Warped Tour 2015
I set out on Warped Tour with the goal of writing one blog post a week about my experience. That obviously didn't happen between working merch all day, photographing as many bands as I possibly could, and of course editing, all while still trying to have a life on tour. So instead of a bunch of blog posts heres one big one, it won't be too text heavy I'll let the photos speak for themselves.
Production day was easily the most work of the tour, Matty and I had to find all of our merch along with all of the Rise Records band's merch, deliver it to them if they didn't pick it up, label, sort it all and put it on the trailer. There were countless boxes of CDs, shirts, posters, and more. We worked all day only taking a break for the mandatory meeting where they told us how everything was going to work each day. I was happy when it was over and I got to shower and meet everyone on my bus.
Day 1 Pomona, CA
I didn't do too much shooting on the first day. Being my first tour I was busy figuring out how everything worked, what I needed to do each day, and meeting people that I would be spending the best three months of my life with.
Day 3 Ventura, CA
I really got to shooting by the third day, one band I was super impressed with was Knuckle Puck. The last time I had photographed them they were a little known band that played in a bar a few towns away from my house. It was really cool to see the reception they got in Ventura, I like being able to see bands grow.
Day 5 Mesa, AZ
Day 6 Albuquerque, NM
Day 7 Oklahoma City, OK
Day 9 Dallas, TX
Day 10 San Antonio, TX
I was finally able to catch The Amity Affliction when I was in San Antonio. They've quickly become one of my favorite bands to listen to and photograph. Their sets are always incredible to watch both the band and the crowd is always giving their all.
Day 12 Nashville, TN
We had an off day in Nashville where we stayed at The Gaylord Opryland Resort. It had a huge atrium with a river running through it with bars and restaurants all along it. The entire resort was enclosed so the walls of the inside were all balconies of hotel rooms. It was pretty amazing, and a great way to relax before a twelve day stretch of shows. Sam Thompson, Jarrod Alonge, and I grabbed dinner that night and got to know each other more before we all headed back to our rooms to get some rest.
Day 13 Nashville, TN
At the Tennessee date Jarrod Alonge joined As It Is on stage to do guest vocals and throw pizza to the crowd, it was pretty pop punk.
Day 14 Atlanta, GA
Day 15 St. Petersburg, FL
Day 16 West Palm Beach, FL
Day 17 Orlando, FL
Orlando got hit by a storm, there were huge gusts of wind that blew peoples tents away, lightning, and of course a lot of rain so they put the show on hold for a bit. I went out when they started things back up thinking it was the end of the storm but another part hit the festival and they had to cancel the rest of it.
Day 18 Jacksonville, FL
Day 19 Charlotte, NC
Day 20 Virginia Beach, VA
Day 22 Camden, NJ
Day 28 Cincinnati, OH
Day 29 Toronto, ON
I went to Canada alone and worked merch the entire day in Toronto. My bus of course got there late because of the border crossing, so I got to set up in the rain as doors opened which was SUPER fun. Luckily my awesome friends Hannah who worked the Eco tent and Jesus who was working the Pure Noise Records tent helped me out with setting up and grabbing my merch that was shipped into Canada and helping me sell while I managed the Memphis May Fire and Miss May I signing lines. After breaking everything down I managed to catch my friends in Sirens and Sailors who hopped on the tour in Massachusetts.
Day 30 Columbia, MD
Day 31 Holmdel, NJ
Day 33 Scranton, PA
Day 34 Cleveland, OH
We had an off day in Cleveland for APMAs so I skipped them and hung out with my friend Brandon Andersen (To The Wind's former tour photographer) at the studio he works at. I grabbed a few beers on my way over and we spent the first couple hours catching up since we hadn't seen each other in over a year. After a bit we decided to set up some of the studio equipment for some portraits before heading out to dinner and eventually Emo Night at The Grog Shop hosted by Buddy Nielsen (Senses Fail) and Soupy (The Wonder Years).
Day 35 Cuyahoga Falls, OH
I was only able to photograph Man Overboard this day so I hung out with the Miss May I guys and a few other friends while they worked out and Justin let me listen to their new album Deathless. Then later that night Hannah and I got meet and pet an actual wolf. It was surprisingly friendly and just walked person to person letting everyone hug, pet, and take pictures with it.
Day 36 Detroit, MI
Day 37 Chicago, IL
Chicago was a lot of fun. There was a proposal during Miss May I's set (she said yes) and it was Nick Major's 21st birthday!
Day 39 Maryland Heights, MO
Day 41 Noblesville, IN
Day 42 Bonner Springs, KS
Day 43 Cheyenne, WY
Cheyenne was easily the most amazing off day of the entire tour. Sam knew of some hot springs a couple hours away from our hotel so we rented a couple cars and drove through the mountains of Wyoming. The photos I took will never do what I saw justice. It was some of the most amazing scenery I have ever seen and I got to see it with some of the best people. Once we got to the hot springs we stayed for about an hour soaking in the different pools and parts of the nearby river before making it back just in time to get Jimmy John's before bus call.
Day 44 Salt Lake City, UT
I worked the merch tent by myself this day since Miss May I's bus broke down in Nebraska and Matty was with them. I didn't get to photograph any live bands that day but I did get a portrait of Waka Flocka Flame, so I guess that makes up for it?
Day 45 Denver, CO
Denver, CO was Warped Tour prom BJ and Hannah were going together and since Hannah was running the Eco tent she made a dress out of recyclable materials! The blue top is a trash bag and the bottom was six pack rings!
Day 46/47 Las Vegas, NV
We had two off days in Vegas I don't have any photos with my actual camera since cameras aren't allowed in casinos. The first day I spent relaxing and gambling a bit with some friends. I taught Jarrod how to play Roulette and the second day we headed into the strip to be tourists and check out some of the casinos. We walked around and went into The Bellagio, Caesar's Palace, and a few others to check out the insides and gamble a bit. The casinos are all beautiful inside and I ended up leaving Vegas $1,000 richer.
Day 48 San Diego, CA
In San Diego Beartooth and Silverstein combined their sets to form Silvertooth. They would play together, sometimes playing their own songs sometimes playing each others, it was crazy and a lot of fun to photograph. I also got to see my friend and fellow photographer Ryan from Capsize which was great.
Day 49 Lake Shasta, CA
Again, no photos for this off day since cameras and water don't mix. We spent it at Lake Shasta BBQing, jumping off of a two story boat, and floating around relaxing. It was a great last off day of the tour.
Day 50 Portland, OR
Day 51 Seattle, WA
And just like that Warped Tour was over. I flew home the next day and was surprised by my lovely girlfriend Teresa at the airport shuttle who drove me home at midnight even though she had to be up at 5am. She even made me a bracelet with the Canon logo on it because she knows I like those guys a lot.
Warped Tour was easily the greatest experience of my life. I spent the summer surrounded by talented and like minded individuals who I got to photograph and spend my time with. I met so many amazing people who I know will be friends for years to come. After spending three months on the road I can safely say that touring is something I want to continue doing and once I'm done with college I will absolutely be pursuing it full time, maybe not solely as a photographer, I would like to get into tour managing eventually, but I will always have my camera with me. Until then I'll be home in Massachusetts photographing tours and bands that pass through my area, and hopefully touring in the summer time.
Thank you to Rise Records for having me out this summer, Matty for teaching me the ways of the merch dude, our driver Kenny for being an awesome human being and getting us everywhere safely, my parents and girlfriend for supporting me over the years, Bus 15, and the rest of my amazing friends that I made while I was out for this crazy ride. Maybe I'll see you next year.