Everyone – and I mean everyone – loves the Vans Warped Tour. You get the whole package in one long day of concerts between listening to music, running from stage to stage, purchasing merch, and meeting bands at their tables. It’s no big secret that this tour herds in a very specific type of person, but this year the shows take a bit of a turn. Hardcore bands like coldrain, Motionless In White, and Ice Nine Kills reign the Monster Energy Stages, while the big alternative bands like Sleeping With Sirens, Tonight Alive, and Set It Off are still the main course. But, to top it all off, the Warped Tour brought the nostalgia back with bands like Good Charlotte, Yellowcard, and Sum 41 to perform on the Journey’s Stages.
To be honest – and this might come as a shock to most of you – I have never been to a Warped Tour before this year. As much of a blast as it was to be there and experience everything (people watching included) I don’t think I had a chance to fully enjoy the music. I was lucky enough to receive both a photography pass and an interview pass to go backstage. However, that could also be considered my downfall. I was running back and forth – breaking more of a sweat than the heat already brought on – between only shooting in the Journey’s Stage pits to stay close to the stage door when I needed to run back there to interview the eight bands I had lined up.
With all the mayhem that cascaded around me during the day, I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. Though I only got to photograph seven bands, some of those bands I was dying to see live. Sleeping With Sirens is one band I was dying to see. I had to schedule an interview around 3pm so I could go into the pit for the first three songs and still make it back to interview Against The Current. Yellowcard, since I missed every other nostalgic band, was my heart and soul when I heard “Ocean Avenue,” “Way Away,” and “Breathing.” I was able to chat with Ghost Town about braiding my hair in a mosh pit – in which lead singer, Kevin, said I should make a YouTube video. Surprisingly Harry Potter and Pokemon Go were great topic starters for most bands, especially With Confidence, who named a song “Voldemort” after He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
It was hectic, hot, and very, very humid but the day was well worth everything, even a second concert in Philadelphia that I had to drive to after seeing Yellowcard. I’d do this again in a heartbeat. The thrill and fast-paced life of a journalist is what keeps me going, especially when I get some nice shots in the pit.
The rest of the gallery is on our Flickr, which the album can be found here.