Music Photography Blog

by Adam Elmakias

Tour, Bamboozle, and Some Other Stuff

I went out on the Gamechangers tour and put this blog up from it. But I didn’t really get around to explaining how it all went down, so here we go. I flew out to shoot A Day To Remember‘s Gamechangers tour. I was in Wisconsin until March 9th visiting friends, and then from there I flew to Philadelphia. I sorta booked this whole section of my trip really last minute sooooo I didn’t have a place to stay when I landed. I figure worst case scenario I grab a hotel for the night. I hit up Pierce The Veil’s tour manager during my layover and asked him if I could crash with them- wherever they may be. He said sure and texted me an address. Once I arrived in Philadelphia I caught a quick 15 minute cab to their hotel and surprised the rest of the guys. I got some pretzels from the vending machine and watched Tron with them on their band wagon. It’s always nice seeing them on the road, makes me feel like I’m home.

It was a rather straight forward few days of shooting. I shot during the daytime/ shows and crashed on A Day To Remember‘s crew bus for the nights. I didn’t have any formal assignments- just to shoot the start of the tour and get some good images along the way.

03/10 – Philadelphia, PA
03/11 – Philadelphia, PA
03/12 – Worcester, MA
03/13 – Worcester, MA

If you missed the blog from this tour, you can view it here. At the end of this short run Jeremy Saffer picked me up from the venue and I slept at his house. The next morning I flew directly to the Asking Alexandria tour in St. Louis. Once I landed in St. Louis, good man Todd Owyoung picked me up from the airport and we grabbed some dinner. I had met Todd once before at Warped Tour in 2010, but I never got a chance to hang with him. Our drive time before and after the meal was enough to get to know each other a little bit. Unfortunately once I got to the venue I had to jet and start getting myself settled in. But it was a good hit and run hangout, and I am sure I will see him soon again. I actually saw him a month or two later at Bamboozle , which is also in this blog.

I already posted a blog with tons of images from that Asking Alexandria tour as well, you can view it here.

Once the Asking Alexandria tour ended I flew home on March 4th. I hopped back on the A Day To Remember tour again on March 6th. Quick stop at home, just long enough to get some errands done and repack everything.

04/06 – Los Angeles, CA
04/07 – San Diego, CA
04/08 – Tempe, AZ
04/09 – Tempe, AZ
04/10 – Day Off
04/11 – Tulsa, OK
04/12 – Austin, TX
04/13 – Houston, TX

For this part of the tour, I had an assignment, to run an A Day To Remember daily blog/ Tumblr. I posted images on that blog for them daily, however these images were geared towards the A Day To Remember crowd. That’s why I have this blog, for all the other images that I liked, but I didn’t get to post.

The tour was in LA on the 6th, so I took the Surfliner Amtrak train from San Diego there. This is what I packed: camera bag, suitcase, Vagabond bag with an Alien Bee in it, and then food for the ride up. That green thing is a bag of guacamole. I decided to shoot with my Alien Bee on stage and then move my Speedlites around the stage as needed.

This is my favorite train ride cause it’s right on the coast- no activities needed, just eyes.
Unfortunately, I had to get some computer work done on the trip up.

Once I got to LA I transferred to the subway, and hopped off at a stop in Hollywood. The venue was half mile walk from there, not too bad. I got to the venue, found the guys’ bus, went on and started getting settled in.

April 6th, 2011
Los Angeles, California

Josh hanging, twice.

Band’s back lounge, I think they were recording demos, I don’t recall.
Flip loading merch
Tom Sykes

I just call him Nutts (his last name is Shelnutt).

Matt and Jaxin

Andrew Wade, the mastermind behind the A Day To Remember albums

This is me
This isn’t me
Before the guys go on I usually set up my lights and take some test shots on stage. That bright light is my Alien Bee behind the drum set there.
Drew Russ

A Day To Remember live at The Troubadour in Los Angeles
This is what a backstage room looks like after the band plays.

April 7th, 2011
San Diego, California

Show two was at the arena in San Diego, big venue!

Bryan, guitar tech man
Vic of Pierce The Veil and Jeremy of A Day To Remember
Tony of Pierce The Veil
Sal is the Lizard King

Backstage haircut

My Mom came to see the show, she had never been to a concert with me before.
Backside of A Day To Remember’s backdrop

I took this with a ring flash. I couldn’t take it with me on tour cause it would get crushed, but it looks sorta cool.
This is the set up for the DIY ring flash.
Andrew was working for A Day To Remember for a moment, but he tour manages Paramore most of the time.

April 8th, 2011
Tempe, Arizona

Craig Beasley is a great artist, check out his work here –
This is me working on something in our hotel room

April 9th, 2011
Tempe, Arizona

Neil getting his chest piece finished up in our hotel room

The guys had a signing at a local record store that day. A few of the kids had images I had taken on what they were getting signed…. check it.

Josh’s turn

April 10th, 2011
Day off

We got a hotel on our off day, me again.
Tony of Pierce The Veil
Craig tattooed an Elephant King on Sal’s arm that day
Please note the use of the Alien Bee modeling lamp.
Craig loading out

April 11th, 2011
Tulsa, Oklahoma

He tattooed me the next day in a backstage room
Blood, ouch.

I hung out with Bryan Brinkman for the night at the show, he was awesome. I have no photos of him, but I had to let you know.

The last time I was at this venue, The All-American Rejects were playing, pretty cool they are playing it now.

This is Josh purposefully mule kicking my camera on stage. He never actually hit me.

April 12th, 2011
Austin, Texas

Craig added to Jeremy’s sleeve in our green room.

Phone interview while getting tattooed. Once again, please note my Alien Bee modeling lamp haha.
Josh practicing his jiu-jitsu
Tattoos hurt

Sometimes Alex will just stare at me for extended periods of time while I am photographing him. He knows it bugs me.

After show food

April 13th, 2011
Houston, Texas

I got a last minute cover shoot for the guys that day. I tried to do it in this trailer. This involved blocking off the right side of the truck so the fans sitting in line couldn’t watch them get photographed. The shots ended up looking not so great and we reshot inside.

Here is the final cover, nothing too crazy, but it gets the job done!
Kevin getting tattooed

Chris being awesome

Show clothes

That pretty much sums up the Gamechangers tour for me. I caught a cab from the venue to the airport that night and flew home to San Diego early the next morning.

A few days later Kyle Crawford of Electric Zombie flew in so that we could shoot his new line. We did all the product shots in my living room, and the look book images in various locations around San Diego. Sorry about the halos in these edits.. I just wanted to show you where we shot.

This is Kyle Crawford helping me test lighting

Matt helped me set up lighting as well.

Group shot!

You can check out his the new line here, look book here.

After the shoot I flew out the next day to Wisconsin to visit my family and friends. I got my WI fix over in three days and then caught a plane to New Jersey to meet up with Kyle Crawford again. We were going to go to Bamboozle together! Kyle Crawford had a vendor spot and I was going to hang out, network, and shoot a few assignments. This was my third time going to Bamboozle.
Here are a few of the bands that played, although there were a bunch more as well.

April 29th, 2011
East Rutherford, New Jersey

This was Kyle Crawford‘s merch set up, I hung out in there when I needed to rest. His is the one on the right, with the big zombie face.


Main stage before doors opened


Johnny Cupcakes.

It was really nice to finally meet Johnny. I had heard lots about him and a few of the bands I work with sport his clothes from time to time. Really nice dude, very genuine.

Early morning jump rope

Kyle Crawford looking all kinds of serious

Electric Zombie merch booth

April 30th, 2011
East Rutherford, New Jersey

I met a girl named Kelly Mason at the festival.. I had never met her before but she is a fellow photographer from Seattle who also interned at Zumiez. She was out working for Zumiez, one of the main sponsors for Bamboozle. Anyway we met the night before and talked for a bit. Come the morning of the second day I went over the the Zumiez tent and talked with her a bit. She was setting up a photo booth for their tent. It was pretty cool so I hopped in and took some shots with her. It was only after we finished taking some photos that she told me the images were instantly uploaded to Cool, me half awake on the front page of Zumiez. The trickery! Haha, I didn’t mind, it was all in good fun.

This is Joe Lemke, photographer from Minneapolis.

I met up with a bunch of other photographers as well, all great people. I wish we weren’t all so busy so we could actually have kicked it.

Chris Martin
Todd and Chris Owyoung
Chris Phelps
Tom Falcone
Megan Thompson
Mike Dravis
Evan Perigo

Jason does merch for The Ready Set
Andy plays in The Ready Set

This is me and Matt of Atticus. Matt rules, he helped me get through the long Bamboozle weekend by letting me chill in his tent whenever I was in his area. I also got a nice sweatshirt from him! So I could stay warm, it was chilly.

This was Taking Back Sundays crowd, I think. I shot this from the Zumiez couch. Oh I have to tell you that story as well. Basically Zumiez had this platform (see below) with a couch on it, in the middle of the main stage crowd. Only two contest winners were allowed to go up there. However Kelly Mason introduced me to another guy at Zumiez named Steve, and Steve was really cool and hooked me up with the bracelet I would need to get up there. I kicked it with Kelly on the platform and watched a few artists play. The highlight of the night was definitely seeing Taking Back Sunday playing Tell All Your Friends from start to finish, while chilling on a couch. We also watched Circa Survive, and this Lady Gaga cover band named “Rad Bromance”, they were spot on. Thanks Zumiez and Co. for making my festival weekend all the more enjoyable.

Main stage after the show ended
Panorama from standing on the couch platform. (Click to view larger)
Sup doc

I took pictures of Kyle Crawford and assistant guy while they were sleeping. I shot this for Kyle Crawford‘s blog, but I still think it’s a cool photo. Both of them passed out without blankets they were so exhausted.

May 1st, 2011
East Rutherford, New Jersey

Johnny again, he is fun to photograph!
I spotted one of my photos on an A Day To Remember shirt
This picture isn’t anything special, it just represents the moment before Nutts hit me in the nuts.
I am Chris Martin

My main assignment was to photograph A Day To Remembers set at Bamboozle. I got up on stage about twenty minutes before they played so I could take test shots and figure out where I should/ could shoot from. It got a little tricky because they had CO2 jets planted all over the stage. I got lucky because their back line was so short I could shoot from basically anywhere eon stage. Here are all the test shots I took.

From underneath the drum riser? Risky!

I like this photograph a lot, it shows me shooting their set. Thanks to Joe Lemke for hooking it up.

These are a few live images. I can’t post many cause I shot these for the band, and I don’t know if they have used ’em yet.

After shooting from stage for the first 3/4ths of the set I got off stage, and went back into the crowd. I shoved my way through all the tightly packed fans until I got to the Zumiez deck. So many people.

The girl who hooked the couch up. Thanks Kelly!

I shot Lil Wayne’s first song and then I peaced out. It was literally shoulder to shoulder packed with photographers and other randoms in the photo pit. Too much for me to handle.

I went back to the couch and watched some of his set with Kelly. However there were like 10 of his security guards with earpieces up there blocking most of our view. We left and went to watch a DJ, Wolfgang Gartner .Kelly knew of him, I didn’t. On our way there I accidentally pissed of a Victory street teamer to the point that she yelled at me, got in my face, and started screaming. I was confused, Kelly and I both were. Oops! We watched the DJ for about 30 minutes, he was actually really good. We both tried to dance, although I am not very good and Kelly just smiles and looks cool. It worked out in the end. I had fun.

I hopped back in the car with Kyle Crawford and we drove back to his place. We didn’t end up getting home until about 7:00am. I had to fly out that afternoon so I got some quick computer work done and sleep ton the flight. I didn’t go home just then, I flew back to Wisconsin to hang with some friends, and then I was back in New York about a week later to shoot another assignment I will tell you about in my next blog.