The Vans Warped tour came to Saint Petersburg on July 3, 2015. Warped tour is known for being a little hectic, very hot and full of excitement. Admittedly, Immortal Music has been a bit cynical in the past about Warped tour, but this year proved to be quite the unforgettable.
Remedy X was chosen as one of five Battle Of The Bands winners at this date, and as their manager, I obviously went with them. Not only was this the first big thing for Remedy X, but this was also the first time Immortal Music was ever represented.
Early on Friday, July 3, we set out for the show. Three fourths of Remedy X was in one car, with myself and a friend of ours, while Josh was in a different car with two friends. When we got there, we were sent down a very long walk to the venue, and had to walk through all the tour buses. I wanted to vlog then so badly, but at the risk of getting in trouble, I did not. Definitely wanted to though because on the way I saw Jaime Preciado of Pierce The Veil, Kevin Thrasher of Escape The Fate, countless roadies, and probably others, who I am forgetting at this second.
Let me just say something -being inside Warped tour as its still being set up is very interesting. We stopped and talked to several merch people, hoping someone knew where the stage we were supposed to be at was, just to discover it hadn't been set up yet. Probably twenty minutes passed, and finally it was set up and I was handed our neon yellow Ernie Ball Battle Of The Bands wristbands.
As Remedy went to gather their equipment, I decided to wander around the still vacant Warped tour. Again, I really wanted to vlog but really was concerned about being told off and possibly jeopardizing Remedy's performance before they even got to play. I did end up filming a short little clip, as I approached a couple other Battle Of The Bands winners by the Ernie Ball stage. Looking back at it, I probably could have done it and been perfectly fine, but its okay. I got a ton of footage anyways!
Since Remedy went to get their stuff and one of us had to stay inside Warped tour, I decided to hang back. I can't carry most of their equipment anyways, and this gave me a moment to explore. For some reason, it kind of fascinated me watching everything slowly come together. Why? I have no idea, I think its because you only see the final outcome, so seeing all the hard work that goes into making it exist is eye opening. Most of the tents were not up yet, and it was just interesting seeing it all come together.
One of the tents that was being put together was Adam Elmakias' merch tent, and he was actually there helping. I wanted to go over and introduce myself, but he and the merch girl were clearly discussing how to set everything up so I didn't interrupt. However, just as I decided to, and turned around to grab my camera out of its bag, he was gone. Through out the day, never saw him again actually. Oh well, one day our worlds' will actually collide. He and Bryan Stars were the main ones I wanted to meet at Warped tour, and oddly never even saw Bryan anywhere.
Surprisingly, I didn't meet a single band member at Warped tour, but we (meaning myself and a friend of mine) did get to see every band we wanted to see. We saw Remedy, obviously, Escape The Fate, As It Is, Blessthefall, Pierce The Veil, and Black Veil Brides.
Remedy played at 11:30, right after the doors opened. They didn't have a huge crowd, but I saw plenty of people walking past them showing interest. Some were headbanging, some just were watching as they walked. I get it, the doors had just opened and you want to scope out everything and figure out where you're going. The people who were there though, were pretty cool, and one thing that made me very happy was the security guards.
Its incredibly rare to see security guards actually enjoying themselves while on duty, but both of the ones at the Ernie Ball stage were definitely enjoying themselves. The one was sort of nodding his head along during Remedy's performance, and the other actually asked about the Immortal Music shirts. So, kudos to Vinoy Park in Saint Petersburg, FL for hiring cool security guards for Warped tour. I've seen some cool security guards in the past, but its very rare none the less.
As Remedy was setting up to play, I grabbed them water bottles and decided to take a picture while on the stage. That's when it became real to me. I pretty much bounced off the stage, with tears in my eyes because I just got overwhelmed with thoughts of "This is fucking real. This is fucking happening."
They did a great job, and I took a ton of pictures. Its definitely the most memorable performance they've done so far. I'm so proud of them, and made sure they knew it. The moment they got off stage and got everything to the merch tent, I forced hugs upon all of them. And water. They all needed water, of course.
Right after that though, I grabbed my bag and some water, and set off to go explore without actually saying a word to Remedy. The first tent we stopped at was the Vans tent -where they had the most perfect shirt for me. Its a white tank top with the same vampire mouth I use for most Immortal Music things. As I'm standing there exclaiming to my friend about how amazing it is and how I never wear white but simply cannot leave without it, The merch guy over heard us, and came over to tell me they were $15. We told him why this was so cool to me, and my friend handed him my business card. He saw it, took one look and then said "That's awesome! I don't mean to sell you on this but...you need that." I agreed, and that's when he told me every shirt came with a free bag or hat. As if I hadn't already been totally sold, that just made it even better. So, with my amazing new shirt, came a galaxy print drawstring bag.
As I was digging through my bag to find my wallet, I heard the beginning of "Choose Your Fate" by Escape The Fate. We had not seen the set times yet, and frankly, I figured I wouldn't see anyone I wanted. The set times I had been seeing for every date leading up to this had my favorites playing later in the day, when we were planning on leaving. Nearly everyone had work early the next day, and we had a long drive ahead of us. So, when I heard that, naturally, I got excited. I heard it and instantly went, "Escape the Fate is starting???" The merch guy sort of chuckled, and quickly reminded me it was $15 for the shirt. As I handed him the money, he just smiled and said, "Go watch Escape The Fate."
They did so good! This was my third time seeing Escape The Fate live, and they have yet to disappoint once. I couldn't see very well, because of the crowd, but they just did such a great job. I won't ruin their set list, but I will say they played their new song, "Just A Memory" and I cannot wait to hear the studio version. I recorded some of it as well (and a mosh pit that happened at the same moment), and like everything else I've mentioned thus far, it is part of the vlog.
From there, we watched a song from Fit For a King, and shopped quite a bit. I'm pretty sure we looked at every interesting tent there was, and I got a Black Veil Brides shirt, a "I Would Rather be At A Concert" shirt from the YouTubers tent, the Vans shirt I already talked about and one I sadly lost that said "Warped tour Famous" on it. That shirt made things interesting.
I bought it, and then promptly must have dropped it somewhere. The girl at that merch tent (sadly, I forget the name) really liked the Immortal Music shirts (the friend who was with me was wearing one) so I decided to offer a possible trade. They said if it was their shirt, they would say yes in a heartbeat, but the shirt I bought wasn't theirs to give away. Its designed by Ryan Seaman of Falling In Reverse, and he was just asked to sell them. That was it.
Now here's the ironic thing. Earlier in the day, before Remedy got on stage, I saw someone who looked like Ryan Seaman walk past the tent. I saw this guy walk by and instantly thought, "That guy looks like Ryan from Falling In Reverse...Falling In Reverse isn't here though...That can't be him." As it turns out, I was dead wrong. When the guy told me that shirt was Ryan's design, and that he was filling in for Matchbook Romance's drummer, I pretty much instantly exclaimed, "I thought I saw him earlier! I thought I was going crazy."
The guy laughed and said, "No, you apparently did see him. And he's doing a signing later with Matchbook at their tent if you want to talk to him about this." I asked the guy if he thought Ryan would go for such an idea. He said he didn't know, but it was worth a shot.
Now sadly, I did not end up actually doing it. Their signing was at six pm, and just before that it started raining, so they started shutting some stuff down. We left not long after that ourselves, because everything was slowly closing and we were exhausted anyway. So, sadly, that didn't happen but it would have been a very cool story! And, if nothing else, it gave me ideas for the future.
The rain started in the middle of Black Veil Brides set and let me just say this -I have never been so happy to be caught in the rain EVER. I handle heat pretty well -give me water and sunscreen, and I'm good. Given, I'm usually in a bikini top and shorts, but hey -at least I'm not passing out from heat stroke. I was exhausted by the time Black Veil Brides got on stage though, and it actually hit me just after As It Is, which was about two hours previous to their set. Plus, it was probably 97 degrees (plus humidity, so really it felt like it was over 100), I was running on about three hours sleep, had already been up for 12 or 13 hours and in the sun for eight of those hours, AND rocked out to several bands. I'm also shorter than everyone else, so I couldn't see where I was for BVB, and it just made it hotter because of all the body heat surrounding all of me.
I was literally considering leaving my friend in the crowd to go sit down when all the sudden a drop of rain hit me on the forehead. I've only been to one other show where it rained, and that was Uproar last summer. That time though, it full on stormed, so it basically drowned (literally) everything out. This time, it was starting to full on storm, but was just raining at first and it was incredibly refreshing. Clearly, I wasn't the only one who felt that way, because the crowd around me just seemed to get more energized the moment it started raining. That appeared to make Andy Biersack incredibly happy because he addressed the rain a couple of times, and thanked the crowd for staying. He also kept giving the sky one of those, "What the hell are you doing?" looks, which for some reason amused me.
This was my second time seeing Black Veil Brides lived and they definitely impressed me. Last time I saw them, they only had two albums out and have grown so much since then. Probably the best two songs they played were In The End and Fallen Angels. The crowd was so into it, and it probably helped that they played those after everyone was cooled off and soaked from the rain. That just made it so much fun. We actually left not long after that. Remedy had packed up the tent and everyone was exhausted anyway, so we decided to head out.
Just before Black Veil Brides though was Pierce The Veil, and frankly, I think I forgot how much I enjoyed Pierce The Veil. I had seen them before, but it was two years ago and I think this time was more fun. Again, not going to ruin the set list, but I will say this, they opened with the new one, "The Divine Zero" and it was so much fun live, and "Hell Above" is MADE FOR LIVE PERFORMANCES. I mean, hello, its pretty much about a concert, so that's a given.
Man, Pierce The Veil fans are crazy though! I've been to a ton of concerts, and moshing has happened at almost all of them (Even Mayday Parade, which surprised me a little bit) but this was the first time I was actually caught in one. I don't mosh, as I'm pretty sure I personally would get knocked down and stepped on by mistake. So naturally, my reaction was to get on the edge of it and film it. This was during "King For A Day", which I got in its own video! Can I just say too, I love how into it the crowd gets? I think that's one of my favorite things about concerts, if I'm honest, and Pierce The Veil's crowd was very passionate about it. It was just magical. It always is though.
While waiting for them, we watched most of Blessthefall's set, which was pretty good. I'm not a big BTF fan, not going to lie, but I know a good handful of their songs and did enjoy the fact that Beau got creative in an attempt to include all of us waiting on Pierce The Veil on the stage next to them. PTV was on the Unicorn stage, and Blessthefall was on the Shark stage. Beau basically scaled the stage to include all of us over there, and kept trying to get interaction. In the moment even I said that was very smart of him, and was quite impressed that he even tried. It did work pretty well actually, which made the waiting way more enjoyable.
Somehow I started going backwards on the whole recap blog. Don't I always though? I think that's sort of what some people like, how I just write whatever I think. Its not always in order, its kind of disorganized but not all at once, ect, because that's how the brain works sometimes.
Anyways, going with that, I really must talk about As It Is. They're pretty much the only one I got really good pictures of and they are the only band I saw at Warped tour all the way through that I had never seen before. Now I don't mean to sound like a hipster, but I have known about As It Is long before they got signed to Fearless Records. I have been a fan of Patty's YouTube channel for several years now, and through there, I found out about As It Is. So, I'm extremely proud of them all around, and was very excited to see them live. I was only two rows from the barricade and really was impressed! They all did so well, and the banter was hilarious. Ben spoke up to introduce themselves and added, "Don't let his accent fool you, we are a British band. He's....kind of British." He also pointed out that Patty hates it when he teases him on stage, to which Patty responded to by walking over with his hands on his hips and giving him one of those, "I'd hurt you, but we're friends" sort of looks.
Also, I just wanted to take a moment, as a photographer to give Patty some bonus credit. Perhaps its because he's a YouTuber but he's very good at looking at cameras! Its really hard to get a picture of performers to actually look at the cameras. They often do it, but if you don't get the picture the second they do it, that moment is lost forever. This happened, not once but twice for me, with Patty, and I appreciate it greatly. As any photographer would, I'm sure.
I also loved how grateful they seemed just to be playing Warped tour, it just warmed my heart really.
I am slowly running out of time and things to say about Warped tour, so I think I am going to wrap it up now. Thank you so much to Ernie Ball for picking Remedy X as one of the Battle Of The Bands winners, and all of you for reading this!
I feel like I'm forgetting something...Oh yes!
Two things. 1) Just after we got the merch tent set up, a boy came up in a Music = Life tank top. He was the first person to buy an Immortal Music bracelet and it made me very happy because Immortal Music was originally called Music = Life. I didn't even tell the kid the significance. Just told him he was the first one to buy a bracelet and moved on from it.
2) This is something I was thinking of writing about on its own, and definitely will, but its worth mentioning here. Right after Escape The Fate left the stage, I felt my phone vibrate. I checked it, and saw I had an email from the Rock Allegiance Festival press person.
I am trying very hard not to get my hopes up here, but....I got past the first phase of consideration for the festival! I have never once gotten an email like that that did not end up working out. Not going to lie, I actually jumped up and down and squealed when I found out. Perhaps its was the overwhelming joy I was already experiencing, or maybe its just that damn exciting, but it happened. The Rock Allegiance festival features my dream concert lineup, and to be able to cover it is is massive. So, I am very hopeful, but am trying not to be, just so I don't get too crushed if something falls apart.
If you want to check out the pictures, or the vlog, please feel free to do so! Pictures are on the Facebook page, and the vlog is below.
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