July 25th, 2010 (day 31)
Central Florida Fairgrounds
It was a hot and humid day in Florida, but this time, no rain. It had been a while since I had black suited up so I decided today was a good day to dance. I put on my suit and grabbed my sign and went to work. Doors had just opened and everyone was still getting into the grove of things. I walked from the buses to the entrance and the security guard didn’t even ask to see my laminate, he just let me in. He must have had Bieber fever. I did a few rounds but nothing out of the ordinary happened. A few photos here and there, but most of all I just danced like never before. My suit had to have smelled so bad by this point. When I wasn’t wearing it I kept it zipped up in my fanny pack and stored in a closet. I could barely see in the suit but somehow I ran into Sal, A Day To Remember‘s tour manager while I was skipping around. I went up to him and said “hi Sal” he just looked at me and went- “Adam?”. He later told me he had no idea how he knew it was me, he just had a feeling. I guess that’s a good thing, when someone recognizes you in a black full body spandex suit because they think that is something you would do. I hugged Sal.
I went back to the bus, de-suited and worked on the Sum 41 images. I ended up leaving the bus as little late so I had to run to Pierce The Veil‘s set in order to get there in time to do their intro. Suited up, danced like I was a drunk, de-suited, shot some images, then back to the bus. Gage eventually gave me a ring and I met up with him again so that my laminate could get him into the park. I went with Pierce The Veil to hang out while they did their press for the day. It was right by catering so I grabbed something to drink as well.
The catering line is always long as hell. It takes anywhere from 10-30 minutes to get through it. I wish there was more than one line so that everything would go a little quick.
Antonio had gotten another soccer game together. It was Parkway Drive versus Bring Me The Horizon, and Bring Me The Horizon won- they are pretty intense soccer players. I jumped in for a few minutes after the game was over but got my ass handed to me. I used to be half decent at soccer but that was in the 7th grade or something, but I hadn’t played since my 12th grade reunion game.
My camera may have been working, but man did I need to get my sensor cleaned.
Since we were right on the water some people decided it would be best to go for a swim. this is Ben of Whitechapel jumping into the water.
There was a bot meeting going on that night. A bot meeting you say? What’s that> Well, it’s similar to an AA meeting. Basically you pass a bottle of alcohol around in a circle and everyone takes turns sharing the greatest thing that happened to them that day. For example- if it was my turn I would say “my name is adam”…. everyone claps…. “and today I had a bacon breakfast” – *swig of booze*… everyone claps and cheers….then I pass the bottle. It’s a fun game that I only played once cause I don’t really drink. I actually might have messed up this little how to, but I think that’s accurate.
I had to prepare all my gear that night so that Bring Me The Horizon could bring it with them when they met me at the studio in Milwaukee. I packed up my Pelican Case and SKB case and stuffed them in their trailer. My vagabond camped out in their back lounge so that it didn’t break. I kept my laptop and camera bag on me as I needed it for the time I wasn’t on the tour
Gage, Alex, and I left the venue before bus call and went to Gage‘s house. Gage had some stuff to take care of so I walked with Shell-nuts to his place and he showed me around. He had an action figure of Nelly, still in it’s box, sitting on a bookcase like it was a trophy.
I asked him why the hell he had a Nelly action figure. He was convinced it was going to be worth big bucks one day, and it was only $7.00. There is a reason it is only $7.00, Alex, cause no one else wants a frickin action figure of Nelly. If Nelly carried a sword, maybe, but he doesn’t. Oh Alex, the crazy things that go on in your mind. His place was a good size and cleaner than I imagined it being. Now that it was nighttime I didn’t mind walking around outside, so beautiful. We walked back over to Gage‘s and Alex went back home. I took care of some e-mails and hung out with Gage for a bit before passing out. Come morning Gage took me to the airport and I headed for Madison. Home sweet home for a few days!
July 26th, 2010 (day 32)
Orlando, Florida => Madison, Wisconsin
July 27th/28th (day 33/34)
While in Wisconsin I visited some friends and family of mine that I hadn’t seen in forever, but I mostly prepared for the shoot. I went to Target to get props/supplies as well as food for catering. If I was going to have the guys with me for six hours, I needed to provide food and drinks for breakfast and lunch for them. I stuck with the basics and then got some more specific foods at a grocery store to cater to Oli and Jona’s vegan needs. I also hit up Home Depot for some ambient lights, fans, and other things I would need for some concepts I had in mind. Just to clarify, the fan was for comfort, not glamour shots. Come the night of the 28th I drove to The Visual Soundtrack‘s office and stole all of their gear, with their permission of course. I am a polite thief. From there my brother, Ben, and I drove to a small town right outside of Milwaukee where my dad lived, it’s called Pewaukee. We went to a concert in a park with him and his girlfriend, grabbed some dinner, and then spent the night at their place.
July 29th, 2010 (day 35)
Ben and I got up at 6:00am and drove to the gas station to get some ice for the cooler and then headed to the studio. Clive was this awesome guy from London who I had rented from once before. He didn’t have his regular studio space open, but he had this other huge vacant area I could use. There was an art show going on in half of it, but the other half was a giant open two floor area. The top floor was wooden and hot, and the bottom was stone with giant pillars scattered across it.
We set up the lights, and did some test shots in various locations. After we got everything situated we prepared the catering and made a little lounge area in the corner.
Once the guys got there they feasted on the food and I gave them a little run through of what we would be doing. This was a really stressful shoot for me and I can’t really even describe how it went down- I was in another world. We shot at six different locations, made some solid images, and the label purchased enough of them in the end, so it all worked out for me.
Here is one of the final images
Clive’s nephew heard that a band from England was going to be in the studio that day. He biked over to say what’s up as he used to play in a band back in England. Turns out him and Sheep used to hang out when they were younger- go figure? That is so random, what a small ass world.
The shoot only took us about four hours, and after over an hour of cleaning and stuffing our car with more than it was meant to hold, we were ready to go to the venue.
Ben and I drove to the venue and once again used the magic of a little laminated piece of plastic to park our car right by the bus. It was about 3:00 in the afternoon by now and everyone was in the middle of their daily routine. Ben had never been to Warped with me before, or on a tour bus- so I showed him around everywhere. We had to go to the Bring Me The Horizon bus to get him a pass, but it took literally took us twenty minutes to find. It was in a separate parking lot inside the venue, right next to catering.
I took my brother to meet the Pierce The Veil guys and crew on the bus, and for some reason the guys took it upon themselves to give me an extra difficult time now that my brother was here. Tony’s ball smackage was turned up by a notch and everyone else was poking fun at me. I was stoked to see them all because it had been a few days, and everyone was in a good mood! Awesome to be back on the tour. I needed that little break, very refreshing. From the bus we traveled into the venue I showed him how production worked, the basic layout of everything, and where we ate everyday. I had to meet up with a few friends from Wisconsin in order to help them get their passes, but after that it was off to Pierce The Veil‘s set to get to work. My brother watched side stage and I took pictures and did the intro as usual.
Vic gave me a shout out that day cause I was from the area- which made me stoked. These guys were so nice to me, meant a lot! I have never felt so busy in a day ever before, I ran into so many people I knew it was overwhelming. I was stoked to see them but at the same time very bummed out I couldn’t really hang, there were so many and so little time- I am pretty sure I came off as an asshole. So if any of you guys are reading this, sorry I couldn’t hang, it was a very busy day for me! I stopped by some local band’s tents that I used to work with and said hey to all the guys. After that me and my brother went and got some food from catering. I figured it was good day to buy catering as my brother had to eat before he drove back home to Madison. Soon after sitting down to eat food I realized that I forgot my phone somewhere at the catering line. I sprinted back to the serving area but it was nowhere to be found. I had purchased a belt holster for my cell phone that I was using up until a few days before this, it had broke, and now I was paying the price. I tried to fix it with glue a few days earlier- but no luck. Here we go, losing my phone again. The catering folk said someone took it to production. I went to sprinted to production to ask if they had my phone- and just my luck, they did. Close one, I couldn’t afford to lose my phone. There was too much information on it that I needed to have access and Blackberry’s backup system for a Mac computer is a joke. I can’t wait to get rid of my Blackberry.
My brother left after the meal and headed back home. He drove all the gear back to my friend’s office, thanks Ben. While I was walking to meet up with my friend Amanda, I ran into Andy from Every Time I Die. Well, I didn’t really run into him, but we were both walking in the same direction, at the same speed, side by side. I looked over at him and all of his hair was in curls. I am not talking waves or something simple, I am talking straight Shirley Temple style. This was amazing. I would like to reference this image of Andy one more time, just so you can see exactly what I was seeing
Alright, now picture him with curly hair. Unreal. I told him his hair looked awesome and he said thanks and explained his reasoning behind it. I don’t recall what he said, I think I was still in shock that his hair was like that. I like Andy’s sense of humor. Alright, back to meeting up with Amanda. She goes to a few shows here and there, but nothing crazy. I was stoked to see her and she mentioned she wanted to see Bring Me The Horizon set. so we headed to their stage to watch the set. I can never pass up a chance to shoot, she understood and told me to get to work. It’s not like you can really talk while a band is playing anyway.
After the set Amanda and I got stuck by the backstage exit. There were a ton of kids screaming “OLI OLIII”. Craziness. We were waiting for the wild ones to clear out when this guy came up to me and tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and he looked me in the eye with the most sincere look and said “I get it”. So confused, I looked at him and said “I don’t understand” He said, “I get it, your Ace Ventura tattoo”. Usually when people get the tattoo, they laugh. It was Ace Ventura, a funny guy, that’s why I have it there, he’s funny! I kept looking at him in confusion, I wasn’t quite sure how to respond . He then continued with ” Back when the movie first came out I had just broken up with my girlfriend, and man, I wanted to kill myself, I was feeling so down I just didn’t want to live, but then I watched Ace Ventura, and he cheered me up, you see man, that guy is hilarious, and I get why you have him tattooed on you”. I responded with “Ohhh okay, I was so confused at first, but I understand what you are saying, that makes sense, right on man!”. I headed back back to Amanda still a little bit confused. That guy really poured his heart out to me, deep. In the end we both did like Ace Ventura for the same reason- he was hilarious. We just took two very different paths to get there. It was getting late and Amanda had to head out. I gave her a hug goodbye and off she went.
I went back to the bus and gave the guys a few six packs of Spotted Cow. Spotted Cow is a beer brewed in New Glarus WI, it’s the first beer I ever tried and is a local favorite. Everyone loved it! Success. That night everyone was out partying by the buses, and all the buses were parked in such a close area that it was just one big party. I walked on and off the bus multiple times handing out Spotted Cows to a few different friends of mine on tour. Other than that it was just a normal Warped Tour party night! Ceelo, beers, and dance party hang outs everywhere.
July 30th, 2010 (day 36)
I hadn’t seen my girlfriend in over a month so we decided she should fly in on the Michigan date (that’s where she is from) and we would hang out for the day. I met up with her at around 10:00am and gave her a big hug. Man it was so good to see her, it had been so long- I missed her like crazy. We headed directly to Pierce The Veil‘s stage as they were on first. We basically watched a bunch of different bands all day that I wouldn’t normally watch. We went out to eat for lunch and then watched more bands for the rest of the afternoon. Becky took a nap at around 5:00ish as she had Jet Lag, and I went and quick met up with a Anthony Gattine– a Detroit photographer. We hung around Closure In Moscow‘s stage for a bit and talked about photography junk. He was a good dude and I was bummed I couldn’t have stayed and spoke longer with him. Here is a photo he grabbed of us.
There was a mustache party going on that night, and it was at a bar that was very close to the venue. I couldn’t grow a mustache so I applied a fake one, Becky was in the same boat as me for obvious reasons. We headed to the bar/ party at about 10:00pm, mustaches on and ready to party. I think the bar was free but I didn’t even attempt to get a drink because the lines were so long. It was packed inside and we only stayed for a short bit.
On our way out we noticed that Andrew W.K was DJ’ing. Becky wanted to grab a picture with him so we approached him and asked. He was real nice about it and took a picture before getting back to work.
Becky and I headed outside and were soon approached by Cassadee of Hey Monday. She said she didn’t really want to walk back to the buses alone and was wondering if she could walk with us. Of course, she was a real nice lady and that made total sense. What kind of girl, scratch that- what person wants to a be alone in Detroit at night?
We got back to the bus and hung around in the area for a bit.
I ran into Telle of The Word Alive and had a good talking with him. He was real nice and we ended up coming to the conclusion that we should do a shoot at some point during the tour, it was on!
Becky left at around midnight and I went back to the bus to pass out. Man, I was so bummed she had to leave.
July 31st, 2010 (day 37)
First Midwest Bank Amphitheater
Tinley Park, Illinois
I woke up as we were still driving into the venue. There was a huge line to get in because apparently the bus parking area was flooded. It had been raining and again there was a lot of those gravel and san roads- so huge puddles formed that we weren’t able to park in.
I hopped off the bus while we were waiting in line and went to get food. Back to the bus to meet up with the guys and get to work. Pierce The Veil had press relatively early that day- so first stop, press! We walked through the venue quickly to avoid being stopped by fans
Their signing was at the merch booth that day, and the line was huge. Probably close to 400 or 500 kids. I was there before the band, and the kids at the front of the line had been there for over an hour. Once the guys walked up, a girl in the front broke out in tears. I am not talking end of “The Notebook” tears- I am talking my dog died and someone stole my mother crying. She was sobbing, and could barely make it through the process of getting all of their signatures. The guys all gave her a hug and told her it was alright. I guess she was just overtaken by emotion? Not quite sure, but it was quite the sight to see. I felt weird photographing a young girl crying, so I didn’t do it.
After the signing everyone headed back to the bus quick, and then it was off to the set. I was following the guys to the set when a girl came up and bear hugged Mike with no intentions of letting go. I was right behind Mike and my first reaction was what the fuck? – I should have just taken a picture. But instead I tried to peel her off of Mike. We had to get to the stage, but I am a small guy and this was a lost cause. Her guy friend was there now and they had successfully commandeered Mike, and taken a picture with him before I could really even process how crazy these people were. Later during their set, the same girl jumped up on stage and was then kicked out of Warped Tour. Some people really like band dudes.
Prior to Warped Tour I didn’t like Four Year Strong‘s music, but after hearing them everyday I finally started to get it, and now I enjoy their tunes. They were nice people and great performers. Chicago was one of their last days on the tour and all of the bands that were friends with them decided to surprise them on stage. During one of their last songs, about twenty people from a few different bands ran up on stage and sang a group vocal part with them. Some of the Pierce The Veil dudes told me about this ahead of time so I made sure I was there to capture it. I planted myself stage right, as far up on the stage as I could get without being in the pit. I waited there for about three songs, until everyone ran out. I stood up and grabbed some pictures, and then jumped down into the photo pit to grab more. You aren’t technically supposed to be in the photo pit after the first three songs so some small pudgy lady started shoving me. I looked at her and laughed? Really? You can’t just ask me to leave? She got really angry and started shoving me some more. Oh power tripping peon, I will overcome you! I ignored her craziness and walked backstage to shoot some more images.
I think that these ATMs traveled with Warped Tour to every day. This truck would drive around at the end of the day and pick up all the ATMs at the venue. I never saw them setting up the ATMs however, and I only actually saw this truck three times on the tour. I think they were there everyday though.
That night I passed The Dillinger Escape Plan while they pairing their logo on cloth for either their merch tent or the stage. I can’t remember what they told me.
My friend Peter Hill, a young guy from the Midwest- was at the show that night. I hadn’t seen him since tour with All Time Low last winter, and it was nice to see him again. We hung out for the remained of the night. I usually just walk around and talk to random people on my own, but it was nice having a partner in crime.
Burke is a friend from the Midwest as well. He was out for the day to party, gotta grab some photos of him.
Mike and Casey went to the city that night to party. Even if it was an option, I don’t think I would have gone. Chicago is to Madison, as Los Angeles is to San Diego- you go there so much as a kid that it’s nothing new by the time you are 20.
August 1st, 2010 (day 38)
Best. Day. Ever. My best friend Crague that I grew up with was coming to the show with his girlfriend. So stoked, I miss the hell out of him and I never get to see him as he is a college man now. But before he arrived, I had some black suit business to take care of. I think I danced longer than ever that day, it had been awhile and I had some competition. There was someone running around in a green suit, gotta show them what’s up. I don’t care what color your suit is, you can’t top the Bieber. I danced up and down the line and around the entrance for over an hour. I worked up a pretty decent sweat and did a few rounds through the venue. After I was done I made one last trip back to the entrance, and then back to bus world for me. Crague was here. I de-suited and reclothed.
I ran to the entrance and saw Crague’s giant fro in the distance. I met up with him and he introduced me to his girlfriend. I gave him a tour of the bus as he had never been on one before and showed him around the tour. He didn’t really know many of the bands, so we went to the stage Pierce The Veil played at and watched Four Year Strong, and Pierce The Veil play.
ModSun aka Derek Smith was there performing that day as well. He did two fifteen minute sets at the Kia tent. Very DIY and spur of the moment, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from Derek. He is a solo rap artist that was on that Scary Kids Scaring Kids tour I did back in January (read the blog here). He would preform at parties we would go to afterwords, in kitchens, porches, and at the bar. He always had a blast, and all he had to bring with him was his iPhone with a few beats on.
I got some fried food with Crague but then he had to peace out- they had a long drive ahead of them that night, totally understandable.
Collin Hughes, coolest dude ever was coming to the show today. He got there around 4:30 and I met him in the parking lot, hopped in his car, and we drove in to the bus area. He was just coming quick to shoot Every Time I Die, and then he was leaving. Hit and run! We went to their stage, shot around from backstage, the pit area, and then in the crowd. Collin loves Every Time I Die. I swear, kid in a candy shop- he was jumping with joy.
By the time Collin and I were done shooting he had to leave, and I had scheduled a grassy hill meet up with a two local photo guys. I met Josh Olson and Matt Vogel on the hill by the entrance and we sat around and talked about photo stuff for a good 20 minutes. They were young guys doing the same thing as me, having a good time and bringing their camera along with them. Here is a photo Josh snapped of Matt and I.
I had to leave eventually to get back to my schedule, but it was a good meet up. I went and got some catering and ran into Joe Lemke, a photographer from the St. Paul area. I had never met him before but he seemed chill. He was busy shooting The Dillinger Escape Plan for Alternative Press magazine, but I got to talk to him for a little bit.
There was another soccer game going on down by the fair grounds, right outside of a fence by one of the stages. It was sorta rad, sitting on the grass watching a soccer game while bands were playing behind us. Relaxing.
After the game was over I headed back to the bus. On my way up there were some people riding down one of the paths on a merch cart , it looked like a lot of fun. I should have tried. I hung around the bus area for a bit, and chatted it up with random folk.
Once it got a little later into the night I walked over to a close by casino with Nick and Casey. It took us a little bit to figure out where the entrance was, but we eventually found it. Casinos are not really my thing as I didn’t really know how to play and I didn’t want to do anything wrong. I was surprised at how many people from Warped Tour were there. I don’t know why I was surprised, make sense, young people with lots of cash- casino seems like the logical next step. I got bored after a bit and walked back to the buses.
The BBQ was still going on when I got back. But they were playing really old boring music- what gives? People wanna get down with the get down.
August 2nd, 2010 (day 39)
Bonner Springs, Kansas
This venue was weird. It was on a slant. The whole thing, a giant slanted parking lot. It was incredibly bright , hot and I can barely remember what I did that day day.
My friend Garret was tour managing Sleeping With Sirens and they were at the show that day hanging. I spent a few minutes talking with him underneath a tent by the buses and then went on with my day. A guy died at the show that day, right in front of our merch table. Tragic event, but hopefully this gives you an idea of just how hot it really was.
As the night crept in and the air cooled down, my mind switched back on and everything became a little more fun again. I purchased some catering leftovers and sat down at a table by myself. Soon after I sat down these two older punk rock dudes sat down right next to me. I introduced myself and they did as well- they were from The Casualties. One of them had huge spiked red hair and the other looked like he could destroy me if he wanted to. They were super nice guys, and you could tell they had been doing this for awhile. I never really liked punk music- but I knew their name from t-shirts that I saw all over when I was younger. I hung out with the Emmure guys on their bus and met the bassist for The Dillinger Escape Plan while I was back there. He had an awesome beard.
Over the course of Warped Tour I became pretty good friends with the Emmure dudes, at least I think I did. I feel like my awkwardness scares people away sometimes, but they were really cool dudes, so I enjoyed hanging with em.
The BBQ that night was awesome. The band Deals Gone Bad was performing. I had never heard of them but it was one of the most entertaining performances I have ever seen.
Not my kind of music at all, but damn these guys were talented. This sign was on a porta potty, and reads “FUCK YOU GUYS! WE’RE GOING TO CANADA” because a lot of the bands didn’t want to go to Canada. It was three days of driving, for one day of Warped. Financially this was very challenging for a lot of bands. I grabbed some food from the BBQ and filled up. So good. Johnny was sitting alone on the semi load-in dock. I went over and bugged him with my shutter before heading back to the buses.
Lots of late night parties because the next day was an off day of driving.
August 3rd, 2010 (day 40)
Grand Forks, North Dakota
I woke up and we were still en route to our hotel that we were spending out day at. We stopped to get some new merch racks- and we were right by a Culver’s. Culver’s– I haven’t had Culver’s in over a year. Culver’s is a Wisconsin based sit down fast food chain that serves deep fried everything. Including cheese curds. I got a Butter Burger and some raspberry custard. Both equally as terrible as terrible for my body, but man did they taste delicious. We stopped at a Flying J and I picked up a pair of hard boiled eggs to refuel my stomach
Once we arrived at the hotel in Grand Forks, North Dakota I noticed a sign on the wall that read water park. I had my gym shorts on and was off the bus before anyone else. I went inside to the vacant swimming pool and a hot tub to go with it. I had this all to myself. I soaked up in the hot tub for a bit and then cooled off in the pool. Then back to the bus for me. Everyone was out doing laundry, but not me. I didn’t really do laundry, just threw away my clothes.
There was also a sign that read casino on the side of the building, when in reality this meant that it had a $1 minimum blackjack table. Nick and I went in and both lost twenty bucks in a matter of minutes. This was my first time gambling and this is why I don’t gamble! If the game was more fun I would not feel bad paying for it, but man it wasn’t very fun. I went to the mall with Mai, Chris, and Vic. Our cab picked us up at the hotel and I think our driver was 17 years old- he was very young. We went to a pet store and a shoe store. I spent most of my time in the pet store fantasizing about having a snake in my room. I wanted a snake. I have always wanted a snake since I was a kid, and I still do.
After we were done at the mall we walked across the street to go eat at Texas Roadhouse. There were a bunch of bands already there, Breathe Carolina, Mayday Parade and I think Whitechapel as well. I can’t remember. Either way, everyone was staying about a mile away or so. Funny how that works out. Texas Roadhouse has the best honey butter bread I have ever had. It is so delicious.
Once I got back to the hotel, I found Mike and Casey playing blackjack. Mike was nice enough to teach me how to play. I ended up winning $60, which put me up $40 for the day. Awesome, now I didn’t feel so bad about losing earlier.
We headed out later that night after our driver had gotten a good day’s rest. Border check tonight, not looking forward to it. I stayed up for a bit and watched some movies in the front lounge.