Always Summer

by Yellowcard

Exactly one year ago from this very day, I was named the 2012 Monster Energy Pit Reporter for the Vans Warped Tour.  

I'll never forget that day, anxiously sitting on my couch with my roommate, continually refreshing to see who was chosen. Just after 1 PM, the post we had all been waiting for finally went live and I learned that I had landed the gig of a lifetime.

I spent seven weeks on the road this past summer, hitting 51 cities across North America while documenting one of the most intense summer music festival tours around.  You can watch all of my ‘Pit Blog’ videos HERE and below you’ll find just a few of my favorite photographs from this unforgettable experience.  

I am truly thankful to all of the wonderful people I met during my trip, especially Kevin Lyman for giving me such an incredible opportunity. The memories packed with laughs, stories, jokes, and of course the seemingly endless footage (hours upon hours of raw video footage, and over 20,000 photographs) will certainly carry a special place in my heart.

I’ll be posting more in the coming weeks, but for now I will leave you with these:

Shirts For A CureJordan Pundik - New Found GloryBert McCracken - The USedJonathan Vigil - The Ghost InsideJacky Vincent - Falling In Reverse Ryan Key - Yellowcard Michael Farr - MusiCaresCharlieAdam Lazzara - Taking Back SundayMatty Mullins - Memphis May FireBeau Bokan - BlessthefallYellowcard

Rather Be Alive

"Rather Be Dead" by Refused

It's been nearly 15 years since Refused last played live.  On Sunday April 22nd the Swedish hardcore band took to the stage at Terminal 5 to perform in New York City for the very first time.

While I cannot claim to be part of the Refused era (I bought the tickets as a gift for someone else), seeing the show reminded me of why I love music and why I love shooting music.

To see a venue packed to the brim with people who have been waiting over a decade to see their favorite band live is a unique experience.  What made the night even better, was the band genuinely seemed just as excited as the crowd to be there.

Throughout the night, lead singer Dennis Lyxzén expressed his gratitutde and reminded us all of the importance of music, regardless of taste, time, and tempo-- and that Refused would rather be alive.

The performance was so captivating, I returned to Terminal 5 to photograph the second sold-out show. Scope the photos below.


All In

(by Lifehouse)

Truth be told, with all that has happened in the last year, I have unfortunately found myself passing on concerts to photograph.  It's been weird to see something I love and enjoy so much pass right on by. I have, however, ahd the opportunity to shoot some really great shows, and Lifehouse at the DAR Constitution Hall was certainly no exeption.

Bryce was even kind enough to take a picture of our shoes after the show for my LIFE OF MY CHUCKS blog!


aren't you such a catch

what a prize... ("Over It" by Ok Go)

OK Go returned to the 9:30 Club for a homecoming show for lead singer, guitarist, Damian Kulash.  One of the more fun shows I've shot in a while, thanks to 2 rounds of confetti in the first 3 songs!

For those of you who don't know, I have a little photo essay project going on called Life of My Chucks.  I've started taking picture of punk rock shoes too.

Click here to see the full set.

I know you'll get me right

"Get Me Right" by Dashboard Confessional.

Sorry for the lack of posts, been busy getting back into the swing of life.  Anyways, back in early December I had the opportunity to photograph one of my favorite bands, Dashboard Confessional, during an intimate acoustic performance at the Ottobar in Baltimore, MD.  You can view the gallery here.

Aside from getting to meet the band, have my photo passed signed, score a guitar pick, and see them for the very first time live, there was one moment in the set where lead singer, Chris Carrabba, used me as his example during a story.  I nearly fainted... anyways, after searching YouTube, someone managed to record it. Check it out.


All the small things

(by Blink 182)

Yesterday I was at FreeFest, which was one heck of an experience.  I had a great time at the festival and it was a wonderful opportunity to photograph so many high profile bands like Taking Back Sunday, The Bravery, Jet, Weezer, and Blink 182.  It was, however, a tough shoot.  

There were about 30 photographers in a very confined pit, making mobility impossible, so you had to hope you were in a lucky spot.  By the time Blink came on, our 2 song set (not the regular 3) was cut down to 1.5, which for my group (they ended up splitting us up), was a curtain drop, an intro, and part of "What's My Age Again."  Translation? 50 frames.  I think I walked away with maybe 5 decent shots.  I left the pit feeling rather defeated.  I take my time at any show seriously and I was disappointed, actually, beyond disappointed.   Anyways, here they are.

Dare You to Move

(by Switchfoot)

I photographed Switchfoot last night.  They have got to be another one of my favorite bands to shoot.  The show up at Ram's Head in Baltimore, MD was pretty crazy.  Frontman, Jon Foreman, ascended to the second floor balcony and proceeded to sing from the steel structure.  Despite security freaking out, Jon decided to return to the stage by descending down the steel column.  Don't believe me?  Check the video.  Photos too!

Sometimes when you lose, you win

(by Karate High School)

I'm hoping this KHS song to be true.  At the end of every summer, the Baltimore-Washington area puts on the Virgin Mobile Fest.  This year, Virgin Mobile has decided to cater to those affect most by the harsh economic times and re-name the event, Free Fest.  Yup, 35,000+ tickets were made free to the public.  The event is featuring Blink 182, Weezer, Taking Back Sunday, The Bravery, Franz Ferdinand, and many more artists. 

There have been many events happening leading up to the big weekend... which happens to be this coming weekend.  One of those included the Kyocera All-Access contest, which would provide 14 lucky winners the opportunity to document the festival, everything from the show set up, band interviews, to the performances themselves.  I applied earlier in the summer with the hopes of being one of the lucky 14.  Last week I survived the first round of applicants and received a phone interview.  I totally blew the phone interview (yes... I realize my phone skills need work.  They're getting better, I promise).  Anyways, I was pretty disheartened when I didn't receive a follow up phone call later in the week.

Tonight, however, I have been informed that I am on the waiting list; a pretty incredible feat since I botched the phone interview, and there were over 2,000 applicants.  So I guess this makes me #15?  I'm hoping it's a lucky number because this would be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Keep your fingers crossed!

My Sacrifice

Like A Storm at the Nissan Post Pavilion in Bristow, VA(by Creed)

I had a bunch of people make some remarks to me about going to Creed last night.  Honestly, I could care less what they think about Creed, it was a pretty cool show.  I really enjoyed photographing them and Like A Storm-- though I only was allowed one song for LAS (Thanks LiveNation...)  Such high profile acts are great to shoot because their stage set up is of a higher quality, meaning more lights; and well, more lights means better shots. One of the cooler things I got to experience last night was photographing pyrotechnics.  Usually such things happen outside the first three songs, but not this time.  It was insane!  Photos to come!

Amazing Again

Boston, Copley Square, August 2007(by Matt Nathanson)

Last night I went to see Matt Nathanson open for O.A.R. at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD.  It was kind of a weird experience for two reason: the first being I wasn't shooting the show-- something I haven't done in months, the second is that it was an odd feeling seeing him perform at such a large venue.  I have seen Nathanson six times now, and I must say, I really prefer him in a small club setting.  It's just so much more intimate, and if anyone has seen him in concert, we all know what "intimate" means.  

Regardless of the stage size, he is still phenomenal to watch.  It's really refreshing to see real music performed.  There's no stage gimmicks, well aside from a reading out a trashy romance novel. It's pure music and performance, and that's what I respect most about him.