On July 21st, thousands of music loving kids, teens, parents, students, stoners, teachers, musicians, artists and police woke up early and rushed to the Canterbury park in Shakopee, MN for one of the most famous music festivals in the world... The Vans Warped Tour '13!! We all lined our cars up in the field and proceeded to walk several miles to the actual festival grounds. Whilst cleverly skipping most of the lines to claim my press pass I ran into several friends sporting shirts from their favorite bands! Once we got into the grounds, it was like a punk/core dreamland! Enough hair dye, gel, and heavy black eyeliner to make even Ms. Taylor Momsen a little giddy...
This was the first festival I had ever shot... so needless to say, I got a little carried away in the mess of it all after I realized that most of the bands that I needed to shoot were playing at the same time! Whatever! It was great, bouncing around from stage to stage, even if I was lugging 10 extra pounds of camera gear with me! First up was New Years Day! An awesome time! The guitarist, Jake Jones, looks like a punk version of Ryan Gosling... (died a little)!
Next up was Billy Talent... now as I learned last Sunday, they have been a band for 20 years! That's since I was 3 years old... ridiculous! I first heard of them in 2004, my freshman year of high school! I saw them play with Rise Against, and Rancid in 2009 and was so glad to catch them again in 2013! Lead singer, Benjamin Kowalewicz, as per usual, put on a very energetic show, bringing out every single amazing bit of that distinctive Billy Talent voice! It was a damn awesome show to see!
After Billy Talent at the KIA Soul stage, I meandered over to the KIA forte stage to check out Sleeping With Sirens, although I'd never listened to them, I know they are BIG in the buzznet crowd!! It took me several minutes to gather myself once entering the photo pit, as the high pitched chanting of lead singer KELLIN QUINN's name was causing partial deafness!! It was a great show to catch, I definitely see why the girls go crazy over him!
In between sets, I was distracted by all of the free stuff that was being handed out! If you are collector of "free stuff" like my girlfriend, you will be happy with your bounty by the end of the afternoon! Check out the Tilly's booth for some sunglasses and a bracelet! The Insidious booth for an awesome water pouch OR sunglasses (But ask nicely like my girlfriend, and you'll get BOTH! AWWWH LOOK AT YOUUUU!)
Up next... Citizen...
Not really my cup of tea -- but hey... props to any dude that can rock a tie-dye! (Insert iphone thumbs up here...)
On my way to shoot Hawthorne Heights at the Ernie Ball stage, I was walking past the Spotify stage and was immediatley drawn to the thumping bass coming from the stage! I turned and walked toward the stage as if on impulse, to watch this tiny blonde jump off a drum kit and flip the bird to the crowd... instantly loved her, by the way... I couldn't resist picking up my camera even though I had already missed the alotted shooting time, but thanks to the guard that let me in anyways! With every song they played, it just kept getting better and better! By the end I was so furiously banging my head to the bass that I had to put my camera down and just enjoy the show! DEFINITELY CHECK OUT FIVE KNIVES! DO IT. I PROMISE! YOU WON'T REGRET IT! Then make sure to check them out at their booth for signings after the show and some stickers (one of which has arlready found its way onto my car!)
After sticking around for the entire set, I ran over to shoot Hawthorne Heights, another band whose albums I've had since high school!!
And last, but not least, I shot Wallpaper. a very energetic set and AWESOME gold doc martens!
Overall, I wish I had shot more bands, but I am more prepared for my next festival! Only next time, I will eat breakfast, and wear sunscreen (and not break every festie rule out there.... oops.) If you can make it to a venue in your area and it's your music scene, I highly suggest it! Thank you Buzznet for this AMAZING opportunity, as usual, I'll have stories to tell my grandkids cause of you -- so THANK YOU!
oh and one more picture of Kellin Quinn cause shit -- he's adorable.