Music Photography Blog

by Adam Elmakias

Costumes and Crowd Surfing

There are only a few things in life I love more than my job. Starcraft, fresh produce, and dressing up in costumes on stage. The first two I get done when I am home in San Diego, the last one I make happen with a little help from my friends. I didn’t really realize it until a few days ago when I was talking about what I would be dressing up as on the next A Day To Remember tour… but I have dressed up as a good amount of things.

It started in 2009, with my friend Matt Lingo. We shot a rough video for a thing we called the Nearly Naked Neighbor. I honestly don’t know what we were thinking, but that’s okay- we were having fun. We just drove around San Diego and shot some clips of me in a full-body black spandex suit.

Soon after that, we shot some more footage that I have, but we never used it. It mostly involved me rollerblading on the boarding at the beach in San Diego and creeping people out. I also got invited to a party at one off the houses where I proceeded to drink beer through the suit and such, it was a good time, maybe someday we will use the footage.

Next, I was able to bring my spandex suit on tour with Pierce The Veil. The first day I wore it was at some festival in Texas and I basically just walked around in it at the venue, kinda creeping people out and messing with my friends playing the show. I accidentally scared some big dude and he felt threatened, choked me out and threw me to the floor… so that was the end of that haha. I wasn’t trying to get hurt, no more doing the black suit in dim light. That tour Pierce The Veil let me dance on stage to their Michael Jackson cover a few times and I had the time of my life. You can only see me for a split second in this. Honestly only stayed on for a little bit, cause that shit was nerve-racking for me in 2010.

Next stop, Warped Tour. Pierce The Veil needed help doing promotions in the morning and I needed a good work out. Warped Tour is hot as shit but the spandex suit is very well ventilated. As long as there is a slight breeze the whole thing feels very cool and brisk. By this time I had purchased a cup for the spandex suit to make it more “all ages” and also had a fanny pack with a speaker system attached. I walked the line before the show and then inside the venue during the day. I had a huge sign that said their set time, and my speakers were blaring “Baby” by Justin Beiber on repeat. It proved to be a great promotion, a fun time, and I got to dance with a bunch of total strangers.

Well, the above image is actually from 2012, and I don’t understand, I look like I have a pair of breasts, maybe I was wearing something underneath. But here is a 2010 tweet from one of the members of Pierce The Veil, just prove to you that we did do this back then!

After that, I just started bringing my suit on tours with me, cause you never know when you could use a spandex suit. I went to Europe with A Day To Remember and I don’t recall how it came about, but we came to the conclusion that I could do the guest vocal part on their song “Wax Larry” as long as I was dressed in the suit. I had always wanted to be in a band but a combination of terrible anxiety and lack of any musical talent whatsoever didn’t really make that an option. So, in a way, this was a dream come true.

Backstage at Razzmatazz in Barcelona, Spain
Backstage at Razzmatazz in Barcelona, Spain

Pierce The Veil had an intro for Warped Tour that consisted of a drunk Mariachi skeleton coming out on stage and introducing them. I did this… probably 10 times total. Truth is, I wasn’t very good at it, I was too stiff and the guys told me to get better but I couldn’t really wrap my head around how to be drunk and Casey Ervin, their drum tech- eventually took over.

Adam Elmakias drunk dead pierce the veil
Casey Ervin help me get suited up. Good friend
Adam Elmakias drunk dead pierce the veil
Ladies and Gentlemen

Shortly after I got a few different suits and for the next A Day To Remember tour I fired a t-shirt gun during their set while dressed up. My favorite was the zebra suit.

Adam Elmakias skin tight zebra suit i hope someone reads this
Can you spot me? I am camouflaged like never before
Adam Elmakias still in skin tight zebra outfit
What’s that you are looking at Jer? Probably a good thing to shoot
Love zebras, I am one

On Warped Tour in 2012 Breathe Carolina let me go on stage with them dressed in the black suit as well.

I ended up leaving my suits with Of mice & Men two years ago and I still haven’t gotten them back… should probably do that at some point. But not to worry! A Day To Remember started getting their own suits. I hadn’t done any dressing up until more recently. I did a big European run with A Day To Remember that involved a lot of festivals and a few club shows. For all of these shows, I dressed up as an angry bird, shot the t-shirt cannon for half a song, and then hopped in an inflatable raft and crowd surfed of the crowd. It was the best thing ever.

Adam Elmakias Angry Bird
Came for the angry stayed for the bird
Adam Elmakias Angry Bird at Hellfest in Clisson, France
Hellfest in Clisson, France
Adam Elmakias Angry Bird at Hellfest in Clisson, France
Hellfest in Clisson, France
St. Petersburg Russia Angry Bird Crowd Surf
St. Petersburg Russia Angry Bird Crowd Surf
High Five! - Vainstream Rockfest - by Arek Photography
High Five! – Vainstream Rockfest – by Arek Photography
Fan art by Fikrirusdy
Fan art by Fikrirusdy
Adam Elmakias Angry Bird kerrang! magazine
My first time getting published in Kerrang! Magazine, didn’t think it would be as a bird. Totally fine with this.

GoPro footage from the Angry Bird Crowd surfing

More recently I just did the same thing for their Canadian tour, we mixed it up and switched between a banana and penguin suit.Or there was that one day in Montreal where we couldn’t find the suit, so I just did it normal… and a security guard knifed my boat cause he thought I was a fan. Seems reasonable.

Adam Elmakias crowd surf
Awkward, no outfit
Adam Elmakias Banana outfit in San Fransisco
Banana outfit in San Fransisco

Lastly, for the House Party Tour, I dressed up as Santa Claus and fire T-shirts during a certain part of the set. This was so much fun, especially being raised Jewish, I never did any Santa things when I was younger.

Adam Elmakias Santa Claus A Day To Remember House Party Tour
Mike and I before going to stage
Adam Elmakias as Santa Claus
Santa Claus!
Adam Elmakias santa claus a day to remember house party tour
Me and my elf homie Jordan

I like to have a good time, no matter what I am doing. I like making people happy, maybe that’s why this is so enjoyable. I can’t sing or play any instruments and I wouldn’t make a good stripper- so this is a good compromise for getting on stage.