some of these images will have artificial light. But for the most part- all natural. Although the stages do stay the same, the lighting changes every day. In addition to being in a new area and having the stage face a different way- the bands also rotate time slots.

The follow images were taken during these dates, they are all in chronological order. I usually try to stick to shooting bands that I am friends with as I never want someone to feel like I am invading their stage. Most of these images are of The Devil Wears Prada, A Day To Remember, Asking Alexandria and Of Mice & Men – enjoy!

June 24, 2011 – Dallas, TX
June 25, 2011 – Houston, TX
June 26, 2011 – San Antonio, TX
June 27, 2011 – Las Cruces, NM
June 29, 2011 – Las Cruces, NM
July 1, 2011 – Pomona, CA
July 2, 2011 – Mountain View, CA
July 3, 2011 – Ventura, CA

My covers are on the Alternative Press Tent, fun stuff.

The Devil Wears Prada praying before their set.

Asking Alexandria live

I rocked these all of Warped, they worked perfectly.
A Day To Remember’s stage setup
Mike of The Devil Wears Prada
Ben, The Devil Wears Prada’s sound dude
A Day To Remember live
Alex of A Day To Remember

Beer Pong on the bus

Eric of We Came As Romans

Back Lounge tattoo session. I got Canon inked into my left thigh

Late night BBQ
Off day, so we had a cook out in a hotel parking lot.

We went bowling that night, almost all of Warped Tour did. We also got a ride back to the hotel in the back of a pickup truck. Some of my favorite images ever…. I lost the memory card. It pains me just to think about it!

Reorganizing the trailer, I see my travel cases.

The Devil Wears Prada

Radio interview, two bands at once
Austin Carlile of Of Mice & Men and Danny Worsnop of Asking Alexandria
Outdoor entertainment center (you can’t see the TV, but it’s in the road case on my left)

Austin Carlile
Of Mice & Men before going on stage


Mario Kart

Big Chocolate
They are not tough in real life

You can see the owner of Vans in this shot, he is sitting in a chair underneath the tent on the right. I am 90% sure that is him.

This kid rules so hard

Meet Chad, he made the book “The Faces of Warped” . He snagged a photo of me two Warped Tours ago and turns out it’s the first shot in the book! Cheers to having an A name.

In-N-Out run. it is always fun pulling up to a food join in a tour bus.

Joe Perri, aka The Man. He Helped me scout for my shoot with Grieves and Budo. Here are his shots.

A Day To Remember inside the Semi trailer before going on stage.
Nuttshel with his girlfriend

Neil and his girlfriend
David checking drums

Jeremy McKinnon of A Day To Remember and Mike Hranica of The Devil Wears Prada

A Day To Remember live

Atticus partners
Me looking tough with Kevin and Matt

Grieves and Budo live

Asking Alexandria live

James is rocking a Lens Bracelet, legend.

Up up and away

Catering line!

Bad Rabbits live. Best live band ever. I say give them one year and they will be on your radio.

The Devil Wears Prada
A Day To Remember

See that tattoo?
Best crowd surf ever? It is up there.

I will be back on Warped Tour for the last few dates- San Diego on the 9th => the end. Come meet up! I met up with a bunch of each people on this first run.

Blog continued => part 2