My final Warped Tour began with waiting in the shade to preserve what little energy I had. While waiting in line, I had one specific realization: I should’ve retired years ago. I was getting too old for this.
Once I found the one and only Lisa Johnson, Rock Photographer, the day commenced. This is my second year taking her TEI: Life in the Pit class. Trashboat was the first band we all shot. They put on an energetic performance and everyone went absolutely wild. For those who have not seen them live before, they were in for a pleasant surprise.
Sharptooth’s set was unlike any other. Lauren got very personal and interconnected with the crowd. Aside from actually singing with her fans, she told her story and made sure that everyone knew that they had a voice to make a change.
After separating from the rest of the group, I shot In Hearts Wake. I will admit, I’ve never really listened to them before this. However, soon after, it was easy to say I was a fan. Everyone on that stage was so genuine and had the most positive energy. The crowd interaction was everything.
I’ll admit, I’ve been waiting to see State Champs live since I’ve been about fifteen. Photographing them was a dream. To be real, when I heard ‘All You Are Is History’ blare through the speakers at the Ak-Chin Pavilion Amphitheater, I got way too excited. Despite me singing along the entire time, I still managed to get some really good photos.
Waiting for Issues to take the stage was full of nostalgia. When I went to my first Warped Tour back in 2014, Issues was the first band that I saw. I’ve been wanting to shoot them for some time now. I’ve seen them at least five times prior to this. This was the first time I would be seeing Issues after Michael left. Although they are only four members now, they sounded as good as ever and even better.
When I met Motionless in White four years ago, they were some of the most down to Earth individuals. I was so excited to see them for the fifth time this summer. Even more so, I was excited to shoot them. They have been one of my favorite bands for a very long time and getting to shoot them was a dream come true.
The day concluded with shooting The Used. This band has a special place in my heart. When I was fourteen, I did my first wall of death at their show. After growing up listening to them, and My Chemical Romance, I never imagined I would get the opportunity to shoot them on the very last Warped Tour. For being the very last Arizona Warped Tour, I can’t imagine a better way to end the day besides The Used. Although, sleep is a close second.
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