Published on August 18th, 2013

The 2013 Vans Warped Tour is history, and it was another physically taxing but fun-filled event for yours truly.
It also produced plenty of memories. Some bad, but mostly good.
While this tour is fun, it is also arduous for a photographer. One must have a plan in order to get the photographs needed for coverage of the event.
The first thing: no photographer can shoot all nine stages with more than 90 bands. Making it more difficult is there are always bands playing at the same time in different parts of the venue (for me it was Jiffy Lube Live in Virginia Beach, Va., and Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Charlotte, NC). Some of the stage are so spread out that it’s hard to see everyone.
Being as this tour is always in the summer, it is important to stay hydrated. Carrying around camera gear all day can also get really tiring if you aren’t in shape (of which I am not LOL), so a plan is key. I saw several fans who were treated for heat stroke and exhaustion during both shows.
The first thing I did at both places was make a list or highlight the bands I wanted to shoot based on the schedule. Then I had to narrow it down. There were some bands playing at the same time as other bands I wanted to shoot, so I had to choose.
There were simply several bands I had to shoot: Black Veil Brides, The Used, Juliet Simms, New Year’s Day, Crossfaith, Memphis May Fire, Five Knives and Bring Me The Horizon. Others, such as Billy Talent, Chiodos, Reel Big Fish and Black Dahlia Murder, I wasn’t able to get due to schedule conflicts. Even though I came prepared with plenty of water and snacks, I suffered a dizzy spell in Virginia Beach that caused me to miss the sets of a few acts. I was better prepared and took more breaks in Charlotte to preserve my health, but it caused me to miss a handful of bands I would have liked to have seen and photographed.
I really enjoyed Never Shout Never, Gin Wigmore, Cata9tales, Echosmith and Sleeping With Sirens.
BVB was great (Their review and photos are posted separately on this site), and I had never shot The Used, so they were crucial. Their singer Bert McCracken is quite the character. He likes to spit and throw colored dust into the audience. Great for them, not so great for cameras. I only got a couple of small spots on a lens hood but nothing on my cameras and lenses. My hat, wardrobe and camera bag, however, weren’t so lucky.
I enjoyed shooting the sets by Tonight Alive (even though, despite being as close to the stage as possible, I still was kicked in the back of the head twice by crowd surfers), Crossfaith (their drummer is an insane player live, as is the whole band), New Year’s Day, Gin Wigmore, Juliet Simms, Five Knives and The Summer Set as well as Go Radio, Young London and Cata9tales (even got a nice shot of singer Berkley Priest jumping).
There were tons of merchandise booths and several signings and meets and greets, making the event even more special for the fans.
I wish there was a better way to set up the stages, but in reality, it would probably cause more congestion trying to get from place to place.
All in all, i enjoyed being a part of it, got some good photos and I hope to be a part of it again in the future.
The bands I photographed during these 2 tour stops included Black Veil Brides, We Came As Romans, Memphis May Fire, Never Shout Never, Bring Me The Horizon, Sleeping With Sirens, The Used, Go Radio, New Year’s Day, Gin Wigmore, The Summer Set, Forever the Sickest Kids, Tonight Alive, Juliet Simms, Set it Off, Lions of Zion, The Story So Far, Echosmith, Crossfaith, Young London, Five Knives and Cata9tales.

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