I was late. No, not your average five minutes late where it’s acceptable to walk in and disturb the peace of the show. Instead, I was an hour late. How a 15 minute drive from Camden, NJ to Philadelphia, PA turned into a 45 minute one still blows my mind. That also meant I missed the opening band – not that I knew them anyway, sorry. I left Warped Tour early to drive to The Foundry for one purpose alone and that was to photograph Zella Day.
As an indie artist, Zella Day knocked this show out of the park. The venue itself is small and very intimate, which is what I believe her purpose of performing there was. The stage – literally the smallest stage I have ever seen at a venue – was within touching distance of the gated pit area, which meant there was not a lot of room for the three photographers that were there, including me.
As I stood in the photo pit, I realized the stage came up to my calf. It was so low to the ground that when Zella Day herself came onto the stage, I stood at waist height. To be honest, it was probably a bad idea to only bring an 18-140 lens for my camera since she was so close to me. But, to be fair, some of the closer shots I got of her were my favorite.
Three songs had come and gone, leaving me alone to appreciate her music. It was amazing to see her live because I only found her music a few months prior to this show; it was pure luck that I even stumbled upon this show. I’m not sure how, but when she sings live, it’s even better than when it’s played through the speakers on my laptop and that’s saying something because I replay “East Of Eden” and “1965” enough to blow out my speakers.
Zella Day, as a performer, is vivacious. She reaches out into the audience and engages them personally. She borrows their hats to wear for part of a song. During this show, in particular, there was a very young girl in a sun hat standing on the gate in the front row. Zella Day saw her and immediately brought her up on stage to sing with her. She got down from the stage to stand in the photo pit, even closer to her audience. The best part – she sang one of my favorite songs “Compass” within the center of the audience. It was more than intimate, if there ever is a thing.
Though I was late and annoyed with myself because Philly’s parking is absolutely horrible, I wouldn’t trade seeing Zella Day for anything. She will always be 100% worth seeing and experiencing, to say the least. You don’t just listen to her music, you experience it. She takes you on a wild ride through her songs and it is beautiful. If I could have a chance to see her again, I’d take it in a heartbeat and take all the problems with getting there as well.
You can see the rest of the gallery here.